Local BOMA to appeal official plan

Ottawa’s Building Owners and Managers Association is appealing the city’s official plan to the Ontario Municipal Board.

By Jacob Serebrin

The group said that the plan, adopted at the end of November, doesn’t give developers enough leeway when it comes to the height and appearance of buildings.

“If you study the official plan, you’ll see that it’s quite different from the last couple,” said Dean Karakasis, executive director of BOMA Ottawa. “It’s very prescriptive.”

He said that while the city maintains having a set approach ensures certainty, he doesn’t see it that way.

“This won’t create certainty – this will create confusion,” he said.

According to Mr. Karakasis, the recent debate over a condo development on Wellington Street West that was rejected by the city’s planning committee despite widespread community support is a good example of how “sometimes you try and provide certainty, but it goes against what people want.”

The committee voted 6-3 earlier this month to reject Mizrahi Developments’ proposal for a 12-storey building because it is three storeys higher than the area’s community design plan calls for. The developer plans to appeal the ruling to the OMB.

While the city wants new developments to have similar characteristics to surrounding buildings, BOMA said that could rule out some “creative” variations.