Planning Committee Recommends Approval of New Subdivision at Historic Nepean Estate

Kilmorie House and property at 21 Withrow / Photo via ourcityview.ca

Friday, November 15, 2019

HERITAGE OTTAWA

Heritage Ottawa submitted a written appeal to the city's Planning Committee this week, urging it to delay recommendation of the Zoning Bylaw Amendment and Plan of Subdivision required for the construction of a controversial subdivision of 10 new homes adjacent to 21 Withrow Avenue, a historic home designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and sited on a lushly-treed estate in Nepean.

In 2016, Heritage Ottawa supported the designation of Kilmorie House ’including enough surrounding land to provide adequate setback and context.’’

With support of their Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli, the Kilmorie Heritage Society (KHS) has undertaken considerable community effort to find ways of preserving both the house and its lush property for public use as a municipal park. The delay would have afforded the KHS the opportunity to present its most recent plans to the Ward Councillor and City staff.

Planning Committee recommended approval of the controversial subdivision at its meeting of November 14.

Council will vote on the matter when it meets on November 27.

UPDATE | November 27: COUNCIL VOTE RESULT

A disappointing split vote of 14 - 7 allowing the subdivision development by Theberge Developments to proceed.

The Council members who voted in favour of the development were Mayor Jim Watson, Glen Gower (Stittsville), Jan Harder (Barrhaven), Allan Hubley (Kanata South), Jenna Sudds (Kanata North), Eli El-Chantiry (West Carleton-March), Laura Dudas (Innis Ward), Jean Cloutier (Alta Vista), Tim Tierney (Beacon Hill-Cyrville), Riley Brockington (River Ward), Carol Anne Meehan (Gloucester South), George Darouze (Osgoode), Stephen Blais (Cumberland) and Scott Moffatt (Rideau-Goulbourn).

Voting against were councillors Jeff Leiper (Kitchissippi), Keith Egli (Knoxville-Merivale), Sean Menard (Capital Ward), Mathieu Fleury (Rideau-Vanier), Catherine McKenney (Somerset Ward), Rawlson King (Rideau-Rockcliffe) and Theresa Kavanagh (Bay Ward).

Absent: Diane Deanes (Gloucester-Southgate), Matthew Luloff (Orleans) and Rick Chiarelli (College Ward).

 

An excerpt of coverage by the Ottawa Citizen on November 15 follows:

Planning committee OKs controversial infill subdivision for historic Nepean estate

OTTAWA CITIZEN, By Jon Willing

The planning committee on Thursday approved a controversial infill subdivision on a lush, historic Nepean estate once owned by a Confederation poet.

Theberge Developments wants to build homes on 10 lots next to a heritage home at 21 Withrow Ave. It’s a lush property in the City View community.

The existing stone house on the property was bought in 1914 by William Wilfred Campbell, a Confederation poet, who named it Kilmorie. The city pursued heritage protection for the building in 2016 after the community raised concerns about the property going up for sale.

Theberge earlier this year won a decision from the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal for the first phase of the infill project, which is four detached homes fronting Withrow Avenue.

A dozen people told councillors on the committee to reject the rest of the development proposal.

Joan Clark, president of the City View Community Association, said people have been offering donations to help save the historic property. About $80,000 has been raised, but people are skeptical about giving money because they don’t know what council will do about the development application, she said. The developer, while prepared to entertain an offer, hasn’t told the community association how much the land would cost.

“We must protect this green space,” Clark said. “Once green space is gone, it’s gone forever.”

However, a report from city planning staff says the community has “adequate access to various types of park and open space areas.”

Theberge intends to find a homeowner for the heritage home, which requires between $400,000 and $500,000 in repairs before being habitable, according to company planning consultant Jonah Bonn. The heritage home would have a larger lot than the other lots.

The property is in the College ward of Coun. Rick Chiarelli, who’s a member of the planning committee, but he wasn’t at the meeting Thursday.  According to the city planning report, staff asked for Chiarelli’s agreement on the subdivision application on Sept. 20 but received “unclear direction” from the councillor.

The planning committee overwhelmingly supported the development plan. Only Coun. Jeff Leiper dissented. Council will vote on Nov. 27.

Click here to read this article in its entirety on the Ottawa Citizen website.

Click here for Heritage Ottawa's letter to Planning Committee regarding 21 Withrow Avenue.

Related Media Coverage:

Heritage estate to make way for infill in Chiarelli's ward | CBC News, November 14 2019

‘A devastating day’: Nepean residents upset historic Ottawa property cleared for subdivision | Global News, November 14 2019