Community updates

At the recent AGM, councillor Egli shared some updates regarding parks, developments in Fisher Heights

At the Annual General Meeting in September 2022 Councillor Egli brought updates to several community issues.

780 Baseline Road (Lone Star Plaza)

The proponent of the780 Baseline Road redevelopment has bought a second house, 9 Hilliard, to accompany his previous purchase of 7 Hilliard. The adjacent properties, which abut the 780 Baseline property, are to be used as a construction staging area if the project is approved, and will then become a city park.

It is not clear where the funds to equip the park – which could include a play structure, benches and/or picnic tables, perhaps a basketball half court – will come from. Will that be funded by the developer as part of that project, or from direct city funding, or from the parks-in-lieu funds that accumulate in the ward and citywide? He said this proposal will not advance to Planning Committee until 2023.

Park improvements consultations for Gilbey and Parthia

As mentioned in the November 2021 community association newsletter, federal infrastructure funding has been approved to replace play structures in Gilbey Park (in 2023, value $161,000) and Parthia Park (in 2024, value $160,000). The funding is guaranteed, but can only be used to “renew the active play elements in the park,” the city says, not add new ones. Community consultations are to begin this fall for Gilbey Park and in fall 2023 for Parthia Park.

Councillor Egli said that replacement of Fisher Heights Park play structures is slotted for 2024, but this funding is not guaranteed as it must be included in the city budget, along with competing park priorities.

Fisher Heights Islamic School

The Islamic School has found sufficient funding to proceed with the full exterior cladding of the addition. This will improve considerably the appearance of the building. But occupancy is still a long way off, as after all exterior construction is completed, funds must be found to do the major work in finishing the interior – ceilings, walls, plumbing, electrical work, painting, furniture, equipping the science lab, construction and equipment of the gym floor and so on.

56 Capilano (Land at Curling rink)

The 56 Capilano development proposal is scheduled to go to the city Planning Committee on Oct. 27. councillor Egli shared that the proponent has negotiated an agreement with a social housing provider where it will operate the building after construction and will provide its specific recommendations regarding elements of the zoning amendment and if that is approved, the site plan.

Lone Star Plaza meeting with Riley Brockington in park

Susan Paul informs us that there will be another meeting with Riley Brockington, this time in Lexington park…at Fisher/Malibu. Bring a chair.  Monday July 25 at 7pm, yes that is July 25.

He will respond to stuff brought up in first meeting, according to Susan, the lead contact person for the push back against the development as it is proposed. 

Online petition

If you have not signed the on line petition against the zoning proposals for Lone Star Plaza on Baseline and Fisher, here is your chance: https://www.change.org/p/ottawa-communities-against-rezoning-proposal-at-780-baseline-road

Not monitoring social media

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT FHACA IS NOT MONITORING SOCIAL MEDIA, WE ONLY USE IT TO GET THE WORD OUT. IF YOU LIKE TO HELP US OUT (WE ARE ALL BUSY AFTER ALL INCLUDING YOUR FHACA BOARD) PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING THE BOARD IN SEPTEMBER. We are looking for more people to follow developments, for people to run a park committee, for people to run a Halloween event (ideas welcome) and board members at large.

Kids Movie night

Our Kids movie night returns this year. Please follow our newsletter (fhaca.ca) for updates.

1996 Carleton Heights secondary plan covers part of Fisher Heights

There was an error in the story regarding the proposed redevelopment of 780 Baseline Road, the so-called Lone Star Plasa.

The original story stated: “The current Official Plan allows buildings up to 30 storeys [on the site]; the new OP allows buildings up to 40 storeys.”

That sentence ignored the existence of a 1996 secondary plan for Carleton Heights. The story now reads:

The city claims that the current Official Plan allows buildings up to 30 storeys; the new OP allows buildings up to 40 storeys,

Secondary plan for Carleton Heights

However, a secondary plan for Carleton Heights (between Fisher and the Rideau Canal-River, south of Baseline), outlining detailed land uses, was approved in 1996. Before amalgamation in 2000, the Ottawa-Nepean border ran along the rear property lines of the houses on the west side of Fisher and the south side of Baseline. Hence part of the site was in Carleton Heights and was included in the secondary plan. This is the rationale behind the some what strange idea that land west of Fisher Ave falls under the Carleton Heights secondary plan.

