Category Archives: Development

NOTEBOOK: City moves a step closer to protecting part of Shea Woods

(PHOTO: Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Shad Qadri joined local residents on Tuesday to announce plans to protect the Shea Woods. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.)

The City of Ottawa hosted a media event today to announce a $1.5-million agreement to conserve part of the Shea Woods, a cedar forest located southeast of Holy Spirit Church and a popular spot for dog walkers.

The forest is currently owned by CRT Developments, who are planning a housing development in the area.  A City of Ottawa press release (included below) outlines how the City intends to protected the forested area. Continue reading


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Committee of Adjustment considers two Stittsville applications on October 18

The City of Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment will consider two applications for properties in Stittsville when it meets on October 18.

The first is at 6243 Abbott / 34 Manchester: “The Owner wants to demolish the existing detached dwelling and shed and to subdivide its property into two separate parcels of land to create two new residential lots for future development.”  This is a long piece of land that stretches all the way from Abbott to Manchester, with a house fronting Abbott. With this application, the owner wants to split the property in two and have two houses; one facing Abbott and one facing Manchester.

The second application is for the Stittsville Walk (formerly Reverie) development at 1491-1493 Stittsville Main Street, for the townhouse development that’s currently under construction: “The Owner wants to subdivide the property to create twenty-four individual freehold Parcels of Tied Land (POTLs’). Twenty-two of the proposed POTLs will contain townhouse dwellings, one is proposed to contain stacked dwellings which are to be registered as a Standard Condominium in the future, and one is proposed to contain a retail and residential mixed-use development. “

For more information about these applications, visit: http://ottwatch.ca/meetings/meeting/7223


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Committee approves zoning for housing and commercial developments

(via City of Ottawa)

The City’s Planning Committee today approved commercial and residential zoning amendments in Stittsville.

Once it is confirmed that the existing infrastructure has the capacity to support new development, the Poole Creek Village subdivision could grow by three residential lots. The currently vacant land was previously in a floodplain, where development is not permitted. The Poole Creek floodplain was updated in 2016, making the land available for development. Continue reading


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Public meeting for future Blackstone development on October 12

There’s a public meeting on October 12  for Mattamy’s proposed plan of subdivision at  5505 Fernbank Road. There’s an open house at 6:30pm followed by a presentation at 7:00pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (Hall A), 1500 Shea Road.  The land includes future phases of the Blackstone development.

The Plan of Subdivision proposes the development of approximately 950 residential units, with 425 detached dwellings, 27 blocks for townhouses, and one block for condominium apartments or stacked units. The subdivision includes lands for an elementary school and a high school. Two 1-hectare parks are proposed as well as pathway blocks to provide connections to the Monahan Drain and throughout the site. More info…


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New guidelines for planting street trees in subdivisions

(via City of Ottawa)

Ottawa’s new subdivisions may soon have more tree-lined streets, thanks to guidelines received by the City’s Planning Committee today.

The new guidelines offer flexibility to the 2005 Clay Soils Policy when it comes to small and medium-sized trees under certain conditions. With more than half of the vacant land within Ottawa’s urban boundary potentially containing sensitive marine clay soils, this update will increase the number, size and variety of street trees in new subdivisions. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Mystery blasting could be from nearby quarry

(ABOVE: File photo.)

City staff think they’ve identified the source of some mystery blasting that’s been felt by residents in communities like Jackson Trails, Bryanston Gate and Fairwinds in the north part of Stittsville.

Here’s what one resident posted on August 31: “Was that blasting in the Potter’s Key development that just shook everyone up like mad? There was no warning to the people in the area, none of the ‘warning whistles’ leading up to the blast… and holy cow I am touring my house for damage. That was nuts!” Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Councillor pushes for construction industry watchdog

Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper wants to establish a watchdog to rein in what he calls “needlessly thoughtless and disrespectful behaviour” on the part of the construction industry, particularly on problematic infill developments.

