You are on page 1of 2


755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1

Mr. Peter Hume Chair, Planning Committee 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1

April 8 , 2013 Dear Mr. Hume: Re: 505 Preston St.


Please find below comments from the Dalhousie Community Association (DCA) concerning the proposed development and 505 Preston St., the Icon by Claridge. We have a number of concerns about this development and the proposed distribution of section 37 benefits. The DCA is happy to see that the sidewalk is effectively being widened around the building. This will help improve the pedestrian experience at the southern end of Preston St. The presence of mature trees will also reinforce this, providing shade and providing natural traffic calming. Care should be taken to make sure that they can survive and thrive. This includes protections at street level to prevent damage from snowplows and sufficient space below ground for an effective root structure to develop. We thus suggest that any basement or parking garage below the sidewalk be sufficiently deep to allow for this. We are concerned about the massing of the buildings tower. It should be reduced to come into line with the citys urban design review guidelines. The absence of an off-street residential loading zone for moving into and out of the building is a major concern for the community association. There are also insufficient provisions at the front of the building handling pickups and deliveries. These must be addressed, preferably in the zoning, but alternately in the site plan. The DCA is concerned about the apportioning of Section 37 benefits from this project. The Hickory Street pedestrian bridge will be an important addition to the pedestrian infrastructure of the neighbourhood, and we support that up to 40% of the funds from this project will be used to offset the costs of this project. However, we strongly believe that it is inappropriate to dedicate most of the remainder of public benefit funds from this project to park space and other amenities on the west side of the O-Train tracks and along Champagne Ave. Remaining funds should be used to purchase lands associated with the federal government complex at 1010 Somerset St. to expand Plouffe Park. While a multi-use path on the west side of the O-train is desirable in the long term, the city already owns this right of way. The sale of 1010 Somerset represents

a unique opportunity to add additional park space in a neighbourhood that is underserved. It cannot be missed. We would also note that Section 37 benefits from developments west of the O-Train have, up to now, not been assigned to the eastern portion. There are a substantial number of developments anticipated along Champagne Ave. in the immediate vicinity of the proposed MUP, streetscape improvements and park expansion. Funds from these projects should be more than adequate to finance these projects. Finally, this development reinforces the urgent need for a detailed public realm plan for Little Italy. This neighbourhood is already at the epicentre of Ottawas condo boom, and the draft direction for PrestonCarling will only intensify this. This community needs a public realm plan to prioritize allocation of section 37 funds and provide a sense of how to accommodate an influx of new residents. Without a plan, the city will miss opportunities to bolster public amenities. As an example, property to the south of Ev Tremblay Park could have allowed for an easy expansion of the park; instead it was sold to developers. Work on this plan should start as soon as possible. Section 37 funds, from 505 Preston or elsewhere, should not be used for drafting the plan, to both avoid conflicts of interest and preserve limited funds for their intended purpose. A public advisory committee, consulted early and regularly, should be an integral part of this process. The plan should include a realistic means of funding its implementation. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Michael Powell President, Dalhousie Community Association

Cc: Planning Committee Ms. Diane Holmes Mr. Christopher Zwierzchowski

Related Interests