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Crown Crescent Letter

June 11th, 2010 Comments off

Objection by Michael Kostiuk, June 11, 2010.

To: Committee of Adjustment, 4th Floor, 101 Centrepointe Drive,  Ottawa ON K2G 5K7

Re: File no D08-01-10/B-00138 and D08-01-10/B-00139; and D08-02-10/A-00135 and D08-02-10/A-00136.

My name is Michael Kostiuk who is a resident and a practicing geographer who lives in the area. I am also the previous president of the Carlington Community association. I served as president from May 2008 to May 2010. I am still on the CCA board.

The veteran’s housing area in Ottawa in both an important and unique housing subdivision. It was one of the very first veteran's housing subdivisions designed in Canada, and the area incorporated the crescent style of streets which was a prototype design for many of the subdivisions all across Canada. Approximately 420 homes were built in the Carlington community after world war two by CHMC. They were designated Phase 1 and Phase 2. Now after 60 years the very same CMHC has created a program to revitalize these small homes to become model energy efficient dwellings. The project is designated as the "Now House" and one veteran home in the Toronto area has already been chosen as a model for this conversion process. CHCA wants to encourage the upgrading of theses older homes as opposed to REPLACING the veteran’s homes with larger and less efficient homes. Unlike some of the larger homes being built today, the veteran homes are the right size for an energy efficient dwelling. As well, the sloping roofs are ideal for the placement of solar electric and heating units. It is also important to have a stock of smaller affordable homes available on the market for first time homebuyers or those people who want to downsize from a larger home after having raised a family.

Regarding the above application for minor variance (Re: File no D08-01-10/B-00138 and D08-01-10/B-00139; and

D08-02-10/A-00135 and D08-02-10/A-00136.): I wish to object to the above noted applications before the Committee of Adjustment. I am basing much of my objection on a precedent set in nearby Carleton Heights in 2003. In that case a resident wanted to create two new lots in a veterans housing area. Each of those "proposed Lots" was to be smaller than what was allocated for that area. The case went to the Ontario Municipal Board (reference number 0435) and the appellant lost the case. The OMB cited many reasons for the refusal, which I believe some would also apply to this situation. For example, the OMB and the City of Ottawa Planner at the time stated the following about drastic changes to the design of houses in an area with a long established tradition:

"The board has carefully considered all of the evidence and is not satisfied that the proposal meets all of the tests under subsection 45 (1) of the Planning Act. It was evident during the course of the hearing that if the appeals

respecting the variances failed, the appeal respecting the refusal of the granting of the consent under subsection 53 (19) of the Act should also fail. The appeals will therefore be dismissed for the reasons that follow...

… The owner argues that a further subdivision of this property would promote and fulfill the policies contained in the Provincial Policy Statement and City Official Plan respecting the encouragement and promotion of residential Intensification in urban areas, where urban services are already present. While this policy is very sound, the Board cannot accept with the position taken by counsel for the appellants that if these applications are not approved, it will "sound the death knell" for infill in the City of Ottawa. In this case, the Board prefers the evidence of the city’s land use planner as well as the land use planner who testified on behalf of the residents who object to the proposal over evidence of the land use planner who gave evidence in support of the appellants. The lots, which would result if this proposal were approved, are simply too small for this area given the existing fabric and character of the area, which consists of large lots with various shapes. Intensification is a good thing but not at all cost. There would be significant costs to the community associated with this proposal.

… The Board agrees with the position taken by the residents of the area who testified in opposition to the proposal that approval of these applications would set a dangerous and undesirable precedent for the Carleton Heights area by Diluting and Destabilizing the fabric of the neighbourhood which would lead to unacceptable pressure in the area. A further subdivision of this parcel would not be consistent with the development of the other lots at this intersection.

In summary, the proposal does not meet the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan or the zoning by-law, it is not desirable for the appropriate development of the subject lands and it cannot be considered to be minor based on the negative impacts such development would have on the two adjacent property owners who would be most affected by the proposed development.

The proposal simply does not fit into the character of the existing neighbourhood.

 

The Board finds that the proposed severance does not represent good planning and is not in the public interest.

According, the appeals are hereby dismissed.

It is so order.

'RGM Makuch' "

The above OMB case shows that some applications for infill development are NOT desirable, and therefore, MUST be rejected if they do not match the character of existing homes in the area.

 

Specific objections:

 

- Reduced front yard setback to 0.6 metres from the required 4.5 metres for a garage (60 and 64 Crown Cr.).

 

- reduced rear yard setback to 1.2 metres from the required 3.7 metres for 60 Crown cr.

 

- reduced rear yard set area to 19% from the required 25% for 60 Crown cr.

 

- reduced front yard setback to 0.6 from the required 4.5 metres for 64 Crown Cr.

 

- reduced lot width of 10.67 metres from the required 12.0 metres for 64 Crown Cr.

 

Since the proposal for the property at 60 Crown Crescent would create under sized lots, and would require the placement of the garages almost to the edge sidewalk and road, this is a change that is clearly not in keeping with the layout of homes or other structures in the veterans housing subdivision.

On this basis the application should be rejected.

 

I will apply the same rationale used in above-mentioned OMB case 0435 to state that such a drastic change to the style of houses, garages and lot sizes would create an ongoing negative effect upon on the entire veteran housing area of Carlington. Further more, that approval of these applications would set a dangerous and undesirable precedent for the Veterans housing subdivision in the Carlington area by "Diluting and Destabilizing the fabric of the neighbourhood which would lead to unacceptable pressure in the area".

 

I also do not believe such a change to the character of homes in the area is "minor" and on that basis the application should be also be rejected

 

.

Veteran style homes should be upgraded and renewed according to CMHC "Now House" standards, as opposed to being replaced with a totally different style of home that does not fit into the character of the existing neighbourhood

.

 

Reducing the front yard setback for the proposed garages is also totally unacceptable and as such, this proposal does fit in to the character of the neighbourhood.

On this basis the application should be rejected.

 

I would also concur with the comments made by the current president of the Carlington Community Association that there has NOT been sufficient notice given to the community to properly understand and address this issue, and more time should be made available so that the community can properly address the issue. It is important that local government operate in a manner that is both transparent and accessible.

In summary the above minor variance applications and severance does not represent good planning and is not in the public interest and should be rejected.

Thank you

Michael Kostiuk. MA Geography, OCT (Geography, Computer Science), CCEP

45 Viscount Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K1Z 7M8

613-728-5409,  e-mail: michael.kostiuk@alumni.uottawa.ca