The City of Ottawa has received a Zoning By-law Amendment, Plan of Subdivision and Plan of Condominium applications for the property at 37 Wildpine Court. The proposal is to build 27 two-storey townhomes and two semi-detached homes. Thanks to residents who have shared feedback with me and City staff so far. Here are some answers to some of the common questions we’ve received.

 

Why is Ravenscroft planned to connect to Wildpine?

We have heard concerns about potential negative impacts from increased traffic and speed should the new street be connected. If the roads are to be connected, we will seek ways to address these concerns and implement safety measures from day one.

The plan to connect Wildpine Court to Ravenscroft Court dates back to when Stittsville was still part of Goulbourn Township several decades ago, when development was first approved for Wildpine and Ravenscroft. Both streets end in a cul-de-sac today.

From a services perspective, there are benefits to having one connected street rather than two cul-de-sacs. It creates a more efficient route for emergency vehicles, garbage pickup, snow clearing, school buses, deliveries, etc.  It also would give Ravenscroft residents access to the  the traffic lights at Stittsville Main & Wildpine, to allow for easier turning in and out of the neighbourhood.

Property ownership is another factor that needs consideration in the final design of the street. The cul-de-sac turnaround on Wildpine is on the private property of the 37 Wildpine owner. Its current use as a public street was meant to be temporary. The cul-de-sac turnaround at Ravenscroft is technically a large property parcel owned by the city. Instead of such a wide expanse of pavement, is there a better use for that large public space—for example, a small park?

 

 

Are they allowed to build on the floodplain?

No, they are not allowed to develop on the floodplain or on the wetland. No part of the proposed development is on the wetland or the floodplain.

In addition, the development must also be at least 15 meters from the wetland, which is being followed in the proposed plan. Another requirement is that development must be set back 30 meters from the top of the Poole Creek bank. One of the zoning by-law amendments requested is that four of the units be located 28 meters from the bank. This reduced has to be reviewed and approved by the City of Ottawa and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority.

These environmental restrictions mean that even though the entire property is 2.05 hectares, they are only developing on 0.564 hectares—or just 27% of the total land.

 

 

How many trees are being lost?

There are currently 197 trees on the property. 42 are proposed to be removed; and 155 would be retained. All of the removed trees are on the footprint of the development itself.

There would also be approximately 25 new trees planted in the front yards of the new properties.

 

 

What is a Construction Management Plan?

I am working with city staff to pilot a “construction management plan” as part of the site plan approval process. This would require the builder to clearly outline items such as the timeline for work, a contractor parking plan, co-ordinate roadcut and reinstatement work, and address common issue such as blasting/excavation, tree clearing, road reconstruction, landscaping, etc.

The construction management plan would be part of site plan, and have securities attached to it—essentially a deposit from the developer that they would forfeit if the plan is not followed. The intention is to provide residents with more assurances and clearer communication to reduce disruption during construction.

 

 

Why are they changing the zoning?

The site is currently zoned Residential Third Density Zone, Subzone XX, Exception 1046, (R3XX[1046]), which permits detached homes, semi-detached homes, townhomes, and planned unit developments among other uses. The exception denotes a maximum density of 40 units per hectare.

Townhomes are permitted here, so the changes they’re requesting include increasing the amount of units they can build (23 as-of-right versus 29 proposed*); changing the size of the lots; and changing the distance of property line setbacks from the buildings.

It’s normal and common for landowners to ask for small adjustments to the zoning based on the distinct properties of their land. Every lot is different, and a city-wide zoning code can’t anticipate all conditions. Tweaks to setbacks and lot sizes are often requested and are subject to review.

The other amendments proposed are to do with various setbacks (distance required between buildings and property lines) and lot size. The applicant is requesting reduced in response to how the development is configured around the wetlands—for example, the four lots closest to the wetland boundary have reduced front and backyards. The reduced setbacks involve new properties within the development. None of the reduced setbacks requested border existing properties on Ravenscroft or Wildpine.

*Note this is based on the maximum of 40 units per hectare, which is calculated on the land being developed (0.564 hectares)—not the total property (2.05 hectares).

Map showing the proposed development and the required floodplain setbacks from Poole Creek and the wetland. Click for full size.

 

Is there enough parking?

The applicant is required by the zoning by-law to provide at least one parking space per unit, which they are doing. In addition, they propose 4 additional visitor parking spaces—even though this is not a requirement.

 

What’s next in the process?

The City is holding a statutory public meeting on December 6 at 6:30pm, via Zoom. This is a great opportunity for residents to learn more about the project and provide their feedback directly to the developer and city planning staff, who will be in attendance.

After gathering comments from the public and our office, the city’s planning staff will send their comments to the developer to refine the proposal. With some back-and-forth, the developer will release a revised plan that could either involve substantial changes or just small tweaks. This part of the process can take several months.

Once planning staff are satisfied with the design, the proposal will go to Planning Committee for approval. The Planning Committee meeting is open to delegations from the public who wish to speak on items up for consideration. If approved by Planning Committee, the proposal would then have to be approved by City Council. If approved, and with an approved site plan, the developer could then begin construction.

 

More information & share your feedback

More information about the proposal is available on the City’s DevApps site…

You can share your questions or comments by using the “Send Feedback” link on DevApps or by contacting planner Kathy Rygus at kathy.rygus@ottawa.ca or (613) 580-2424 ext. 28318. You can copy glen.gower@ottawa.ca.