Planning Committee approves budget for 2018 and the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods initiative

November 28, 2017
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The City’s Planning Committee today approved its 2018 draft budget, which includes $17.4 million in capital funding and $49.3 million in operating expenses related to planning.

Capital spending approved by the Committee is primarily related to affordable housing initiatives. Specifically, $15.7 million would be used to provide more than 100 new affordable rental or supportive housing units. That funding would also support accessibility modifications and renovations for more than 100 low-income seniors and people with disabilities, under the Investment in Affordable Housing program and the Social Infrastructure Fund.

The operating budget includes $45.6 million to support planning expenses for the City’s Ontario Building Code services, planning services and right of way, heritage and urban design work, all of which would be fully recovered from fees for service. Additional operating expenses include $3.4 million for long-range planning and $376,000 for affordable housing.

Starting on January 1, fees would increase by approximately two per cent for a variety of planning services, including heritage applications, inspections, the development review process, Ontario Building Code services and permits, including for outdoor patios.

The Committee also approved the Neighbourhood Revitalization Strategies that have been developed for Heatherington and Vanier South-Overbrook as part of the Building Better Revitalized Neighbourhoods initiative.

Both strategies include a long-term vision for neighbourhood revitalization, but the real focus of each is an action plan divided into short, medium and long-term initiatives. Developed in consultation with community stakeholders, the proposed initiatives include road improvements, neighbourhood beautification, improved programming for children and youth, new urban parkland sites, improved cycling facilities, better bus stop accessibility and support for the creation of community hubs.

The initiatives planned for 2018 are estimated to cost $200,000 and will be funded through the Planning Committee’s 2018 operating budget.

The Committee also approved construction of a five-storey, mixed-used building at 667 Bank Street, along with the necessary zoning amendments. The building would include retail on the ground floor and four residential levels above.

A zoning amendment was also considered for Southminster United Church at 1040 Bank Street, which would permit redevelopment of the lands behind the church building. The Committee directed City planning staff to work with the developer on the possibility of reducing the height of the proposed six-storey apartment building. The re-zoning will be considered at City Council on Wednesday, December 13.

The Committee approved the addition of a contemporary, two-storey extension at 551 Fairview Avenue, part of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District. The applicant has worked closely with City heritage staff to revise their proposed plans, making changes to the design and the cladding materials to better complement the existing house and to preserve its heritage value.

Items approved at today’s Planning Committee meeting will go to City Council on Wednesday, December 13.

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