Condo approvals dominate council meeting

Four new proposed condominium developments received the go-ahead from city council Wednesday during its final meeting before the summer break.

Lobbyist registry, ending equestrian park lease also approved by councillors

Council's final meeting 1:37

City councillors passed a number of motions during their final meeting before the summer break.

Among them were several condominium developments and re-zoning applications for condos. The approved buildings are:

  • A 27-storey tower at 96 Nepean St. in Centretown,
  • a 23-storey tower at 1050 Somerset St. W. in Centretown,
  • a 30-storey tower on Preston Street at Syndney Street in Little Italy,
  • and an 11-storey building at 222 Beechwood Ave., near Beechwood Cemetery.

Coun. Diane Holmes represents Somerset Ward.

"I think the one on Nepean is the seventh development in a very small space," she said. "We're going to have canyons, there's going to be very little light, almost no streetscaping.

"We can put in density, density is fine," Holmes said. "But not at this kind of extreme height."

Coun. David Chernushenko, representing nearby Capital Ward, said he fears some neighbourhoods will lose their character.

Mayor Jim Watson voted in favour of the developments. But he said an upcoming review of the city's official plan should provide a more clear direction for future growth.

"We want to come together with a plan," he said, "that the public have confidence that there's some predictability in their neighbourhoods."

Wednesday's approvals coincide with a condo boom in Ottawa.

27 horses to be sold

Councillors also decided not to renew the city's lease of the Nepean National Equestrian Park from the National Capital Commission.

The therapeutic riding program will be extended to October with the hope that it can move to another location. But the city will have to limit the number of horses from 32 to just five.

An official note was made instructing city staff not to sell the horses for meat or to glue factories.

City councillors also approved the creation of a lobbyist registry and an integrity commissioner to oversee that registry.

Ottawa has become the second municipality in the province to require lobbyists to record their meetings with city officials.

The registry sets out to clearly distinguish between lobbying — for example, a developer who meets with a councillor to discuss a planning approval — and advocacy, such as the president of a neighbourhood group who meets with a councillor to discuss improvements to a park.