Zoning review offers glimpse of future city

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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.

Some help with pronunciation ...

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It has been brought to my attention that, four years into my role as councillor, some — okay, many — people are still wrestling with the pronunciation of my surname. So here's a handy guide:

\ cher-nü-ˈshen-kō \

That's the long version. The short version is in the right sidebar, just below my photo.

I hope this helps.

— David

Ottawa family hopes mural will solve their vandalism problem

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By Kelly Hobson, Ottawa Citizen

After the seventh time Laurie Kingston’s fence was tagged with spray paint this summer, her family was fed up.

“It was a collective groan about the work we were going to have to do,” said Kingston.

“It’s exhausting.”

Each time a tag appeared on their fence at the corner of Bronson Avenue and Fourth Avenue, Kingston and her family received a notice from the city.

“The city sends you a note and gives you a deadline to paint over it,” Kingston said.

“If you don’t do it by that deadline, they come and do it. You have to pay for the labour and the paint, so of course you do it yourself.”

Kingston and her family spent several hours painting the fence each time. Often the spray paint needed to be scraped off, or required a second coat of paint. Kingston and her family would wait until the last day of the city’s deadline to paint, knowing the tags would reappear overnight.

Exhausted and running out of paint, Kingston turned to Capital ward Coun. David Chernushenko. His office helped Kingston submit a mural proposal to the city’s planning committee, asking to waive the bylaw that prohibits murals on residential properties.

The planning committee, including Chernushenko, approved the mural at a meeting Tuesday.

More businesses for Bronson Avenue concerns residents

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More businesses for Bronson Avenue concerns residents
Bronson Avenue was reconstructed in 2012 and 2013 as an arterial road, but now a south-end community association president is worried the road's function as a traffic thoroughfare is threatened by a city plan to allow more businesses along Bronson's north end.

Downtown and south-end residents bemoan zoning changes – for different reasons

Laura Mueller, Ottawa Community News

A south Ottawa community association president is worried about the traffic implications of the city’s move to allow “traditional main street” buildings along the north section of Bronson Avenue — a major artery for motorists coming from the south end.

Hunt Club Community Organization president John Sankey says he was surprised by one of the changes in the massive citywide zoning review project: a decision to make the land uses along Bronson north of Bronson Avenue north of Gladstone Avenue conform to a “traditional main street” style.

His concern is that the change will eventually lead the road, which was just rebuilt in 2012 and 2013, to become a main street like Bank Street with slower traffic. Many Hunt Club-area residents use Bronson as a main route to drive downtown.

“This means it can’t be an arterial (road) anymore,” Sankey said. “If the land use changes, the street has to follow.”

But a city planning manager says the move doesn’t change the transportation function of the street.

“There is no discrepancy in my mind at all,” said Alain Miguelez, the city’s program manager for zoning, intensification and neighbourhoods. “The zoning is not doing anything to the roadway.”

While the zoning previously allowed mostly residential land uses, the city’s Official Plan – the bible for land use – already dictates the street is to have mixed-use buildings.

Changing the zoning to allow “traditional main street” uses, including small businesses and residential buildings of up to 20 metres (six storeys) makes it match that Official Plan goal, Miguelez said.