3430 Carling (Villa Lucia) Development

Dear Residents,

As some of you will be aware, there is a proposed development under consideration for the Villa Lucia property, at 3430 Carling Avenue. The developer is Omnipex, based out of Montreal. They approached the CBLCA, through our councillor, Theresa Kavanagh, earlier in the year and on June 22 we had a community-wide Zoom meeting with them so that they could present their development. ( Zoom meeting recording – https://www.baywardbulletin.ca/meeting-on-the-villa-lucia-redevelopment/ )

Currently, development in the City of Ottawa is still under the “Old Official Plan”, as the new plan is still to be finalized and enacted. We will point out that under the proposed “New Official Plan”, CBL’s designation is “Outer Urban”, which is not intended for intensification (that is, no need for taller buildings). The current zoning for this location has a height limit of 18.5m or 6 stories. The developer will be asking for a zoning bylaw amendment to allow for 9 storeys. This is where we see residents having concerns.


Figure 1: Current zoning for Carling Ave. the property in question is labelled GM20

In a previous newsletter, we presented the building design as two nine-storey towers with a common podium. The developer changed this to two separate nine storey towers separated with a small surface parking lot and access to the underground parking lots. This was due to a City front setback requirement for the possible widening of Carling avenue for more lanes, a medium or LRT uses etc. This is unlikely to happen based on the current LRT plans and what proposed in the New Official Plan by the City.

Figure 2: Plan view of the proposed 3430 Carling Avenue development

The target demographic for this development is seniors looking to downsize from a detached home, these are rental units, not Condos, (note: this is not a retirement home). There are 216 units, ranging from studio size to one and two-bedroom apartments. The amount of parking is a little under the official requirement and stands at 272 spots (229 for residents and 43 for visitors), with 18 of the visitor spots at grade between the towers.

Figure 3: Street view of the proposed two 9-storey towers

The CBLCA has concerns over the height of the building, for several reasons. One is that the windows and balconies of a 9-storey building will have an impact on the privacy of nearby homes. A second concern is that this development can be used as a precedent for future developments that seek to build higher than the zoning permits. And thirdly, will this building “fit in” with our community(s)? While this is on the far side of the community for many, what happens here can happen near you in the future. The developer did provide an image of what a shorter and wider building would look like, one that would be within current zoning. This would result in less green space and a bulkier looking building, with the same number of units.

Figure 4: depiction of what a shorter building would look like, superimposed on the proposed two towers (Same number of units)

As of now, everything is in the preliminary stages and nothing has been submitted to the City for actual construction. The next steps in the process are: zoning bylaw amendment, site plan control, and building permits. Then, if approved, construction can begin.

The CBLCA is presenting this information to you, so we may decide on a course of action for this development. We have presented the key details and a link to a survey so we can accurately represent CBL’s attitude towards this development. CBLCA understands that development is inevitable and potentially beneficial to our community, when done a reasonable and measured manner. We encourage you to complete the survey and let us know how to represent the community.

Click here to complete the survey!

19 thoughts on “3430 Carling (Villa Lucia) Development”

  1. The 1st floor of any future development would have to be commercial space. This is a MUSH HAVE. I also believe given the nature of our area, 9 stories would stick out like a sore thumb, let’s keep it to 6.

  2. Thank you for the update.
    In principal like the design, although a low rise 6 level design would be the preferred choice.
    Exit onto Carling could be a problem with the current traffic on Carling.

  3. I would prefer the proposal stay under the current height limit, yet retain at least the same green space, or more, as the taller proposal.

    Set back, neighbour privacy and parking should not be ignored.

    Under an R3 limit they could put up a screen on the South side until trees grew in.

    I suspect they cannot make as much profit if they cannot have 216 units.

    And what about Carling access? No lights and traffic is fast. Not a selling point for retired downsizers

  4. Deja vu!
    There were problems with development of the triangular lot where Carling meets Corkstown (now a retirement home) and the private condos development next to it.
    I was told that the condos were supposed to be two storey (I think the height limit in those days was 30 feet). Once permission had been granted, the developer built two storeys on top of the garage. Sneaky, eh?
    Forewarned is forearmed. Later, at a public meeting regarding the endmost triangle, it was observed that the developer’s drawing used a chain-link line at the top, suggesting there could be something above it. Another storey, maybe?
    An attempt was made to frighten residents with “We could always build a fast food restaurant.” Lesser of two evils.
    Eventually the retirement home was built. It seems to be a good location. Seniors can admire the views and, if well enough, maybe enjoy a walk/wheelchair ride in the park.
    I suggest that you check the minutes.
    Of course, I am horrified at the mere idea of a 9 storey building in the neighbourhood. I see DDD, i.e. developer-driven-development, as a serious problem in the City of Ottawa, going back decades.
    In fact, I take issue with the intensification idea.
    I see the attraction for some. For a given footprint, each additional storey gives the developer proportionately more income and a free-spending City gets vastly increased taxes.
    But the citizens sacrifice privacy and enjoyment of their homes and neighbourhood.
    In my opinion, any changes to existing limits should be banned pending a complete review. If climate change is to result in more pandemics, maybe we should not be herding people into tighter spaces, where they share the air with many people; thus multi-storey buildings and public transport to get them to and front.
    We need to address the abysmal lack of vision
    at the leadership level.

    1. I totally agree with your comments and practically everyone else’s excellent remarks and input. 🙂

  5. Maybe have a daycare space and grocery store made mandatory in the lower level. There is really nothing within walking distance right.now.

    9 storeys is also too high. 6 storeys is acceptable.

