DCA report: Parking, trucks on Booth, Canada Day, 989 Somerset, AGM

Large trucks rumbling through the residential area on Booth Street over to LeBreton Flats have been a problem for years. (Martha Musgrove/The BUZZ)
Large trucks rumbling through the residential area on Booth Street over to LeBreton Flats have been a problem for years. (Martha Musgrove/The BUZZ)

Ed McKenna

Committee of Adjustment says No! to front-yard parking on Queen

Let’s begin with some good news! The application to permit front-yard parking at the historic properties on 407, 409 and 411 Queen Street West has been refused.

In its decision, the city’s Committee of Adjustment stated, in part, that “because of the effect front yard parking would have on the character of streetscape and the neighborhood, the requested variances are, from a planning and public interest point of view, not desirable…”

City planners, for their part, had said they had “no concerns” with the application; the committee, on the other hand, decided the application did not meet the four requirements for approval of a minor variance specified in the Planning Act.

The committee noted the written and oral submissions that opposed the applications:

“D. Barton, Dalhousie Community Association [that would be Debbie, DCA Public Realm Committee chair!], raised concerns that, despite the revisions to the applications, front yard parking was not permitted, and that the area was well served by public transit. She further expressed concerns with the removal of soft landscaping and greenspace.”

Truck traffic on Booth Street

Despite the best efforts of city staff, heavy trucks continue to roll down Booth toward Albert and through the established residential area.

The DCA board heard that the city has plans for additional measures, to be put in place this spring, to redirect truck traffic away from Booth. In the meantime, it was suggested at the meeting, why not reinstate the restrictions at the intersection of Booth and Albert that the city lifted last fall?

At the same time, the city did reinstate restrictions to the intersection of Booth and Wellington, and Lett Street residents aren’t too happy about it. At least 750 people live on Lett, and more than a third have signed an on-line petition asking the mayor to permit west-bound cars on Wellington to make a left turn on to Booth.

The DCA’s Mobility Committee has been asked to again take the matter up with Councillor Ariel Troster.

Will we be ready for Canada Day?

It may not be summer, but many Dalhousie residents have July 1 on their minds. Will Canada Day celebrations again take place at LeBreton Flats Park? If so, do Canadian Heritage and the city have a plan to ensure the security and well-being of the neighbouring residential community?

Meeting participants raised these questions, and others, at the March 28 board meeting. Public commitments have been made to assess the impact of the 2023 celebrations and provide a plan for review by local residents, but “we’ve heard nothing,” the meeting was told.

The DCA will seek out the relevant government officials at Canadian Heritage, the National Capital Commission, the city, the Ottawa Police Service, and OC Transpo to learn when the plan for Canada Day will be discussed with the community.

989 Somerset Meeting

As reported here last month, Taggart Realty Management agreed to meet the DCA’s Planning Our Neighbourhood Committee on March 20 to discuss the development proposed for 989 Somerset Street West.

This, in spite of city staff having already approved the development, with no requirement for community consultation. Kudos to Taggart for meeting the community anyway.

However, what became evident during the meeting was that Taggart and its architects have fallen short of the vision expressed in the West Downtown Core Secondary Plan, and for the Bayview Station District, where the development is proposed.

The secondary plan, which was prepared with significant contributions from the community, envisions a mixed-use development with active frontages, especially along the Somerset Street West bridge.

“Retail, commercial and/or other non-residential active frontages are required for all development along the entire frontage of any buildings located along Somerset Street West,” states the secondary plan. “Development fronting onto the Somerset Street bridge shall extend the Somerset Street Main Street Corridor west and use the bridge deck as a publicly-accessible active frontage.”

Instead, Taggart proposes a single-use residential building with limited access to Somerset. Notably, the development will meet the secondary plan’s requirement for “a visible, well lit, high-quality staircase and accessible path from Somerset Street West to City Centre Drive.”

But in response to the DCA’s suggestion that the ground floor on City Centre also would benefit from retail uses, Taggart said they would not support commercial development at this location.

Demolition and excavation work will begin late this year, or early in 2025. The 15-storey development, with 248 residential units, could be completed by 2029.

Cleaning the Capital spring campaign

Join your neighbours on Earth Day (April 22) from 10 to 11 a.m. and help us clean our parks. The Bronson, Chaudière, McCann, Piazza Dante, and Primrose parks could use a little TLC!

DCA AGM on May 25!

The DCA’s annual general meeting will take place on May 25, from 3 to 5 p.m., in the Preston Room at the Plant Recreation Centre.

In the meantime, join us at our next regular meeting, on Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m.

Contact: president@ottawadalhousie.ca, and visit our website: ottawadalhousie.ca

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