Council shoots down proposed Dymon Storage facility, ByWard Market hotel

Dymon
Dymon's proposed storage facility near Merivale Road was rejected by city council.

City council has rejected a proposed zoning amendment that would have permitted a six-storey self-storage facility near Merivale Road.

In its first meeting of 2020 held Wednesday, city council voted down a controversial plan to rezone a 1.13-hectare plot of land that would have allowed Dymon Storage to build a new facility at 1375 Clyde Ave. The site, near Baseline Road, is part of the “Merivale triangle” and is currently home to a sports vehicle sales and service centre that will remain in operation.

Dymon’s proposal, which would have included ground-floor retail use and the possibility of a drive-thru restaurant elsewhere on the property, was narrowly endorsed by the city’s planning committee late last year in a 4-3 vote.

Wednesday’s council meeting saw councillors vote 17-5 against city staff’s recommendation on the basis that it did not align with the Merivale Road Secondary Plan, which favours transit- and pedestrian-oriented development in the neighbourhood.

Knoxville-Merivale Coun. Keith Egli urged his colleagues to vote against the proposal, which he said would replace an opportunity for parks or housing in his ward with a “condo for clutter.” He cited 50 unique emails from his constituents asking him to fight back against the pending application.

“It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t sit well with me, it doesn’t sit well with my community,” he said at Wednesday’s meeting.

Council also struck down a proposal Wednesday for a hotel in the ByWard Market, which city staff said did not match the character of the downtown tourist district. A staff report said the proposed 17-storey hotel lacked the necessary angular height plane and setbacks to transition well between neighbouring buildings and is ultimately incompatible with the area.

Council did, however, approve a controversial plan for a series of developments in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood. Opponents of the proposed six- and nine-storey residences said the apartments, which contained fewer parking spaces than permitted under zoning, would attract a flurry of students to the area close to the University of Ottawa.