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Council approves new rules for high-rise buildings

October 9, 2019
Council Updates

Council today approved new rules for the development of high-rise buildings in Ottawa.

The new language in the Zoning By-Law limits how small a lot needs to be to accommodate buildings 10 storeys or taller, and sets minimum separation distances in three areas. The aim of the new language is to prevent towers from blocking light and views of the sky and to ensure building occupants have privacy.

Council approved an increase in permitted height for a site at 1950 Scott Street in Westboro, where a 21-storey residential high-rise is proposed at the corner of Clifton Road. While the Official Plan recommends a six-storey height limit on this section of Scott Street, greater height can be permitted if the development is located near transit. This site is only 150 metres from Westboro Station.

Council approved the renaming of Fairmont Park as Princess Margriet Park, in honour of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands. Princess Margriet, of the Dutch Royal Family, was born at the Ottawa Civic Hospital during the Second World War, when the family lived in Ottawa during the Nazi occupation of their country. The City of Ottawa and the Netherlands have maintained strong links of friendship since the war, with the Canadian Tulip Festival acting as a yearly reminder of this relationship. A tulip bed containing 1,945 Liberation 75 tulips will also be planted at the park this fall, before blooming in bright orange and red next spring.

Council approved changes to development application fees to ensure the City recovers the cost of reviewing and processing applications. The revised fee structure will ensure that development applicants pay for the services they use. The City will hire seven staff with funds generated by the revised fees. The added staff will help the City better meet target timelines for development review.

Council approved an updated parking strategy that will help improve service and ensure short-term parking is available to support businesses, institutions and tourism. Street parking rates will be based on demand for parking, with the potential for rates to vary between zones, up to a maximum of $4 per hour. Where on-street parking rates are $3 per hour, they will increase to $3.50 per hour starting in January 2020 – the first rate increase since 2008.

The updated parking strategy shifts control to Council for decisions on whether to introduce paid street parking to a community, when a parking study finds paid parking is warranted. Staff will continue to consult with the local business improvement area, community association and residents on parking studies.

Council approved three new full-time equivalent staff for Parking Services, funded through parking revenues, to help develop and implement the Bike Parking Strategy.

Council approved two separate community votes on possible levies for special projects.

Residents of the Stonebridge community will vote later this month on whether to pay a special levy to buy the Stonebridge Golf Course from Mattamy Homes. The developer withdrew its original development application for the golf course and will instead apply to develop 158 units on a portion of the site. Mattamy has agreed to operate the golf course for another 10 years and not develop the land if the 198-acre property is purchased by the City on behalf of the Stonebridge community.

To comply with provincial law, the City would buy the golf course. After collecting the special levy to cover all costs for the purchase, totalling $7 million, the City could then transfer the land to the local community group for a nominal amount to operate, or return to greenspace. Alternatively, the golf course could be leased to the community group. Affected property owners in the Stonebridge area should check their mailbox for a mail-in ballot in the coming days.

Residents of Kanata North will vote early next year on whether to continue a mosquito-control program and to pay for it through an area-specific levy on their property taxes. The program would apply a pesticide to stagnant water in Kanata North every year, until 2023, to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.

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