The area was identified as a minor shopping area with residential of “medium” density, namely predominantly row housing from 150 to 248 persons per hectare, and apartment buildings from 248 to 300 persons per hectare, “subject to certain height restrictions.”

This designation extended along Baseline to Marson, the first intersection west of Farlane.

The project seeks to build 875 apartment units. Assuming for an example that each apartment will house 2 people, that density is 1,225 persons per hectare.

During preliminary discussions the city considered that this secondary plan applied to the project. Subsequently, however, according to the city planner on the file, Laurel McCreight, the city’s “Policy Team” determined that “an Official Plan Amendment [regarding the Carleton Heights secondary plan] is not required.”  That decision was “based on some text amendments to the Secondary Plan that is being carried over into the New OP. There is wording in the Secondary Plan that states that mid and high-rise buildings are permitted subject to an appropriate transition.  This transition must be demonstrated in the zoning by-law materials.”

Therefore, the city’s position is that the 30/40-storey height limits apply.

The correction will also be noted in the next issue of the newsletter.

Development updates near us

Development updates in and around Fisher Heights, South of the Experimental Farm:

Note: these articles were published earlier in our newsletter that is delivered door to door in Fisher Heights. Some articles are slightly adjusted.

Residential listing hints at commercial use

A potential zoning issue is highlighted in the Realtor.ca listing (as of May 28) offering for sale a house on Deer Park Road at the northwest corner of Meadowlands.

The house is the side split model common in the neighbourhood, built in 1961.

The asking price is $829,900 , but a reference in the listing states that its location, as a corner lot abutting Meadowlands, makes it “prime for future commercial zoning (to be verified).”

Continue reading “Development updates near us”

Plans unveiled to transform Lone Star Plaza

Plans unveiled to transform Lone Star Plaza into three towers and retail over the next ten years.

[This story has been updated to correct an error. See the separate webpage (coming soon) that discusses the correction.]

A developer has unveiled a long-term plan to transform what is known at the Lone Star Plaza 780 Baseline Road at Baseline and Fisher, over the next 10-12 years into a primarily residential, high-rise complex. The developer is Joey Theberge of Theberge Homes — http://www.thebergehomes.com/

The project as seen from Baseline in a south eastern direction

Coun Egli hosted a community Zoom meeting May 18, advertised in his weekly newsletter and through the FHACA email list of FHACA members, in which about 10 residents participated.

Continue reading “Plans unveiled to transform Lone Star Plaza”

Open house 1509 Merivale Road mid rise proposal – February 24, 2022

The mall that’s gonna go (pink roof building)

As you are likely aware, the Ottawa official plan has been approved by City council. It is now on the (provincial) Minister’s desk and community organisations are approaching the minsite with further changes. The plans means that over the next decades we will likely see changes starting to happen in our neighbourhoods such as infill and a bus corridor, more highrises (and way more traffic).

Continue reading “Open house 1509 Merivale Road mid rise proposal – February 24, 2022”

Road reconstruction nears end, on schedule

50-plus-year-old trunk sewers (sanitary and storm) and watermains along parts of Hilliard, Farlane and Wallford Way replaced. Wrap up next spring. @KeithEgli

Nothing beats the fresh smell of a new layer of asphalt!

The major reconstruction this year of several streets in the community is on schedule and has faced no unforeseen issues, writes the city’s supervising engineer, Kevin Gibbs (Kevin.Gibbs@ottawa.ca). “The project is currently on track to meet the project timelines,” he writes. “We do not anticipate any major unforeseen problems at this time.”

The work involved replacing 50-plus-year-old trunk sewers (sanitary and storm) and watermains along parts of Hilliard, Farlane and Wallford Way. The project began last year, with similar work occurring on parts of Deer Park, Millbrook and Hilliard.

The last phase of the 2020 work, the final paving of the three streets, was recently completed, and landscaping on those streets was completed earlier this summer.

“The bulk of the remaining underground and road work will be completed this fall, including any remaining concrete sidewalk work, with construction operations winding down after the end of November 2021.”

