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  #1  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 10:54 AM
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WaterStreet | 14.5m | 5 fl | U/C

not sure how the Forum has missed this proposal from Claridge for a fairly substantial-sounding mid-rise development in the NE-corner of Lowertown. Just heard about it on the CeeB, and it seems that this is another instance where the Lowertown community is being abandoned by their new rookie councillor; this time, because his pops apparently works for Claridge so he is in a conflict position to represent the Community's interest (not sure what the conflict was when he couldn't represent the community's interest on the King Edward file, but that's another thread).

Anyway here is the summary from the Community Association:
Quote:
No-ReZone-Non

Claridge has acquired more land and increased the total footprint and size of the building it proposes to build. Claridge is amending their first proposal from an 8 storey and three townhouse development, with separate back yards, to one Bruyere-to-St.Andrew "T". They have gone from 101 units to 108. The deal remains conditional on the city approving rezones for height (from 14.5 to 16.5) and setbacks across several axes (the front, and chunks of the side).

The City will notify Will Murray when the proposal has been submitted, along with the latest time lines. He will forward these documents to you. In the meantime, do not hesitate to continue your individual efforts to contact the Councilor and Chairman Hume about your thoughts on the City's chaotic planning processes and how Claridge intends to unilaterally alter our neighbourhood. We remain strongly opposed to the proposal to rezone this section of land between Bruyere and St. Andrew streets in Lowertown East, demolish existing lowrise housing for about 20 families and build this block of enormous block condominiums with more than 100 units.

The proposed development ignores Ottawa city guidelines for this residential zone; is out of scale and out of character for the community; represents a level of overdevelopment of a site that is not compatible with the neighbourhood; would decrease street awareness and community connectedness in an area where street level vigilance is essential to neighbourhood safety.

It continues to misrepresent the sun shadow effect for residents along Rose, St. Andrew and Cathcart as well as on Bordelau Park through late autumn to early spring; raises environmental and infrastructure concerns due to increased building mass, traffic, increased people and decreased open space. We encourage all concerned residents to contact their councillor, the mayor and especially the members of the planning committee:

Contact your city councillor and members of the planning committee

Mayor Jim Watson

Read our submission. In addition to this group submission a number of individuals submitted their own letters focussing on individual concerns

You can also read a draft of our latest newsletter which will be distributed to residents of "The Wedge"

Current Bruyere Task Force contact info:
We expect to be adding many more names to this list very shortly. At the moment the key contacts are:
Will Murray - 274bruyere@gmail.com
Jodi Murray - jodi.murray@blood.ca
Ian Burgess - itburgess@rogers.com
John Chenier - john.chenier@gmail.com

Heritage matters

Four of the oldest buildings in the Wedge are threatened with demolition. Only after Claridge proposed its multi-storey condo tower did the community became aware that the affected houses on Bruyere and St Andrew were not protected by municipal heritage designation. The attached report (Lowertown East - Our Disappearing Heritage) outlines the significance of these buildings, in particular, their links to the working class French, Irish and Jewish communities unique to Lowertown East. It notes that only 10% of Lowertown East heritage buildings remain, largely due to the large scale "urban renewal" destruction in the 1960s and 1970s. The report also provides several options to the City and to Claridge to save or to incorporate the threatened buildings. Your comments, questions and thoughts about the options are welcome.

Please direct them to the heritage contacts:

Marc Aubin - m_s_aubin_esq@hotmail.com
Nancy Miller Chenier - nancy.millerchenier@gmail.com

http://www.bruyere.cathcartmuse.com/
and the PDF with the Community Association's detailed position on the proposal:
http://www.lowertown-basseville.ca/documents/BSRTF.pdf
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 11:03 AM
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not sure how the Forum has missed this proposal from Claridge
Assuming this proposal was off the Forum's radar, and not just mine, of course!
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 11:25 AM
reidjr reidjr is offline
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Only in ottawa would people get worked up over a 8 story building.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by reidjr View Post
Only in ottawa would people get worked up over a 8 story building.
you should get around more Reid, this does not only happen in Ottawa.

Anyway, some thoughts on the details of the building:
- why would fewer than 110 units need 150 parking spaces?
- this seems like an ideal location for a "Vancouver style" taller point-tower on a street-fronting townhouse base instead of a single T-shaped 8-storey block, which sounds like it would be quite massive on that very confined old streetscape.
- I've said it before, but is there any lot in this city that Claridge isn't trying to develop (before they make much of any progress towards finishing their sections of Beirut Lebreton Flats)?
- If this is the scale of development that goes into this little residential island-in-the-arterials (with several other potential development sites apparent), have the brilliant traffic engineers at the City ever given any consideration to how all of these potential residents will get in and out in the future? e.g. walk to the market? given their actions on crossings of King Edward, etc.

