Thursday, June 9, 2011

Centretown Events and Updates for June 2011

The following message was sent to the CCCA's e-mail announcement list early this morning, announcing upcoming events. Contact to be among the first to receive CCCA e-mail updates a couple times per month.

Dear CCCA members and followers,

Here are your Centretown events for the coming month. Enjoy your summer!

Mid-Centretown Community Design Plan (project website) (project blog)

The Mid-Centretown CDP is a planning document that outlines where new
buildings in Centretown should be focused, and what Centretown should look
like, in terms of parks, streets, and cityscape. Have a look at the draft
plan, which will be presented at a *public open house at the Museum of
Nature on Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 5:30-8:30*. The plan is in accessible
language and well-illustrated.

Monday, June 13, 2011, 5:00pm (note earlier time)
CCCA Planning & Development Review Committee

City Hall (Billings Room)

The CCCA's PDR Committee held an extra meeting last week to help deal with
the heavy workload. The regular meeting will catch up on the remaining
items. There are many upcoming items that the CCCA must respond to as
developers try to get their projects approved before City Hall goes on its
summer break. Some of them are listed below, but you can also search for
"somerset" at to see projects in Somerset Ward.
Also look for the black and white signs you see around town. If you like a
proposal or have objections, be sure to make them known! In addition to
contacting the CCCA, make sure to send your comments to the contact person
listed on the application. The more comments the City receives, the more
attention they will get.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 5:30pm
CCCA Transportation Committee

Location to be confirmed (City Hall or Bridgehead on Elgin)

The CCCA's Transportation Committee meets regularly to discuss
transportation projects and recommend action for the CCCA to take. There
will be a presentation on the status of Ottawa's Light Rail Transit project
from a member of the City's light rail office, and discussion of other
transportation issues, including the segregated bicycle lane on Laurier,
traffic calming, and transportation component of the Mid-Centretown
Community Design Plan (see above)

Saturday, June 18, 2011, 8:00am -3:00pm (BBQ from 11am-2pm)
Minto Park Sale & CCCA BBQ/Plant Sale

Minto Park (Elgin/Gilmour/Lewis/Cartier)

Come out for a community yard sale in the park, and support the CCCA at our
third annual BBQ and plant sale. Proceeds from the table rentals go to the
Centretown Emergency Food Centre, and the CCCA's BBQ proceeds are split with
them as well. The plant sale helps fund the activities of the CCCA's Trees &
Greenspace Committee. Come to browse and shop, munch on a veggie or beef
dog, or just volunteer to help us out! To register a table, contact, and to volunteer for the CCCA events, contact

Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 7:00pm
CCCA regular meeting

Ottawa City Hall (Honeywell Room)

The CCCA's Board of Directors meets monthly, and everyone is welcome to come
and participate. As always, the agenda will be circulated and posted two
days before the meeting. If there aren't any urgent matters in July and
August, this will be the last meeting until September, but we do plan to
have social events in the summer (let us know if you'd like to help organize
these events).

Late June 2011
Tired of pedestrians concerns being stomped?

Councillor Holmes is planning to organize a meeting of interested
pedestrians who want the City to pay more attention to pedestrian issues.
Ottawa's 2011 budget had only one pedestrian project this year, when there
are so many problems that need to be fixed. Ottawa has been without a
pedestrian advocacy group since Gottawalk fizzled out a few years ago.

Online until June 24, 2011
Public consultations on the concept plans for the Greenbelt

The National Capital Commission (NCC) is in the process of reviewing the
Greenbelt Master Plan, which will guide the management of the Greenbelt
through to 2060. The public open houses have passed, but you can still go
online and answer their survey, or submit comments to the NCC between now
and June 24th.

