(Non) Planning Committee

This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by F/Marre 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #737487 Reply

    Fed Up/Marre

    City Councillor Jeff Leiper is accusing a builder of trying to pull of a bait-and-switch by adding basement units to two recently constructed buildings on Byron Avenue.
    He states: ‘It is a steady drip, drip, drip of applications and approval that ultimately result in the developer getting all they want without transparency to the community.
    The construction company had no comment.’
    While the Planning Department says it ‘would prefer a more transparent and comprehensive process’, staff don’t have a problem with the owner adding the units since there are other low-rise apartment buildings on the street.
    Residents and Leiper feel this make a mockery of the planning process.
    Leiper said ‘council should be sending a strong message to builders to be upfront with the community.
    Staff don’t have a problem — never mind staff, let Council decide as they were elected to do and let them find the backbone to say ‘no more’!

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    #737492 Reply

    Ken Gray
    Keymaster

    The planning process has been mocked for a long, long time.

    Not just overly tall condos but tunnelling a $6-billion light-rail project down a park where no one lives. Leiper supported that.

    It is interesting how councillors become more vocal as the municipal election nears.

    They say a lot of things but it doesn’t necessarily mean they will happen.

    Peter Hume and Jim Watson were furious before the last election that the condo at Wellington and Island Park Drive would exceed in height the community design plan.

    Guess what? The builders got the extra storeys.

    It’s discouraging to see politicians says things they don’t mean or won’t follow through on.

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    #737493 Reply

    Fed Up/Marre

    Ken,
    Agree and believe most regular Bulldog readers are aware of this game.
    Figure that posting about it might be of interest to new readers, plus it lets councilors know they are being watched.
    Another area getting much attention by councilors is their FB pages. No problem is too small for them to deal with.

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    #737498 Reply

    Ken Gray
    Keymaster

    Fed Up:

    I don’t doubt that you and many Bulldog readers agree on this.

    The sad part about these approvals is that the buildings are permanent. We are constructing Everywhere North America in Ottawa for decades to come.

    I’ve often joked that the City of Ottawa should contract out planning to the developers. After all, zoning doesn’t matter anymore, transit oriented development areas extend to Osgoode and Fitzroy Harbour so height is academic, and the developers always get what they want. No need for a planning department. We are no-zoning Houston of the north.

    I guess this is what planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder calls leadership. Giving developers exactly what they want. So if the city doesn’t want to plan, let’s give planning to the developers. They know what they want and they get it. Cut out the middle man. In fact, dump the planning committee, too. It doesn’t take a group of follow-me councillors to give developers exactly what they want. Save some money. Get rid of Harder and her gang of followers.

    Wny did city staff so adamantly stick to the Macdonald Parkway for the route of light rail when it obviously was not the best location?

    Because developers wanted to build TOD in the richest neighbourhoods in the old west end. Carling, by far the most effective route, didn’t have river views so the prices developers could charge for condos would be much less. The reasons that city staff gave for putting the line down the parkway were pathetic. It was a money grab … straight and simple. They even tunnelled the line down a park (at your expense, taxpayers) so developers could get what they wanted.

    And it will spell the end of neighbourhoods as we know them in Westboro, Hintonburg, Wellington Village, Westboro Beach, Champlain Park, Highland Park …

    When the last condo is built in the old west end in trendy Westboro, buyers will be the biggest suckers. For they want the ambiance of the old west end but that will be gone. They’ll pay for a trendy neighbourhood that doesn’t exist anymore. Just a jungle of high rises with shade and wind tunnels and infantile architecture.

    If we had a planning department, it could turn these neighbourhoods into something spectacular. Put in distinctive architecture that residents would want in their neighbourhoods. Preserve the old neighbourhood feel of Ottawa by putting condos in places where they don’t disturb precious neighbourhoods that make Ottawa feel so homey. Condos kill community.

    But instead we build Everywhere North America that is about as appealing as Houston and Topeka, Kansas.

    Ottawa is a great planning opportunity lost. Some leadership, Jan Harder. Leadership to Harder is doing whatever developers want.

    And the vast majority of councillors are but weak-kneed sheep who blindly follow the flock.

    I don’t know how they can sleep at night because they are so spineless.

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    #737530 Reply

    Ron Benn

    Two thoughts came to mind when I read your comment, Ken.

    First, planning implies leading. What we have in Ottawa is a group of well paid employees and elected officials that are following what the developers want. The truth in advertising laws need to be observed. I move that we rename the department and committee at issue the Reacting Department and Reacting Committee, respectively.

    Second, errors in predictions happen all the time. Weather forecasters fail to predict the snow squall that stalled traffic on the drive home. Economists miss the GDP growth rate for the year. The operating results of a public company don’t meet the guidance management provided last quarter. Share prices don’t reach the target forecast by the financial analysts. What differentiates these errors in judgment from the errors of city Reacting Departments, is the permanency of the consequence of the error. Most predictions are transitory. The consequences are seldom permanent. Yesterday’s forecasts are replaced with tomorrow’s. The when it comes to the errors made by the Reacting Department when predicting societal trends, such as transit ridership, automobile usage etc., the consequences are set in concrete, literally.

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    #737587 Reply

    F/Marre

    A small group of established homes off Tremblay Road have already been affected and informed at the last minute.
    It also will not end in Westboro. The Carlingwood area, Woodroffe North and Woodpark were not happy with the rezoning of Kristy’s. Wonder if any have realized that north of Richmond Road, from west of Woodroffe to McEwen Park, approx. 90% of the land is owned by Honda. Once LRT2 goes through, far too prime land to use to use as a car lot. I see condos, condos, condos. Voters in those areas might want to question the Bay Ward Councilor/Deputy Mayor on this issue. Although, since he said 2 terms only and will not be running, they should question whoever runs.

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