Richmond Road/Westboro Community Design Plan

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This document is the Council approved guide to the long-term growth and development of the Richmond-Road/Westboro area. The Community Design Plan provides guidelines for the day-to-day decision-making on land use planning and sets out the community's priorities for the future.

2.0 Policy Overview - City of Ottawa Official Plan

2.1 Compatibility and Community Design

The City’s growth management strategy, set out in the Official Plan, includes intensification of development in the urban area over the next 20 years. However, the Official Plan also notes that introducing new development in existing neighbourhoods that have developed over a long period of time requires a sensitive approach to differences between new development and the established area. In this regard, the Official Plan sets out strategic directions to ensure the compatibility of new development in established communities.

In the Official Plan, compatible development is defined as development which, although not necessarily the same as or similar to existing nearby built form, must co-exist with it without causing undue adverse impact on surrounding properties. In the planning area, these include overlook, shadowing, existing views, increased noise, traffic and infrastructure impacts, particularly where Richmond Road and Scott Street properties abut mature and established low-rise residential neighbourhoods.

A new vision for an area established through the CDP will provide guidance for development to address compatibility and to evolve toward achievement of that vision while respecting overall community character. The Richmond Road/Westboro CDP policy, design guidelines and zoning recommendations were developed in keeping with these Official Plan policy directions.

2. 2 Official Plan Designations (see Map 2)

Richmond Road between Island Park Drive and the Ottawa River Parkway and Scott Street between Island Park Drive and Churchill are designated as Traditional Mainstreets in the Official Plan. Such streets offer significant opportunities for renewal and intensification through more compact forms of development, a lively mix of uses and a pedestrian-friendly environment. The September 2006 Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decision confirmed the Traditional Mainstreet designation.

Traditional Mainstreets, such as Westboro Village, described in the next section, are generally developed prior to 1945, typically within a tightly knit urban fabric. Buildings are often small-scale and mixed-use, with narrow frontages and are set close to and address the street in a more pedestrian-oriented and transit-friendly environment.

Some Traditional Mainstreets, built after 1945, display a blend of these traditional characteristics and those of Arterial Mainstreets (e.g., larger lots and buildings, auto orientation). Richmond Road west of Golden Avenue and Scott Street fit this category to varying degrees. Redevelopment over the years has resulted in a greater automobile orientation. The policies of the CDP, in keeping with the Official Plan and the draft Zoning By-law, promote redevelopment that is more pedestrian oriented and locates buildings closer to the street. Over time, the community anticipates that residential and compatible commercial uses will provide residents with a range of services to meet most of their needs within walking distance.

The surrounding residential neighbourhoods are designated General Urban Area, which permits a full range of housing types in combination with conveniently located local employment, service, cultural, leisure, entertainment and institutional uses. Because of the broad nature of this designation, the Zoning By-law will establish more specific

lists of permitted uses and development regulations in order to achieve compatibility. New development must relate to existing community character, and enhance and build upon desirable established patterns and built form. Residential intensification should help achieve a balance of housing types and tenures to provide a full range of housing for a variety of demographic profiles.

The open space lands along the Ottawa River and the Ottawa River Parkway are designated Major Open Space and Urban Natural Features. Major Open Spaces are large parks and open space corridors along the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers and parkway corridors, among others. Of note is Rochester Field/Maplelawn, currently designated as Major Open Space (subject of an outstanding NCC appeal to the OMB) and also subject of an Official Plan Amendment, refused by City Council on June 8, 2005, to redesignate it as General Urban Area. Further discussion of this parcel is found in Section 3.4.

Urban Natural Features are natural landscapes and may include woodlands, wetlands watercourses and ravines. The three Urban Natural Features designations are Riverside Park Woods south of the Ottawa River Parkway immediately to the west of the Jules Leger Centre, Champlain Bridge Woods on the north side of the Parkway and Des Chenes Lookout in the westerly part of the CDP area.

5.0 Greenspace Network Strategy

As shown in Section 3.2, Area Statistics, the Ottawa River Parkway plays a vital role in the provision of open space for the community. With a total area of 70.6 hectares, the corridor accounts for 80% of the total green space in the planning area. This corridor is also within 400 metres of most residents, one of the guiding principles of the Official Plan.

Although the Ottawa River Parkway constitutes a valuable amenity for area residents, it does not replace the adequate provision of parks and green spaces at the neighbourhood level. As the population of the planning area increases in the future, consistent with the intensification policies of the Official Plan, it will become important to preserve, improve and add to, where possible, all available green spaces, whether or not they are City-owned property. Presently the actual ratio of City-owned or leased parks to population meets the OP target as it approximates 2 hectares per 1000 individuals. However, this ratio includes Rochester Field, which is NCC-owned land. As noted in Section 3.2, the larger Ottawa West area, including Richmond Road/ Westboro, is deficient in City-owned park space.

With this context the key element of the greenspace network strategy is to take advantage of the presence of the Ottawa River Parkway and to consider Richmond Road and Byron Tramway Park as a gateway to this corridor. The Richmond Road/Byron corridor should reinforce the link between the community and the federal NCC recreational pathway system through green streets and pathway connections.

Also, as noted in Section 3.4, the City has existing policies concerning park preservation and improvement and the development of additional parkland in communities undergoing intensification. Those policies should be applied to the Richmond Road/Westboro area, including investing cash-in-lieu of parkland funds, generated by development, toward the improvement of park and recreational facilities in the planning area.

