900 Albert: Leiper Leaves Us Dumbfounded

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Nicholas forwarded along these two tweets when your agent was almost away on holidays until overtaken by events:

Hi Ken,

Just thought I’d send this your way in case you missed it. It’s good to see the ghost of Ms. Hobbs lives on at council.

Nicholas

 

 

This just dumbfounds one to read.

The largest high-rise project in Ottawa history that is being quickly rammed through municipal approvals.

Just 148 storeys of highrise at Bayview on 900 Albert Street and it is “uncomfortable”? Really?

And his biggest complaint is that there aren’t enough bicycle parking spots? Really?

The market will decide if it wants this kind of development? When it’s already built? Really? What do you do then, Jeff? Tear it down? Doubt that. The damage is done.

Obviously Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper doesn’t realize that in more than doubling the 30-storey height limit for 900 Albert, it blows away the legitimacy of the area community design plan. “We know buildings at these nodes will be tall.” Yes more than twice the height of the tallest building in Ottawa.

And the project is announced on June 29 and is bulldozed through planning committee on July 10 and rubber-stamped at council the next day. The public never got a chance to squeak on a huge project that radically alters Ottawa’s skyline for more than a lifetime. Leiper is horribly letting down the residents around 900 Albert. He is supposed to be defending the interests of his community, not that of the biking and development communities.

Why the rush on 900 Albert? Because city staff and the Bobblehead council members (plus the mayor) were frightened of public reaction. That’s why they introduced it during the period when the public is least interested in events (Canada Day weekend) on a holiday that celebrates Canadian inclusiveness, caring and democracy. Where does this apply at Ottawa City Hall? While Ottawans are out celebrating, Mayor Jim Watson and his pals are destroying the values Ottawans cherish.

And Leiper … good grief. The viability of CDPs in Ottawa is now destroyed in one swoop and Leiper is worried about bike spaces. This is the guy who bought a bike study from a cycling pressure group. By the way, the study liked biking … who knew?

Furthermore, Leiper previously did a wonderful impersonation of someone who hadn’t read the important zoning and height report, asking staff if they could list the differences between the report of a decade ago versus the new one. It’s in the report, Jeff. It’s in the report. Too bad they still don’t sell Coles Notes for councillors.

Leiper was elected to stop the excesses of former Kitchissippi councillor Katherine Hobbs in dealing with developers. Now Leiper is so pre-occupied by his obsession with bikes that 65 storeys is “uncomfortable.” Leiper is becoming uncomfortable to area voters.

This city is wide open to any kind of development most anywhere. Zoning means nothing. Homeowners in the community should be terrified that their lifetime investments could be ruined by secret projects being built beside their homes allowed by lost councillors such as Leiper or reports that appear to be beyond his and others’ comprehension or attention.

Councillors and the mayor are supposed to be protecting the interests of voters, residents and taxpayers, not pet pressure groups and most certainly not the development community.

 

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10 thoughts on “900 Albert: Leiper Leaves Us Dumbfounded

  1. Zoning and community design plans are no longer “suggestions”. They are now on the heap of slag previously known as democracy and only merit a passing glance by staff and councilors of Ottawa.

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  2. Councillor Jeff Leiper’s concerns about there being fewer bicycle parking spots than apartments intrigue me. It implies that he believes that every (an absolute term) cyclist will only (another absolute term) park his/her bike in the designated spot. A cyclist would never (yet another absolute term) take his/her bike up the elevator and store in his/her apartment. After all, every (yet another absolute term) cyclist obeys every (yet again, another absolute term) rule. Absolutely.

    Speaking of absolutes, how about the absolute flouting of the official, secondary and community development plans, councillor?

    2+
    1. Ron:

      After listening to Leiper’s performance at planning committee on the height and zoning report, the Kitchissippi councillor either doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t understand what he is reading if he is reading, or only cares about what interests him personally.

      That’s the kiss of death for an elected official. Leiper blew his cover at that planning committee meeting.

      cheers

      kgray

      1+
  3. What? Leiper says “We know buildings in these nodes will be tall. The market will decide if people want to live in them . . .” In other words the public had no say in whether or not they wanted these monoliths constructed, and it will be up to them decide whether or not they remain empty. Right there is the admission we have been looking for from city council. I think Mr Leiper should renew his prescription of stupid pills before he runs out.

    1+
    1. Sisco,

      Leiper must be a movie buff “if you build it they will come”.

      He seems to be working hard for the person of his ward … himself.

      1+
  4. In Leiper’s defence, he did vote against it both at committee and council. But the damage was already done when planning committee approved it. I can count on one finger the number of times council has voted against planning committee.

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  5. To Nicholas, Ken, Bruce, Ron, Kosmo and Sisco –

    Me thinks that you are all gentlemen for being far too kind in your comments about Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper.

    I know a guy who owns a bike and he won’t even leave it chained outside beside his house. I can’t imagine him leaving it in some parking space 59 floors removed from condo.

    skoal,
    Chaz

    Where’s that bus when you need it?

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  6. Chaz. It’s been a long time since the word kind has been applied to my natural cynicism and mistrust.

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  7. It appears Leiper’s only focus is on cyclists, tattoos and music. I suspect his residents may have other priorities and expectations from their councillor. He’s just another lightweight on city council unfortunately.

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