Good afternoon, Kitchissippi.
We are currently in the Provincially-mandated lockdown and I hope everyone is adhering to the conditions imposed by that. The best source for information related to the pandemic is the Ottawa Public Health site here.
I'm enjoying a couple more days off to wind up my vacation, but there are a few time-sensitive items I wanted to get out the door sooner. I'll resume a regular schedule of newsletter publication once I'm back in the office next week.
I'll join everyone else who is wishing everyone a joyful and happy new year! Let's hope it's a better one than 2020, eh?
Covid update: rink mask order
Councillors received this afternoon a new order issued by the GM of our emergency and protective services mandating the wearing of masks when skating outdoors. The note reads:
"In my capacity as General Manager of Emergency and Protective Services, I am exercising my authority delegated under S.3A of the Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law as outlined in the attached Order.
"I am satisfied that such an Order is necessary for public health and safety based on the following, with concurrence from Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Vera Etches:
· Ottawa Public Health and EPS’ By-law & Regulatory Services have observed and received significant information about large gatherings at outdoor skating rinks since early December, which have increased concerns about potential transmission of COVID-19
· The size and dimensions of outdoor skating rinks is relatively limited such that maintaining 2-meter physical distancing is often not sufficiently practicable
· The Enforcement Task Force implemented a voluntary-compliance approach, including signage, that has not been effective in limiting contact between rink users
· There are no alternative and immediate enforcement mechanisms available to the City of Ottawa to ensure distancing to limit virus spread
· Due to the current Reopening Ontario Act regulations and the Province-wide Lockdown in place in Ottawa, there is an anticipated high-demand for recreational activities under the circumstances which may lead to large gatherings."
The order is as follows:
This Order is issued pursuant to Section 3A of the City of Ottawa Temporary Mandatory Mask By-law 2020-186 (as amended) and establishes Designated Unenclosed Public Spaces where masks must be worn for public health and safety reasons
Mandatory Mask in Designated Unenclosed Public Space Requirement:
Every person who enters or remains on outdoor ice skating rinks operated by the City of Ottawa or on the City’s behalf, including publicly accessible areas that are within a fifteen (15) meter distance of the edge of the ice surface, shall wear a Mask in a manner that covers their mouth, nose, and chin.
Effective December 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. until January 28, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days per week.
- As prescribed by By-law 2020-186 (as amended) including but not limited to young children, persons with medical or cognitive conditions, persons engaged in athletic/fitness activity
- Outdoor rink operators when performing rink maintenance when the public is not on the surface of the ice rink
1705 Carling Avenue
I've posted a blog update with my perspective on why I'm likely to support the application for a 22-storey apartment building and nine-storey seniors' residence at 1705 Carling Avenue. Take a look at that here. I expect that we'll be voting on that in February.
Burnside/SJAM "embassy row" proposal made
The National Capital Commission has filed an application for an Official Plan amendment and zoning change to allow for an "embassy row" in the currently open space sandwiched between Burnside and the SJAM. Details of that are here. I've received a number of requests for an extension to the comment deadline and will just note that I'll be advocating for lots of time to become familiar with the project and provide feedback to the City. The commenting "deadlines" for these complex proposals are driven by the
application timing and are statutory; they have little real relevance to the community process that will continue all the way until the actual vote. When I'm back in the office I'll arrange an open house so folks can ask questions of the applicant.
The NCC for years has planned an embassy district here, which was captured in both the Scott Street CDP as well as in federal master planning processes. However, in the intervening years City Council has declared a housing emergency and made clear its desire that publicly owned lands should be used for housing. While the City and NCC's plans have for several years anticipated the kind of development now being proposed, I believe we have an opportunity to take a pause and consider whether this is the right use for this valuable parcel so close to the best transportation infrastructure in the city.
157 Holland site plan application
In line with similar developments in recent years on Holland, a developer has filed a site plan application for a three-storey, 12-unit apartment building. Details of that application are here. I don't anticipate holding an open house for this one since it's being built according to the zoning and doesn't require a Council vote, but do invite residents to review the plans and provide their feedback to the City, considering copying me on any feedback as well.
Hampton Park Plaza cannabis store application
The provincial 15-day commenting period is now open for an application made to operate a retail cannabis store at Hampton Park Plaza, 1405 Carling Avenue. You can find the application on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's site here. It's not easily navigated; I just search for all cannabis applications and anything in Ottawa is grouped together in the search results, and from there it's an easy click to the commenting form.
January 13 Committee of Adjustment
The Committee of Adjustment resumes meeting on January 13 with several Kitchissippi applications. Details of those are available here.
- At 630 Tweedsmuir, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into three separate lots for the construction of a new detached dwelling on one lot and the other lots will contain a semi-detached dwelling. The existing detached dwelling will be demolished. Each of the resulting buildings would need a variance for reduced lot area and front yard setback to be allowed.
- At 375 Madison, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for the two-storey semi-detached dwelling, currently under construction.
- At 320 Tweedsmuir, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for the semi-detached dwelling, currently under construction.
- At 36 Kenora, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for the two-storey semi-detached dwelling, currently under construction.
- At 225 and 227 Carleton, the owner is seeking to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for the two-storey semi-detached dwelling, currently under construction.
- At 529 Broadhead, the hearing that was adjourned in October will resume. The owner was seeking to divide the property to build a new semi.
Mechanicsville and Champlain Park AGMs
The Champlain Park and Mechanicsville Community Associations are holding their annual general meetings this month. Champlain Park's will be held on January 27 (details here) and Mechanicsville's on January 26 (I don't have full details yet). I'll be attending both to answer questions and provide some quick updates.
At City Hall
City Council and Committees resume
We'll resume a regular schedule of City Council and committee meetings beginning with the first big committee meeting on January 14 when Planning Committee meets. I'm expecting to see the 243-245 Hinchey application (of which I'm supportive at the moment) go to a vote on that day, along with a temporary exemption for visitor parking at the Ashcroft development on Richmond. That latter file has languished for a very long time. Residents will recall that I initially opposed that permission in the strongest terms. However, after further discussions with the community and developer, I indicated my reversal on
that position and will be supporting the application as a temporary condition until Ashcroft finally moves ahead with the next stages of its development. Those are the only Kitchissippi applications I'm aware of - it'll be another week or so before the full agenda is posted.
On January 25, Planning Committee will be meeting jointly with the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee to receive the draft Official Plan. Our first City Council meeting of 2021 will be on January 27.
Stay tuned to my next issue of the newsletter when I'll advertise my next series of Zoom pop-up meetings.