Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Armstrong study student report sets up next steps

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The study exploring Armstrong Street's future development is starting to take shape nicely now that the McGill students hired by the Wellington West BIA have completed their report based on your feedback. Recall that in November, those students held an open house to explore zoning, transportation and other considerations for Armstrong. They've compiled their findings into a report that I've posted for further consideration (here). My congratulations go to the students for compiling a mature and well-researched document - it serves as a great basis for further discussion.

The report supports the City's small-scale commercial zoning that was passed by Council but is on hold pending the completion of a broader study of the area. It also suggests allowing greater height in some circumstances as an incentive to redevelop some of the parking lots on the street. And, they've presented some very interesting concepts for making the street more pedestrian- and cycling-friendly.

Some of these suggestions may be contentious, and it's important to note that the findings are those of the students themselves. We have a few more steps to go through before I'm comfortable that we have a community vision that I can present to the Planning department and my Council colleagues. With this conversation-starter complete, the work now gets turned over wholly to a working group led by the Hintonburg Community Association and Wellington West BIA. At a working group meeting a couple of weeks ago, an approach took shape that sees the group going back out for pubic feedback focused on two areas: transportation and the street's built form. Watch for details of those consultations in the near future. The working group and I have been hands-off to this point on the students' work, and we're all keen to keep the discussion going.

Once there's been further public consultation, a final vision document will be produced by the working group to reflect as broad a consensus as we can reach. It won't be the same as a community design plan or secondary plan, but my expectation is that it will be a lens through which the City will look when contemplating re-building the street at some future date, and considering development applications. I hope everyone will be engaged with the next rounds of consultation. The feedback you've provided so far has been constructive and helpful - keep it up! I've enjoyed facilitating this grassroots-led planning exercise so far, and am looking forward to seeing this through completion.

* The report is pretty big - 15 Mb - so careful viewing it on a mobile network. And, again, it's bigger than I can host on my own server, so I've posted it to Dropbox. My apologies if that causes any inconvenience.

Posted January 20, 2016
McGill Armstrong study cover