Richcraft Homes owns some now-vacant properties on Rideau Street East, a ‘traditional mainstreet’ whose future development is currently under review since the City of Ottawa decided to ‘update’ the 2005 Uptown Rideau Street Community Development Plan (CDP). In a scenario that will be familiar to Sandy Hill residents Richcraft have recently proposed a 14-storey building in an area now zoned for 6. The latest development is that somehow, before one group of city employees completed their work on the Rideau East CDP, another group of staff in the planning department recommended approval of this incompatible proposal. On July 7th this was duly approved by Planning Committee despite opposition from ASH and the Lowertown Community Association.
The impact of this decision goes far beyond that of a single property; it affects all others on Rideau Street East. If ultimately approved, it would destroy the Community Development Plan and its mid-rise vision before it is ever debated at City Hall.
ASH Response on 560 Rideau (24 April 2015)
- City of Ottawa web page for the current Uptown Rideau Community Design Plan (Jan 12, 2005)
- City of Ottawa web page with current public consultations on updated CDP (2014)
- ASH President Chad Rollins Interview on Uptown Rideau CDP, CBC Radio’s ‘All In A Day’ (July 7, 2015)
- Ottawa Citizen article and readers’ comments (July 4, 2015)
No one in this area wants to see a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity squandered to build a sunny, pedestrian-welcoming Rideau Street that fulfills the vision set out in the CDP. ASH opposes this application and a petition against approval has been launched. This is why:
- Community development plans are created so that residents and builders know what to expect for their communities, and with the expectation that such plans are respected. The Richcraft proposal doesn’t meet the requirements of either the current CDP or the new draft CDP.
- Allowing a high-rise building on such a shallow site will have huge negative impact on the privacy and light of adjacent properties. We have seen recent examples of this further west on Rideau. The City’s guidelines identify required transitions from high-rise to low-rise development; residents also want these requirements to be respected.
- Excavations for three levels of underground parking in this area could have catastrophic effects on the rubble-stone foundations of numerous heritage properties in near proximity. (Consider the damage done to the bldg at the corner of Cobourg and Besserer by City excavations simply to put in new water mains). The current engineering report states this concern, but no proposal for how this will be mitigated has been made.