Four-storey Glebe apartment proposal shot down

on .

By Laura Mueller, EMC News

 A long-debated proposal for a multi-unit building at 174 Glebe Ave. was rejected by city council on Aug. 29.

The developer, which is listed as 174 Glebe Ave. Ltd., was proposing a four-storey structure that is a storey taller and slightly larger in mass than the existing building, which is already much larger than most of the surrounding homes.

City planners did not support the rezoning and councillors on the city's planning committee agreed and rejected the development. City council followed suit on Aug. 30.

That decision will likely go to the Ontario Municipal Board, which will reconsider the proposal for a four-storey (13.23-metre) apartment building with 17 units and 20 parking spaces in one level of underground parking. The property currently contains one large three-storey residential building which was originally two separate houses built in 1915 and joined by an addition in 1975.

The councillor for the area, Capital Ward's David Chernushenko, said the proposed rezoning didn't make sense.

Although the proposal has been under consultation for months, the developer hasn't budged, Chernushenko said.

One Glebe resident, Valerie Lasher, told the planning committee the new building would tower over its neighbours.

Even more worrisome for Lasher was the possible impact of construction on neighbouring homes, some of which are more than 100 years old.

Jeff Polowin, a lawyer representing the developer, said part of the issue is that the city's planning staff has been inconsistent in their position regarding the proposal.

"Staff has been all over the map on this," Polowin said.

He emphasized that what the developer is proposing to build is "much more palatable" than what could be built under the existing zoning.A 47-unit seniors' residence would be allowed under the existing zoning, for example.

"While this density is permitted and while the proposed development to remove the current building and construct a new 17-unit apartment will result in a reduction in units, adding to the building envelope in height and mass is considered to be inappropriate," a city staff report reads.

The architect, Jim Colizza, echoed Polowin's comments.

"You can't compare this (proposed) building to what you would get under the bylaw," Colizza said. He said if he designed an unattractive "box" as the current zoning allowed, the developer wouldn't have had to go through any consultation or rezoning process.

"If you turn it down, you put (the developer) in a position of spending tens of thousands of dollars to fight the city (at the Ontario Municipal Board), or to build something the neighbours really aren't going to like and make more money," Polowin said.