That's kind of funny. They copy-cut-pasted the existing building near Churchill to show what is allowed on the sites. It's even funnier because it's being done to demonstrate that their proposal has more open space than what existing requires and that their proposal allows for sun and light and views.
Here's the rationale for it (pp 21-22 of the planning document):
- Better access to light and sky for neighbouring residents;
- Elimination of the wall effect created by long buildings.
- Increase of on-site open space from 41% to 71.5% of the site area;
- Enhancement of the Wilmont and Winston streetscapes;
- Enhancement of the public pedestrian network, by providing a public walkway from the terminus of Wilmont Avenue, through the centre of the site, connecting to the multi-use pathway adjacent to the transitway;
- Reducing the number of lower level units overlooking neighbouring yards and homes, thereby protecting privacy.
- Minimizing the impact of shadows on neighbouring properties, by reducing the time that individual lots are in shadow.
- Facilitating the creation of more interesting building design from the
perspective of the future residents, neighbours and passers-by.
Over half of this is complete nonsense because... it's next to the Transitway trench, on the south side. Anywhere else in Westboro this kind of high-mindedness might have been appreciated, but here, really?
(1) is of no concern since there are no neighbours who are going to benefit from all this extra light and sun.
(2) might have been a selling point somewhere else, but again, here? From the perspective of residents south of the Transitway, a lower wall of buildings is probably preferable since it would act as more of a sound barrier that taller narrower buildings. Either is preferable to what exists, but from the narrow perspective of improving existing residents quality of life, a wall in this case would be better.
(3) same again - it's "open space" along a transitway trench. There's open space at the end of Scott in front of the other building that seldom gets used for exactly that reason.
(4) is a matter of opinion that has far more to do with building design generally than height specifically. A low building could be designed really well while a tall building designed really badly.
(5) is the first that I would actually agree with. The narrower buildings would make for a more pedestrian-friendly passageway through to the pathway than would buildings occupying more of the site.
(6) is just ... weird. Up to three, possibly four storeys, there's not a lot of potential overlooking anyway, whereas anyone above that can overlook (up to a point - after awhile people are so high they can't see anything too clearly). So this would move people from floors in which they can't overlook to ones in which they can. About the only thing that can be said for it is that slightly fewer neighbours will be immediately overlooked. This looks like a claim without any foundation in logic that is really going to piss people off.
(7) is essentially a repeat of (1) and it's just as daft. There is no one to shadow anyway since the Transitway is to the north. If anything, making it taller runs the risk of shadowing residents along Workman who would not be shadowed by a conforming building.
(8) has to do with design, not height.
I have to wonder if anyone actually does site-contextual sanity-checks of these claims before putting them into an official submission. You can't take principles of a general nature and apply them to a specific property without considering that property's context.
Perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. "Willis and Associates", who did the planning rationale, are based in a suburban home with a two-car garage and an impeccably-kept but otherwise featureless green front lawn backing onto the Ottawa River in Orleans:
The real beneficiary of all this extra height is the developer who gets to sell more high altitude condos with views of the river. For once I'd just like to see a developer be honest about what they're doing and why they're doing it. Is it really that difficult to be honest? Making stuff up about preserving views and sunlight when it so obviously doesn't apply to anyone who lives anywhere nearby at the moment is the kind of thing that just ticks people off. Why can't they just for once say "we want the extra height because it allows us to sell units higher up with better views; in this particular case we think the effects of that height are minimal because of ... and we're going to use some of that extra revenue for improvements like ..."?
Don't get me wrong here: I do actually support this. I think it's a good use of a site along the transitway, which is the kind location I have long argued should be used for intensification. What I don't support is that all-too-typical bogus / lame / asinine justifications and rationales trotted out to support it that do nothing other than inflame opposition.
One thing I think they should try to do is make the eastern access via an extension of Scott rather than via Winston Ave.
For its part, the City should also be moving Westboro Station to Churchill Ave (with another station at Island Park and a replacement for Dominion further west) as part of the LRT conversion.
Originally Posted by S-Man
Sigh.....Why do they have to insist zoning put in place in the 1970s when the city was half the size is set in stone, the great wisdom from the era of sensible, sustainable planning??
Why do people also insist everyone else drives everywhere? People won't continue to drive three blocks if it's jammed nd there is no parking anywhere. Do they think everyone will be a stubborn as them?
I realize lots of people will still drive, but once it gets to the point where it's not convenient, some will change their way. Usually the ones who bought there figuring it would be busy and a pain in the ass to drive.
The record of people who move into high-priced accommodations in Westboro with respect to subsequent transit use is not that good. Existing residents - the ones you seem to like to complain about by calling them "stubborn" - are far and away more likely to take transit than the high income newcomers who buy into condos and monster-sized semi-detached houses. In Westboro, there's a far higher chance that you take transit if you live in an older detached house bought many years ago than if you live in a new semi-detached infill or condo.
We see that in the Metropole, which is sitting right next to Westboro Station. CMHC did a case study on it a few years ago and the results for transit ridership are frankly pathetic considering where it is. The percentage who took transit was 28% compared to 18.5% in the CMA (2001 numbers, the CMA being Ottawa-Gatineau). While its transit use is nominally higher than the average (which is pushed down by the inclusion of Gatineau), it's actually a lower percentage than the entire suburb of Orleans. It also had lower walking (3% vs 7%) and cycling numbers (0% vs 2%). 59% drove compared to 65% citywide, with 10% in carpools compared to 7.5% citywide. There was even a slightly higher percentage of two-car households than citywide (38% vs 34%).
When a condo is added to Westboro, there's likely a small increase in transit riders from sheer numbers, but the semi-detached infill is, if anything, negative for transit ridership. Where there might once have been a homeowner of modest income in a bungalow or old cottage who used transit to save money, today there may well be two high income households full of car-drivers adding as many as 10 cars (really) to the neighbourhood.