Community opponents of the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park say they agreed to a mediated settlement with the city with reluctance.
The city announced Wednesday it had approved a settlement that will remove mid-rise buildings from Holmwood Avenue, cap the heights of other buildings and provide added protection for the urban park.
The settlement, arising out of mediation with city staff, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group and community groups, would also cap residential development at 280 units, add some traffic restrictions, and set aside park space at Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue.
The settlement is contingent on the Glebe Community Association and the Old Ottawa South Community Association and other groups dropping zoning appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board. All but three appeals filed by individuals remain before the Ontario Municipal Board.
Bob Brocklebank with the Glebe Community Association said his group didn't accomplish everything they had hoped for, but said progress was made.
"People say about negotiation like this, if everyone is equally unhappy we've succeeded," said Brocklebank. "And so nobody is perfectly happy, but we're content that we've made some major improvements."
Old Ottawa South Community Association board member Brendan McCoy said in a statement his group likened the situation to a hostage-taking and said his group was still "tremendously unsatisfied."
"We were really in this to protect neighbours living in the immediate area, and according to the legal advice we received, the deal wasn’t going to get any better than this," said McCoy.
Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the ward, said he was pleased both the city and community groups were able to go to mediation.
"Some of the key concerns have been addressed, to at least the partial satisfaction of everybody," said Chernushenko.
Planning committee chair Peter Hume said the settlement was also about reducing risk for the city.
"When you're at an administrative tribunal you're never sure of the outcome," said Hume. "We can be assured now today of the outcome of the planning approvals."
A legal challenge by the group Friends of Lansdowne is also due to start in June.
The city maintains, however, that construction at Lansdowne is set to begin the same month.