How one apartment complex has become a microcosm of the urban boundary debate

By Joanne Chianello, CBC News Ottawa, May 18, 2020

There's nothing particularly surprising about the fact a developer wants to build a four-storey, 30-unit apartment building in a residential Ottawa neighbourhood.

Nor is it shocking that the community opposes at least parts of the plan, which would see a 12-metre high complex built on Grenon Avenue, just east of the Bayshore Shopping Centre. The project would first require rezoning to allow more intensification on the property, and then an exception to that new zoning so it can be built closer to the lot line than usually permitted.

"This application is an effort on the part of the group of investors to exploit a unique and small land parcel in question to its maximum, without having to observe the rules of rezoning and construction," said Lisa Zanyk, a resident living next door, at the city's planning committee last Thursday.

She's not wrong. The community was being asked not only to accept intensification — which delegates said they did not object to — but also to accept exceptions to the rules of that intensification.

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