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Summary from Aug 21 Community Town Hall on proposal - 3484 and 3490 Innes Road by Lépine Development

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

for more information about planning process (including signage notification).

Please excuse typos and formatting!

Opening comments from the Councillor:

The overwhelming conversations that they've been having and feedback that has been received is that we're not opposed to development in general, but rather the aspects of this particular project:

- the scope/size of this project is of concern

- whether it fits in our existing community

- whether the size of the buildings dwarf the surrounding buildings in our area

- does this project calls for the addition of nearly 1500 parking spots and what that means for our existing infrastructure

- what the traffic and density will do to our area.

- was brought to her attention only last week that Francis Lepine, the lead on this project, will be leaving on vacation very soon for a month or even longer, so the Councillor wanted to have this meeting now.

- the purpose of this town hall is so that we can provide our feedback to the developer before he leaves, and to the city planner, which the Councillor's staff was compiling.

- Imperative that we get in front of this development before it moves any further along in the process.

- Road infrastructure in the east end has not kept pace with development, this project is adding nearly 1500 vehicles, 1490 parking spaces to such a small block radius

- This area was never meant to deal with this kind of volume and density

- Cannot go ahead without major infrastructure investments

- Development does not include any  investment in transit solutions

- City investing $8.5M park and ride to take rides to the $2B LRT Blair station.

- In her time on Planning Committee/Council, she has seen a number of development cases that are not dissimilar to this, and in many if not all of the cases, the developer has come back and recognized that the density is going to cause conflict in the community. And they will come back with major infrastructure investments.

- They have made allowances for infrastructure needs, expanded arterial roads, built transit infrastructure as part of plan, added new bus routes...none of which are in this proposal.

- The 94 route that runs along Innes is already overburdened.

- Stressed that this is NOT about being opposed to development, but development that is being sensitive to the local character and makeup of our existing community, and that the community is benefiting, and that there is infrastructure that is coming with it that will accomodate the size. 

- A proposal of this sized being plunked down into a field without any consideration of adding infrastructure or the solutions that will help us adapt to it, is completely unacceptable.

- She wants to take the feedback back to city staff so our voices are heard before this goes any further.

Q&A from residents and residents’ comments

1. What is the timeline from the time they announced the building and the time we have to respond... the fact that M. Lepine is going for a month, is that going to impact this?

Councillor: It is before the city planning dept which will provide the feedback to the developer. Dates associated with the process, that's why she wants to be urgent with this.

2. So what exactly are those dates? Councillor: The planner is taking the feedback and providing to the developer within days/weeks, and developer will come back with amendments or pursue the same plan. The planning committee has not received a firm date (audience member interjects that it is in the document, October 10). The councillor says this date can change as the planners ruminate over the feedback and the fact that M. Lepine is going on vacation. Get out in front of this before it gets to next phase.

3. Has Lepine actually bought the land?

Councillor: From what she understands from second hand information through the city planner, they are in agreement with owners of land, if the land is rezoned, they will go ahead with the purchase. (Audience member indicates that Patterson still owns the land).

4. The traffic study is erroneous. It does not take into consideration the traffic from the new development [Caivan]. The numbers [traffic counts] they provide contradict their OWN numbers. Their estimates for phase 1 is 96 cars/hour, but if you do the math on the map, it adds up to 65.

Clarifies that the developer has applied for an exemption to get ONLY 1492 parking spots where it's recommended that it's 1.4 per unit (this exemption is 1.1), so the overflow of vehicles are going to park on the surrounding side streets. Originally zoning proposed was light commercial, then bait-and-switched to 8 towers, 16 floors each, etc... They knew what they were doing. 

5. In early spring, audience member visited Caivan model homes and the salesperson pretty much guaranteed there would be high-rises. Another Caivan homeowner said there were already highrises on the rendering of the area in June 2018.

6. 100 parking spots are for visitors, outside where the commercial area is. Another audience member reminds us that this is exactly what happened with the Chapel HIll Retirement Residence where not enough parking was built. Buttonfield, Page, etc... became the overflow parking.

7. Audience member asked to cut to the chase, ask the people in the room who is in support of this development: One person.

Councillor: this is also an opportunity too, knowing that the east end is going to develop, that if there's anything about what they are proposing, for instance the rental, if we had someone who approached us for affordable housing,... get out in front of this before this gets any further in the process, it's our chance that they hear what we are asking.

8. Audience member says that this is NOT just about infrastructure, this is about a 16-story monument going up in a residential area. The three-level parking will require blasting. Foundations in new development will crack. The whole concept is wrong. It's not just infrastructure, it's the unit itself: it's too big.

Another member asks if people realize it's one-way in and one-way out. Caivan homeowners will be stuck trying to get out. Additionally, traffic generated by the visitors to the commercial area. Someone asks if they are putting traffic lights (assuming Lamarche/Innes).

Councillor: Concurs that there is no consideration for how Caivan, Chapel Hill South, Innes road users, will make it through that block, unloading all of this traffic without investing in infrastructure.

9. Regarding the councillor's comment "They are not thinking about the infrastructure", main concern is if you go back to  the city planners and say if you build the infrastructure go ahead with the proposal, which is not what we are saying. They don't want the buildings there at all, even with extra infrastructure. The size is not acceptable for the area.

This would be the only 16-story building in Orleans.

10. How did it even get this far? That we are all here?

Councillor: "Caivan had bought the property and then decided they did not want to maintain ownership of that front section; they had never bought it from the Pattersons". When people own land they come to the city to see if they can change zoning, which could be a house, a monument, etc.... they can appeal to have rezoning changed or altered. In terms of this process, we are at the stage where we can influence the process and influence the planner.

