Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
Responsive image

Champagne auto storage lot comments due January 9

You are here

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind residents that comments are due January 9 for the Mastercraft Starwood application to continue to use their vacant lot at 115 Champagne to store Otto’s BMWs.

I haven’t yet submitted my own formal comments, but have had a discussion with staff to express my opposition.

By way of a quick re-cap, the developer has been renting the lot for which they have planning approval to build a second phase of condos to Otto’s for around a year and a half.

Outdoor storage isn’t an approved use for the site, and Mastercraft Starwood has been flouting the law for too long. We’ve been pressing the City, working with residents, for enforcement of the zoning violation, and the matter is now before the courts.

In an effort to come into compliance, the developer a year or so ago applied to the Committee of Adjustment for a temporary exception. At the time, the City objected forcefully to the application. Planners wrote:

“The use of outdoor storage would not be considered within the intent of ‘predominantly residential development,’ given that the proposal will result in a non-residential use being predominant, rather than at a scale that supports other residential uses in the area.”

I couldn’t agree more. There is a practically-new secondary plan for the area that sees it “intended to be developed with a wide range of transit-supportive uses.”

Fortunately, the Committee of Adjustment listened to the City and Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association, and refused the application. In its decision, it wrote: “the Committee finds that the approval of the variance requested would result in a temporary use that is undesirable for a property located [in] the R5 zone and subject to the provisions of the Preston-Carling Secondary Plan.”

Mastercraft Starwood won’t take no for an answer, though. They did file an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board of the CoA’s decision, but then withdrew it. They’ve now got an application before the City to accomplish with a temporary zoning change what they couldn’t through a variance.

The planning department is seeking comment and I’d encourage everyone to make their voice heard. My encouragement to the City has been to stick to its guns, and re-iterate the position it took before the Committee last year.

When Starwood/Mastercraft received development approval for the second phase of its condos, it agreed to landscape the vacant lot to mitigate against its being a blight in this emerging transit-oriented, residential neighbourhood. Instead of following through on that commitment, it has chosen instead to pursue these endless applications.

Take a moment today to let planners know that this has gone on too long. It’s time for Starwood Mastercraft to start being a good neighbour. Write to the planner, Simon Deiaco, at Please copy me.


Posted January 4, 2018