Suddenly, Bayview Station CDP doesn’t look so bad

The City’s (in)famous Bayview-Carling CDP process has been sputtering along for a very long time. In January, the City cut it into three segments, each their own CDP. Rather like the myths about worms, does each section have a heart and ability to keep on wiggling? Interested observers can trot off to Tom Brown Arena this Tuesday evening to see the purported “final” draft of the Bayview Station area plan. You can send your doppleganger to the Albert Street reconstruction open house being held the same night at the Dalhousie Community Centre. Since the two projects overlap planning areas, it … Continue reading Suddenly, Bayview Station CDP doesn’t look so bad

Free advice, worth every penny

On Tuesday I spoke to Planning Committee about the 801 Albert project. Here is what I said:  My name is Eric Darwin and I am here on behalf of the local Dalhousie Community Association. I want to draw your attention to how we access the building. In the past, most tall buildings were downtown; pedestrians used the existing sidewalks; motorists used the existing roads. Outside the downtown, new developments had a traffic impact study that focused on road traffic, as most people came and went by car. This traffic impact study looked at accessing the site and at impacts several … Continue reading Free advice, worth every penny

Will Council give equal space to pedestrians?

The City engineers have  voluminous tables of how much space to allocate to motorists. They use these all the time, requiring developers to provide turn lanes, traffic signals, and road widenings, at the developer’s expense, as a required part of the building approval process. Yet we are seeing more and more new buildings with minimal parking, which means lots of dependence on pedestrian access to the building. These people have to move to and from the building on the sidewalks. Yet I don’t recall the approvals of the new high rises on Parkdale, or Preston, or Carling, or anywhere else, getting into the … Continue reading Will Council give equal space to pedestrians?

The shadow knows, heh heh heh

Dark shadows are of the common concerns about proposed high rise buildings: “How will it affect my house?”  Or, as more commonly expressed: “It will block all my light all day!” Earlier this week I heard an interesting factoid from a major developer, who said his proposed tower, a fairly thin one of 7500 sq ft floor plate, would not cast a shadow on any one place for more than one hour a day. Hmm, certainly sounds disarming. I wonder if there is any fine print? [of course, additional towers will collectively throw more shadows, as will slab-shaped buildings, or a a tall building … Continue reading The shadow knows, heh heh heh

City’s tallest office towers proposed for west side

Phoenix DCR is going to Council in August seeking rezoning of the parcel of land known as 801 Albert Street. They are proposing a 34 storey office tower; a 31 storey office tower, and a 7 storey office tower. Currently, the tallest office buildings in Ottawa are Place de Ville at 29 stories and Place Bell, both in the downtown core. The parcel of land they propose to build these on is right across Albert Street from the existing Bayview transit station and the adjacent OTrain station. The triangular parcel of land is immediately north of the 8 storey City … Continue reading City’s tallest office towers proposed for west side

Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

The City has been sporadically doing up a CDP (Community Design Plan) (which is a plan of dubious effectiveness under the Official Plan) for the O-Train corridor running from Bayview Station to Carling Avenue. Residents frequently ascribe its tardiness to a desire on the part of the City to see all the developable land purchased and rezoned before the plan is drawn up. In that way, the city won’t have to continually amend it. The City is committed to having CDPs done for all the stations along the OLRT. Having seen some of the in-progress ones I’d have to say they are better than nothing.  At least they … Continue reading Sim-City model: Bayview-carling CDP

What should go at street level? (part ii – the bad)

I wrote this post last week for www.SpacingOttawa.ca, you should have read it there! It got a number of responses so for this version of it I have corrected and clarified some things. There are also more pictures, because that is the WSA style! Thank you for reading. __________________________________________ What should go at street level? Large property development firms are seldom compared to little domesticated birds. But in some ways they are canaries in the coal mines of the urban streetscape. And the song these messengers sing is not a cheerful tune for downtown pedestrians. Consider this not-so-old  downtown condo: … Continue reading What should go at street level? (part ii – the bad)