The City of Ottawa has received a Site Plan Control application from North American Development Group (NADG) to construct two apartment buildings with 344 residential units and 517 parking spaces in Stittsville. The two U-shaped, six-storey apartment buildings would be constructed at 21 Huntmar Drive, the vacant piece of land just north of the corner of Hazeldean Road and Huntmar Drive – across from Food Basics.
Detailed in the site plan are landscaped courtyards and a visitor parking lot between the two buildings. The proposal also indicates that 185 bicycle parking spaces will be made available. The site would have one central vehicle access point off Huntmar Drive, aligned with the entrance to the shopping plaza – in front of Food Basics – across the road. Additionally, new traffic lights would be installed along with a new northbound left-turn lane for access to the site. A new sidewalk would also be built along the entire west side of Huntmar Drive.
Since the initial presentation in July 2020, NADG are now proposing 344 apartment units in their recent March submission, up an additional 12 units from the original 332. For financial feasibility, the consultant for the developer last July indicated that six storeys are required.
Ward 6 (Stittsville) Councillor Glen Gower recognizes that “there is a big demand for more rental apartments in Stittsville, and in the City’s master plans areas like this one on Hazeldean Road have long been intended for multi-storey buildings.”
However, Councillor Gower is concerned about the additional traffic on Huntmar Drive that will come from this development. He states that, while the City has plans to build Robert Grant Avenue – from Fernbank Road to Palladium Drive – it will likely be 5-10 years before the road is completed. Meanwhile, northbound traffic has nowhere to go except for Huntmar Drive, which Councillor Gower states “was never designed for the number of vehicles it’s currently receiving.”
With the City upgrading the Huntmar-Maple Grove intersection later in the year, the upgrade will help with traffic flow. However, Councillor Gower believes the full transportation infrastructure cannot handle all the north-south traffic. Regardless, “under Provincial planning policy, this lack of infrastructure is probably not enough to stop this development from proceeding.”
Councillor Gower hopes to, at the very least, ensure that the developer pays for the addition of a traffic light at the entrance to Food Basics. He also assures that he is “working with planning staff to ensure that other impacts to the community are addressed, such as setbacks for privacy, pedestrian and pathway connections, etc.” as this process continues.
An information meeting on this development will be held in the next few weeks. “I encourage residents to attend and share their feedback,” states Councillor Gower.
Additionally, any residents who would like to share their thoughts can do so through the “Send Feedback” link on Ottawa’s DevApps site, where more information about the proposal can also be found.
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