1050 Somerset Fundraising AppealResidents of Hintonburg and Ottawa
As many of you know, in August the Hintonburg Community Association filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board to challenge the City’s approval of Claridge's proposed 23-storey development at 1050 Somerset Street West, adjacent to the primary play yard at Devonshire Public School. We have retained a lawyer and a professional planner, who are needed to represent us at the OMB. We will soon be in front of the OMB to argue our case. OMB hearings are expensive, and this hearing will cost the HCA as much as $20,000 to $30,000.
We ask that you help fund the appeal by donating to the Association. We have worked with the City and developers over the years on intensification projects without having to resort to legal action. The results speak for themselves. There have been exciting new developments on Parkdale Avenue at Spencer, the Domicile development at Holland and Wellington, the Windmill building housing the GCTC on the same corner, and numerous in-fill projects. These have significantly increased the number of people living in our community, adding to its vibrancy. There are more to come. Windmill's new project, the Eddy, will transform the Wally Becker site, for example, but within the scope of the Community Design Plan.
These developments work because they were undertaken in a way that was sensitive to the community, were negotiated over many months, and were required to be of demonstrated benefit to the community before being allowed to exceed applicable zoning.
This is not the case with the Claridge development at 1050 Somerset. Rather than listen to the community's concerns about the proposal, and hold the developer to the Community Design Plan unless the community's concerns could be satisfied, the rules were changed by the City in mid-stream. The City's planning rationale for allowing the Claridge proposal is incoherent and illogical. It sets a dangerous precedent for our community and others across Ottawa.
Your donation will show that we are not prepared to allow the City to take communities for granted. You will show that residents who do so much to build vibrant communities must have a voice in determining how those communities evolve and that you value the work of community volunteers who devote their time to work with the City and developers on long-term plans. You will send a message that those plans must be respected and that intensification is not to be imposed but must be undertaken in collaboration with communities.
For two decades, the HCA has put thousands of volunteer hours every year into ensuring safe streets, supporting vibrant businesses, and organizing community events. Now we are being told that the price to be paid for building one of the best neighbourhoods in Ottawa is that we will have to accept whatever inappropriate development comes along. We do not accept that, and you have told us that you don't either. We have heard overwhelmingly from the community that you want us to commit fully to an OMB appeal, and we have.
We are now asking for your support as we make this stand. Please use the Paypal form below to make your contribution. Given the high cost of this fight, we ask that you consider a donation of $50, $100 or $200, and would be grateful for a contribution at any level. Every bit helps.
If you would prefer to send us a cheque, please make it payable to Hintonburg Community Association, and send it to:
Hintonburg Community Association Inc.
1064 Wellington Street
Ottawa ON K1Y 2Y3
Thank you. Please follow us at @HintonburgCA for the latest Twitter updates, or sign up for our electronic newsletter to stay abreast of developments in our appeal.