Château Laurier, Heritage Ottawa appealing committee of adjustment decision on controversial hotel addition

Rendering: Larco Investments

Wednesday, October 16, 2019


The owner of the Château Laurier is appealing a committee of adjustment decision rejecting part of the company’s plan to build an addition on the north side of the heritage hotel.

Heritage Ottawa is also appealing the decision, ensuring that the advocacy group is a party during the hearing.

A five-member panel of the committee of adjustment last month released a decision that refuses a request by the hotel to reduce the protected setbacks in the northwest part of the property.

Under the current design, the hotel’s proposed addition would jut out toward Major’s Hill Park along 16.5 metres of the expansion’s façade. The committee of adjustment ruled that the area of the addition would represent an increase in density on the site and therefore was not “minor.”

The committee, however, allowed a variance when it comes to a retaining wall planned inside the setback zone at the edge of Major’s Hill Park. The mandatory setback for a building on the hotel property is three metres.

Michael Polowin, one of the lawyers representing Heritage Ottawa, confirmed the group was also filing an appeal to LPAT.

The group believes Larco’s minor variance application wasn’t properly brought before the committee of adjustment, but the procedural play is important since Heritage Ottawa could be a full party to an appeal, rather than applying to be a party to Larco’s appeal, Polowin said.

Heritage Ottawa has been the leading group opposing the proposed addition, particularly the design of the controversial expansion.

Polowin, a municipal law expert with years of experience in planning appeals, estimated that an LPAT hearing could last about a week, but it might not happen before April.


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