On Thursday, the City’s Planning Committee approved a zoning by-law amendment for the proposed Hazeldean Crossings development at 5924 and 5938 Hazeldean Road.

As residents may be aware, going into the meeting I was generally supportive of the proposed development, but  I had concerns about the potential parking reduction from 91 spaces to 76 spaces. I was prepared to defer the decision unless the parking issue could be resolved.

I voted in favour of this application, knowing that it would not be a popular choice for many neighbours in the Amberway community. But it is the right choice overall for Stittsville.  Here’s why.

The proposed townhome development replaces an empty lot with an abandoned gas station and will be a good addition to the housing mix in Stittsville. Given its proximity to well-established neighbourhoods, this proposal will be far less disruptive to residents than the mixed-use commercial centre previously considered in 2007.

Last fall, this proposal immediately drew the ire of neighbours, primarily on Victor Street. We hosted two information sessions at the Ward office last fall, and then a larger open house with the applicant and City planners. These meetings were packed, and we’ve received dozens of emails from residents. I’ve taken the concerns of residents and worked with City planners and the applicant to address these concerns.  For example:

  • Nearby condo owners in Amberwood wanted a higher setback – in other words, more space between existing homes and the new townhomes. The applicant agreed to this and made changes.
  • Victor Street residents were concerned about traffic safety, and the applicant has agreed to fund traffic calming measures.
  • Residents asked about a secondary entrance on Hazeldean. City transportation planners reviewed this and concluded that it would cause significant safety concerns. Victor Street has the capacity to safely handle the increase in vehicles using the street.

The last issue to be resolved was parking. The applicant is looking for 1 spot per home, instead of the zoning requirement of 1.2 per home. That’s a difference of 15 spaces.  We heard dozens of comments from residents that there should be enough parking provided for two cars.  On balance, it’s reasonable to allow the request to reduce parking:

  • We looked at the numbers. It turns out that not every homeowner in Stittsville owns two cars. There are comparable townhome developments in Stittsville, Kanata and Barrhaven where we are seeing lower car ownership – one or zero vehicles – and no significant parking overflow issues.
  • The applicant is providing more than the minimum visitor parking spaces.
  • The builder has also agreed to several additional measures to mitigate potential parking issues: bus passes for new residents, securing temporary overflow parking, and including parking restrictions in the purchase & sale documents.

I talk a lot about healthy development and better transit, and earlier this week our committee talked for 19 hours about this during discussions about our new Official Plan. One way that we’re going to achieve these goals is through careful intensification across the City, including Stittsville. Developments like Hazeldean Crossings on empty lots on Hazeldean Road are exactly how these goals can be achieved. 

I introduced a motion to confirm the agreements made with the builder to mitigate traffic and parking concerns.  The committee approved the motion with a unanimous 8-0 vote, along with the zoning by-law amendment. The proposal will be considered by City Council on May 27.

Item / Article: Zoning By-Law Amendment – 5924 and 5938 Hazeldean Road

Re: Direction to staff on transportation options

Moved by / Motion de: Councillor Gower

WHEREAS report ACS2020-PIE-PS-0042 recommends zoning changes to 5924 and 5938 Hazeldean to permit 76 stacked townhomes and ten back-to-back townhomes; and

WHEREAS the report recommends a reduction in parking ratio for stacked dwelling from 1.2 space per unit to 1.0 space per unit; and

WHEREAS the Ward Councillor has identified community concerns relating to the proposed parking reduction and its potential impact on the availability of on-street parking;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Planning Committee recommend Council direct staff to work with the applicant to achieve the following ahead of subsequent site plan control approval:

    1. The applicant must provide a letter of intent to secure off-site parking spaces to be made available to condominium owners for overflow parking on such terms as the applicant may determine;
    2. The applicant must obtain approval of the detailed design for traffic calming on Victor Street;
    3. The applicant must provide transit passes to all its residents for a period of one year; and
    4. The applicant must include a clause in all purchase and sale agreements, and a notice on title, advising purchasers that each unit only comes with 1.0 parking space.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that pursuant to the Planning Act, subsection 34(17) no further notice be given.