Secluded Sandy Hill group might bear ‘largest change’ from proposed developments

A secluded neighbourhood in Sandy Hill is being eyed for a whole bunch of recent rental items, inflicting some residents to fret that the group will bear a stark transformation, presumably involving extra scholar housing.

Robinson Village is likely to be Sandy Hill’s most geographically remoted residential space, sandwiched between a subject, the Rideau River and the Queensway on the southernmost finish of the group. The College of Ottawa’s predominant campus is to the northwest and the varsity’s Lees campus is to the south.

A neighborhood improvement firm would assemble 4 multi-unit buildings if it secures political approval at metropolis corridor.

“Persons are very involved within the space about what’s occurring,” mentioned Wendy Duschenes, who has lived on Robinson Avenue since 1982. “Persons are actually dedicated to this neighbourhood.”

It’s one other instance of a Sandy Hill neighbourhood adjusting to builders leaping on alternatives in a powerful marketplace for scholar rental housing.

The truth is, there’s citywide demand for extra rental housing, interval.

A report launched Wednesday by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. mentioned town’s emptiness price was 1.eight per cent final October. The Sandy Hill/Lowertown emptiness price was 2.7 per cent, which was a rise from 1.2 per cent in October 2018.

In terms of Robinson Avenue, one improvement software requires a nine-storey condo constructing with 190 items to be constructed at 36 Robinson Ave. One other software has plans for 3 separate six-storey condo buildings with 46 items in every constructing. The three blocks of web sites can be 17, 19 and 23 Robinson Ave., 27, 29 and 31 Robinson Ave. and 130, 134 and 138 Robinson Ave.

In all, the proposed developments would add 328 items to the neighbourhood, probably doubling the variety of folks dwelling in there.

Public feedback obtained by town categorical concern that the buildings shall be meant for scholar leases relatively than long-term leases. Nonetheless, town can’t make land-use choices primarily based on the demographics of people that would reside at a property.

Developer TC United is behind the proposals. A cellphone message left on the firm wasn’t returned by deadline Wednesday.

”We wish folks to hitch our group,” Duschenes mentioned, noting the neighbourhood has glorious entry to recreation actions, like parks and the trail community alongside the Rideau River. “This is a perfect place for households to come back.”

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury has been railing in opposition to the specter of “bunkhouses” that jam a number of renters into single items, and what he considers over-development of properties. Fleury referred to as the proposal for the six-storey buildings “bunkhouse”

Residents of Robinson Village are particularly delicate about packing extra vehicles into the neighbourhood, which solely has one highway connecting it to the remainder of town.

The plans for the six-storey condo buildings name for a discount within the minimal parking necessities of 17 spots every. As a substitute, every constructing would have three parking spots, principally meant for guests.

As for the proposed nine-storey constructing, the parking requirement can be lowered to 53 areas from the present minimal of 81 areas.

View of the considered one of a lot of previously three small properties, slated for a five-storey constructing.

Julie Oliver /


Fleury is worried by the dearth of resident parking areas for the six-storey buildings, despite the fact that he helps transit-orientated improvement approaches that de-emphasize automotive transportation.

Robinson Village doesn’t have facilities, like a grocery retailer, which might be in straightforward strolling distance.

Fleury mentioned it’s “unrealistic” that individuals dwelling on the buildings would have zero autos.

In the event that they do deliver autos, there’s just one possibility left for parking: the highway.

The builder can obtain town’s go-ahead to scale back the parking necessities as a result of the event space is inside 800 metres of Lees Station. The town considers communities close to LRT stops prime candidates for intensification, since there’s a better likelihood of individuals taking the practice.

The town in 2014 studied the realm round Lees Station, together with Robinson Village, for transit-orientated improvement alternatives, with high-rise buildings thought of as a chance for the general public works yard, if town ever desires to ends its operations there. The town thought six storeys can be an appropriate most peak for a lot of the western a part of the village.

When a former landowner subsequently appealed the zoning for 36 Robinson Ave. to the previous Ontario Municipal Board, town and proprietor crafted a settlement that ended up with the OMB permitting 9 storeys on the property.

Duschenes mentioned if the buildings are meant for college students, the entire train of getting new residents to make use of the LRT system could possibly be pointless because it is likely to be quicker to stroll to the campus than the LRT station.

Due to the separated nature of the neighbourhood, there’s an ungainly strolling path to Lees Station, which is on the opposite aspect of the Queensway.

David Elden, a 20-year resident of Robinson Avenue, mentioned the group is on the cusp of a significant transformation due to the proposed developments.

“This would be the largest change by far,” Elden mentioned.

Elden, a board member of the Motion Sandy Hill group affiliation, mentioned there was an enchancment to the sorts of items within the proposed developments, which he mentioned have been initially dominated by studio and one-bedroom residences, however there’s nonetheless unease about having a nine-storey constructing “loom” over the neighbourhood.

Whereas he acknowledges college students need to reside someplace, Elden mentioned there’s a concern Robinson Village will grow to be a “monoculture” of scholar leases.

“I don’t assume anybody would say they’re anti-student,” Elden mentioned, “and so they genuinely aren’t.”

The planning committee is scheduled to contemplate the event purposes on Jan. 23.