Kitchissippi councillor Katherine Hobbs has lost her bid to have the City of Ottawa pay the full cost of cleaning up a contaminated lot on Wellington Street West.
Hobbs had asked her colleagues on the city's finance and economic development committee to consider footing the bill for cleaning 1445 and 1451 Wellington Street West, near Island Park Drive.
Mizrahi Developments wants to build a luxury 12-storey condo building at the spot, but local zoning rules limited the height to nine storeys.
The province of Ontario has also changed regulations regarding the level of remediation for residential construction on brownfield sites, adding to the developer's potential costs and potentially making the project unviable.
Hobbs wanted the city to potentially pay 100 per cent of the remediation costs instead of what the city normally covers, which is no more than half the cost to clean up a property.
Hobbs argued the community is behind the project and said other developers have walked away from the property because of the remediation costs.
In a vote of six to five — with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson casting the deciding vote — the committee rejected the proposal.
Those councillors opposed to the plan argued changing the policy could potentially set a precedent for other developments.
The developer had argued at a public meeting last December that the building would have to be taller than currently allowed in order to pay for the cleanup of the site.