Ottawa's outgoing city counci has approved a zoning amendment that advances plans to build four residential towers near Petrie Island. The councillors made the decision despite concerns over the envirionmental impact the development could have on the surrounding area which borders on a sensitive wetland.
The development plan calls for the construction of four towers of between 20 and 35 storeys tall built on podiums as high as six storeys tall. If approved during the sitep plan application, the towers will be located at the northeast corner of Jeanne d'Arc Blvd. and Tweedle Road near the current Petrie's Landing development and on the other side of Hwy. 174 from the future Trim Road LRT station.
Opponents of the proposed new towers, which include the Greater Avalon Community Association and the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital, expressed concerns over the possibility of flooding or landslides, as well as damage to the Ottawa River and its ecology.
Orléans East-Cumberland councillor Matt Luloff heard from the various opponents of the development, but at the end of the day he elected to support he application which was first filed with the city's planning department over two years ago.
The specific site is included in the Orléans Secondary Plan which forms part of the city's Official Plan that was approved by city council earlier this year.
Luloff was quick to point out that the decision made by council was to simply approve a zoning amendment to allow for the construction of a high rise development. The exact number of buildings and their final height will be worked out during the site plan appication which must be approved by the incoming city council.
Opponents of the development are hoping the new council, which will include 11 new councillors, will have a different view of the proposed development. They would rather it be built on the south side of Jeanne d'Arc next to the 174 where a city maintenance yard is currently located.
During the planning committee process, committee members heard that the builders have been communicating with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to address some of the concerns expressed by the development's opponents.
For instance they plan to build the towers on a platform that would put them at the same height as Jeanne d'Arc Blvd. to elimnate any potential they would be impacted by future flooding caused by the Ottawa River. They would also be set back at least 50 metres from the nearby wetland.