Letter from the GCA Planning Committee re: 774 Bronson Avenue

Dear GACA Residents,

For your information, please find enclosed a letter from the Carolyn Mackenzie, Chair of the Planning Committee of the Glebe Community Association, regarding the proposed development at 774 Bronson Avenue.

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Hello All,

Another update on this file to try and keep people informed.

Steve Gauthier, the City’s planning lead for this file forwarded me a summary of the City’s comments (includes summary of comments from residents as well).  I have included them at the bottom of this note.

From these comments, the City appears to support the community vis a vis two of three issues that we raised, namely, reduction of massing/height in proximity to Cambridge Street (all the way eastward toward the property midline), as well as removal of the pedestrian entrance from Cambridge Street.  So that is very positive.

On the issue of parking, the city seems to be largely receptive to Textbook’s argument vis a vis the plan for this to be a student building and students have minimal/fewer cars.  As a result, the city’s comment is that there should be a minimum of .2 vehicle parking spaces per unit (total of 36 car parking spaces).  This is a slight increase from the current proposal for .17 spaces per unit or 31 total car park spaces. That may not seem like we’ve made much progress on the parking issue. But, importantly I think, the City is also indicating that as this building is intended to be a student residence with reduced parking, the number of bike parking spaces provided must therefore be increased from the current proposal for 95 (which respects the minimum bike parking requirements of .5 bike parking spaces/unit) to 1 space per resident/student, or 341 bike spaces.  That is a significant increase of 246 bike spaces, which seems logical given the idea of this as a student building.  Looking at Textbook’s drawings, roughly 10 bike parking spaces could fit into a single car parking space. This means that the additional 246 bike parking spacesrequired by the City will take roughly 25 equivalent car parking spaces (i.e. Textbook would be providing an equivalent to 56 car parking spaces rather than 31 in addition to the 95 minimum bike parking as per the bylaw).  If appropriately configured, the additional 25 spaces for bike parking could presumably be converted to car parking down the road if needed, i.e.,  if the need to “rebalance” car vs. bike parking becomes evident.  In my opinion, I think this is fairly positive in that it moves toward mitigating the “risk” that the community would otherwise be taking on if, as many in the community contend, the developer is not correct in their assertions that 1) this will always be a student residence, and 2) students don’t own cars.

The next steps for this development application will be to review the revised plans from Textbook once they have had an opportunity to review the City’s comments. I anticipate that we will further engage with the City prior to the City’s staff report being tabled and this going to the City’s Planning Committee.

Comments (succinct please!) and questions of course welcome.

Carolyn Mackenzie
Chair, Planning Committee
Glebe Community Association

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Please let the GACA know if you have any thoughts or comments at info@glebeannex.ca.