September 14, 2020 newsletter from Rawlson King, City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.
89-99 Beechwood Avenue Development
Almost 100 residents contacted me about the proposed development at 89-97 Beechwood Avenue concerned about proposed removal of commercial space.
Having taken the time to examine resident comments concerning the proposal, I agree with my residents that removal of commercial space on Beechwood Avenue at grade is unacceptable. I concur with the assessment of community organizations that the elimination of street-oriented commercial space contravenes the City’s Urban Design Guidelines for Traditional Mainstreets and ignores the terms of reference for development along Beechwood Avenue as articulated in the Beechwood Community Design Plan.
Given that approvals for Site Plan Control applications are typically issued under delegated authority by City staff and considering community dissatisfaction with the revised application concerning the development, I was willing to withdraw delegated authority in this instance to elevate this file to Planning Committee to facilitate fulsome public consultation.
My discussions with City staff, along with a large amount of correspondence from the community however has led the City’s Planning Department itself to rescind their delegated authority over the application to send it to Planning Committee for consideration. Consequently, City staff will held a public information session for residents in September concerning the revised proposed development.
I believe we cannot aspire to a revitalized Beechwood Avenue if an entire block of our traditional main street loses commercial space. As a result, I will be seeking to reach an agreement before hand with the developer through a robust conversation. I will be advocating for the three units facing Beechwood Avenue on the ground floor to be removed from the revised plan, and for them to be replaced with commercial space for rent, which I believe is vital to the animation of the streetscape.
I understand some residents had concerns regarding the additional units in the revised plan, but I must say that I did not find those changes in principle egregious. I would argue that, intensification in this area is appropriate, given the stance I took against the expansion of the urban boundary and considering that Beechwood Avenue is a traditional main street.
There will be a public meeting with regards to the proposed development at 89-99 Beechwood Avenue. As we are still in a state of emergency with COVID-19 present in the community, the meeting will be held by zoom.
The meeting will be on Thursday, 17 September 2020 from 6 to 8pm.
The details are as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/95041519368?pwd=YXV3b1plWldCaG1YaXR1SDFlbHR2QT09
Meeting ID: 950 4151 9368
+1 778 907 2071
+1 204 272 7920
+1 438 809 7799
+1 587 328 1099
+1 647 374 4685
+1 647 558 0588
I look forward to having this discussion on 17 September.
Back to school
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is working with local school boards to implement provincial standards and guidance to support the reopening of schools. Keeping COVID-19 transmission low at the community level will be key to preventing the introduction of the virus into schools.
The primary goal is to make the return to school as safe as possible, balancing the risk of COVID-19 transmission with reducing other harms to the well-being of students, families and staff.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has developed an online screening tool to help parents and guardians make decisions about whether their child can attend school/child care.
This screening tool should be completed daily before attending school/child care for each individual child separately. No personal information is requested when completing this tool, which means that you and/or your child cannot be personally identified or linked to your responses. Using this tool is voluntary.
Art in Isolation
Seniors living in publicly funded long-term care homes have faced some of the greatest hardships and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Art in Isolation is a volunteer community organization whose goal is to connect artists with these residents by bringing to them the joys associated with art from local artists. The initiative is seeking donated artworks for installation in senior’s spaces, with the goal of creating connection and brightening seniors’ time during this difficult period. Many artists include personalized letters addressed to residents with the possibility of initiating a relationship that extends beyond the art itself. The program aims to generate hope and connection - through the strong belief that art makes a difference in the quality of people’s lives. The program also serves to spotlight emerging Canadian artists and the community-building elements of art. For more information visit www.facebook.com/artinisolationottawa. Please submit your donation by September 18, 2020 by contacting [email protected]for details.
To help address housing affordability in Ottawa, the City’s Planning Committee today approved a zoning amendment to encourage new eight-to-12-unit low-rise apartments in established inner-urban neighbourhoods like Centretown, Sandy Hill, Vanier, Overbrook, Hintonburg and Westboro.
Ottawa has a long-standing shortage of rental apartments, and the resulting low vacancy rates are a primary factor in housing affordability. The amendment would gradually increase the apartment supply in Ottawa's Residential Fourth Density (R4) family of zones to better accommodate the growing number of people wishing to live in established inner-urban, low-rise communities.
The amendment changes several zoning regulations that have been effectively preventing development of low-rise apartments in R4 zones. The changes would:
- Reduce minimum required lot sizes as the current minimums are bigger than needed to accommodate a functional apartment, restricting where apartments can be built
- Increase the four-unit cap that currently applies in certain R4 zones as that cap artificially restricts density, resulting in fewer but larger, more expensive apartment units
- Revise the requirements for green space to better balance the need for amenity space with space for functional needs like waste management and bike storage
Montreal Road Revitalization
- Montreal Road/Vanier Parkway intersection: The north quadrants of the Vanier Parkway/Montreal Road intersection are complete apart from landscaping and new signals. Some concrete and general landscape work is scheduled for the week of September 14 along the Vanier Parkway. Final landscaping and signal work will be deferred until the south section of the intersection is completed in 2021/2022.
- Montreal Road – North River Road to Vanier Parkway:The north side of Montreal Road and the center road section is complete. Crews are focusing on the south side of Montreal Road for the next two weeks, installing utilities and building the road box in preparation for concrete curbs and paving.
Montreal Road – Vanier Parkway to Marier Avenue The new watermain along this section of Montreal Road is complete. Temporary water shut offs will occur on Olmstead Street North and Hannah Street on September 9 as well as Emond Street and Begin Street on September 10.
- Affected residents on the side streets have been notified. No water shut offs are expected on Montreal Road.
- Road excavation and widening is also taking place between Olmstead Street and Marier Avenue to accommodate the future eastbound left turn lane proposed at the Montreal Road/Marier Avenue intersection.
- Montreal Road – Marier Avenue to Cantin Street: Construction of the new watermain including utilities and roadbox is continuing. The section of watermain between Marier Avenue and Lajoie Street will be pressure tested and chlorinated in the next two weeks.
- North River Road: Crews will be returning on site to complete the final section of concrete sidewalk on the east side of North River Road this week. Work on the west side MUP and paving remain to be completed this year.
What: Work will involve milling of the existing surface, adjustment of manhole and catch basin grates, selective concrete repairs, and roadway resurfacing. Increased noise levels to be expected in order to facilitate the work.
Why: The City of Ottawa will be resurfacing roads as preventative maintenance aimed at extending the City's roadway network lifecycle.
When: This work is tentatively planned to start late August 2020, weather permitting and is expected to be completed in September 2020. Work will take place at night between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am as required to avoid major interruptions to traffic flows. The road will remain open to traffic with intermittent lane closures expected. Traffic Control Personnel will direct traffic through the site as required. Pedestrian and cycling access will be maintained.
Where: Work will occur along Donald Street from Alesther Street to St. Laurent Boulevard.
Queen Victoria Street
The closure of Queen Victoria Street from Stanley Avenue to Crichton Street has been extended. The road will be closed until end of business Friday, 9 October 2020.
The closure of River Lane from Union Street to Keefer Street has been extended. The road will remain closed until end of business Friday, 9 October 2020.