Thai embassy office plans not welcomed by Ottawa neighbours
Plans to replace Island Park Drive home with modern office need city approval
Plans to tear down the Royal Thai Embassy on Island Park Drive and replace it with a modern office building have a group of neighbours upset.
Ambassador Pissan Manowapat said the current home is too small for the seven diplomats and eight staff members.
Thai diplomats want to replace it with a two-storey office building that would also have an underground parking garage.
But Stephen Roeske lives behind the embassy, and said an office building will destroy the architectural integrity of the neighbourhood.
He and 20 neighbours are fighting the proposed building.
"It's quite a bit bigger than it is now and it will fill up the entire property and we're concerned about any precedent-setting changes to the zoning they want to do," said Roeske.
City, NCC approval would be needed
But since then the street, home to many luxury houses, has been rezoned residential.
The embassy will now need rezoning approval from the city to build.
Local councillor Katherine Hobbs said the Thai government has already accommodated neighbours in keeping the building two storeys, but said as a result the building would take up more space on the lot.
As Island Park Drive is a federal parkway, the embassy's plan also needs design approval from the National Capital Commission.
The Thai diplomats are meeting with residents Tuesday night to go over their plans.
Ambassador Pissan Manowapat is hopeful the community will support the changes.
"Our objective is to enhance the good neighbourliness of the community while at the same time we want the best and most beautiful building to represent Thailand," he said.