Showing posts from 2012

Norman street condo tower


It's too damn big !

No doubt you have seen the youtube clips of the guy running for office in the US of A whose tag line is "the rent's too damn high".  That is the way we feel about the proposed church worship hall aka gym aka community centre proposed for Bell Street. The Chinese Alliance Church has bought two narrow house lots running at right angles to their current Eccles & LeBreton Street property. They propose to demolish the houses and put in a honkin' big box building. They are asking, and no doubt the planning committee will give them, exemptions from all residential and commercial setbacks. In addition to being too damn big, it will have its handicapped entrance on Bell, which is little more than a lane, which means a single para transpo van making a winter pick up or delivery will block the entire street. I remain amazed that the fire marshall has signed off on this mega building, given its negligable side access. The community association previously asked the church to

Hickory street ped and cyclist bridge

DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 Eric Darwin VP & chair, transportation committee 5 Oct 2012 Robert Grimwood, P.Eng. City of Ottawa Cc: Diane Holmes, Katherine Hobbs Re: Hickory crossing Thank you for coming to our recent meeting to review the Hickory crossing. We think the right location has been chosen, and will lobby to have the bridge built in the next year. We do have a big problem with the proposed design. The proposed bridge width – same as a MUP plus 1’ additional – would be fine if it was simple structure along the length of a single pathway crossing a culvert or cut. But this is not the case here. The bridge is short, and is at right angles to the east side of the OTrain MUP now under construction. It is at right angles to the proposed path on the west side, due for construction within the next two years. It will also function as a straight-through east-west path connecting two neighborhoods. And i

Tulips for 2013

The DCA is fortunate in having good relations with the two Business Improvement Areas (BIA's) in our catchement area. Working with both, we partnered to improve the appearance of our mainstreets in 2013 by planting thousands of tulip bulbs on Somerset Street and Preston Street. The partnership consisted of the BIA's paying for the tulips, and community members planting them. It is not always easy to find suitable spots where large clumps of tulips can be planted, but we were successful this year in getting about 2000 bulbs placed. In the pic below are  some of the  bulbs (90 per bag) for Preston. To keep our good lines of communication open, and for future projects, here is the letter sent by the DCA to the Chinatown BIA. A similar letter went to Preston BIA. DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 Eric Darwin, VP 5 Oct 2012 Grace Xuexin Chinatown / Somerset BIA Dear Grace On behalf of the Dalhousie Community

Benches for Gladstone?

6 Sept 2012 Diane Holmes Councillor, Somerset Ward Re: Recycling the Bank Street Promenade Street Furniture We have noticed that the former furniture used on the Bank Street Promenade is now enjoying outdoor storage at the Bayview Yards (photo attached). This furniture has minor cosmetic wear and tear and appears to only need repainting in order to be reused. Given the significant cost of benches, we would like to suggest it be reused in our Ward. For example, Gladstone Avenue has no BIA but is an important residential and commercial “mainstreet” . We suggest that a number of places can be identified along the street where benches would be suitable, eg near bus stops, seniors’ residences, schools, and corner stores. Concerns were expressed before benches were installed along Preston and Somerset that these might attract undesirable activities and loitering. However, these fears proved unfounded, and the benches on these streets are always busy with people. Making the stre

Hickory Street Ped-Cyclist Bridge

The City is conducting an environmental assessment towards building a new pedestrian & cyclist bridge over the OTrain cut at Hickory Street. This will greatly improve access to the OTrain station at Carling, facilitate access from the east side to the Preston mainstreet, and help sell condos along Champagne. To this end, the developers are contributing a significant chunk of the money for the bridge. Here is the DCA letter to the city study team on the location and design of the bridge: Hickory Street Crossing The Dalhousie Community Association supports the prompt construction of ped-cyclist crossing of the OTrain cut in the vicinity of Hickory Street. Alignment: the Hickory – Adeline Street alignment is our preferred option. It is the most useful location for recreational, commuting, and other uses. We want to note that in addition to the north-south MUP on the east side of the OTrain cut, another one is proposed on the west side of the cut. The proposed developments at

Soho Italia Letter

Planning Committee is considering the rezoning of 486 and 500 Preston St, better (and perhaps inevitably) known as SoHo Italia. As we have expressed previously, the association remains extremely concerned that important decisions on the major developable lots are happening in advance of the completion of the area's community design plan, which has now been ongoing for half a decade. DCA Soho Italia Planning Committee Letter June 24

DCA Minutes 2 May 2012 [ draft ]

DCA Minutes, 2 May 2012 Present: Michael Hatfield, Charles Akben-Marchand, Ida Henderson, David Seaborn, Pat Snair, Stephanie Strudwick, Don Smith, Heather Hossie, Wendy Hunter, Michael Powell, Grant Holly, Samantha McGavin, Sean Darcy, Rob Bryce, Pam Connolly, Eric Darwin, Jon Svazas Minutes of April : with minor corrections, minutes were approved Development Committee report: • the basics of the Claridge proposal for 505 Preston (at Carling) were reviewed, ie 45 stories, on a three to six floor podium, no comment as yet as it is still very preliminary proposal. • Planning Committee at the City has passed the infill zoning guidelines , to which we had input, we are pleased to see the new rules passed • 72 Cambridge went to the Committee of Adjustment to approve the 7 apartments now built, but the Committee turned it down, citing complaints about the landlord’s previous lack of attention to the property. Landlord agreed to abide by the Committee’s decision to allow onl

street cleaning in our west side neighborhood

DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 Eric Darwin, President 8 April, 2012 Councillor Diane Holmes Somerset Ward At the April 4th board meeting of the Dalhousie Community Association, a number of members expressed great satisfaction at the promptness and thoroughness of the spring street cleaning in our neighborhood. More than one member noted that the dead ends, street closures, and other difficult spots were cleaned promptly by crews with hand brooms working with considerable enthusiasm. We realize that many citizens limit their interaction with the City to complaints. We plead guilty to too often focusing on the problems and not the successes. But we did pass a unanimous motion thanking the city for the prompt cleaning this year and hope you can pass on our gratefulness to the appropriate department and crews. Their work was noticed and appreciated. Sincerely, Eric Darwin, President.

