The growing challenges related to waste and debris, especially with the increase in the undesirable ‘bunker house’ type developments in Sandy Hill, encourages us to propose new initiatives to improve our neighbourhood’s quality of life. The requirement for Site Plan Control for any new development unique to Sandy Hill allows the City to address the location and adequacy of storage bins through the site plan review process for new buildings. We are thankful of the ongoing efforts of members from our community in working with us on those measures.
- Before the Property Maintenance By-law modifications, when a property was in violation of an existing by-law, an officer was required to allow 5 days for receipt of notice prior to enforcement. Now, the notice of violations will be deemed received on the third day, which is the minimum legal period.
- In addition to sending by mail, a notice will also be posted on the front of the building allowing for a variety of ways to communicate with the occupants and property owner, who can both be held responsible for continued non-compliance.
- One of the big changes that the new waste initiative will bring is that all bins, including recycling bins, must be stored at the rear of the property, out of sight from the street. (please note: One green bin may be placed at the front of the property) If a property has more than 8 bins in the rear-yard, they are required to be stored in an enclosure.
Sandy Hill is great community for this important pilot project, as we receive a high number of complaints regarding rats, skunks, raccoons, and ongoing garbage complaints from the neighbourhood. It is a pilot that if successful could be expanded elsewhere in our City.
Protecting neighbourhood character; R4 residential zoning review
There have been a number of initiatives with more than seven (7) specific zoning reviews reports that we have led through the City, for Sandy Hill, and our mature neighbourhoods to try and guide good development. The City is currently undertaking a review of the R4 zoning which will apply to residential areas in Lowertown, Sandy Hill, Vanier and beyond, as we have seen R4 residential zoning bring a large permissible building envelope, which is changing the built form in our mature neighbourhood.
This summer, Council approved an interim control bylaw for Sandy Hill, it is the ultimate planning tool to address major development concerns. The By law was enacted in order to halt the construction of the ‘bunkhouse’ style buildings while the R4 review is underway.
The intent of the study:
- Provide for the gradual evolution of established communities, and ensure that multi unit development fits with the mixed character of inner-urban neighbourhoods (mainly R4 zoning, though also R3 and others)
- Develop appropriate zoning standards for low-rise typologies to ensure good fit, integration and site function
- Ensure clarity and reasonable expectations regarding what is and is not allowed, for both the community and builders.
The previous reports such as Infill I & II for example were very effective in achieving the goals they set out too, but it is obvious now that they were never able to address root of the problem which is the permissible envelope of the building and limits on bedrooms; two very important components that are being review as part of the R4 study.
We remain very optimistic that the interim control bylaw’s effectiveness and the R4 review work will bring zoning specific changes to Sandy Hill that will help stabilize our historic community.