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Mizrahi proposal

Mizrahi proposal

The words Houston, Texas send a shudder through people who care about their community.

That’s because Houston has no city planning. Just build it. And that’s what has happened in Ottawa.

Cynical residents have taken to expecting the worst here and usually get what they foresee. But this depressing situation was brought to the fore again by the machinations surrounding Mizrahi Developments’ project at Island Park Drive and Wellington Street.

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Contract Out Planning To Developers?



A person buys a house and discovers after the purchase that the land on which the house is located is contaminated.

Who pays for the cleanup? It’s let the buyer beware. The new owner.

If this individual (emphasizing the word individual) wanted special breaks from the city for the cleanup, would he or she get them (emphasizing the word special). Probably not.

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McKenney Metcalfe Deal Was Best Available



This is a comment from Bulldog contributor Nicholas who defends Somerset Councillor Catherine McKenny over her deal with the developer of 180 Metcalfe St.

The development will rise to 27 storeys when the area’s community design plan says 12. The CDP was overruled by a city council vote.

Here’s Nicholas:

In Councillor Catherine McKenney’s defence, she could have stood her ground and been out-voted anyway on 180 Metcalfe St.

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NCC Modernizes Planning Process

This is a release from the National Capital Commission:

The National Capital Commission (NCC) has developed new draft guidelines that aim to improve its land use and design approval process for projects on federal lands in the Capital Region.

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Developers Change Their Winning Game


Has the development industry over-played its hand in Ottawa?

The development industry and its friends on Ottawa City Council must not have played much tennis.

Had they, they would know the old tennis adage: Never change a winning game.

What do you want to do when you play tennis? Win (or if you are not competitive, at least get some exercise).

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Clean Up The Planning Department

Great Bulldog commenter Ron Benn sent along this note in relation to the post, City Hall Has Gone Native.

The underlying problem within the city’s planning department is quite troubling: the complaint by the developers is that they get conflicting requirements from within the planning department.

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The Return Of The Skyscrappers

Skyscrapper imitator Al "Scarface" Capone

Skyscrapper imitator Al “Scarface” Capone

Well lookie here. Golly Wally. Catch who is back on The Bulldog.

Why the Skyscrappers who are to urban planning what Al Capone was to his enemies.

The Skyscrappers haunt That’s a pretentious lot of people who think they know everything there is to know about how Ottawa should be built. And anyone who disagrees with them is a NIMBY and an idiot.

We should all defer to their expertise in idiocy.

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Jan Harder’s New Ottawa: Top 10 List



TOP 10 LISTPlanning committee chairwoman Jan Harder is certainly changing the built nature of Ottawa.

Yes under the Barrhaven councillor’s short reign, Ottawa will have its tallest condo near Little Italy … or at least what will be left of it when the commercial rents go sky high in that neighbourhood. Can you say strip mall?

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Concierge Plan Jeopardizes Lobbyist Registry




“In my six months here, I haven’t noticed that the larger developers are having any problem navigating city hall.”

Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum

Nussbaum was speaking to planning committee this week addressing the controversial concierge proposal that would see planning department employees assigned to individual developers to guide their projects through the city bureaucracy.

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Concierge Plan: What’s Up On That?

Hmmm. Wonder if the concierge plan will be raised?

This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The City’s Planning Committee will be meeting with the Planning and Growth Management team to review the department’s 2015-2018 work plan.

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City Hiring Concierges: Top 10 List




The City of Ottawa is considering appointing staff members to be point men (or women) for the municipality’s developers.

Dubbed the concierge program (though some are calling it the ambassadors program), it gives already powerful developers even more influence at Ottawa City Hall.

The Bulldog this weekend was leaked secret documents showing exactly what characteristics senior management is seeking in hiring its new concierges. Strangely it came out as 10 points.

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Does The City Have Too Many Planners?

cityhallsmallThe city said surface light rail on the Macdonald Parkway would cost $980 million.

Then when the National Capital Commission won the Texas Cage Death Match (only one bureaucracy leaves the cage alive) 100-day negotiations with the City of Ottawa (in which the city declared a victory of compromise) by getting its demand for a Macdonald Parkway tunnel, the Watson administration said the same light-rail line with a tunnel would cost $980 million …. again.

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Concierge Planning Offers Nothing To Taxpayers

ottawa logoThis is a comment from long-time Bulldog contributor Ron Benn concerning the new concierge system that will assign city staffers to developers to speed their applications through the civic bureaucracy:

The city planning department speaks its own language, to the point where outsiders cannot hold a meaningful conversation with them, as the terminology used by planners is unknown to the great unwashed.

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City, Developers Finally Get A Room

ottawa city hall - heritage

City hall is developing a concierge system for developers.

For years, wags around city hall have been saying that if the city got any closer to developers, they’d have to get a room.

Well guess what? They just got a room.

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“The communities have ambassadors and they’re called councillors.”


– Planning committee chairwoman Jan Harder on the new concierges who will serve developers and speed their applications through Ottawa City Hall.

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Gentrification: The Urban G-Spot

Where is one of the most sensitive spots in a city?

Why gentrification of course:

Ask city-dwellers to describe what, precisely, gentrification is you’ll get an array of answers. The term is a murky one, used to describe the many different ways through which money and development enter poorer or less developed neighborhoods, changing them both economically and demographically.

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Three Great Planning Strikes

cityhallsmallWhat neighbourhoods have been under the scrutiny of Ottawa’s planning department most.

This is no scientific tally but your agent would say probably Lansdowne (and the Glebe around it), Little Italy and the old west end.

Which areas are experiencing traffic problems recently?

Why Lansdowne, Little Italy and the old west end.

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Ottawa Keeps Making Huge Planning Mistakes

Little ItalyA businessman is travelling to Little Italy hoping to get a new client to buy his products.

Parking availability is horrible in Little Italy (by the city’s own admission in a recent report) and so the businessman decides to take the advice of the municipality and use the new bike racks to park his two-wheeler. He leaves the four-wheeler at home.

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