City of Ottawa Section 37 Guidelines

After giving community associations a 9-day window to submit comments on the
guidelines for the implementation of Section 37 of the Ontario Planning Act
in order to get the guidelines approved in June, the city's planning
department bowed to a request from the development industry to postpone it.
These guidelines have been on the shelf for years and the CCCA has been
pushing for months for them to be approved in order to start using this
planning tool in upcoming development applications. A draft version of the
comments we submitted are in the agenda to the CCCA's May 2011 meeting, and
the PDR Committee's reports to previous Board meetings contain many other
details on the process to get these guidelines approved. Other Section 37 resources are available here on the CCCA website

Recent & Upcoming Development Applications

Here is a summary of recent and upcoming development applications:

- Christ Church/Cathedral Hill: This development was approved as presented
to the Planning Committee, including the removal of the heritage overlay in
order to build a 23-storey condo tower and a 12-storey office tower. The
silver lining of this news is that community benefits were secured for the
development for heritage preservation of the existing church, and the
developers are working with Habitat for Humanity to use one or more of the
units for their next project. The approved plan was much improved from the
first draft, which considered moving Roper House, the last intact Bronson
Avenue lumber baron estate, in order to build on its lawns.

- 70 Gloucester: The CCCA went to the city's Planning Committee to oppose
the 27-storey twin of 89-91 Nepean Street, which nearly fills the lot. Many
members of planning committee echoed our concern that the small site was
being filled from lot line to lot line. If the other sites on this block
were developed similarly, we'd have a 27 storey tall block of condos with no
space between them for light and air to circulate. Nevertheless, the project
was approved at Committee and Council with a requirement that community
benefits be provided before the new zoning takes effect. The CCCA is
considering an appeal of the height decision to the Ontario Municipal Board,
which will require a significant fundraising effort to sustain.

- 340 McLeod: The CCCA's concerns were heard for this site, Central Phase 3
(currently the vacant "Medical Building" at Bank and McLeod), and the design as amended to step down and further back from the lot line, allowing light to continue to reach the windows of the seniors' apartments next door. This was a condition of the CCCA's support for the site, and we're glad to see it come through with a building that enhances Centretown as a residential neighbourhood.

- 224 Lyon at Gloucester: A Toronto developer has applied for a rezoning of
this collection of lots to permit an increase in height from 12 to 17
storeys to build a condo building. The building includes many
environmentally-friendly features, including a green roof and ground floor
bicycle lockers, and the first floor units are townhouse-style units with
entrances on the street, which will help to animate the street.
Nevertheless, residents to the north are perturbed that their condos would
be shaded by this 17-storey building after they had done careful research to
make sure they would get sun if a building was constructed within the
existing 12-storey zoning. This rezoning application goes to Planning
Committee on Tuesday, June 14 (9:30am), which is the last opportunity to
have input into this application.

- 346 Gloucester Street: The lot at Bay/Nepean/Gloucester has long been a
sore spot in Centretown, with the vacant houses being allowed to run down to
the point of hazard. The developer had previously applied successfully to
the Committee of Adjustment for two minor variances from 12 to 14 storeys,
and then to 16 storeys. This past month, the developer tried for another go
to 18 storeys. Following concerns from the CCCA, the Committee of Adjustment
rejected this application, as it had done the last time the developer made
the same request. This series of minor variance requests would exceed the
request at the other end of the block (224 Lyon, above) that is going
through the more thorough rezoning process.

- 365 Catherine (Greyhound): Apparently our notification for this project
was lost in the mail, so the CCCA had to hustle to submit our comments on
this rezoning request. While the property owner hopes to keep the bus
terminal at this location, he has no control over whether they leave, and if
they do he wants to have a plan B. This plan B is a mixed-use development
that features midrise condos along Arlington and two point towers up to 23
storeys tall at the southern corners of the block above commercial/office
podiums. The buildings will be separated by pedestrian walkways with a court
inside. Some in the development industry feel that the "Catherine Street
corridor" is ripe for development, and this building would set a good tone
for how this development should play out. The CCCA submitted comments in
support of the rezoning application as it was presented to us in December
with 15 and 19 storey towers and a shorter building along Arlington. Of
course, we want the bus terminal to stay there, and we expressed this too!

- Centretown Planning Links: If you're interested in more planning
resources, our attention was brought to this page summarizing links to
relevant plans affecting Centretown:

Thank You!

The CCCA's communications committee has been pruning the CCCA website and
preparing communications materials for this year's membership campaigns.
Keep an eye out for them, or contact the CCCA to help out with them!

I hope to see you at one or more of these events, and to see you around
town. Please talk to your neighbours about these activities and encourage
them to join the CCCA and get involved in the community. The membership form (PDF) is available for download from the CCCA website

Thank you for your contributions to making Centretown a great place to live!


Charles Akben-Marchand
Centretown Citizens Community Association (CCCA)

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]

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