UPDATE: Kathleen Petty interviewed Councillor Fleury and a member of the Community Association:
- turns out the proposal has changed to 5-storeys, but sounds like it would be more massive than the 8-storey block would have been (no surprise there)
- Councillor Fleury is estranged from his dad who works for Claridge, which, IMHO, puts the good Councillor in a tough spot, since he can't be engaged on any development in the City (where every development is a Claridge development), all because of a non-existant relationship some guy who happened to sire him. In the meantime, his family's dirty laundry gets aired around fora like this by jerks like me ;-)

Last edited by McC; Jun 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM. Reason: more news
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  #5  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 12:51 PM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is offline
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Fantastic site for this project, looking out over the park and the river. Not surprised that it seems to have gone from 8 to 5 stories.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 2:06 PM
reidjr reidjr is offline
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Sure it happens in other citys but not nearly as much as in ottawa if some got there way the city would have a height limit at 2 floors.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 2:09 PM
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As long as it's not in a predominately bungalow neighbourhood.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 2:40 PM
Ottawan Ottawan is offline
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Originally Posted by reidjr View Post
Only in ottawa would people get worked up over a 8 story building.
This is well put.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 2:45 PM
Ottawan Ottawan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McC View Post
Just heard about it on the CeeB, and it seems that this is another instance where the Lowertown community is being abandoned by their new rookie councillor; this time, because his pops apparently works for Claridge so he is in a conflict position to represent the Community's interest (not sure what the conflict was when he couldn't represent the community's interest on the King Edward file, but that's another thread).
There hasn't been too much that has come to my attention about Councillor Fleury for me to make a judgment about his performance one way or the other. However, I do feel one should take a more respectful tone - vitriolic or demeaning retoric such as calling him a "rookie" (what's wrong with new blood), "pops" (demeaning), "abandonment" (you need to back up the other examples of this before accusing it) and alleging conflicts of interest causing wrongdoing are not appropriate in informed debate.
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 3:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Ottawan View Post
There hasn't been too much that has come to my attention about Councillor Fleury for me to make a judgment about his performance one way or the other. However, I do feel one should take a more respectful tone - vitriolic or demeaning retoric such as calling him a "rookie" (what's wrong with new blood), "pops" (demeaning), "abandonment" (you need to back up the other examples of this before accusing it) and alleging conflicts of interest causing wrongdoing are not appropriate in informed debate.
Except for using "pops" as a colloquial synonym for "father" everything I wrote is informed, and a long way from vitriol:

1) He is a rookie councillor, it's his first year on the job, being rookie is a fact, how the reader interprets the word is for him or her.
2) He was accused of having abandoned his constituents in this case: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Ra...599/story.html
For perspective of members of the Community Association, see www.kingedwardavenue.com
- I am not alleging that he is in a conflict of interest, the Councillor recused himself from any involvement in this development because of the potential for a conflict of interest (he sought an opinion and followed it); while such accountable action is to be commended, it is also a HUGE problem for Rideau-Vanier constituents, since how many active, planned and proposed projects does Claridge have in this ward, and Rideau Vanier constituents will have no representation in any issues related to them.
UPDATE: some details here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Fa...560/story.html

Last edited by McC; Jun 28, 2011 at 5:47 PM. Reason: added the link to today's Citizen article.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 3:22 PM
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Originally Posted by reidjr View Post
Sure it happens in other citys but not nearly as much as in ottawa if some got there way the city would have a height limit at 2 floors.
google a phrase like "neighbours oppose 8-storey development" and and skim through the results, it's like taking a trip around world in just a few pages.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 4:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reidjr View Post
Sure it happens in other citys but not nearly as much as in ottawa if some got there way the city would have a height limit at 2 floors.
Oh yes it does... sometimes worst! Have you lived in an other city? Montreal is crazier for this.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 5:14 PM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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At least Montreal can build tall downtown. As long as it's not as tall as Mont Royal. Wish we had a Mont Royal!
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 5:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
Fantastic site for this project, looking out over the park and the river. Not surprised that it seems to have gone from 8 to 5 stories.
The proposed building has indeed gotten shorter (8 to 5 stories) but it has also become much more massive. Whereas the original proposal called for an 8-story building on Bruyere and a separate much lower structure facing St. Andrew, the new proposal is for a single structure that spans across the block, taking up an extra lot on St. Andrew. The number of units has not dropped at all.


The development documents are here:
http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__7BT61G
http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__7BT6B2
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 5:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
The proposed building has indeed gotten shorter (8 to 5 stories) but it has also become much more massive. Whereas the original proposal called for an 8-story building on Bruyere and a separate much lower structure facing St. Andrew, the new proposal is for a single structure that spans across the block, taking up an extra lot on St. Andrew. The number of units has not dropped at all.


