The city of Ottawa has been asked for permission to tear down a small apartment building to make way for a parking lot, which would be part of a larger downtown development.

For Lionel Njeukam and his family, a two-bedroom apartment at 142 Nepean St., near O’Connor Street, is home.

"I can walk five minutes to the building where I work from here, and it’s close to everything, the pharmacies, the grocery stores, everything is near-by,” he told CTV News Ottawa,

“This is an affordable building; we’re paying $1,200 dollars a month for a two-bedroom, which is really, really below the average rate here in downtown Ottawa.”

A proposal to demolish the six-unit apartment building where he lives, in exchange for 30 parking spaces is part of a larger development plan, including at 108 Nepean St. and 257 Lisgar St.

“Definitely, the majority of the tenants are against the project,” says Njeukam.

According to documents filed with the city, the proposed development consists of a 27-storey high-rise mixed use building on a six-storey podium.

The issue of tearing down 142 Nepean Street was raised at planning committee at Ottawa City Hall on Thursday. City staff support the idea, but the ward councillor is opposed.

“You should not be removing six units at any time for any reason to build a parking lot,” Coun. Catherine McKenney told CTV News. “To demolish that building, and for the city to say ‘go ahead,’ and surface park in the downtown, 600 metres from rapid transit is really just unconscionable.”

As part of the proposal, the affected residents will be offered alternate housing by the developer for two years at no more than the same cost. But Njeukam is concerned that rent elsewhere at the end of those two years will be much higher.

“For me, it’s a lot of stress,” he says,” he said.

After hearing from delegates, councillors on the committee voted to defer the matter until August.