DCA Announces Exciting Speaker for AGM


From low rise to high rise ....

From low rise to high rise ... change is coming...  artist impression shows the area north of Somerset, west of Preston. New buildings are up to 30 floors high. Where will development be? How big will it be? When will it happen? What will be built? You are invited to a PUBLIC OPEN FORUM on Development Along the O-Train Corridor Hosted by the Dalhousie and Hintonburg Community Associations 6 March 2012, 7:00 pm Tom Brown Arena 141 Bayview Rd., near Scott/Albert St. • The City of Ottawa is making rules for new development along the O-Train tracks and the future light rail corridor. • Several large developments are already in the planning stages. • This Open Forum will provide information on the City’s planning process, what has been approved already, and what is being considered. • Find out what is happening and make your views heard!

Soho Italia, 500 Preston, again

DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 Eric Darwin, President 9 February 2012 Alain Miguelez, Planning & Growth Mgmt. Dept. City of Ottawa Dear Sir, Re: Re-Zoning of 500 Preston St. (Soho Italia) On 25 January 2012, the Planning and Development Committee of the Dalhousie Community Association were given a presentation of perspectives and elevation drawings of a 30 storey apartment tower. This was the third proposal we have seen from the current developer. No shadow, traffic, wind studies or other impact material was presented. You may recall that the OMB imposed a previous re-zoning from 6 storeys to a tower of 19 storeys with a high-calibre of design and a much smaller footprint. The present proposal is much bulkier, much higher and of an unremarkable character. We do not consider this location appropriate for such a significantly larger, higher, bulkier building. It is not on Carling Avenue where the highest buildin

Draft Minutes Feb 1 meeting

DCA Draft Minutes, 1 Feb 2012 Present: Charles Akben-Marchand (chair), Catherine Boucher, Don Smith, Eric Darwin (sec), Mike Powell, Stephanie Strudwick, David Seaborn, Ida Henderson, Don McMaster, Pat Snair, Archie Campbell. Guest: Laura Bergen from the Councillor’s office. The minutes of the previous meeting were approved with a minor change (moved by Catherine, seconded by Eric). Report of Development Committee • Soho Italia at 500 Preston: major changes include moving the garage to the basement and a slight reduction in height. We remain concerned that it is not a landmark exterior despite its prominent location, that stepbacks are required as the building goes up, and that it’s still too damn high. A letter to planning committee will be sent. • 347 Booth infill: we are delighted with this project and will support it in its current form. • Bridgehead on Anderson: city approved $1 in lieu of parking, as the proponent will be providing significant exterior enhancement

72 Cambridge

The following letter was sent to the Committee of Adjustment on 16 Jan 2012. DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 16 January 2012 Committee of Adjustment Members City of Ottawa Re: 72 Cambridge St. N. This property is un-characteristic of this R4H area and already overdeveloped. • Lot area is even less than the 170m2 specified for a semi. • Zero front yard, zero corner side yard. • Negligible rear and interior side yards. • Zero landscaped area. • Already more than the allowable 4 apartment units. This overdevelopment of the site is not un-related to the social problems at the site. There are too many units and lack of amenity and of landscaped space. The property while technically not a rooming house, displays the characteristics of a rooming house. Rooming houses are not permitted in this zone. The property does not meet the requirements of Section 161(8) of the R4 zone whereby 30% of the site must be landscaped.

Draft Minutes Jan 4 Meeting

DCA Draft Minutes Jan 2012 The DCA met on 4 Jan 2012 at the Dalhousie Community Centre at 7pm. Present: Eric Darwin(taking the minutes), Maija Kagis, Lisa-Marie Inman, Charles Akben-Marchand, Pat Snair, Craig Haynes, Phil Robinson, Stephanie Strudwick, Don McMaster, Catherine Boucher, Ida Henderson, Michael Hatfield (chair), Archie Campbell, David Seaborn, Don Smith. Guests: Carla Aynkawa, Linda Buchanan, Pierre Contant (Cambridge Street residents) 72 Cambridge Street – the property consists of a house previously subdivided into 5 bachelor apts and a ground floor corner store. The corner store space was recently converted into two bachelor apts, without permits. There were permits for the structural repair of the building earlier in 2011. There is now a stop-work order on the building. Complaints focused on several issues: A) the large number of bachelor units some of which were rented very low income persons who supplemented their income with street sales, rumours of d

Sectioin 37

The City has released draft guidelines for implementing Sec 37 of the Planning Act. The following letter was sent to Alain Miguelez in the Planning Dept; and Councillors Hume and Holmes. DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION 755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 10 January 2012 Alain Miguelez, City of Ottawa Sir: Re: Section 37 Implementation Guidelines The Dalhousie Community Association has several concerns with the Draft Implementation Guidelines as presented at a community consultation 6 December 2011. These are: 1. The threshold for building area will be excessive in many circumstances of infill. Rather than 7000m2, we recommend 3000m2. 2. The threshold for height is excessive. Height is one the most politically sensitive issues around. The threshold should be 10 or 12%, not 25%. 3. In every area where there is a CDP, the threshold for Section 37 to kick in should be the lesser of the existing zoning or the maximum height established by the CDP. This s