The Hunt Club Community Organization (HCCO) is opposed to the rezoning of 934/938 Hunt Club Road from a R1MM - Residential First Density Zone to a R4V - Residential Fourth Density Exception Zone and the construction of a 20 unit apartment building on the site. This opposition is based on traffic problems on Hunt Club Road, on street parking problems and non-compatibility with neighbours. The HCCO is also opposed to the reduction in parking spaces from 1.2 spaces per unit to 0.7 spaces if the lot is rezoned R4V as this would add to the problems. The HCCO questions the reduction of the distance that the refuse collection area would be from the lot line.
Currently, there are concerns about on-street parking in the area of the Hunt Club/ Downpatrick/ McCarthy intersection. Even the 1.2 parking spaces per unit will not meet the parking needs of the 20 units proposed for this location and so add to the problem. Where will they park, if they can not park on the site? If the occupant of a unit has more than one vehicle, where can it be parked? Four spaces for visitors will not always be enough. Where do extra visitors park? Even stopping on Hunt Club can not be allowed. Street parking on Wyman is not an option due to the number of units there.
This site is more than a km walk to the South Keys Transit station and mall, as one can not walk beside the transitway as shown. You have to walk via Daze Street. As well, walking or biking along Hunt Club Road beneath the parkway, the railway track and the transitway is dangerous. There are 8 road intersections and a narrowed Hunt Club road in this short stretch. The biking lane disappears in this section of Hunt Club, making biking dangerous. There are very few services within walking distance of this site without crossing Hunt Club Road, another dangerous activity. These apartments in this location are not going to appeal to occupants without vehicles.
A three story apartment building is not compatible with it's neighbours that are two story townhouses and single detached houses. Even the nursing home is only two storeys high.
We do want to be on the mailing list of this zoning file.
Treasurer, Hunt Club Community Organization
5 Sparrow Way, Ottawa ON K1V 9H4
Response: As indicated above in the Summary of Public Input section, the applicant is now proposing a garbage room within the proposed building. Also, a traffic/parking study was prepared in support of the application. The study identifies that the proposed development would be a very low traffic generator as it relates to its impact on peak flows. No traffic concerns or issues were identified by the study.
The HCCO recommendation is based on the important contribution that Hunt Club Road makes as an essential transportation corridor through our community, neighbouring communities and the City as a whole. The proposed rezoning will have a negative safety and transportation impact on our community. If this precedent is approved and deepened by the subsequent approval of similar proposals anticipated in the area, the potential impact will be significant and will exacerbate the problems already being realized in our community. For example, the introduction of a new traffic light on Hunt Club Road near Riverside Drive has caused significant cut-through traffic in the community.
We are not opposed to intensification and to new development in our community - in fact, we encourage it on the basis that intensification and development are important to economic growth in our community and the City. We have not objected to many proposed developments in our community in the past several years e.g. the new mall, a proposed high rise at the corner of Hunt Club Road and Riverside Drive, a proposed new hotel, the new trade centre near the airport. Indeed, we have worked closely with our Councillor and have written letters of support to City staff outlining our support as these proposals have emerged. We have encouraged growth and we embrace it.
However, we are opposed to decisions which will exacerbate traffic problems on Hunt Club Road, a major transportation corridor designed to move goods and services through our community and around our City. We object to the piece-meal development of specific blocks of land which we anticipate will represent the leading edge of bad decisions and will set a precedent all along Hunt Club Road. In the city's Transportation Master Plan, Hunt Club Road is an arterial road with the primary function of "Serving 'through' travel between points not accessed directly from the road itself".
We are very concerned that the approved concept of Hunt Club Road as a strategic arterial road for the City now and into the future is being eroded by a thousand cuts. We need a vision for transportation in our City, we need investments to secure it, and we need to be vigilant against proposals - large or small - which serve to obstruct our vision.
Hunt Club Road serves as an important part of Ottawa's public transport system. As the brief notes, buses use the corridor all day long.
Hunt Club Road has also made possible the intensification of residents and businesses inside the Greenbelt. From 2001 to 2008, the population inside the Greenbelt grew by 10,149 people - 34% of this growth (3,475) was in the Hunt Club area.
The City continues to recognize the importance of Hunt Club Road by investing heavily in it. For example, the City has twice rebuilt the approaches to and surface of the Hunt Club Bridge. In phase three of the City's Transportation Master Plan, Hunt Club Road is to be expanded from 4 to 6 lanes from Riverside Road to Bank Street. The City is currently linking Hunt Club Road to Hwy 417 so that it will join up with Hwy 416 in the west. Ongoing investment is occurring in an attempt to alleviate the heavy traffic on Hunt Club Road.
But investment is not keeping pace with traffic needs. Soon, the opening of Hunt Club Road to Hwy 417 will add significantly to the traffic on Hunt Club Road. Moreover, the impact on the traffic on Hunt Club Road will be increased again with the traffic to and from the new trade center. Other development around Hunt Club Road continues to add to the impact. The T&T store is a good example of this. The bottle necks and congestion (buses, trucks and cars) in the central section (Cahill to Cleopatra) of Hunt Club Road reduce the effectiveness of the entire road.
