The first of several appeals to provincial tribunals and courts about the City of Ottawa's decisions on the Lansdowne Park Partnership Plan has resulted in a win for concerned citizens. Heritage Ottawa and Jean-Claude Dubé have won their appeal relating to the de-designation and relocation of the Horticulture Building.
Ontario's Conservation Review Board (CRB) has come out with a strong recommendation that the Horticulture Building remain a designated heritage building and that it not be moved.
This is a setback to the City of Ottawa's plan to build a large shopping complex at Lansdowne Park. While the CRB's recommendation is not binding, it would be unusual for a municipality to ignore the advice of a provincial tribunal.
The matter will now go back to City Council for a decision. The City will have two choices: to ignore the advice and repeal the heritage designation of the Horticulture Building; or, to accept the recommendation and make changes to the design of the proposed commercial complex.
It is worth noting that the site plan for Lansdowne already has to be changed to respond to a mediated settlement over some zoning appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). More changes may be needed when the OMB rules on the remaining appeals. It is also expected that the Ontario Heritage Trust will demand changes as well.
It is also interesting to recall that the winning design for the urban park portion of Lansdowne kept the Horticulture Building in situ. Should the City decide to respect the CRB recommendation, perhaps more of the winning urban park design could be implemented.
Remember that the Ontario Conservation Review Board and the Ontario Municipal Board appeals are separate from the Friends of Lansdowne Legal Challenge. Our challenge about the legality of the City's decision on the Lansdowne Partnership Plan will be heard by the Ontario Superior Court starting June 21, 2011.
You can read this email text online at: www.letsgetitright.ca/blog/384.