Councillor, Capital Ward
As fall approaches, the activity at City Hall (or over Zoom) starts increasing. Committee and council meetings are starting up again and we’ve got a lot of big issues to deal with in the coming months. We have big planning and development files coming to the Planning Committee, as well as important transportation issues going to the Transportation Committee for approval.
Civic Hospital Update
Earlier this summer, our office released our concerns about the proposed development of the new Civic Hospital Campus. Years ago, the location in the Experimental Farm next to Dow’s Lake was chosen as the site of the campus, even though Tunney’s Pasture was identified as the optimal location.
We are concerned about the loss of greenspace, the loss of mature trees, the amount of parking and the poor transportation planning that has gone into the current proposal and we know a lot of you have the same concerns. We’ve received your emails and seen you at multiple demonstrations.
If this development is to go ahead, we need to make sure these issues are properly addressed. So far, they haven’t been.
The proposal will go to Built Heritage Sub-Committee and Planning Committee on the same day – October 1, 2021. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to register to speak.
New Official Plan Updates
The joint committee meeting to consider the final report for the new Official Plan (OP) has been moved from September to October 14, with the final plan going to Council on Wednesday, October 27. In addition, there will be a Public Open House on Wednesday, September 29.
This change is due in a large part to your advocacy and it gives more time for community members to present and prepare delegations. The proposed revisions to the OP are posted in track changes on the city’s project webpage (engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan/news_feed/revised-draft-new-official-plan-release) as they become available, with the final revised draft to come later this month.
Glebe Height and Character Study
The Glebe Height and Character study has been ongoing for the past few years. It stems from a number of development decisions during the last term of council that ignored zoning rules in the neighbourhood as buildings were approved.
This lot-by-lot, privately planned pattern of development approvals was no way to build up a city or a neighbourhood, so throughout this term of council we have been working with city staff, the community association and local stakeholders to create a thoughtful plan that can be enforced by the city and defended if appealed. The plan will establish the height and depth of development along Bank, Chamberlain and Isabella streets.
This has been a long process and we expect the staff proposal to be released soon for public review, before going to the Planning Committee at the end of October and then to council in November for final approval.
Our office will keep residents and the community association up-to-date as this process continues.
Fall isn’t just the return of city council meetings, it’s also the return to school, with more kids expected back in person this year than last. To ensure a safe back-to-school, we have been working with staff and community members to make safety improvements to our school routes.
We have made changes to parking regulations along Fourth Avenue by Mutchmor and Corpus Christi schools. We have also implemented a pedestrian crossover (“PXO”) mid-block between Mutchmor and the school field. In addition, we are looking at a raised crosswalk and speed humps on Fourth for safety improvements in 2022.
Finally, staff have agreed to review the intersection of Bank and Fifth to determine if a second crossing guard is needed. We put in a permanent crossing guard at that intersection two years ago, but they can’t be on both sides of the intersection, so we are hoping for a second crossing guard to ensure it’s safe to cross, no matter which direction you’re coming from.
Residential Speed Area
East of Bank Street, we’re looking at further traffic calming improvements to help students walking to First Avenue Public School and everyone else in the neighbourhood. We have implemented traffic calming measures on O’Connor and the various cross streets. In addition, we have asked for a four-way stop at Third and O’Connor. This is a need that has been identified by residents and has been supported by the traffic data.
In September, we are bringing a report to the Transportation Committee to implement a 30 km/h Residential Speed Area, similar to what has been implemented west of Bank Street. These zones have helped reduce traffic speed and the severity of injury, making our streets safer. City budgets mean we can’t do the entire ward at once, but we are working towards our goal of implementing these 30 km/h Gateway Speed Zones in all residential areas throughout the entire ward this term of council.