HERITAGE OTTAWA, By Leslie Maitland
Today marked the first meeting of the newly-constituted Built Heritge Sub-Committee (BHSC). The purpose of this Committee is to consider City staff recommendations regarding heritage matters, and make recommendations to the Planning Committee. Planning Committee in turn makes recommendations to City Council.
The BHSC is comprised of four City Councillors and three citizen-members who are specially appointed for their professional expertise in heritage matters. Newly elected Councillor Tobi Nussbaum (Rideau Rockcliffe) is Chair of the Committee.
In addition to the Chair, members of the new Committee are newly-elected Councillor Catherine McKenney ( Somerset ) and veteran Councillors Marianne Wilkinson ( Kanata North ) and Scott Moffatt ( Rideau Goulbourn ). Returning citizen-members are architect Barry Padolsky, Carolyn Quinn of Heritage Canada, and Leo A. (Sandy) Smallwood of Andrex Holdings.
The following two proposals were presented to BHSC for its recommendation.
This property, located in the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District, had been approved for renovations several months ago before burning to the ground shortly before Christmas. The house was under renovation; fortunately there were no injuries. The house is considered a loss to the heritage character of the District.
It is expected that the propety owners will rebuild. The demolition request was approved by BHSC.
The former Charles Billings House is a rare surviving example of an early 19th Century Ontario Cottage in Ottawa. The building was designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act in April 2014. This proposal was controversial as it sought approval to replace the original stone foundations with a new foundation, and sought approval to remove 20% of the original historic structure to accommodate new construction on the site. The structure has long suffered from "deferred maintenance" which made its future uncertain.
With reservations, the BHSC voted to pass the proposal by a vote of 4 in favour, 3 opposed.
The BHSC recommendations on both matters will be considered by the Planning Committee at its next meeting on January 20, 2015.
Chair Tobi Nussbaum announced his intent to investigate expansion of BHSC's Terms of Reference - an initiative that Heritage Ottawa heartily endorses.
Heritage Ottawa wishes the Committee well, and commits to working constructively with BHSC in the coming years.
To read the City Staff Reports regarding these proposals, please click the respective sub-titles, or click the icons of the PDF files below.
City Hall Photo: Wikimedia Commons