Good morning, Kitchissippi.
While this week's newsletter doesn't have a lot of big new City items in it, I do recommend taking a look at the At City Hall items, particularly the Planning Committee agenda this week. The Westboro Infill Study is before us, as is the 1705 Carling development and Byron/Ravenhill re-zoning. It will be a big week.
Find all the latest news about the pandemic, including special statements by Dr. Etches and other officials here. We've received no particularly critical updates or briefings in the past week, and we're all just waiting to see what the Province will do with the stay-at-home order and business shut-down. If a significantly new framework is implemented,
I'll distribute that information as always. I'll just note now that the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study mapping is now current to the end of 2020, and ward mapping to January 25.
Pop-up office hours February 9
I'll be hosting Zoom pop-up office hours on February 9 from 1-3 pm. Pop-up hours are a chance to drop by with no appointment and chat one-on-one about whatever's on your mind. Drop my office an email for the link to join.
Byron Place/Churchill/Highcroft parkette consultation Feb. 11
The City is moving ahead with a consultation on the design of the parkette at Churchill/Byron (where the Tree of Life installation is located) that is to be slightly expanded and improved as a benefit required of the development to the south that was recently approved. That will be held virtually on February 11. There's more details here.
Burnside/SJAM "embassy row" open house February 10
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. We've set up an open house at which residents can pose questions and provide feedback to be held February 10. Details of that are here.
Committee of Adjustment February 17
There are several Kitchissippi applications before the Committee of Adjustment at its February 17 meeting. Find the details of those here.
At 499 Hilson the owners are seeking to demolish the existing dwelling in order to build a new three-storey semi. They’re seeking a variance on the building height from 8m to 10.5m, to allow a single-car driveway on a lot of less than 7m, and to permit an attached garage that would not be permitted under the streetscape character analysis.
At 304 Lanark the owners are seeking variances for lot width and area and want to subdivide their property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for the construction of two long semi-detached dwellings.
At 233 Royal the Committee approved applications to subdivide this property in 2019 but the applications were not completed within the statutory timelines. The owner is now re-applying to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land in order to establish separate ownerships for each half of the existing two-storey semi-detached dwelling.
At 134 Forward the owner wants to demolish the existing dwelling and to subdivide the property into two separate parcels of land. It is proposed to construct two long semi-detached dwellings, with a secondary dwelling unit in each semi-detached dwelling, with one long semi-detached dwelling on each newly created parcel. They’re seeking variances for lot width and area.
At 57 Hutchison the owners have completed renovations to their single detached dwelling which included replacing a rear yard two-storey porch with a new addition to their dwelling which did not require any minor variances. The owners now want to demolish the existing detached garage and construct a new attached garage with a secondary dwelling unit attached at the rear of the garage. They’re seeking variances to permit a reduced rear yard setback of 7.52 metres for a secondary dwelling unit to be attached to the rear of the proposed new garage, whereas the by-law requires a minimum rear yard setback of 8.32
Winter maintenance standards consultation
The City continues its study of winter maintenance standards (plowing and removing snow from roads, paths, etc.) and is inviting residents to participate in upcoming consultations. Read more here.
Sidewalk design consultation
Something I hear about from time to time is sidewalk designs. The City is constantly looking at how to design those with accessibility in mind. I've heard legitimate complaints about every style of sidewalk from those that undulate to those that are flat but have regular steep curb cuts. The City has now undertaken another round of formal consultations on those, and you can get engaged here.
Community safety, police and anti-racism consultations
Three separate consultations, one on the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan, one on the City's efforts to address systemic racism, and one by the Ottawa Police Service that will shape future police response to mental health issues are or will be getting underway shortly. I consider that these are inter-related and I've combined a post on those with links to further details here.
How does the City plan and pay for stuff?
I regularly get questions from residents about how the City is planned with all the infrastructure that it needs as it grows. On February 9, I'll be taking a high-level look at how the City is planned and infrastructure and services paid for, from the Provincial Policy Statement to shovels in the ground. I'll be highlighting who makes the decisions at each step of the way and where your advocacy is most effective. I'll use cycling infrastructure as a case study, but the material is applicable across most of what the City does. I hope you'll join me to hear the presentation with a chance to
ask your own questions. Details are here.
Cornerstone fundraising walk in Westboro
I've joined a team of walkers from Westboro including WhiskeyJack Media's Jake Naylor and Kitchissippi favourite blogger Andrea Tomkins, Katrina Coderre and Kaitlyn Stokes to walk for Cornerstone Housing for Women during the Coldest Night of the Year annual walk. The event is being sponsored by the Westboro Village BIA who will be providing suggested routes in the neighbourhood since the 2k/5k walk will be virtual this
Please consider contributing to our team's fundraising efforts by donating money to any of the five of us here. Cornerstone does critical work for women with housing needs here in Kitchissippi and right across the city.
