News / Ottawa

Residents worry Eden Ave. development will 'ruin' neighbourhood

The design of the proposed development at 404 Eden Ave. is intended to look like a semi-detached building.

The design of the proposed development at 404 Eden Ave. is intended to look like a semi-detached building. This illustration shows the permitted heights of neighbouring properties.

Courtesy Fotenn Planning and Design

The design of the proposed development at 404 Eden Ave. is intended to look like a semi-detached building. This illustration shows the permitted heights of neighbouring properties.

Residents in the area of 404 Eden Ave. argued that replacing a single family home with a 13-unit apartment building would “ruin the neighbourhood” at a public meeting on Oct. 12.

Eden Avenue is a one-way street located between Richmond Road and Byron Avenue in Westboro. The plan includes the creation of nine underground parking spaces and is four storeys tall. It would require the city to pass a zoning change or exemption to allow for  extra density. Currently, maximum density allows for a triplex.

According to Brian Casagrande, a principal and director of planning and development for Fotenn, a development firm, the building will provide a transition from the development on the corner to the single-family home next door.

“This is not what I signed up for 24 years ago,” Tammy Stewart said during the meeting. Stewart lives in the house located right beside the proposed apartment building.

“What does that do to the rest of the neighbourhood? What happens if everyone with a piece of property builds something like that and ruins the neighbourhood,” she said.

Casagrande reminded residents each of them have the right to build a similar development on their property or one that fills out the site even more than the one proposed.

“I know you don’t like it, but when you look at these consider we are mitigating the impacts,” Casagrande said.

A few changes were presented during the meeting, including a greater setback from the avenue, more amenity space and a reconfigured access to the property from the neighbouring Elvis Lives Lane.

Karl Toompuu noted the development really hadn’t changed much since the last public meeting.

Another resident questioned the use of Elvis Lives Lane, saying it isn’t safe.

“This looks good on paper, but people in this room, they live their lives here, and the paper doesn’t translate to the same quality of life,” he said.

But putting more traffic on the lane, would reinforce its function, said Casagrande, meaning some of the current issues of people blocking the lane would have to stop.

Jordan Tannis, the owner of the site, reminded residents the lane would be widened for increased functionality.

Residents also raised concerns about the precedent such a zoning change would create for future developers.

“What makes Westboro great is the exceptional backyards,” Toompuu said, adding residents can walk to a main street.

“It seems like they are taking something massive and shoving it into this spot on the shortest street in Ottawa that people live on,” he said.

Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper said he is opposed to the project and was hoping to see the proponent reduce the number of units.

Leiper said the project is too dense for that area.

“Residents in Westboro are really pissed off with intensification,” Leiper said, adding most infill projects see opposition from residents in the ward.

On top of the proposals, he said community infrastructure projects are not keeping pace, including money for parks, pools and traffic calming.

He’s hoping city planners will not recommend the project when it comes before councillors at planning committee.

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