1047 Richmond Road - Again!
There has been agreement between the developer of 1047 Richmond Road and the City of Ottawa planing staff. We find both the proposal and the lack of transparency in the process to be unacceptable. We need your comments on the draft letter to the Planning and Housing Committee below. Please submit your comments by noon Monday November 13 so they can be included in the letter. Also please identify yourself in your comments.
We are writing to you on behalf of the Woodpark Community Association, to express our extremely deep concern for the motion to amend the Official Plan to allow for the development of two towers of 40 and 38 storeys at 1047 Richmond Road. Woodpark is the residential community immediately south of the proposed development that has already been impacted by the construction of the LRT.
This proposal was presented to us late on the afternoon of November 10, 2023, allowing for only two business days to both consult with our residents and compose a response to the proposal before the Planning and Housing Committee hearing. This is unacceptable and wholly inadequate. We request a delay to the hearing to conduct a proper consultation with our community members. Additionally, we demand transparency; this proposal needs to include a detailed renewed parking plan, wind study and all the other usual documentation that accompanies a traditional application process.
The community recognizes that the LRT will bring development along Richmond Road. Our Board members actively participated in the development of the Sherbourne - New Orchard Secondary Plan (formerly known as the Cleary-New Orchard Secondary Plan) over a period of several years. The Association has actively followed the development proposal for 1047 Richmond Road. We provided the city with our concerns on the original proposal to build three high rise buildings.
Council rejected the previous proposal. That was the correct thing to do then as it remains now with this new proposal. The previous error by the City for a non-decision by Council within the prescribed time must not result in a rushed decision behind closed doors this time.
Reducing the footprint of the building and including affordable housing is welcomed but the Association cannot understand how two high rise buildings of 40 and 38 storeys in height are “appropriate and meet the objectives of the Secondary Plan”, when the approved secondary plan limited developments around the New Orchard Station to 20 stories. This development would set an unwanted precedent for the remaining developments along Richmond Road and other areas adjacent to our community.
While the inclusion of affordable housing is laudable, the amount included in the plan falls short of the city’s commitment in the 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan 2020–2030. The allocated 15 units per building of the planned 1,006 units is only 2.9% the stated goal of 10%. Additionally, the duration for the affordable designation does not meet the stated 25-year goal of the plan.
The public lacks confidence in the LRT system. There is no commitment from the Province to build Phase 3. We are concerned about the traffic impacts on Richmond Road and parking in the neighbouring area around this development, should it be approved at this scale. The negotiated agreement being considered by the Planning Committee is silent on the parking arrangements. In our view the parking proposed even in the previous proposal was insufficient.
The City of Ottawa must not approve a development of this size without doing additional work in the surrounding neighbourhood. Woodpark must be able to handle the pressures this development would create. The vision of the Sherbourne Cleary plan included a commitment that “Intensification will be compatible and compliment adjacent neighbourhoods”. It also includes a commitment that “all usable public greenspace and recreational facilities will be retained and will be increased or expanded where possible”. The decision before the Planning Committee deals only with development along Richmond Road. Woodpark is only a minor part of the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan; the rest of Woodpark is not in any secondary plan and is left in a vacuum. We face additional development along Carling Avenue and Edgeworth Ave and will continue to lose NCC greenspace. Woodpark is a neighbourhood with ditches, narrow streets, no sidewalks, and access to very limited city facilities. With this proposal our meager public facilities will be massively pressured.
We call upon the city to work with the residents of Woodpark develop a plan to guide future development and address issues such as street parking, road safety, greenspace, and recreational facilities.
The Woodpark Community Association requests the motion before the Planning and Housing Committee be rejected. The existing approved Sherbourne/New Orchard secondary plan must be adhered to.