Pollinator garden presentation
The McKellar Park Community Association invites you to join Berit Erickson for a virtual photo tour of her pollinator garden and backyard habitat gardens. She’ll share what she’s learned about pollinators, their favourite flowers, and habitat requirements. Discover how to design, plant, and maintain your own pollinator garden. The Zoom presentation will take place on February 8. Meeting opens at 7:00 pm, presentation runs from 7:30 to 9 pm. Register in advance here. For
further information on pollinator gardening, visit cornerpollinatorgarden.net.
Westboro Beach history presentation February 17
Please mark your calendar to join the Westboro Beach Community Association in learning about the Early Days in Westboro Beach, to be held on Wednesday, February 17 at 7:30 pm. Robert N. Grainger, an expert on local history, has chaired the History Committee of the Westboro Beach Community Association since 1995. In 2005, he authored Early Days on Westboro Beach: Reflections and Images. This was the centennial year of the creation of
the Police Village of Westboro. For a later project he helped the Woodroffe North Community Association produce a history of the village of Woodroffe entitled River, Road and Rail: Woodroffe Memories, published in 2011. Currently, he is preparing a history of the Champlain Park neighbourhood, previously known as Riverside Park. He is one of the most knowledgeable people around when it comes to the history of Old Ottawa West.
The webinar is free and everyone is welcome! To reserve your spot, register here.
Racism is a Pandemic Too Bell box project
The Hintonburg Community Association and Wellington West BIA have partnered with Bell to paint four more utility boxes, this time with racism as a theme. They are accepting submissions now. Read the full guidelines and background here.
At City Hall
Planning Committee meets on Thursday, February 11 with a Kitchissippi-heavy agenda. The Westboro Infill Study that will change the zoning for the area that was the subject of the triplex freeze will be debated and voted on. That zoning allows some greater density in some areas, reduces allowed heights for flat-roofed buildings, and seeks to preserve more greenspace in future infills. As I wrote last fall, I'm supportive. With the removal of Dovercourt from the list of "major streets" that would have seen more density
under the proposal, I'm satisfied that the new rules will reconcile the need to intensify with clear zoning that I hope will reduce the number of applications to the Committee of Adjustment and provide some greater clarity with respect to what is and isn't allowed.
In the context of the new zoning for the area soon to be in place, we'll also vote on the recommendation from staff to approve the longstanding application to allow basement units in the block containing the Byron/Ravenhill triplexes. With clearer new zoning in place, I'm supportive.
Finally, the Claridge proposal at 1705 Carling will be voted on. As I indicated late last year, I am supportive of the tower there. The report now contains language that makes it clear that no driveway to Tillbury will be allowed, but there are some directions around site plan issues that I'll be seeking to give staff during the debate.
The full Planning Committee agenda is here.
City Council meets on Wednesday, February 10. The key debate on which most will focus will be the expansion of the urban boundary into lands owned by the Algonquins of Ontario. I provided my comprehensive view of the urban growth management strategy a couple of weeks ago, and have not changed my views on opposing the direction taken by the Joint Planning and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee in late January. We will also consider the temporary surface
parking exemption that I voted for at Committee for the Ashcroft convent development. That was pulled from our previous Council meeting since the area where visitor parking would have been permitted was bigger than intended. We'll scale that back by way of a motion at the meeting. Finally, we'll also likely approve the one-year extension of the e-scooter program that has been well-covered in the media. The full City Council agenda is here.
Just speaking of the Ashcroft convent development, the site plan work appears to be getting back underway as they prepare to finally construct. I need to find some time to get back up to speed on that, but hope to have an update for residents soon.
The agenda is now online for the Environment Committee meeting of February 16. There are a few items of note in there, including an intriguing report on something called Rain Ready Ottawa. The report proposes a pilot residential stormwater management program for the area close to Westboro Beach including financial incentives. I'll look forward to reading that more in-depth and would be grateful for any feedback that residents want to provide ahead of that meeting.
There is also some paperwork to pass on approving the new drinking water intake location at Lemieux Island. The new intake location is required to deal with the frazil ice challenges there. This has been a process ongoing since 2015. I mostly just write about it because I love the words "frazil ice".
The Committee will also receive the annual drinking water source protection report. Take a look at the full agenda here.
Transit Commission, which oversees OC Transpo, meets on February 17. It will get the latest bus and Confederation Line updates, as well as vote on recommendations on performance measurement and reporting. Take a look at the full agenda here.
Scott is back home! Two Kitchissippi ward residents took an after dinner walk on Sunday evening out to the SJAM parkway. On their way home, they spotted a stray cat taking shelter at the Merkley Supply warehouse on Bayview. As the residents were devoted cat parents themselves, they recognized the stray as being very cold, dirty and upset. After nearly an hour of cajoling, they were able to transport him in a carrier back home. Within hours, his owners were found: as a kitten, he had gotten out and lost back in May 2020. Despite nine months outdoors, this cat named Scott was still healthy and very
affectionate. Scott has been since cleaned up, spoiled with food, and returned to his rightful and loving home.