By Jeff Morris
A simple zoning correction for the Caivan development in Richmond led to a discussion about parking at last Thursday’s City of Ottawa Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting.
Ward 22 Gloucester-South Nepean Councillor Carol Anne Meehan questioned the length of the driveways in the development at 6335 Perth Street.
“One of the issues we’re facing in Ward 22 is smaller lot sizes, and because of COVID, many people requiring their cars, turning communities into parking lots because we’re not allowing the proper space for a vehicle,” Meehan said.
The councillor expressed concern for the number of parking spots available in the driveways of the homes, saying she did not want to see the street congestion that is happening in other suburban parts of the city.
“I’m worried that if we approve this zoning change in a more rural part like Richmond, it will continue the problem.” Meehan said. “The housing is covering more of the lot. The sides are going to be even narrower. My concern is that we not repeat a problem we’re allowing right now.”
Meehan was vocal about this issue at council earlier this year when discussing developments in different parts of Barrhaven and Findlay Creek. In Barrhaven, for example, the driveway lengths could fit one and three-quarters cars, but not two cars. The lack of efficiency in planning the homes has created congested streets. When the winter parking ban in Ottawa streets takes effect, there is nowhere for these cars to park.
Rideau-Goulbourn Councillor Scott Moffatt said that Caivan and the Richmond Village Association have worked closely to make sure that parking is not a problem.
“Fox Run was originally slated as a 1,000-home development,” Moffatt said. “Through working with the Richmond Village Association and Caivan it was reduced to 750 units from 1,000 units. A lot of that reclaimed space happens in the front yard.”
Moffatt also said he does not expect Fox Run to have the parking and congestion issues that Barrhaven has. He added that the parking issues are compounded in the suburbs because some families choose not to use their garages for parking.
“These homes are not built right on the road,” he said. “In fact, many of the laneways can accommodate back-to-back cars.”
The property to be rezoned lies to the north side of Perth Street at the western edge of the Village of Richmond, within what is known as the Western Development Lands. It includes some of the lands for the registration of the second phase of the draft approved Fox Run subdivision. The lands were originally draft approved as a subdivision and zoned for residential development as a result of a 2014 Ontario Municipal Board order. In 2019 some of the subject lands were rezoned and provisions added in contemplation of developing various forms of multiple ground oriented attached dwellings.
The zoning, originally approved through an Ontario Municipal Board settlement, was based on the Draft Approved Plan of Subdivision. Caivan made some modifications to the plan with the first phase of the subdivision registered and the second phase submitted for final approval and registration. The line work for the zone boundaries do not match, and an amendment to the zoning maps is required to address that.
The application was initiated to correct the zoning for Fox Run Phase 2 in Richmond. The resulting Zoning By-law amendment was approved by Council on September 11, 2019 and did not take into account the extent of the requested changes.
A small portion will be zoned from the V2E[779r] zone to the V3B[780r] zone and the provisions in the V3B[780r] zone will reflect a reduced interior side yard of 1.5 metres, from the current 3 metres, and a maximum lot coverage of 65 per cent for the street townhouse units, from the current 30 per cent.
“This is a community that has been well-received in the village” Moffatt said. “There is ample green space. Many of the residents who bought here first were people who grew up in Richmond and wanted to stay in Richmond. They wanted options in Richmond. Because a lot of the homes that were built in Richmond between 2000 and 2015 were $600,000 to $900,000 homes. It just not financially sustainable for some of the people who wanted to be here and stay in the community.”
Moffatt added that Fox Run provided a cross-section of housing, and provided a level of affordability in the rural area while meeting the needs of the market and what people were looking for. He added that for people looking for larger properties, there were developments outside of Richmond with several dozen lots available.
“In Richmond and Manotick, you need that cross-section,” he said. “You need that larger lot, smaller lot, town, larger home, condo-type development, rental unit – you need that. And that’s what we’re getting with this development.”
Meehan, meanwhile, maintained that she wanted to ensure there would be sufficient parking for families with multiple cars.
“If we’re not going to provide busing, people are going to need their vehicles so let’s provide space for them,” she said.
The re-zoning was approved by Ottawa City Council Nov. 25.