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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