Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Busy day on the Lansdowne front! The OMB has dismissed the remaining three appeals of the special by-law that paved the way for the redevelopment plan. In part, the appellants were challenging the project on the basis that it didn't coform to the City's own zoning rules, or its Official Plan. Here's how the City resonded to the OMB ruling:
Ontario Municipal Board Rules in favour of Lansdowne Redevelopment
Ottawa - The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) today released its decision on the appeal of City of Ottawa By-law 2010-329 which approved the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park. The OMB dismissed the appeals and approved the by-law as amended to reflect modifications agreed upon in the mediation sessions with the BIA, the Community Associations and the Holmwood Residents Group and later ratified by Council.
The mediated settlement was the result of significant effort, a willingness to work together and goodwill on all sides during the mediation sessions. "Reaching this mediated settlement with key stakeholders from the area marked a turning point in the City's working relationship with the community on this important project and today's decision is another step forward," said Deputy Mayor Eli El-Chantiry.
The Board found that the Amended Zoning By-law is in conformity with the Ottawa Official Plan and consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement. The Board's ruling released today stated that the amended zoning is "considered to be in the public interest and based upon good planning grounds so as to make the Proposal fit with the surrounding community." (Page 19)
"We are now one step closer to making Lansdowne a place the whole city can enjoy and be proud of," said Planning Committee Chair, Peter Hume. "With a favourable decision from the OMB, an important condition directed by Council in November 2010 has been satisfied, allowing work to continue in advance of final site plan approval."
In dismissing the appeal the OMB made the following findings:
"The process has been fulsome.....The Board finds the City zoning planning process to be in accordance with the Planning Act." (page 11)
"The effect of By-law 2010-329 is to rejuvenate a blighted area of the City and to restore it to its grandeur. A gated community as it is now will be opened to the Community nearby and the Community at large. The planning concepts well known across the Province of sustainability are hard at work in this case. The goal is to live, work and play in close proximity in a complimentary manner. Throughout the process there have been modifications so that the proposal will fit in terms of compatibility and design. The amendments sought in this hearing and granted are but a part of the continuing planning process. For all of the reasons given in the decision, the Appeals of the Appellants... are dismissed." (page 19)
On April 13, 2011 the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) and two community groups, representing nine appeals, reached a significant mediated settlement. This compromise resulted in changes to this project that includes:
ü Elimination of mid-rise residential buildings along Holmwood Avenue
ü Reduction in the height of the residential tower at Bank and Holmwood
ü Restrictions on vehicular access to Lansdowne from Holmwood Avenue
ü Collaboration between the City and community groups on traffic and parking issues
ü A cap of 280 total residential units
This past May, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) heard the remaining appeals, filed by three individuals. The three remaining appellants pursued their challenge of the Lansdowne zoning by-law related to land use planning matters including conformity to the City of Ottawa Official Plan.
With the conclusion of the hearing, the Board reviewed the evidence tendered and rendered its decision earlier today. The final decision of the OMB dismissed the appeals and gave approval to the modified zoning by-law.