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.
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.
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.
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.
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.