On Tuesday, September 13th, an engaged group of residents participated in a Special Meeting of the GCA Board.  Given the short timeline to provide comments to the City (deadline of September 15th), the meeting was called to discuss a motion put forward by the GCA Planning Committee.  The motion, that passed with virtually unanimous consent of the Board following lengthy discussion, is provided below.  A copy of the detailed comments sent to Ann O’Connor, Planner, City of Ottawa is attached  ( 890-900-bank-street-gca-brief-final-sept-15)

BACKGROUND TO THE MOTION:  Whereas Canderel has submitted an application for an eight (8) storey mixed-use development at 890/900 Bank Street (Mr Muffler/Beer Store) that would require relief from a number of zoning bylaws

And whereas this would be a very significant development on Bank Street that could set some critical precedents

And whereas the GCA’s Planning Committee has reviewed the development application in some detail (available on the City’s DevApps website)

And whereas

  • Greater heights and massing proposed do not provide appropriate transition as per the City’s Official Plan
  • The project falls far short in meeting some key objectives of the City’s Traditional Mainstreet policies, as well as a number of the important underpinning guidelines
  • Negative impacts on neighbouring residential properties are unreasonable and have not been sufficiently addressed

MOTION:  The GCA Planning Committee seeks the approval of the GCA Board to request the City to pursue modifications to this proposal, as follows:

  • the building height of the “Mr Muffler” portion of the property backing on to Monk St residents should be restricted to the current 15 m/4 storey cap.
  • the portion of the building that shares side yards with residential properties on Monk Street should also remain at the 15m height, although some consideration for additional height may be possible if it can be clearly demonstrated that this would not introduce negative impacts to the abutting properties nor the community generally.
  • the eight (8) storeys fronting Bank Street is incompatible with the low-rise character in the core of the Glebe’s Traditional Mainstreet and creates unacceptable impacts as well as disruption to the continuity of low rise building heights.  While some consideration to increased height may be possible above the current 15m cap, this should only occur if it can be clearly demonstrated that this would not introduce negative impacts and respects both the community vision as well as Traditional Mainstreet guidelines.
  • the side yard setbacks should be a minimum 3 m where it abuts residential properties
  • Consideration for any additional height beyond the 15 m height exception should not set a general precedent for any future zoning amendment requests on Bank Street in the Glebe.  Rather, it recognises the special characteristics of this lot, in particular, the fact of it being a “through-lot” to Monk Street which may possibly allow for some additional massing while remaining compatible with the character of the neighbourhood

Residents are encouraged to write directly to  ann.o’connor@ottawa.ca, cc. David.chernushenko@ottawa.ca to express their views.