The development documents are here:
http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__7BT61G
http://app01.ottawa.ca/postingplans/...appId=__7BT6B2
Thanks for the link, looking at the "perspectives" on the title page, and on Page 2 here: http://webcast.ottawa.ca/plan/All_Im...02-10-0100.PDF, it's not too ugly, and doesn't seem too oppressive... (of course the perspective of those "perspectives" is from a fair distance away, not from the sidewalk).

It's funny that Claridge couldn't acquire the rights to the vacant lots on either side at 310 and 346 Bruyère, it's hard to believe those lots would be worth more to anyone other than Claridge for inclusion in this project?! Did someone get greedy and hold out too long? Was Claridge lowballing? Absentee owner who doesn't even know what's going on next door? those are the stories I always crave to hear!

Last edited by McC; Jun 28, 2011 at 5:41 PM. Reason: typos
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 7:22 PM
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I lived for 3 years on St. Andrew, in the block immediately west of this proposal, and I'm not surprised Claridge is eager to develop this site. Bordeleau Park is a largely undiscovered/underused gem and is contiguous with the parkland northward at Rideau Falls and New Edinburgh. Good views from the Bruyère side of the building. If I were still a resident, there's no way I would oppose this building; the area needs improvement! (Attention developers: there's a surface parking lot across from 292 St. Andrew.) What's a shame is that they're not tearing down the heinous 70s welcome-to-my-garage (carport) townhouses on either side of the St. Andrew facade.
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Old Posted Jun 28, 2011, 8:10 PM
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The quote from the community association makes it seem as if the whole neighbourhood is an untouched museum exhibit of period buildings, when Google Streetview says that isn't the case. There are original - old, but not architecturally stunning or unique - homes in the area, as are there 1950's walkups and even more hideous 1970's vacuum cleaner garage entrances posing as homes. A real housing mix - far more mixed than areas of Lowertown on the other side of King Edward.

The absence of landscaping makes for a more open feel to the area, too. I don't think the 5 storeys proposed for this area is inappropriate (especially the jut-out next to the garage homes), but I will agree that it is 'different' and 'new', which translates into 'incompatible' and 'out of character' in community association-speak.

This didn't seem to be a problem when non-architects entered the community in the 50s and 70s and put up those ugly dives.
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2011, 12:38 AM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is offline
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Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
The proposed building has indeed gotten shorter (8 to 5 stories) but it has also become much more massive. Whereas the original proposal called for an 8-story building on Bruyere and a separate much lower structure facing St. Andrew, the new proposal is for a single structure that spans across the block, taking up an extra lot on St. Andrew. The number of units has not dropped at all......
Yes, I was not implying that the height reduction was a good thing, only that it didn't surprise me.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 29, 2011, 12:43 AM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is offline
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Originally Posted by McC View Post
.....
It's funny that Claridge couldn't acquire the rights to the vacant lots on either side at 310 and 346 Bruyère, it's hard to believe those lots would be worth more to anyone other than Claridge for inclusion in this project?! Did someone get greedy and hold out too long? Was Claridge lowballing? Absentee owner who doesn't even know what's going on next door? those are the stories I always crave to hear!
I could be wrong, but isn't the remnant of land at the corner of Rose St city property? At the other end "346 Bruyere" is the land that I understood had been set aside for a future Iraqi Embassy. If not, I don't understand why it has not been developed either.
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2011, 1:40 PM
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Deferred

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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
I could be wrong, but isn't the remnant of land at the corner of Rose St city property? At the other end "346 Bruyere" is the land that I understood had been set aside for a future Iraqi Embassy. If not, I don't understand why it has not been developed either.
Could be (although, IIRC, 346 looked awful small for an Embassy property)? I was just going by one of the site plan documents that showed both as "Vacant Lots."

Anyway, this has been deferred by Planning Committee until August:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/mobile/...799/story.html
Quote:
Claridge proposal for Lowertown delayed due to city councillor’s conflict of interest
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The rezoning application for 316-324 Bruyère St. and 371-321 St. Andrew St., where Claridge Homes wants to build a T-shaped, five-storey apartment building, was deferred Tuesday to a planning committee meeting in August.

Residents’ groups who oppose the project argued at planning committee for the delay after being told last Thursday that their City Hall representative, Councillor Mathieu Fleury, cannot speak on their behalf because he has a conflict of interest.

Fleury’s father, with whom he has a distant relationship, works for Claridge. Fleury recently obtained legal advice that states he is in a conflict of interest in any issue that involves Claridge while his father still works for the developer.

Lowertown community groups wanted a longer deferral, but the planning committee gave them until Aug. 15.

Barrhaven Councillor Jan Harder, who is the vice-chair of the planning committee, will stand in for Fleury to help the groups argue for changes to the proposed Claridge development
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