Plans to build new Larga Baffin residence in Ottawa paused
City staff determining how application can be modified, says councillor
An application from Larga Baffin to build a new 220-room residential care facility in Ottawa has been paused to let developers consider feedback from the community.
Larga Baffin is a boarding home that provides community and medical care for Nunavummiut while they seek health treatment in Ottawa. The organization had submitted an official plan and zoning bylaw amendment in November to build a new residence on Hunt Club Road to accommodate the increased demand for its services.
According to a Dec. 9 report by the Ottawa Citizen, last year some neighbours started a petition to protest the development plans, citing concerns about increased traffic, noise and pollution, and community safety.
Ottawa city planner Sarah Ezzio said in an email that following confirmation Tuesday from the legal counsel of applicant Fotenn Design + Planning, the application has been paused.
“It is unknown at this time how long the applications will be temporarily paused. The applications can be reactivated by the applicant once confirmation to resume has been received by the city,” she said.
Julia Yeast, spokesperson for the office of Ottawa Coun. Diane Deans, who represents the Gloucester-Southgate ward where Larga Baffin has proposed building the new facility, confirmed that Deans’ office had been notified of the decision.
She clarified that the pause does not mean the application is being withdrawn.
“Rather, it will provide the applicant with more time and an opportunity to consider feedback from the community and city staff to determine how the application could be modified,” Yeast said.
In an email on Jan. 20 to her newsletter subscribers, Deans said she was notified that the applicant had paused the proposal, and that a virtual public meeting to discuss the proposal originally scheduled for Wednesday has been cancelled.
While the official planning process has been halted, Deans said she will continue to work to establish a resident working group to “facilitate dialogue between the community and Larga Baffin to foster a greater understanding of the organization, its operations, and the important role they play in our health care system,” she said.
“I think we can all agree that the services Larga Baffin provides to the residents of Nunavut are needed,” Deans added. “Ottawa is proud to be a host city for medical treatments that are not available in the North. However, this is a significant development in this community and resident engagement is an important part of the process.”
Larga Baffin president Malaya Zehr did not respond to multiple requests for comment.