A proposal for an eight-storey building in the Glebe is coming under fire from the area's councillor and residents who worry the development's height is out of step with the traditional main street character of the area, and could set a precedent for more taller-than-allowed buildings on Bank Street.

The project, which already has the backing of the city's planning staff, will be discussed at next week's planning committee.

'This project is not compatible with the traditional main street zoning, nor with the existing character of the street.' - Coun. David Chernushenko

The proposal calls for a 160-unit building for seniors to replace a Beer Store and Mister Muffler. The building's main floor would be reserved for commercial tenants, including a new Beer Store.

The developer is asking for a number of changes to current rules, including permission to build to a height of 26 metres instead of the prescribed 15 metres, and to build closer to the sidewalk than planning rules allow.

"This project is not compatible with the traditional main street zoning, nor with the existing character of the street," Coun. David Chernushenko stated in his written comments submitted with the planning report.

'Massive presence'

Although he allowed that the proposed retail along Bank improves the streetscape "in some small ways," Chernushenko said the project "fails in a number of much larger and fundamental ways."

Environment committee chair David Chernushenko

Coun. David Chernushenko says the 8-storey building proposed for Bank Street is out of character for the Glebe's traditional mainstreet zoning. (CBC/Kate Porter)

Chernushenko's main issue is the "massive presence" resulting from the proposed height. In his written comments, he pointed out that a community-wide initiative completed in 2016 recommended preserving a 15-metre height limit.

He also wrote that council "formally acknowledged" that the "taller-than-normal" buildings at nearby Lansdowne Park were an exception, not a permanent change to the zoning rule book.

Local residents also expressed their displeasure with the project, and more than 500 people have signed an online petition opposing the project.