23-storey condo project at 1050 Somerset West to go ahead
OMB settlement clears path
By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen October 17, 2012
OTTAWA — Claridge Homes can go ahead with plans to build a 23-storey condominium at 1050 Somerset St. W. after settling a challenge from the Hintonburg Community Association.
The builder and the community group reached the deal just before they were to begin a hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board on Wednesday, according to the community association. The building is still to be 23 storeys and can include the same number of units, but the site is to include some additional parking for Devonshire Public School next door, room for a day care affiliated with the school, and adjustments to the traffic plan to keep cars away from a laneway used by Devonshire students.
Two weeks ago, the community association held a fundraiser to put together $20,000 to $30,000 to fight the development, but two days of negotiations on the eve of the OMB hearing produced the settlement instead.
“We have acted on the advice of our lawyer and planner, who after working on this case for several weeks, advised that we had a very low chance of winning a decrease in height or density at the OMB hearing as a result of late developments in the case,” the community association wrote in a statement. “They have advised us that the combination of concessions being offered is very significant, and worth several million dollars.”
Claridge vice-president Neil Malhotra, who’s been dealing with the project, confirmed the details. “It’s moving forward,” he said of the project.
City council approved the zoning for the project earlier this year, but the community association appealed the decision on the grounds that it violated the spirit of an existing design plan for the neighbourhood. A corner of the lot Claridge intends to develop is covered by the plan, which sets six- or seven-storey limit for what’s supposed to be a gateway to Hintonburg just west of a bridge over the O-Train tracks; Claridge’s building is designed so that it meets that limit on the one corner, but the rest of the building is much taller.
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