DALHOUSIE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION

755 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 6R1 Michael Powell, President

Mr. Peter Hume 110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1 June 24, 2012 Mr. Hume: Re. Proposed zoning changes to 486 and 500 Preston St. I am writing with regards to the proposed zoning changes to 486 and 500 Preston St. that will be considered at Planning Committee’s Meeting on June 26th, 2012. This project is better known as “SoHo Italia.” The Dalhousie Community Association has previously expressed serious reservation about this proposal in a letter dated February 6th, 2011. We remain extremely concerned about this development as the Carling-Bayview Community Design Plan remains incomplete. The CDP process has been ongoing for more than half a decade, and there is still no clear timeline for its completion. Meanwhile, available plots of land are being purchased by developers, who seek to construct buildings that are vastly out of keeping with existing zoning. Such ad hoc and spot re-zonings make decisions about the shape of the community for decades to come, all in isolation from a view to the broader plan for the community. We understand that redevelopment in the community is inevitable and, in the proper context, desirable. But such development must be part of a broader vision of how we expect the community to grow. That is the value of a CDP. The DCA has been an active participant in the CDP process to date, and we firmly believe that it will yield a vision for the community that will last into the future. We have been supportive of the plan’s direction to designate areas within the community as acceptable for high rise development. The plan, however, will be moot if decisions have already been made about all developable lots of significance in the area. In response to our concerns about this moving in advance of the CDP, the report to committee says: The OP allows for zoning by-law amendments in areas intended to have CDP if a CDP is not yet in place provided that the re-zoning is considered to be in keeping with the overall intent of the OP objectives and policies.

We have no doubt that the official plan grants the city the power to make amendments that are in keeping with the spirit of the plan before a CDP is in place. This does not excuse the bureaucratic sluggishness that has needlessly delayed the completion of the plan. The community would feel much more comfortable if we felt that there was a greater urgency from the city to complete the CDP in a timely fashion. We should note that a number of changes have been made to the proposed development since the time of the DCA’s original letter, including a small reduction in building height and placing the parking garage below grade. These are steps forward, but do not change the fact that the building remains out of keeping with the low-scale pedestrian orientation of Preston Street. We are genuinely concerned that approval of such heights at this lot will set a precedent for more and more tall buildings on Preston St., which is out of keeping with both the current and projected function of the street. SoHo Italia seems to be on its way to getting approval, despite our concerns. We would encourage the city prioritize the CDP process in our community, with an aim to completing it in short order, before more important permanent decisions are made. Sincerely, Michael Powell President CC: Mayor Jim Watson Members of Planning Committee Councillor Diane Holmes

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