A battle has surfaced in Ottawa East that could have an impact on all Ottawa neighbourhoods. Leading the charge is a group of Ottawa East residents who have applied for a zoning amendment to protect the residential nature of their area.
In June, an application for a zoning amendment was submitted to the City of Ottawa for the area north of Clegg between Colonel By and Main Street in Ottawa East. The application was made after several area residents learned that the residential zoning of their neighbourhood wouldn't prevent such uses as a convenience store, community centre, offices or medical facility going in next door.
Ottawa East is an established inner city residential area that is well served by community and commercial uses on Main Street and the Central Area. However, the new city zoning bylaw, approved in 1998, would allow certain residential developments to include these non-residential uses. The irony is that the new bylaw is purportedly based on principles that are intended to maintain neighbourhood character.
The issue lies with regulations that apply to planned unit developments which allow a limited range of commercial and community uses, referred to as “ancillary uses” or secondary uses, that are not generally permitted in the city's residential zones. While the regulations specify size and location, they don't include conditions that adequately protect adjacent residential properties from the potential impact of these uses.
The fundamental question for residents, particularly those in the inner city, is whether these “ancillary uses” are appropriate and compatible with the existing residential character of the neighbourhood. The answer to this question for some residents north of Clegg Street is `no', and as a result the city has been asked to amend the zoning to delete these regulations for their Ottawa East neighbourhood.
The public consultation process is underway this fall, and it is expected that a recommendation will be made by the city planners to the Planning Committee in early December 1999. If you have any questions or comments, would like further information about this issue, and how it could be applied to your neighbourhood, contact the city planner, Gordon Harrison at 244=5300 ext. 3868, or the councillor for your area (Jim Bickford).