At the Carleton Place Council committee of the whole meeting held on April 23, Acting Manager of Development Services, Tyler Duval, made a presentation on an interim control bylaw to temporarily limit residential buildings in two specific districts of town. Council was considering a one-year moratorium on any development applications to build 4-storey (or taller) buildings in the town’s residential and Mississippi residential zones. The stated purpose was to give staff and council time to study the issue of taller, denser multi-res units being proposed for established neighbourhoods, in order to amend the town’s official and community plans to reflect residents’ expectations. Duval explained that the bylaw could be extended once from its initial 12 month term to 2 years total.
He also noted that any current and active applications would not be covered by this measure. When asked by committee chair, councilor Theresa Fritz asked how a developer might appeal this restriction; Duval first responded that thoughtful and factual public appeals to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT, replacement to the now defunct Ontario Municipal Board) would be heard. But upon further review of the Ontario legislation during the meeting, he changed his position by noting that only a provincial government minister could appeal the temporary bylaw. He confirmed to Fritz’s follow-up question by replying that no new applications had been received to date.
Deputy Mayor Sean Redmond commented “we need to gauge what we want Carleton Place to be…and we need this moratorium to allow a proper review of both our official and community plans.” Councilor Toby Randell remarked that “I don’t want us to become a Kanata or a Stittsville”. Mayor Doug Black added that “four storeys in these designated areas are just too much.” He went on to suggest that a four storey limit wasn’t enough and that he wanted to prohibit a crowded row of townhouses where a single family home once stood as well.
Newly appointed Chief Building Official Lennox Smith provided the metrics that could be used in an interim bylaw and suggested that limiting a structure to 28 feet in height could answer the density concerns that Black expressed. Black also commented that the application to redevelop 50 Allan Street was one of the factors that led to this bylaw. That application for a 4 storey multi-res building was turned down by the last council in the fall of last year and that decision is currently under appeal to LPAT. There was a general concern expressed around the table that time was of the essence and that a clear direction to planning staff was needed to get the moratorium into effect as quickly as possible. To that end the committee agreed to a 28 foot height limit and instructed staff to prepare the documents for council ratification at the earliest opportunity.