My comments on the recent Ottawa Citizen article: “As student rentals devour Sandy Hill, it’s fight or flight for residents” from December 6th 2019.

Sandy Hill is a wonderful community, by its history, heritage buildings, schools, large parks, embassies, and more.

The challenges faced by Sandy Hill are not new – this is something we have been working on for the past nine years – overdevelopment, a variety of housing mix and neighbourhood cohesiveness.

I am pleased to say that over the years we have made some inroads – Sandy Hill now has its own special site plan control process for developments.

A developer can no longer come to City hall, submit plans to Building Code team and walk away with a permit.  The planning team now reviews all aspects of a submission, which has allowed us to improve building materials, landscaping, tree planting, interior garage, and more.

Sandy Hill brings a unique character to our City, which must be preserved.

All that to say, there is indeed still work to be done – but we can’t do it alone.

We must recognize the limitations of the Planning Act, Building Code Act and the property rights that are attributed through zoning.  We will continue to work on improving the latest round of zoning changes, also known as R4, where work is already underway with Action Sandy Hill and City Senior Management for further zoning specifications for Sandy Hill.

We have and continue to work with community partners, residents, the University and students to support Sandy Hill community that is accessible to all.

Looking ahead, we can only accomplish this if actions like my recent direction to staff at Council on Dec. 11, to ensure priorities are made to help increase the supply of rental units of all sizes, is taken seriously when it comes to new developments.

Ottawa citizen article:

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