Update on proposed temporary parking lot at 160 Lees Avenue

The OECA hosted a public meeting on Wednesday, December 19, with city staff to answer questions about the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment application for 160 Lees Avenue. This is a city-initiated application to permit a temporary parking lot for a period of three to five years during the construction of the light rail project. This is the section of greenspace bounded by Lees Avenue, the apartment buildings, the Rideau River, and Springhurst Park. The meeting drew considerable positive media coverage of the community’s concerns.

The original proposal included both parking for 362 vehicles and a staging area for construction. At the December 19 meeting, the city presented an alternate proposal that removed the staging area from 160 Lees Avenue. The parking lot is proposed because during construction of the light rail project, 230 parking spots at the University of Ottawa will be displaced and the city must provide compensation. What is not clear, however, is why the proposal includes 362 parking spots when the university is only losing 230 parking spots. The city has also not clarified how many other alternative sites were considered. We are supported in our quest for answers by Councillor David Chernushenko who was instrumental in having an alternate proposal presented at the meeting.

For full details about this proposal, including maps and minutes from the December 19 meeting, please visit the OECA’s planning page.

Public meeting to discuss creation of a temporary parking lot at 160 Lees

A public meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 19, at Old Town Hall to discuss a Zoning By-law Amendment application for 160 Lees. A City of Ottawa initiated application has been received for 160 Lees Avenue to permit a temporary parking lot for a period of three years. This is the section of land bounded by Lees Avenue, the apartment buildings, the Rideau River, and Springhurst Park.

During the construction of the light rail project, 230 parking spots at the University of Ottawa will be displaced and the city is proposing the construction of a temporary parking lot to accommodate 362 parking spots at 160 Lees Avenue. The university will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of the parking lot. The land will also be used as a staging area for the light rail construction.

For more details, see the site plan, a map of the proposed parking lot, and additional correspondence from city staff.

This is scheduled to be heard at the city’s Planning Committee on January 14, 2013.
The OECA understands that construction is inevitable as the light rail project moves ahead. However, we want to ensure that Old Ottawa East residents are informed of the zoning amendment and that city staff works with us and our city councillor to negotiate the best possible outcome. First and foremost, we would like to explore the viability of alternative locations for the parking lot and staging area. Information outlining alternative locations is available in the following report and map. If this is not possible, can the proposal be built in stages on an as-needs basis. For example, can we encourage the use of more public transportation to reduce the need for as many parking spots? Additional concerns include:

  • What is the vehicular access to the parking lot? Ie: both right and left-turn allowed from Lees Avenue?
  • How will the parking lot be maintained in the winter to minimize disruption to surrounding neighbours?
  • How will the parking lot be lit and what measures will be taken to ensure that light and noise do not impact surrounding neighbours?
  • How do we ensure the safety of those enjoying Springhurst Park and the pedestrians who use this area, especially students traveling to and from school?
  • What steps will be taken to minimize surface runoff from the parking lot into the Rideau River? Is an Environmental Assessment of the area available?
  • Ensure that the “Major Open Space” designation according to the Official Plan is respected, which would mean that the area as far north (and including) the basketball court is excluded from the parking lot and a 20 metre setback from the Rideau River is maintained.
  • Ensure that the parking lot is indeed temporary and measures are put in place so that the land is returned to its current condition.

Please attend the public meeting on Wednesday, December 19, at Old Town Hall (61 Main Street) from 7-9 p.m. to have your questions answered and comments heard. The meeting will be attended by:

  • Matt Eason, Communication and Outreach Cordinator, Rail Implementation Office, City of Ottawa
  • Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko
  • John Dance, OECA president

Upcoming development study of Lees LRT station

In 2013 the City of Ottawa will be conducting a "Transit Oriented Development (TOD)" study of the new Lees LRT station area. The City's idea is to push intensification at the new station sites and through the TOD studies will be pursuing related options.

You will see related work done for the Hurdman Station TOD area in this Queen's University student project.

The OECA wants to ensure that the community is well consulted on options and the association has a particular interest in determining if TOD could involve the Alta Vista Transportation Corridor (AVTC) lands ( to the west of the apartment buildings on Lee and to the east of Springhurst Park) so that the four lane AVTC is not built.

Traffic Calming on Hawthorne Avenue East

Information has been posted on the OECA's transportation page regarding traffic calming on Hawthorne Avenue East. For more details, please click here to visit the OECA's transportation page and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Latest update on pathway behind 200 Lees Avenue

The footbridge over the Rideau River, just south of the Queensway bridge, will be closed until the University of Ottawa completes the new pathway running along the river and to the south of the new stadium at 200 Lees Avenue. The university has not established a date for this but the estimate is the end of November. In the meantime, pedestrians and cyclists will have to detour over the transitway bridge which is between 200 Lees Avenue campus and the 190 Lees Avenue apartments. The original plan was that the university's pathway would be open by mid-September.

In order to construct the Queensway bridge pier widenings in the vicinity of the west bank of the Rideau River, and reconstruct the path under this bridge (moving it further toward the river), it is necessary to temporarily close the existing path under the bridge. Moving the path closer to the river and away from the bridge abutments will allow the path to stay open for the remainder of the highway expansion work scheduled from 2013-2015, except for short duration closures for removal of the existing bridge sections directly above the path.

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