Despite impassioned pleas from Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes and Mayor Jim Watson, city council voted Wednesday to allow a nine-storey tower as part of a development between 93 and 105 Norman St. in Little Italy.
© Google Street View Image
The site of the proposed Taggart condominium development on Norman Street in Little Italy.
Ms. Holmes, who wanted the height restricted to four storeys, pointed out a number of changes made since the original strategic direction report was first tabled.
âSo there is no reason for not changing the height on Norman,â she told council. âEvery other street that dead ends from Carling to Preston is four storeys.â
Mr. Watson said he thinks a taller building will cause traffic headaches in the area, despite reports to the contrary from city staff.
He also took exception to a nine-storey building surrounded by four storey low-rises.
âThink about this in your own ward for a minute,â the mayor asked council. He said he often walks through neighbourhoods and wonders âwho in their right mind approved these massive towers in the middle of this neighbourhood?â
Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans and Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Peter Clark also expressed traffic concerns with the Tamarack Developments proposal.
Tamarack had originally proposed an 18-storey tower, but that plan met resistance from both the community and city staff.
Alta Vista Coun. Peter Hume, who also chairs the planning committee, said the development represents the best council can do in a âvery difficult and conflicted situation.â
It was a double-loss for Ms. Holmes. A motion to limit a possible development on Young Street backing on to George Street West to six storeys was also defeated.
The vote came after Capital Coun. David Chernushenko told council it is possible to intensify communities without massive towers.
âWe call it âLittle Italyâ. If we are not very careful with the direction we are adopting right now, weâll have to call it the âformer Little Italy,â â he said.