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Council approves residential towers across from Central Experimental Farm, sending garbage to private landfills

A proposed development for the corner of Carling and Parkdale avenues would see the existing building and parking lots be replaced by two buildings, one 16 storeys tall and the other 27 storeys. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa) A proposed development for the corner of Carling and Parkdale avenues would see the existing building and parking lots be replaced by two buildings, one 16 storeys tall and the other 27 storeys. (Peter Szperling/CTV News Ottawa)

Taggart Realty Management has received the green light to build two high-rise towers across the street from the Central Experimental Farm.

Council voted 18 to 7 to approve plans to build 16- and 27-storey high-rise towers on Carling Avenue, just west of the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus. It would add 410 residential units to Ottawa's market once the towers are completed.

The proposal has faced opposition from community groups over the height of the buildings and from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which said that it was worried the shadows cast by the buildings could affect research at the Central Experimental Farm on the opposite side of Carling Avenue.

City staff said the proposed development achieves the intensification objectives identified for areas near planned LRT stations and it is consistent with the Official Plan and High-rise Design Guidelines.

Councillors Jessica Bradley, Ariel Troster, Shawn Menard, Sean Devine, Riley Brockington, Clarke Kelly and Theresa Kavanagh voted against the proposal.

Coun. Jeff Leiper voted in favour of the project in his ward.

Council asks Ontario's housing minister to review urban boundary expansion

The city of Ottawa is asking the Ontario government to review the decision to add more lands to Ottawa's urban boundary last fall.

The previous council approved a 1,281-hectare expansion of the urban boundary by 2046 as part of the urban boundary review, but when the provincial government approved it, it had added an additional 654 hectares to the list of expanded lands upon which development is permitted, despite the city not including it.

Council unanimously approved a motion from Coun. Shawn Menard to ask Mayor Mark Sutcliffe to write the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Paul Calandra, requesting the expansion lands added to the urban boundary in 2022 be reviewed.

On Tuesday, Menard and 10 other councillors released an open letter to Ontario Auditor General Nick Stavropoulos and Integrity Commissioner David Wake, calling on them to investigate how and why the province added more land to the urban boundary.

"Most of these lands scored poorly in respect to the criteria that included proximity to transit, sewage and water infrastructure, and the protection of farmland," the letter says. "While increasing housing supply was the primary objective of the city-led urban boundary expansion in 2020, Ottawa planners demonstrated through their analysis that the 654 hectares added by the province to Ottawa’s urban boundary were not needed to meet the target of homes to be built in Ottawa."

The letter was prompted by the recent Greenbelt scandal in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that led to the resignation of two provincial ministers.

A new plan for trash

Council voted in favour of a new plan for Ottawa's household garbage, including changes to the collection schedule and sending 60,000 tonnes of waste to private landfills a year.

Under the plan, garbage will only be collected Monday to Thursday, with no garbage collection on Fridays. Garbage collection will continue to be picked up every other week, while the green bin will be picked up weekly.

As part of the city's bid to extend the life of the Trail Road Landfill, 60,000 tonnes of garbage a year will be sent to Waste Management's West Carleton Environmental Centre on Carp Road and the GFL's Transfer Station on Corduroy Road in conjunction with the Moose Creek Landfill.

The changes will come into effect in March 2026.

The future of Somerset House

A new plan to restore the historic Somerset House in Centretown has been unanimously approved by council.

Initially built in 1896, Somerset House originally served as a department store for the Crosby, Carruthers Company, says the report. The building partially collapsed as part of a renovation project in 2007, and remains vacant.

The new plan includes the "restoration and stabilization" of the historic building and the construction of a three-storey addition at the back.  The addition will have two commercial units on the ground and basement levels and 14 residential units on the second and third floors.

"This application has been a long time coming and I understand there is a high level of skepticism in the community because there's been many attempts by the owner to bring this forward," Coun. Ariel Troster told council. "I am quite optimistic about this proposal."

Clothing donation boxes

There will be new rules for outdoor clothing donation boxes in Ottawa, starting Jan. 31, 2024.

Council approved the new bylaw for outdoor clothing donation boxes, including a mandatory permit system and regulations.

The owners of clothing donation boxes will need a city permit and will need to follow regulations around box placement, signage, safety and maintenance.

A permit will cost $500 a year, plus $150 per box operated by the permit holder.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond Top Stories

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