That the Planning and Environment Committee recommend Council approve the demolition of 358 Arlington Avenue, subject to the following:
1. The Registered Owner shall seed/sod the property and install bollards around the perimeter to maintain the property as open space, and to prevent the use of the property for other interim uses until the time of construction of the replacement building. The foregoing shall occur within three months of execution of the Agreement, failing which, the City will undertake this work and enter on the collector’s roll the sum of the costs incurred to perform this work. The registered owner shall maintain the property in accordance with the Property Standards By-law.
2. That the Registered Owner enter into an Agreement with the City of Ottawa, to be registered on title, including the forgoing conditions, and pay all the costs associated with the registration of the said Agreement. At such time as a building permit is issued to redevelop the site and the replacement building is in place, the Agreement will become null and void and will be released upon request by the owner. The owner shall pay all costs associated with the registration of the release from this Agreement.
3. That the approval be considered null and void if the provisions of Condition 2 above have not been fulfilled within six months of the date of approval.
RECOMMANDATIONS DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité de l’urbanisme et de l’environnement recommande au Conseil municipal d’approuver la démolition du bâtiment au 358, avenue Arlington, sous réserve de ce qui suit :
1. Le propriétaire enregistré verra à ce que le terrain soit gazonné ou semé d’herbe et délimité par des bornes d’interdiction afin de le maintenir comme espace libre et d’empêcher qu’il serve à d’autres utilisations provisoires jusqu’au moment de la construction de l’immeuble remplaçant l’immeuble démoli. Le propriétaire enregistré devra satisfaire à cette condition dans les trois (3) mois suivant la conclusion de l’accord, à défaut de quoi la Ville entreprendra les travaux susmentionnés et inscrira au rôle de perception la somme correspondant au coût de ces travaux. Le propriétaire enregistré assurera l’entretien du terrain conformément au Règlement municipal sur les normes de bien-fonds.
2. Le propriétaire enregistré passera un accord, qui sera inscrit au titre foncier, avec la Ville d’Ottawa afin d’inclure les conditions susmentionnées et de payer tous les coûts d’enregistrement dudit accord. Lors de la délivrance d’un permis de construire pour le réaménagement de la propriété et une fois le bâtiment de remplacement construit, l’accord deviendra caduc et sera abandonné sur demande du propriétaire enregistré. Celui-ci assumera tous les frais associés à l’enregistrement de la décharge.
3. L’approbation donnée sera tenue pour nulle et non avenue si les dispositions de la condition 2 ne sont pas remplies dans les six mois qui suivent la date de l’approbation.
The site is located at 358 Arlington Avenue. It is on the south side of Arlington Avenue, just west of Bronson Avenue. The 100-square metre site currently has an existing two-storey, 80‑square metre detached dwelling that completely covers the site. Parking is in an attached garage at the rear of the structure. The site is surrounded by a restaurant to the east, office to the south and low-rise residential to the north and west. The site is currently zoned R4T (Residential Fourth Density Subzone T) in Zoning By-law 2008-250, as amended.
The applicant has submitted this application in order to obtain approval to demolish the existing dwelling without constructing a replacement building. The property is currently owned by the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Bank wishes to sell the property as a vacant parcel.
The housing policies in Section 4.5 of the Official Plan generally seek to maintain the existing housing stock in the city. The Demolition Control approval process is one of the means in which the City has control over removal of housing that results in the creation of vacant lands within established communities. Under the Demolition Control By-law 215-2000 approval by City Council is required within the former City of Ottawa when a residential use building is proposed to be removed from a property prior to a building permit being issued for a replacement building.
The subject building has been vacant for approximately two years. Two structural reports were submitted with the application, both indicating that the building is in very poor condition with severe structural deficiencies, and that the cost of rehabilitating the structure would exceed the cost to demolish and rebuild a new structure. The subject building has been boarded to prohibit access. Staff visits to the site have confirmed that the building is unoccupied and in a deteriorated state.
The owner is not a developer and intends to sell the property. Selling a vacant parcel is considered by the owner to be preferred as the existing building is in a state of disrepair and thus presents liability concerns, encroaches on adjacent lots without the benefit of easements, and will most likely be demolished by the new owner. Given that future development plans of the site are unknown and cannot be determined as a result of the current ownership, and that the building is in obvious disrepair and structurally unsound, the Department is recommending approval of this application, with the conditions described henceforth.
The Planning Act and the Demolition Control By-law enable Council to impose conditions on Demolition Control approvals. The conditions included in the recommendation set standards for the re-development and interim maintenance of the proposed vacant property.
Recommendation 1 will ensure that the property will be seeded or sodded and not used for surface parking pending redevelopment. Grass is the preferred treatment because it contributes to the neighbourhood’s aesthetics while helping to minimize erosion. As per City standards, the property should be mowed and tidied on a regular basis. Proper maintenance is of paramount importance since negligence can impact surrounding landowners. In addition, interim uses will not be permitted, though it is important to note that a stand-alone parking lot is not a listed permitted use within the R4T zone. Given the current state and use of the buildings, having the properties as vacant lands would improve the physical fabric of the surrounding neighbourhood, as the properties would be maintained as open space, albeit private. In the future, the redevelopment of the site will further enhance the character of the area. The demolition of the buildings would also remove potential safety issues associated with vacant building.
Recommendation 2 requires the owner to comply with the conditions outlined in this report by entering into a legal agreement with the City. Recommendation 3 provides a timeline for finalizing the approval.
Notice of this application was carried out in accordance with the City’s Public Notification and Consultation Policy. The Ward Councillor is aware of the proposal. Two comments were received from the posting of the on-site sign.
Councillor Diane Holmes (Ward 14 – Somerset) indicated the following:
The Planning and Growth Management priorities of the City’s Strategic Plan are adhered to as the site, when redeveloped, will respect the existing urban fabric, neighbourhood form and the limits of existing hard services, so that new growth is integrated seamlessly with established communities.
This application was processed by the "On Time Decision Date" established for the processing of an application for Demolition Control.
Document 2 Consultation Details
The Department of Corporate Services, Legal Services Branch to prepare the Demolition Control Agreement.
NOTIFICATION AND CONSULTATION PROCESS
Notification and public consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Public Notification and Public Consultation Policy approved by City Council for Demolition Control applications. Two comments were received from the public.
THE DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
We are strongly opposed to the demolition of residential buildings without constructing replacement residential units. We are unaware of any good planning circumstances at this address that would make demolition a benefit to the neighbourhood. To the contrary, a vacant lot will:
· have a negative effect on the cohesiveness of the neighbourhood and streetscape,
· constitute a loss of much needed affordable housing,
· be contrary to the OP requirement for intensification, and
· allow the disruption caused by the truck deliveries at the adjacent restaurant, to extend further into the neighbourhood to the west.
Demolition should not occur until a building permit is issued for replacement housing.
Response to these concerns is described in detail in the Discussion section of this report.