Ottawa city council could vote on Larga Baffin plan July 6

Planning committee already gave green light to proposal for 350-bed boarding facility for Nunavummiut

An application to build a new 220-room Larga Baffin facility, depicted in this artist’s drawing, has been carried over to Ottawa city council after being approved by the city’s planning committee on June 23. (Image courtesy of Larga Baffin)

By Madalyn Howitt

Developers behind an application to build a new Larga Baffin facility could learn if their plan is a go when Ottawa’s city council discusses the proposal next week.

Councillors will consider Larga Baffin’s application to open a 350-bed facility on July 6, the final meeting before council breaks for the summer, said planning committee co-chairs councillors Scott Moffat and Glen Gower in emails to Nunatsiaq News on Monday.

Larga Baffin offers temporary accommodation, meals, transportation services and other logistical support to visiting Nunavummiut receiving specialized medical care in Ottawa that is not easily accessible in Nunavut.

The facility’s current location on Richmond Road can accommodate 195 visitors but is often over capacity, with many clients having to be housed in nearby hotels.

The new centre would be built at the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Sieveright Avenue.

On June 23, an application from developers Fotenn Planning and Design was approved by Ottawa’s planning committee, carrying it forward to city council for final approval.

Hours after the committee’s decision, city councillor Diane Deans — who spoke during the virtual meeting and represents the Gloucester-Southgate ward where the new facility would be built — made an announcement, saying she no longer plans to run for mayor in October’s municipal election.

Deans said she will also not seek re-election as a city councillor.

She said her decision was prompted by “both personal and professional reasons.”

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the next mayor will need to make an 8-year (two term) commitment to the job,” Deans said in a statement released to reporters.

“Four years will not be sufficient to get this city on a better path. Regrettably, I do not feel I can make a commitment of that length to the people of Ottawa.”

Deans did not return multiple requests for comment for this story.

She was vocal in the months leading up to last week’s meeting in saying she did not support key components of Larga Baffin’s application.

That included the six-storey, 22-metre height of the building and the location of an entrance point on a residential street, citing constituents’ concerns about the size of the facility and increased traffic in the area.

 

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Community Resident on

    As a resident of the community, I strongly take umbrage with this mischaracterization of the community and its concerns. The concerns are indeed with the building and not its use — a use that could change at any moment, as the city knows, as we have never seen the guidelines by which this for profit entity operates its expected use. All we can do is ask the developer and the city to accommodate our concerns with the zoning deviations. The changes the developers seek effectively allow them to increase four storeys to six storeys AND to build a future multi-storey residential building — which are simply not sustainable based on the current traffic and infrastructure issues in the community. Instead on focusing on the actual changes requested, the developers, their planners, consultants and lawyers, and indeed the councilors aside from the actual area councillor have wrapped up it as a take-it or leave-it scenario to maximize profit and paint the community as somehow better resourced than they are.

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    • Posted by I’ll Never Understand on

      I too have not been able to understand this ‘newspaper’s’ focus on mischaracterizing resident concerns as being ethnically based, rather than listening to what we say about future building and land use. I really wish that they would pick up the phone and call some of us, you know?

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      • Posted by Binky the Doormat on

        Come on folks, this is an ‘award winning publication’ delivering high quality news!

        Undoubtedly, Nunatsiaq’s least impressive feature is the lack of effort devoted to understanding complex dynamics wherever they appear. It’s much easier and more ‘engaging’ to deal in established narrative types and writing formulas known to bring reactions—of any type—with their readers.

        This is more than just an easy route to a limbic system response though, consider the perverse incentives around reader engagement (i.e. clicks, site visits and comments) and how these are fundamental to the business model.

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