2. All other properties on the south side of Hunt Club road from Downpatrick to the Airport Parkway have provisions for vehicles to turn around on the property and exit the property forward onto Hunt Club Road. The proposed site plan does not have a provision for vehicles to turn around. The result is that we will have cars, delivery trucks and Para-Transpo buses backing out onto Hunt Club Road. This will happen over the brow of the hill at Hunt Club and Downpatrick. Alternatively, more vehicles will be stopping on Hunt Club Road to drop off people or goods to the apartment - another dangerous practice. Others may park on Hunt Club Road. These are dangerous practices that will affect traffic flows 24 hours a day. With the very small parking lot, we anticipate that more people will do the above more often. The brief did not address this issue.
3. Reducing the parking to 20 spaces will add to traffic in and out from the site as tenants, guests nd service people arrive and then leave looking to find a parking space on side streets.
4. Experience tells us that restrictions to the flow of traffic on Hunt Club Road will directly affect
our community in two main ways:
- there is a significant increase in the number of vehicles which avoid the traffic by cutting through the local roads inside our community
- the flow of traffic is impaired both into and out of residences and businesses in our community.
The brief submitted with the proposal did not address these concerns.
The brief said "the presence of a retirement residence (Windsor Park Manor) just east of the subject site on the south side of Hunt Club Road is an indicator of the attraction of this area to seniors." Windsor Park Manor is a retirement home with dining, house keeping, recreation facilities, nursing services, etc. and is not comparable to this apartment building. A far better comparison is with the generic apartment buildings at 3550 Downpatrick that are 100 M from the corner of Hunt Club and Downpatrick.
Walking or biking along Hunt Club Road beneath the parkway, the railway track and the transitway is dangerous as there are 8 road intersections at various angles and a narrowed Hunt Club Road in this short stretch. The biking lane disappears in this section of Hunt Club, making biking very dangerous. In August, we advised the City of this problem. Yet the brief's 25% reduction is based on biking and walking to South Keys station and mall. A survey of a dozen 65 to 75 year-olds familiar with the situation found only one willing to walk this route.
This site is more than a 1.2 KM or 20 minute walk to the South Keys Transit station and mall, as one can not walk beside the transitway as shown in the maps provided by the developer. There is a $125 fine for doing that. You have to walk via Daze Street. This was also in our August submission and ignored. However, the brief keeps talking about the irrelevant 800 M as the crow flies as the walking distance.
The brief is correct in stating that the planned Airport Parkway Bridge will make the walk safer. However, it will not make it shorter.
Using the bus from the intersection of Hunt Club and Downpatrick/ McCarthy to go to South Keys and then downtown will be utilized by some tenants. However, it is not comparable to a 600 meter walk directly to the transit way. Riding the bus is fine but waiting twice is bad news. Outside peak hours there are more challenges. As we know people use the bus in peak hours and the car in none peak hours to shop, visit, medical etc.
The proposed apartments are not going to appeal to occupants without vehicles as walking or biking have problems as outlined above. The apartments at 3550 Downpatrick demonstrate what is likely to happen. We know that the residents and guests to the nearby and comparable apartments at 3550 Downpatrick are parking on nearby streets as the complex does not provide enough parking. One reason for this is that this location is good for truck and car commutes for those working in the west or east end industrial malls. However, the brief did not address where the surplus parking will be found. Hunt Club Road is not posted as no parking. This is a potential serious and dangerous problem.
The proposed development is not "officially a seniors residence or a retirement home". However, sprinkled through the brief are many references to the building being intended for or marketed to seniors and statements to the effect that seniors would or would not do such and such. There is no legal means the City or anyone has to force the developer or any future owner to discriminate on the basis of age, that is, to rent to seniors only. There is nothing inherent in the building's design that would make it unattractive to students, young couples or any age group. Therefore, all sections of the brief that refer to seniors should be ignored as they distract from the real request - a rezoning of the property to allow for the construction of a generic three story, 20 unit apartment building with only 20 parking spaces.
We know what is coming next and we are very concerned. We anticipate death by 1,000 cuts for Hunt Club Road.
In most cases, such as Hunt Club Park, these policies complement each other as the arterial roads, Hunt Club and Conroy facilitated development inside the Greenbelt.
In the case of 934/938 Hunt Club Road, these two policies conflict. Both the HCCO and the developer's brief agree that this development will have an impact on Hunt Club Road. However, we disagree on the extent and the importance of that impact.
As to intensification, the HCCO notes that going from a residential house with 4 to 6 occupants to an apartment building with 25 to 40 or more occupants is infill but not a significant infill compared to what has and is happening in the Hunt Club area.
The more significant issue is the viability and usability of a critical and expensive component of the City's infrastructure - Hunt Club Road. This rezoning will result in safety and traffic flow problems for Hunt Club Road.
Hunt Club Community Organization
Comparing this apartment building to the Windsor park manor retirement home is inappropriate as we talking apartments verses a retirement home with
Planning Committee approved the zoning change.