The rebuilt 2021 streets will receive an initial paving this fall, but the final asphalt, and landscaping, will be carried out in 2022. “Those activities are expected to resume in May and wrap up in June, based on the contractor’s current schedule, although some work could extend until the end of July. These construction operations are generally of shorter duration and less disruptive than the underground construction work was this year.”

Draft Official Plan might effect Fisher Heights too

If you want to read more on retrofitting suburban development, this is a great book (available at the library)

Fisher Heights residents Corey Peabody dove head first into the official plan and sent us some feedback. Note this is a combination of cut and paste from several on line documents as well as some of her own comments crafted into a beautiful webpage :-). It is not like we will become the next Hintonburg (coffee roasters anyone?), but times they are achanging.

What is the Official Plan & why is it important?

The new Official Plan, once approved, will be the City’s primary planning document to guide growth and redevelopment in Ottawa for at least the next 25 years. The draft new OP must be based on the requirements of the Province’s Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. The new OP will also inform other City master plans to ensure that services such as water, roads, parks, green space and transit are available to support the new development.

Where can I find the documents?

The main portal for this is here https://engage.ottawa.ca/ and the document library is here 

I would like to warn you – the Draft Official Plan document is 263 pages long and one of the most impenetrable and difficult to understand documents I have ever dealt with.

Where are we in the consultation process?

Individual Feedback

The first draft was released on November 20 2020. The city is asking for feedback by February 17 2021. Because the draft document is so complex, the city has thoughtfully provided no less than 21 one-pagers and feedback forms on subjects of interest. They can be found here. While the one-pagers are definitely very helpful briefs, the problem with the bite-size info and sending comments on those is that you get the feeling that you are missing the real show. But do comment! 

Community Feedback

For well over a year, a group of community organizations, including CAFES, Ecology Ottawa, City for All Women (CAWI), Greenspace Alliance, Healthy Transportation Coalition and Just Food, have been meeting under the label People’s Official Plan (POP) both at a convener level and at a residents’ level through organizing large consultative workshops. The first was at the Bayswater Innovation Centre, the second at Nepean Sportsplex and most recently on Dec 12 2020 we met in a well attended on-line workshop looking at the Draft OP and 15-minute neighbourhoods.

Residents have until Feb 17, 2021 to comment on 21 one-page summaries on specifics sections of the OP, such as Housing, Employment, Parks, Water Resources and Climate Change, to name a few.

If you want to say more than what’s on the feedback forms, you can also email these Ottawa staff: charmaine.forgie@ottawa.ca; Alain.Miguelez@ottawa.ca

Three reasons I think this is more important than ever

Intensification

Intensification is the emphasis of the new OP. And there is very little land being taken in along the edges of the City for new urban expansion (as seen in newspaper articles the past two days). So intensification will have to happen from within.

Transit corridor – evolving neighbourhood

We live in an area that is bordered by Baseline Road that is going to become a major transit (bus) corridor. Our neighbourhood has been classified as “evolving” in the new OP which means “expected to gently evolve from a suburban to a more urban form of buildings and site layouts”. We are also nearby to the triangle lands behind Loblaws (which extend to Myers Motors land beside St. Augustine’s Church) which are classed as “transforming” lands which means “areas expected to undergo significant development”.

Rezoning

I took the City’s “Planning Primer” course yesterday evening (that is offered for free by the City) and discovered that some older neighbourhoods that are currently zoned R1, that are near transit lines (that’s two ticks for our neighbourhood) could be re-zoned to become R4 neighbourhoods that would allow three storey, six-living-unit buildings on certain parcels of land (likely street corners). This is how the City could meet its intensification targets, by providing additional housing space near major transit corridors but at the expense of established R1 neighbourhoods.

The Zoning by-law will also be re-written. (So could this be an opportunity to voice our concern about allowing commercial cube trucks to be stored in driveways? (I digress….)

I realize that many of these decisions may have already been made, but I think it is important to be informed as to what is happening or could happen in your neighbourhood. And while (apparently) change is good, knowing it is coming is better than being surprised by it!

Corey Peabody

This is the web location of all the OP documents; the one page summaries are here as well as a feedback form for each:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan

And this is the link to all the documents library:

https://engage.ottawa.ca/the-new-official-plan/widgets/36458/documents