He wants the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) to fund an ombudsperson to field complaints and resolve disputes. Here’s part of what he wrote on his web site on the weekend:

One of the greatest frustrations I have as the one looked to most often to sort out disagreements between builders and neighbours is how few tools Councillors and even the City have to deal with the litany of complaints that we hear. Parking, noise, and property standards by-laws can be enforced by the City, but the process is slow, there’s too few resources on the ground, and enforcement is ultimately up to the courts which means the City takes a graduated enforcement approach.

The courts are also the only recourse for neighbours whose property has been damaged by builders. This is an immense frustration. Telling residents to lawyer up when disputes arise over property lines or damage is not why anyone runs for office.

There needs to be a better mechanism to deal with infill issues. Too many problems are dealt with by too many levels of government and agencies.

Infill development in Stittsville may not be as intense as in Kitchissippi but it’s still happening out here. Just about every month at the Committee of Adjustment there’s an application to subdivide a big residential lot in order to squeeze in another house.  That’s only going to accelerate in the coming years.

It’s not just infill that’s a problem either. New housing development generates lots of complaints too: traffic, noise, dirt, blasting, etc.

I’m not sure an ombudsperson is the most effective way to deal with this issue.  He or she might play a useful role in mediation with GOHBA members, but I bet most of the problematic contractors and developers aren’t members of the group.

Still, good on Leiper for at least raising the issue and bringing attention to it. At the very least, it will spur discussion about how to create a fairer and clearer process to react to homeowner concerns. He’s asking residents to share their infill construction horror stories via his web site…

Councillor Jeff Leiper shared this example of this text message exchange: "Recently, a Champlain Park resident, just trying to get through the infill going in next to them, had an exchange with a builder to ask him to move, as previously agreed, the security fence off their property. The exchange by text is a follow-up to a voicemail left by the resident with the builder that was never answered. The exchange is beyond disrespectful, and I think crosses the line into abusiveness. I’ve had enough.
Councillor Jeff Leiper shared this example of a text message exchange between a resident and a builder: “Recently, a Champlain Park resident, just trying to get through the infill going in next to them, had an exchange with a builder to ask him to move, as previously agreed, the security fence off their property. The exchange by text is a follow-up to a voicemail left by the resident with the builder that was never answered. The exchange is beyond disrespectful, and I think crosses the line into abusiveness. I’ve had enough.

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COMMENT: Welcome to Stittsville, Amazon

(PHOTO: Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle include three “biospheres” filled with plants and endangered species. Photo by brewbooks, used under a Creative Commons license.)

You may have heard this week: Amazon is looking for a major North American city where they can establish a second world headquarters.

Their original campus is in Seattle, where 40,000 people walk to work every day. They’ve launched an RFP process, inviting cities across North America to make a pitch to become a new home for Amazon. Continue reading


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LINKED: Cavanagh fined for discharging sediment into wetland

From CBC Ottawa:

An Ottawa construction company convicted of discharging construction sediment into a drain that flows into the Jock River in 2013 has been fined $275,000.

Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited was convicted in June of four charges under the Ontario Water Resources Act, according to Ontario’s environment ministry. Continue reading


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Demolition day at Quitters Coffee

It’s quitting time for the ugly old pigeon-riddled structure at the back of Quitters Coffee on Stittsville Main Street.

The coffee shop is temporarily closed to day so that they can demolish the structures out in the back lot.  Here are some pics shared by the coffee shop so far.

(They’re also doing a live video on Facebook.) Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Kanata-Stittsville LRT study will look at three route options

(PHOTO: Artist’s rendering of the Rideau LRT station downtown. Via City of Ottawa.)

It occurred to me on the drive home from Monday night’s LRT open house that we just spent a lot of time and money on consultants to tell us that the best route for LRT is along the Queensway, like we’ve been planning all along.

