Posted by: OSCA Planning and Zoning Committee
A six-storey apartment building comprising 37 units is being proposed at the intersection of Bank and Grove, set to replace the longstanding convenience store in the area. While the store and post office will be missed, the introduction of these apartment units, ranging from around 400-square-feet to a more spacious…
To facilitate the current design of the proposal, the developer is seeking a few Zoning Bylaw amendments. Some of these changes, such as a 5-metre increase in height, are technically necessary due to the current bylaw not aligning with the new Official Plan. This amendment request aligns with the latest policies at both the municipal and provincial levels.
However, there are other zoning bylaw changes being sought that do not align with the principles of community development. The Zoning Bylaw requires that residential buildings must offer a minimum amount of amenity space. These spaces consist of shared communal areas meant for the use of residents, and personal spaces such as balconies or patios. Amenity spaces are crucial, not only because they provide much-needed space for people living in a building, but because they help foster a sense of community among people living in the building.
Unfortunately, this proposal aims to reduce the minimum requirements for both personal and communal amenity spaces by a staggering 50%. Such reductions do not prioritize the well-being of the individuals who will call this building their home.
Housing extends beyond mere units, parking, and bike storage; it revolves around people. Consequently, developments focused on missing middle housing should, at the very least, provide the minimum amount of amenity space that the bylaw requires.
The changes being requested in the Application Summary are as follows:
- The total required amenity area to be reduced to 113.35 square meters, whereas the Zoning Bylaw stipulates 228 square meters (equivalent to 6 square meters per dwelling unit).
- The required communal amenity area to be reduced to 59.6 square meters, whereas the Zoning Bylaw mandates 114 square meters (50% of the total required amenity area).
Nevertheless, the proposed development does fulfill the required provision of 14 underground parking spaces and 68 bicycle parking spaces, with 8 located outdoors and 60 on the parking garage level. Additionally, there are plans for four retail units on the ground floor.
Access to the parking garage will be one-way from Grove, necessitating a loop around as Grove is a one-way street.
OSCA’s Planning & Zoning Committee (P&Z) has requested a public meeting, soon to be organized by Councillor Shawn Menard’s office. This online meeting will allow us all to discuss the proposal together, and gain clarification on the zoning amendments requested by the developer.
We look forward to announcing the date and time for this public meeting on the OSCA website, in News Between the Bridges, and on our social media platforms as soon as the information becomes available.
For any comments regarding the reductions in amenity space or other Zoning requirements, as well as feedback on traffic circulation around the 1166 Bank Street development, please contact Colette Gorni, the City Planner responsible for this file, at firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31st, 2023.
You can follow the link below to access the application documents and drawings:
Additionally, there is a link on the application documents web page that allows you to provide feedback directly to the City.
Please remember to copy your comments to our Councillor, Shawn Menard, OSCA Traffic and Safety, and OSCA P&Z.
Co-chair, OSCA Planning & Zoning