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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.