Controversial Château Laurier expansion cleared after final attempt to revoke approval fails

chateau

The current design of the Château Laurier’s controversial proposed addition will move forward unimpeded after a last-ditch effort to block council approval of the project failed to garner enough support for another debate.

Rideau-Vanier Coun. Mathieu Fleury’s call to revoke Château-owner Larco Investment’s heritage permit – at the risk of legal action against the city – was defeated at Wednesday’s council meeting, but a last-minute move to reconsider the motion at a special meeting Thursday seemingly gave the proposal another life.

In fact, reconsidering a motion – a move that council hasn’t used in a decade – needed a majority of councillors to vote in favour of another debate first. Councillors Rick Chiarelli and Diane Deans, who collectively proposed reconsideration on Wednesday, urged their colleagues to allow further debate on the matter that has inspired an outpouring of public opinion.

Deans pushed especially hard against councillors Glen Gower, Laura Dudas, Matthew Luloff and Jenna Sudds, who voted against Fleury’s motion but sent a letter to Larco following Wednesday’s council meeting asking the owners of the iconic hotel to reconsider the much-maligned designs for the seven-storey, 147-suite addition. If these four councillors indeed wanted to put any pressure on Larco, Deans suggested, reconsidering and approving Fleury’s motion was the only viable option.

“The disconnect between actions and words is monumental,” she said.

Ultimately, the reconsideration motion was voted down 13 to 10.

After applying for a minor variance with regards to the Château’s heritage overlay, Larco can now obtain a building permit and begin construction on the addition.