(from Councillor Riley Brockington)
Dear Residents of Riverside Park North,
This email is intended to provide you with an update on the property located at 3071 Riverside Drive, commonly referred to as the former location of Bayview PS. My last communiqué to the community on this matter was September 16, 2016 and prior to that, April 21, 2016.
The Ottawa Community Lands Development Corporation (OCLDC), an arm’s length development corporation of the City, has been negotiating with the selected development proponent for approx 6 weeks regarding the development proposal for the 10 acre site on Riverside Drive, where Bayview PS once stood. As the OCLDC meetings and negotiations are confidential, the specifics of the proposal, including the identity of the developer will be released once a signed deal is in place. As a basis for selecting a preferred developer, the OCLDC has used the original 2009 Concept Plan to guide its selection of a proponent. What I have seen to date, is what you will now see in the staff report that is attached to my email. What I saw, as a result of having to sign a non-disclosure agreement at the end of August, was a high-level concept plan for the property. The original 2009 Concept Plan and the proposed revised concept plan, are seen in the report, along with identified changes.
It is very important for me to stress, that the concept plan is not a development plan. It is not a rezoning plan, nor is it a construction plan. The revised concept plan intends to better mirror the development proposal that was submitted as part of the RFO process in July. The developer will be subject to multiple planning applications, like zoning and site plan applications, which will include multiple public consultation sessions in our community that I will host. A concept plan does not provide the developer with carte blanche to proceed with their development.
In the vast majority of cases, a revised concept plan does not come back to City Council for approval (our situation is rare), however, in 2014, when Council approved the transfer of these lands to the OCLDC, a requirement was added by way of a motion to provide a Committee of Council with the opportunity to reflect on any proposed revisions to the concept plan before the final closing of the contract between the OCLDC and development proponent. That is what is going to happen on November 1, 2016. At the Finance, and Economic Development Committee at City Hall, committee members will review the proposed changes to the 2009 concept plan as shown in the attached staff report. This meeting is public and anyone may attend this meeting. You may also address the committee as a delegate if interested. My office will support you if you require assistance.
What are the proposed changes to the concept plan?
The proposed concept plan is largely consistent with the 2009 plan and the principles that were outlined by Council in 2014. Key differences of the new plan relate to the change from a 2 acre soccer field and field house to a minimum 1.5 acre programmed park, and its re-orientation to now run along the southern end of the site, providing a greater buffer to the existing residential uses to the south. The second key difference of the new plan is the addition of a Mixed-Use area along the Riverside Drive frontage that is proposed to accommodate two-storey construction that includes small scale Neighbourhood Commercial uses on the ground floor, with Residential uses located on a second storey.
The revised concept plan is illustrated on page eight of the attached staff report (see page four for a chart).
It contains the following:
- Low density residential units along the north end of the property, and the upper east end of the property, abutting existing residential units along Mooney’s Bay Place and Bayside Pvt.
- Medium density residential units, up to 6-stories in height in the middle of the 10-acre property and in the south-east corner
- A mixed use residential-commercial development in the middle-west, facing Riverside Drive
- A 1.5 acre greenspace/park, abutting all of the existing residential properties to the immediate south of the 10-acre property, along Beachview Private
- There will be no fieldhouse. The greenspace/park has shifted from exclusive use soccer pitch to a multi-use park. The community will decide how the park is developed through consultations which I along with Parks and Recreation Staff will lead likely in 2017.
What are the remaining timelines between the OCLDC and the proponent?
I have been informed that the contract to sell the 10-acre property will likely close by years’ end.
It is my intention to meet with the developer shortly after that to introduce myself and acquire a better understanding of their vision for the land, their timelines and willingness to host an information session with the local community.
It is highly unlikely to see any construction on the property until late in 2017, at the earliest.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions/comments. If you’d like to meet to discuss this matter further, I would be more than happy to chat at a local coffee shop or at the ward office in the Hunt Club Riverside Park Community Centre.
City Councillor – River Ward