11. What's the realistic chance our voices will be listened to?

Councillor: Not making promises, cannot, but does not want to wait till it's gone so far down the rabbithole that we cannot have influence.

12. You are one voice over 25 or 26 councillors: how are you going to convince your councillors about what we don't want here?

Councillor: She will have all the information, all the feedback, the petitions, and taking this to her colleagues and push as hard as she can to make it heard by her colleagues. She's not worried yet about council or planning committee, because we are not there yet. It's with the city planner and we need to influence city planner and planning department, we are 10 steps ahead of the game.

13. Concerns that this will set a precedent if this goes through, for the rest of Innes rd.

Councillor: Land across from Lamarche is not rezoned yet, so there's opportunities for another developer to come in. Property owned by Glenview that they are sitting on as well. 3 parcels of land in a very small radius, which could result in significant density.

14. This will go to Planning Committee regardless of the changes that the developer comes back with after taking into consideration our feedback, when they come back with an amended proposal (or not). What do you plan on voting in Planning Committee? Have you spoken to other eastern bloc councillors and what are their thoughts?

Councillor: Not necessarily (reach planning committee). She will not be supporting it. If what is being proposed in front of us, we don't have the infrastructure to accomodate this.

15. If they put in infrastructure, will you vote yes?

Councillor: With what's being proposed right now, they can put in all the infrastructure in the world, but the density doesn't change. She can't support that.

16. Why do we have to lose our community so a corporation can make money? They'll be making $24M a year and we lose our community. 

Councillor: Next steps, keep an eye on her website, social media, if she puts a call out to the community to show up en masse to city hall.... Thanks those who wrote petition. 

17.This type of development belongs everywhere in the city ALONG THE LRT, and it's our responsibility to not just copy Laura, but to copy all the councillors (See below for list of members). They all have a vote, and that we want this type of development to be affordable and accessible to everyone.

18. Not opposed to development, just opposed to the scope of this development. Another audience member says we need good solid rental units, and audience agrees, but not there.

19. Is the developer open to smaller developments? 

Councillor: She's seen this happen a couple of times where communities hope the developers will come in with something smaller, but these end up going up because we wait too long. It gets too fargone and it's just approved at council. She can't speak for the developer, she doesn't know whether they are open or closed. But is hoping they will sit back and listen and respect what we want, so we can stop this.

20.This meeting would be two to three times larger had proper notification about this development were properly placed on Innes Road. It's on Lamarche road, a construction road. This impacts all of Orleans. There's a whole area of people who have no idea about this. The address of this development is Innes Road, not Lamarche.

21. Asks that the message be spread across Orleans. 

22. Caivan owner is in support and believes we cannot stop this development. The  city's official plan is that they want to build up instead of out, no urban sprawl. Believes that 16 stories is excessive, and should be brought down. Focus on reducing size instead of stopping.

23. We have no room for infrastructure. Innes will not be widened. You cannot talk about infrastructure in an area where there is no room for infrastructure. We cannot wait for new roads. No to this project.

Councillor: She has an interview after meeting with the media. Mentions Le Droit, Ottawa Citizen.

24.When you're on the radio, can you please mention the FOTENN document. Makes grand assumptions about infrastructure, about cycling, for example. Development feeds into "Robust transportation network".

Document misrepresents that Lamarche connects with SIlverbirch, which it does not. Says Page connects with Brian Coburn, which it's not.

25. Audience member visited similar site in Barrhaven. 16 stories but first floor is 20 feet high. The city planners should be aware that in Barrhaven at Strandherd Marketplace, urban area, lots of restaurants. There are no homes around there. In Orleans it's just absurd. Blasting was brought up again and the damage it did to homes. 

26. Could the city planner not have attended tonight so he could hear what we have to say directly?

Councillor: When that happens it's an official part of the process, ticking the boxes in the planning process. She doesn't want it to get even that far. 

27. Water pressure issues, concerns about another large community drawing on water consumption.

Councillor: This again goes back to infrastructure. This proposal does not provide solutions.

28. Audience reminds us that Patterson owns this land, lots of influence in the city. They will benefit from the sale of the parcel of land.

29. How many councillors sitting on planning received contributions from Lepine and Patterson?

Councillor: She doesn't know and doesn't want this to make it to the planning committee table.

30. Raises the safety concern about cut through traffic in the neighbourhood which is already really bad.

31. Resident on Nature Trail, concerns about the chain in the emergency access being cut and people going through it and around it, no respect for neighbourhood. Now visitors at Caivan are parking on our street. Driveways are so small in new homes, streets so narrow. It's going to get worse

32. Are you working with the other councillors and listening to what they are saying? This is not just our ward problem. Resident has friends in Cardinal Creek who won't even shop on Innes, easier to go to Rockland to shop.

Councillor: Has a very good relationship with the other 4 councillors, but particularly with Blais and Luloff, who knew she was holding this meeting tonight. Blais is also on Planning, councillor Tierney is, Luloff is not. She plans on having many meetings with her colleagues.

33. Concerns about awareness and getting the other wards worked up. 

34. Resident commented the following:

The proposed development will contain 1,320 rental apartment units. According to the resident, the impacts of having 100% rental units are less buy-in/care/attention by tenant-residents than owner-residents, higher turnover than for owners, higher density tends to be conducive to problems of gangs, drugs and weapons as has been well documented by Ottawa police in other high density and high-rise locations.




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