Matthew Pearson, Ottawa Citizen
The future face of Ottawa became clearer Tuesday after the planning committee gave preliminary approval to the 2014 zoning review, a months-long effort to line up zoning guidelines with the city’s new official plan. The goal of the exercise is to reduce unpopular “spot rezonings,” create certainty for residents and developers alike and support the use of public transit.
It could also lead to fewer rezoning applications, which would mean faster approvals, planners say.
WHAT WAS THE FOCUS OF THE REVIEW?
Mixed-use centres/town centres (Barrhaven, Billings Bridge and Orléans) call for a variety of uses in proximity, such as housing, recreational, commercial, institutional or other employment uses.
Here, the recommendations are to cap building heights at 12 storeys (40 metres), require a minimum of four storeys for office and residential uses and change some zones to the MC designation to permit a broader range of use.
Traditional mainstreets (Merivale Road, Bronson and MacArthur avenues and Preston, Gladstone, Somerset, Dalhousie and Main streets) date to an earlier era, with buildings that are often small in scale and set close to the street. Pedestrians rule in this transit-friendly environment, which typically features commercial uses at street level and residential uses on upper levels.
Here, the recommendations are to continue to cap heights at six storeys (20 metres) and change some zones to TM or a TM subzone to permit a broader range of uses.