Still, consultants and planners will spend the next few months evaluating three options (down from 13 shortlisted routes) for the potential future Kanata-Stittsville LRT extension, from Moodie Drive to Palladium. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Infill on Jonathan Pack, Haliburton Park plans, noise bylaw changes

INFILL ON JONATHAN PACK
On June 7, Ottawa’s Committee of Adjustment will consider a request to subdivide a piece of residential property at 28 Jonathan Pack Street. Currently it’s a large lot with a single home, and the proposal seeks to divide the property in half, keeping the house on one lot and using the other for a new house. (You can find more info here…)

The property in question is typical of many on Jonathan Pack, with large lots about 30m wide at the front stretching back about 60m. The lots on Forest Heights and Stitt Street, which run parallel to Jonathan Pack, are quite a bit narrower and considerably denser.

I don’t know enough about this application to say if it’s good or bad for the street, but I do know that we’re seeing more and more large, older properties in Stittsville been subdivided for infill development. If you’re not a fan of endless suburban sprawl, infills like this one can be a way that sprawl can slowed. What’s important is getting the design right, and ensuring that the scale of the infill is compatible with the existing neighbourhood.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Three reasons why OMB reforms are good for our community

Great to see that the Ontario Government is pushing ahead to reform the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), with a proposal to replace it with a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Three quick thoughts on why this will be good for our community – both Stittsville, and more broadly, all of Ottawa. Continue reading


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Tree cutting allowed east of Echowoods, as long as they’re skinny trees

Here’s a update from Councillor Shad Qadri after recent resident inquiries about why trees are being cut down on land east of Lloydalex/Echowoods and north of Jackson Trails and the new Potter’s Key subdivision. (The land doesn’t have a municipal address, and is not subject to any active development applications.) Qadri says the owners of the property are not in violation of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law as long as trees being removed do not have a diameter of 10cm or more.

Residents have inquired about tree cutting on this piece of land east of Lloydalex Crescent. Map via Councillor Shad Qadri.
via Google Maps

***

I have recently been contacted by residents in the area regarding some activity they have noticed on the lands within the Ward 21 Urban Expansion Area that is located north of Jackson Trails and Potter’s Key.  I am still waiting for additional information with respect to any plans for the property in the future but did want to share the following information with residents. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: We’re the guinea pigs for building better suburbs

The City of Ottawa sent out a press release earlier this week about progress on a long-term project called “Building Better and Smarter Suburbs”. (You can read the full press release below.)

Suburbs are changing, and the city’s policies, bylaws and planning/design guidelines need to be updated to adapt to the evolving environment. The Building Better and Smarter Suburbs project contains a series of strategies covering all sorts of issues. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Owners want to axe Palladium Autopark capacity limit

Oh the irony.

A planning consultant says that a luxury auto dealership planned for Palladium Drive will be pedestrian friendly.

I’ll admit, a lot of the information contained in the Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment Planning Rationale for 2499 Palladium Drive, 2500 Palladium Drive and 675 Autopark Private is over my head, but I know enough to read these documents with a certain degree of skepticism.

Continue reading


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UPDATE: Committee approves re-zoning for farmers’ market

Good news: The City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee unanimously approved re-zoning for Village Square Park that will allow for a farmers’ market to operate starting this June.

Leading up to the meeting, city staff received 15 comments from the public about the re-zoning, with all in favour except for one. That may not sound like a lot of feedback, but it’s actually quite high for a relatively benign zoning change. Continue reading


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Planning primer aims to demystify development

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a site plan and a zoning amendment, or tried to decipher acronyms like CDP, CoA and OMB, there’s an event in Stittsville on Thursday, April 6 that will be right up your alley.

Councillor Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa planning staff are hosting a Planning Primer at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex (Hall A) from 6:30pm-9:30pm.

The three-hour session will be a condensed version of a two-day workshop that usually runs downtown at City Hall.  (This may actually be the first time that they’ve brought such an event to the suburbs.)

Qadri says planning staff will be explaining a variety of common topics specific to Stittsville including the process behind tree removal, the implementation of the Fernbank Community Design Plan (CDP), and an overview of the Ontario Municipal Board’s appeal process, to name a few. (Here’s an agenda.)

Seating is limited and will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Reserve your spot by emailing Shad.Qadri@ottawa.ca before March 31, 2017.


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