City considers relaxing noise restrictions for Lansdowne Park events

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Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen

Lansdowne Park could rock until 1 a.m. on weekends if the city approves recommended changes to the noise bylaw for events.

The city has been studying several elements of its noise bylaw since 2015 and it’s getting closer to making suggestions to council.

One of the proposals involves noise created during special events, and specifically the activities at Lansdowne Park and the Canadian Tire Centre. An online public consultation is ongoing.

Both properties do a good job of managing noise issues, the city says. When noise happens, it’s usually after an event when people are going somewhere else.

To make sure there are bylaw resources to crack down on noise in residential neighbourhoods, the city wants to push the noise exemption to 1 a.m. for events at Lansdowne Park and the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday and Saturday, and also on Monday if it’s a statutory holiday. On other days, the noise cutoff would stay at 11 p.m.

The proposal “recognizes the cultural and economic benefits of special events programming,” the city says.

Capital Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents the Glebe and Old Ottawa South, wasn’t available for comment Tuesday.

Consultations publiques sur l'examen du Règlement sur le bruit

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Ville d'Ottawa

La Direction des services des règlements municipaux de la Ville d'Ottawa effectue un examen du Règlement sur le bruit, et les résidents sont invités à fournir leurs commentaires.

Un sondage consultatif en ligne fourni quelques renseignements sommaires sur le règlement et la description des changements et ajouts possibles sur lesquels les résidents peuvent donner leurs opinions. Le sondage est offert en ligne jusqu'au lundi 1 mai.

Les résidents peuvent également s'inscrire à l'un des trois ateliers publics suivants, où les participants pourront partager des idées sur l'élaboration de solutions à divers problèmes associés au bruit :

Le mardi 25 avril, de 18 h 30 à 20 h
Centre communautaire Greenboro (Salles de réunion A et B)
363, prom. Lorry Greenberg

Le mercredi 26 avril, de 18 h 30 à 20 h
Centre récréatif McNabb (Salle de conférence)
180, rue Percy

Le lundi 1 mai, de 18 h 30 à 20 h
Centre communautaire d'Overbrook (Salle principale)
33, rue Quill

Les places sont limitées pour les trois ateliers. Les personnes intéressées peuvent s'inscrire à ottawa.ca. Tous les sites sont accessibles. Lors de votre inscription, veuillez nous aviser de tout besoin en matière d'accessibilité que vous pourriez avoir.

Les commentaires reçus lors de la consultation en ligne et des ateliers seront combinés avec ceux d'autres études et de consultations des intervenants afin d'élaborer un rapport de recommandations qui sera présenté au Comité des services communautaires et de protection, lors de sa réunion actuellement prévue pour le 18 mai, et au Conseil municipal, le 24 mai.

Westboro gets to keep free parking as city rejigs plan

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By Jennifer McIntosh, Ottawa Community News

André Schad, who owns a business in the ByWard Market, called foul over free parking in Westboro.

City staff recommended Westboro keep their free parking in a report on a parking management plan for the area presented to the city's transportation committee on April 5.

"I don't know why this is even an issue," Schad said about the decision of whether or not to implement paid parking. "Westboro dwarfs ByWard in terms of non-food retail and parking capacity."

Schad said retailers in the market are leaving for the greener pastures in Westboro.

"Why is Westboro getting a free ride?" he asked.

While the report recommends the status quo in most of Westboro, staff recommended the implement of paid parking on Danforth Avenue.

Under the current parking management plan, the process to change an area to paid parking has to have the support of the area business improvement area, ward councillor and the community association.

The majority of businesses and residents were not for the change.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu took an end run at the issue by attempting to initiate parking fees through a motion, but the attempt fell flat.

Transportation committee chair Keith Egli expressed concern that approval of the motion could open the city up to legal challenges by the affected businesses. The concern was mirrored by city solicitor Rick O'Connor.

Fleury ultimately withdrew his motion.

David Chernushenko also expressed frustration with the city's policy, saying there's confusion because people get ticketed in the Glebe, but can park for free in Ottawa south.

Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper, who represents the area, said residents and businesses have bought into the existing plan and have spent the better part of a year working within the confines of it.

Leiper said he was open to updating the city's policy on parking fees, but only with proper public consultation.

Leiper said it is important to have a fair parking policy that takes away the councillor and local BIA's opportunity to veto a fee structure.

Somerset House, with no timeline in sight

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The April 2017 concept for Somerset House by architect Richard Chmiel. The historic building is at Somerset and Bank streets.

Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen

The latest renovation concept for the historic Somerset House received approval from the city's heritage panel Thursday, but members walked away, again, with no indication of when the work would be done.

"Maybe our grandchildren will be here discussing this," said subcommittee member Sandy Smallwood during a built-heritage subcommittee meeting at city hall.

There's no rule forcing TKS Holdings to reconstruct the building at Somerset and Bank streets by a specific time. The company owner has said he's worried about how much the redevelopment would cost.

The city has watched the building deteriorate over the past nine years, ever since a partial collapse in October 2007. Last year, council had to approve dismantling the three easternmost bays on Somerset Street West because of the wear and tear.

The heritage subcommittee, planning committee and council have little power to make construction happen. They can only make sure the heritage attributes are respected and the building conforms to zoning.

The owner has hired a new architect, Chmiel Architects, to pick up where the last one left off.

For the most part, the subcommittee was fine with the latest drawings. The planning committee and council will also need to approve the concept.

The one hiccup was the new design doesn't replicate the demolished fourth bay on Somerset Street West, as required by council. City heritage staff forgot about that order when they supported the new design, and when they realized the mistake, they decided to forge ahead with the concept anyway.

That didn't fly with the heritage subcommittee, which asked the architect to fix it. Architect Richard Chmiel, who was hired for the project in December and didn't know about the council direction, said he would be willing to revisit the design to make sure it conforms to council's wishes.

"We all make mistakes and at this stage we really need to move forward," said Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum, the chair of the subcommittee.

Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney said she receives more calls about Somerset House than any other project in her downtown ward.

"Residents of Somerset ward and beyond are frustrated by this project," McKenney said.

McKenney repeated her idea for the city to expropriate the property, "because at some point we have to take matters into our own hands."

Heritage Ottawa president David Jeanes said he doesn't understand why the fourth-bay requirement wasn't met in the new design. He openly wondered if the heritage department is understaffed and overloaded, considering its ongoing work on the mayor's heritage task force and other projects, like the proposed Château Laurier development.

The subcommittee learned the city recently hired two additional heritage planners.

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