Ottawa City Council set to approve redeveloping church property with affordable housing

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ottawa’s municipal Planning and Housing Committee has approved a zoning amendment to facilitate redevelopment of the Julian of Norwich Anglican Church site at Merivale Road and Withrow Avenue with 84 affordable housing units.

City council will review the committee’s recommendations and is likely to approve them at today’s (June 25) meeting.

The church building would be replaced by an eight-storey building that has 57 residential units, along with new church and office space on the ground floor, the committee decided last Wednesday (June 20).

Three-story townhomes would surround the new building, with 15 two-bedroom and three-bedroom dwellings planned along Rossland Avenue and another 12 four-bedroom units facing Withrow Avenue.

The amendment would establish an Arterial Mainstreet subzone across the site to permit the proposed uses. It would also reduce required parking and establish setbacks to ensure enough space is provided between the townhomes and the right-of-way to allow additional parking.​

In other business, the committee approved zoning to facilitate development of six high-rise buildings southeast of Carling Avenue and Clyde Avenue North, on the site of a former Canadian Tire store. Two buildings would face Carling Avenue, at heights of 28 and 30 storeys, and a 40-storey building would face Clyde Avenue. Three buildings, with heights of 18, 20 and 24 storeys, would be located to the rear of the site. Four of the buildings are planned for rental and two for condominiums, with about 1,715 dwellings in all.

A plaza is proposed at the corner of Carling and Clyde, which would lead to privately owned public space central to the site, and ultimately to a quarter hectare of future City parkland to the southwest.

The amendment would increase permitted height from nine to 40 storeys, consistent with Official Plan policies that support higher density and high-rise development at this location. Construction would only start after the completion of planned sanitary sewer upgrades in the area, scheduled to begin in spring 2025.

Meanwhile, in Kanata, the committee approved zoning for a nine-storey building northeast of March and Maxwell Bridge roads. The building would have 390 residential units and ground-floor commercial space. The amendment would establish a General Mixed-Use parent zone to permit a range of residential and non-residential uses on the site, and a maximum height of nine storeys (32 metres).

The committee also received an update on residential development indicators for the first quarter of 2024 and the year to date. The city granted land use permissions via Official Plan and zoning amendments for 1,264 dwellings in the quarter, 69 per cent fewer than in fourth quarter of 2023. The city approved 3,252 dwellings through plans of subdivision or condominium and applications for site plan control, minor variance or severance, which is on par with figures from the previous quarter.​

To help address the housing crisis, council committed to providing home builders enough opportunities to build 151,000 quality market homes by 2031 — or 15,100 per year. If council approves, the land-use permissions that the committee recommended will help put applicants in a position to build 2,189 new dwellings in Ottawa.

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