As shown on Map 8, the components of the proposed greenspace network feature:

Map 8

Richmond Road/Byron Tramway Park

A restored streetscape for Richmond Road, which will become a well-defined avenue through the enhancement of Byron Tramway Park on its south side and the provision of a new, widened (where possible) and tree-lined sidewalk on its north side.

Byron Tramway Park landscaping should be enhanced with new trees and shrubs. The extension of the recreational pathway westward from Redwood to Richardson should be added to the 2007 Capital Works program of the Parks and Recreation Branch.

Atlantis-Selby and Rochester Field/Maplelawn as confirmed green space

The confirmation of all of the Rochester Field/Maplelawn parcel and the Atlantis-Selby lands as two major components of the community’s green space network and gateways to the Ottawa River Parkway. The means of confirming these sites as green space will be determined via discussions among the City, the NCC (the landowner, with federal authority for land use planning of these sites), and affected community groups as an implementation measure of this CDP.

Green Streets linking Richmond and the Ottawa River

The transformation of key local streets such as Lockhart, Berkley, Kirchoffer and Lanark Avenues into green streets through tree planting, and the landscaping and provision of a two-metre sidewalk and dedicated on-road cycle-lanes or signed cycle route designation, as appropriate. Opportunities for other streetscape elements include enhanced bus stop areas, benches, shrubs, floral beds, etc.

These improvements will help create informal pedestrian/ cycling links between local parks, the community and the Ottawa River, but do not involve extending streets to Richmond Road. Together these improvements will help address the greenspace needs of a growing population resulting from the intensification proposals of the CDP.

10.0 Richmond Road/Westboro Tomorrow

This section, Richmond Road/Westboro Tomorrow, provides an illustration of what the planning area could look like twenty years in the future. It is based on the following:

  • Existing conditions described in the Richmond Road/Westboro Today section;
  • The Planning Strategy section;
  • An identification of suitable redevelopment sites, not all of which would be developed in a twenty year time frame.

10.1 The 3-D Model
A 3-D model was prepared to illustrate what Richmond Road/ Westboro could look like at the end of the twenty-year period. The model does not represent exactly how future development will unfold, but is intended to represent how it could occur on selected sites following the policies, guidelines and recommendations of the CDP. Although redeveloped parcels are shown at the maximum building height recommended by the CDP, actual redevelopment may be more or less than the recommended maximums.

10.2 Sector Views

Sector 4

The view of Sector 4, Maplelawn/495 Richmond Road, illustrates how 471 Richmond (Rogers) could be redeveloped in a “ pavilion in the park” type of building arrangement. City Council’s 2005 approval of a twenty-storey height limit at the rear of 495 Richmond is shown built-out, as well as the Committee of Adjustment October 4, 2006 approval of the western portion of the Bourk site at nine storeys.

Sector 5

Sector 5, Westboro Village, shows the existing Traditional Mainstreet character to be strengthened though redevelopment of some of the more automotive-oriented uses to mixed-use buildings. Some larger redevelopment projects, in keeping with the Traditional Mainstreet guidelines, bring residents to live in the Village.

Sector 6

Similar to Sector 5, Sector 6, East Village, takes on a more Traditional Mainstreet character through redevelopment of the existing car lots to mostly maximum four-storey mixed-use buildings that provide an appropriate transition to the adjacent low-rise neighbourhood. The Convent site is shown with the wall removed to open up the green space to the street.

Sector 7

Sector 7, Scott Street, and the Westboro Transitway Station area has been redeveloped with Traditional Mainstreet type buildings along the south side of Scott Street. North of the Transitway station, 250 Lanark has been redeveloped with 6 and 12 storey buildings (higher buildings closer to the Transitway station) with an access over the Transitway connecting to Scott Street. A plaza adjacent to the station provides a pedestrian-friendly public open space bridging the Transitway and improves pedestrian access from the streets

View 2a

View 4

View 5

View 6

View 7

10.3 Examples of Potential Infill Development and Enhanced Pedestrian Facilities

The last group of illustrations provides more detailed views of some of the areas featured above in Section 10.2 in order to show how key sites and areas could be redeveloped and enhanced pedestrian facilities created in keeping with the CDP recommendations.

Sector 4 - 471 Richmond Road. A potential redevelopment of the Rogers site at 471 Richmond provides a closer look at the “pavilions in a park” concept, demonstrating how new buildings can define a series of new public/semi-public plazas and provide access to the Ottawa River corridor.

Sector 5 - Berkley Avenue as a “Green Street”, with street trees and enhanced two-metre wide sidewalks, provides improved pedestrian access to the Dominion Transitway Station.

Sector 5 – Westboro Village East of Athlone Avenue. The eastern edge of Westboro Village is a Traditional Mainstreet with mixed-use development built close to the street, featuring active pedestrian-oriented uses at grade and residential/ office uses above. Buildings are set back above the third storey as per the CDP guidelines. The Traditional Mainstreet extends into the East Village area.

Sector 7 - Scott Street and Westboro Transitway Area. This illustration provides a more detailed look at a potential future redevelopment of 250 Lanark and a new Transitway station plaza described above in Section 10.2 - Sector 7. The south side of Scott Street has been enhanced with sidewalks, street trees and mixed-use buildings that are set back on the upper floors.

Sector 9 - McRae Avenue has evolved in this illustration from an industrial street to a mixed-use image, providing improved pedestrian and cycling links between Westboro Village and the Transitway station.

Sector 4 Maplelawn/495 Richmond

Sector 5 Westboro Village - Berkeley Avenue

Sector 5 Westboro Village - Potential Development

Sector 7 Scott Street and Westboro Transitway Station Area

Sector 9 McRae Avenue