Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment for 127 Presland Rd.
(Former Convent for Les Soeurs Franciscaines Missionnaires de Marie)
What is being proposed for the 127 Presland Road site?
Group Lepine applied to the City in June, 2010, for a zoning change to permit building a 307 rental unit apartment complex consisting of two 8 story buildings at the east and west ends of this site, to be connected by a centre section stepping down from 6 to 4 stories. In January, 2011, following discussions between Groupe Lepine and the City Planning staff, this initial application was modified slightly, with permission now being sought to build an apartment complex with a 9-story tower at the east end of the site, and a 8-story tower at the west end, connected by a centre section stepping down from 6 stories to 4 stories in the middle. This revised proposal now calls for the addition of a new 4 story wing with “terraces” facing Presland Road, with a 3 meter setback from the street. A total of 307 rental units are still being proposed for this site.
How is the site currently zoned?
The site is presently zoned I1A (Minor Institutional), which only permits an institutional building such as a school, church, retirement home or residential care facility with a height limit of 11 meters. The current zoning for the area surrounding the site is: R4N for the area immediately east encompassing the adjacent 4-story apartment building on Presland; R3M for the area immediately north which faces Prince Albert St. and which is entirely single family homes; and R3N to the area immediately south which includes the townhouses on Presland Rd. The height limit for all three of these areas is 11 meters.
What change to the zoning has the developer requested?
Groupe Lepine has asked for a rezoning to R5B, which covers low rise to mid-high rise apartment dwellings. They have asked for an exception to that zoning which would allow for buildings of up to 29 meters in height (the developer says that the extra meters are to allow for higher ceilings). The revised application adds an extra story (from 8 to 9 stories) in the proposed east facing tower, with the west facing tower remaining 8 stories.
Will the zoning be site-specific (i.e. will the developer be free to build anywhere on the site up to the 29m limit, or will there be individual height limits for each part of the complex)?
The existing application asks that the entire site be covered by the 29m exception, but city staff have indicated that they could suggest a site-specific height exception in their recommendation to the city’s Planning and Environment Committee.
How will parking be handled?
There is no surface parking provided in this proposal; 303 spaces will be provided in a 2-level underground parking garage. Approximately 240 of these spaces are for residents, with some 60 units to be reserved for visitors.
How will vehicles get in and out of this development?
A new dedicated intersection with full traffic control signals connecting this development to both the north and southbound lanes of the Vanier Parkway is being proposed at Presland to replace the existing pedestrian traffic signal. The existing cul-de-sac on Presland will be shortened and blocked off – i.e., there will be no vehicular access between the rest of Presland and the new complex. The existing pedestrian crosswalk will be absorbed in this new intersection.
What concerns have been identified regarding this proposal?
Residents in the area have continued to express various concerns regarding this proposal, including: the height of the two towers (8 and 9 stories or 29 meters) relative to that of the surrounding area; the excessive density of the project and the rental nature of the units; traffic concerns related to adding a new vehicular access to an already traffic-clogged Vanier Parkway, and especially one to be used solely for this development; and the fact that the scope and scale of this development is not compatible with the nature of the surrounding neighbourhood.
What is the process for amending this zoning by-law?
This revised proposal will now be considered for decision by the City of Ottawa’s Planning and Environment Committee on April 26, 2011, at 9:30 AM in the Champlain Room at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue. A number of comments were submitted by Overbrook residents and the Community Council of Overbrook (CCO) on the initial and revised proposals for this site; only those who provided oral or written comments are entitled to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. Further information on this application may be obtained from Melanie Knight at: 613-580-2424, ext. 28439, fax: 613-560-6006; e-mail: Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.