Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Parkdale/Scott condo at Planning Committee next week

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Next week, Planning Committee will be asked to recommend approval of a 23- and 25-storey condo tower development at the corner of Scott and Parkdale. Residents may recall that this Richcraft project was first proposed before the Scott Street Community Design Plan (CDP) was undertaken, then put on hold. When that CDP and associated secondary plan (the zoning law) were approved, those essentially cleared the way for this development.

There are still several steps to take with respect to site plan, but it will likely be at least five years before this moves ahead while Richcraft proceeds with some of its other approved developments. 

Full information about the application is available at As always, my door is open to hear your feedback.

I submitted the following comments to the planning report, focusing on the agreement to contribute to affordable housing, as well as the heightened need to ensure Scott Street is rebuilt as a complete street in light of this and other dense developments that are likely on the way.

This application by Richcraft is being proposed in the context of the recently-completed Scott Street Community Design Plan (CDP). In the face of significant intensification pressures across the City, I have been and will be a proponent of planning for growth, and then sticking to those plans. The Scott Street CDP is a mix of protection for low-rise neighbourhoods intended to be stable, and areas along Scott, Holland and Parkdale where there is expected to be significant growth.

This proposal is a significant intensification, but it is proceeding according to a plan, within newly-prescribed height and density limits. It respects the newly-developed “neighbourhood line”. There is a clear justification for density in close proximity to the soon-to-be created Tunney’s Pasture Confederation Line station. [note that this wording is slightly different from what was published – a minor edit did not get made to the final report.]

There are several considerations that Council should keep in mind as it considers this very significant change to the Hintonburg/Mechanicsville communities.

First and foremost, when completed this will be among the most dense of new developments on Scott Street. Others will join it as Tunney’s Pasture is re-developed according to that new Master Plan. Bayview, if and when it is finally released to the private sector for development according to that CDP, will also be densely developed, as will 801 Albert Street.

It is critical in this context that Scott Street be developed into a well-functioning complete street with an emphasis on green space and human-scale amenities, including well-thought-through design to enhance it as a pedestrian and cycling corridor. Without a significant re-thinking, Scott Street will become an even greater barrier between two well-established, tight-knit communities.

I am very pleased that the City will be devoting resources this year to maintain the momentum of the CDP consultations toward a complete street implementation post LRT-detour. I am looking forward to participating in new consultations that will bring us closer to a final design. We must keep moving ahead toward this goal.

Secondly, these proposals will continue a change in demographics that Hintonburg and Mechanicsville have been seeing for several years. Both neighbourhoods continue their transition away from being predominantly working-class. New, expensive, infills are replacing more affordable housing stock, and more of the neighbourhood is out-of-reach to more and more families and individuals each month.

Through many challenging years, the diversity of Mechanicsville and Hintonburg has been their strength. My goal is to the extent possible to maintain these neighbourhoods as diverse, affordable and sustainable. To that end, I am very pleased that City staff, the community and the builder have earmarked a significant amount of the section 37 benefits for this project for affordable housing. All three are approaching that investment with an open mind to creative models to achieving the goal of housing that is in reach of everyone, especially in areas such as this that are walkable, close to excellent public transit, and well served by shops and services. I will be seeking similar commitments from builders as more developments are brought to the table.



Posted April 8, 2015