Ottawa City Council sets new rules to restrict tall buildings on small lots

1950 scott rendering
1950 Scott rendering

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ottawa’s city council last week approved new rules for the development of high-rise buildings in the city.

The new language in the Zoning By-Law limits how small a lot needs to be to accommodate buildings 10 storeys or taller, and sets minimum separation distances in three areas. The aim of the new language is to prevent towers from blocking light and views of the sky and to ensure building occupants have privacy.

Council approved an increase in permitted height for a site at 1950 Scott St. in Westboro, where a 21-storey residential high-rise is proposed at the corner of Clifton Road. While the Official Plan recommends a six-storey height limit on this section of Scott Street, greater height can be permitted if the development is located near transit. This site is only 150 metres from Westboro Station.

Council approved changes to development application fees approaching 19.2 per cent to ensure the city recovers the cost of reviewing and processing applications. The revised fee structure will ensure that development applicants pay for the services they use, the city said in a statement..The city will hire seven staff with funds generated by the revised fees. The added staff will help the City better meet target timelines for development review.

City council confirmed that residents of the Stonebridge community will vote later this month on whether to pay a special levy to buy the Stonebridge Golf Course from Mattamy Homes. The developer withdrew its original development application for the golf course and will instead apply to develop 158 units on a portion of the site. Mattamy has agreed to operate the golf course for another 10 years and not develop the land if the 198-acre property is purchased by the City on behalf of the Stonebridge community.

To comply with provincial law, the City would buy the golf course. After collecting the special levy to cover all costs for the purchase, totalling $7 million, the City could then transfer the land to the local community group for a nominal amount to operate, or return to greenspace. Alternatively, the golf course could be leased to the community group. Affected property owners in the Stonebridge area should check their mailbox for a mail-in ballot in the coming days.


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