  6. We should condition acceptance on having, at the very least, traffic lights at Sunny Brae. In Principal, I agree with others that the height limit should not exceed the pre-approuved 6 storeys. This is not Downtown Byward Market, there is not a single building with that height on Carling Ave West…

  7. This area of Carling Ave. is residential. Convenience stores like Ralphs or the small little Mall fit in. Putting up a large building like this just does not fit in. One main reason the Minto buildings work so well is that there access is not Carling Ave and they are not tall and have green space with proper setbacks. The thought of having an additional traffic light here would be terrible and increase the noise for those of us living here now.
    If there is anything that I can do to help, please contact me.

    Thank you.

  8. “The target demographic for this development is seniors looking to downsize from a detached home.”

    If this building is being built for senior living, where are the amenities for these residents?

    Most seniors who move to a new home are looking for less property upkeep. This means that they are looking for a nice apartment with recreational amenities within the building – ie a main floor “living room” where people can sit and chat, play cards, exchange books in a library alcove, hold minor events, etc. and look out on to a lovely outdoor terrace and gardens area.

    Where is the swimming pool and mini gym?

    When I looked at the design, all I saw were too many apartments jammed into two buildings with minimal outdoor soft landscaping.

    If the developer and land owner want to make money, they must design an appealing building where seniors will make it their home; where they will meet new friends in communal indoor activity spaces, or at the pool or gym, or at an “extensive” outdoor communal area…….

    None of the above appears to be planned for this building – just apartments, apartments and more apartments – with no concern for the nearby detached homes and no concern for the living standard of the potential residents.

    1. If that is their plan, than I totally agree with all your concerns and most excellent suggestions. I believe this is a cash grab for the hopes that employees of the DND on Moodie Drive will buy or rent these apartments / condo’s as well some seniors that possibly wish to down size from their existing homes in the area, but honestly they will be only affordable to people that have an income of well over $120,000.00 per year after paying taxes. The development would be far more better suited for a three (3) story commercial business complex to cater to the needs of the current local community and be more economically beneficial for all.

      1. Just a update for everyone – with all the drafts and editing we accidently took out an important line – the units are all rentals – no condos.

        1. As it is clear they plan on rental apartment units, only the very well to do will be able to afford them. I foresee at least $2,500 to $3,000 per month and more. That is beyond the average Full time employed income family these days let alone someone that is Retired and only wish to downsize from their current home.

  9. Proposing a nine-storey building for this low-rise residential neighbourhood is ridiculous. Carling at 3430 is not a main street, not even a minor corridor. The lot is far too shallow to provide an appropriate transition to the neighbouring buildings to the south. The developer should consider 613 flats or, perhaps a three-storey apartment building similar to the neighbouring buildings. It would be highly inappropriate to build a wall of towers on the border between our community and the river. That’s the mistake Toronto made with its waterfront. Don’t start here in CBL.
    As Alain Miguelez, the city planner says, “Get the small scale right.”

  10. I think our community needs to understand that we are unlikely to attract commercial development. That is, we are unlikely to become a 15-minute neighbourhood anytime soon. The first draft of the new Official Plan designated our neighbourhood as Outer Urban with no intensification overlay. Our intensification should occur slowly over the years and in keeping with our current low-rise built form. Even if our homes were suddenly to be replaced with high-rise towers (and that is not supposed to happen) we would have trouble attracting commercial development. Over in Bayshore the owners of the proposed 30- and 27-storey towers are resisting the suggestion of the Urban Design Review Panel that they add even a little coffee shop, though surely there would be the traffic and business to support it. Developers just don’t seem to see the value in commercial right now. It’s all rental, rental, rental. Maybe the fashion will change.

    Having said all that, the far east end of CBL really is pretty 15-minute, with its access to the Bayshore hub and with Carling east of Bayshore being a main street corridor.

  11. It is obvious that the city wants me to move out of the city and up the valley. The current bylaw has been in place since at least the 60s when I moved here. With all the crap going on, ie. Losing the public schools, park space, noise from the equestrian park turned carnival grounds, and rail line, loss of green space I will move. It is not worth the hassle to live here anymore.
    Three / Four stories in that property is plenty.
    David J. Laronde
    9 Newgale Street

  12. I see alot of comments regarding the lack of retail and commercial space, etc. This build is a major stepping stone for those things to happen in our area. A developer is not going to include multi-use space if the community cannot sustain it and make it financially viable. The big picture here is that there is severe lack of affordable housing in Ottawa and land is becoming more and more scarce. This is a great opportunity to expand our beautiful community and grow decades and decades into the future. For this reason, I support the 9-story proposal.

  13. “A second concern is that this development can be used as a precedent for future developments that seek to build higher than the zoning permits.”

    – Current zoning is six stories; no higher is appropriate at this location.

    Great job by the CBLCA! Wish we had this type of community consultation in Bells Corners. Many neighbourhoods in College ward are also threatened by “stalking-horse” applications, as my neighbour Professor Barry Wellar pointed out in a letter published in the Citizen:

    Re: Egan: One little house becomes four $1.2M units. But at what cost to City View? July 8.

    …Please, this is obviously a stalking horse application for a re-zoning march into City View, and developers are salivating at the thought of re-zoning all kinds of properties from R1 to R2 throughout City View.

    As developers and their agents know full well, if this application is approved then a precedent is established for subsequent R1 to R2 re-zoning applications, and they will be approved because anti-discrimination rules preclude treating similar re-zoning applications differently.

    Dr. Barry Wellar, C.M., GISP
    Professor Emeritus, University of Ottawa
    President, Information Research Board Inc.
    Bells Corners
    http://wellar.ca/wellarconsulting/

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