The Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association has filed an appeal against the city’s decision to rezone for a seven-storey building at 2 The Parkway, but the group might not back it up with a fight.
The community association was set to discuss whether to move forward with the appeal at its annual general meeting on Feb. 27. There is a chance the association might elect a new slate of board members and they might not want to spend the time and money to fight the city’s decision to rezone for a seven-storey building on that site.
However, the deadline to be able to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board passed a week before the community association’s meeting, so the group filed an appeal so it could keep that option open for the membership to pursue if it wishes.
“We wanted to share with the membership the stats and give them an opportunity to choose to move forward,” said Gary Sealey, current president of the association.
The community association gathered a focus group of about 45 people representing a cross section of the association’s membership on Feb. 13 to discuss the situation and future options.
The developer, Morley-Hoppner, originally proposed a 16-storey condo building on the site of the former Canada Post building in 2011. After several changes, the city’s planning committee eventually approved zoning for a seven storey, 95-unit building on the site, over the objections of Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who tried to have it reduced to five storeys.
Many Beaverbrook residents were vocally opposed to the development, saying the size and density of the building were incompatible with the surrounding low-rise neighbourhood. The community association argued that the condo would be better places in the nearby Kanata Town Centre area.
Morley-Hoppner has already filed its own appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board based on its 10-storey application. The developer agreed to withdraw that appeal if the city approved its alternate seven-storey proposal – if there were no other competing appeals. Since the community association now has an appeal in, the Morley-Hoppner appeal is still in play.
“There is a lot of opposition to going ahead with the appeal, even within the community association,” Wilkinson said. “Simply because we’ve really probably gotten as much as we can on that one ... All the indications we’ve had – including from our own planners and the ones (the community association has) hired – is that an appeal would likely be unsuccessful.”
Wilkinson said she would like to see the community association drop the appeal and focus on working in partnership with Morley-Hoppner to make improvements to the building’s design, landscaping and transportation issues.
“If the developer spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on (an OMB) hearing, that (money) is going to come out of the building,” Wilkinson said. “So let’s put that money into the building.”
Sealey was reluctant to say whether he intended to return as president of the community association, but he said he would be “happy to see a rotation” of the executive. He said he would leave those recommendations up to the community association’s nomination committee.