A pair of 26-storey student apartment towers in downtown Ottawa may be built without resident parking and not everyone is happy about it.
An Ottawa planning committee ruled on Tuesday that the Textbook Student Suites Inc. project at Rideau and Besserer could forego its required parking minimum of 164 spaces. Instead, the mixed-use towers would be built with just 14 visitor parking spots.
The reason is that to meet the minimum-parking limit, the developer would have to build an underground parking garage, explained city staff. That would mean higher rental fees for cash-strapped students.
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The development is also close to a future light rail transit station, which will be running in 2018 – before anyone moves into the towers.
“In the urban core, we want to encourage folks to not have a vehicle,” said River Coun. Riley Brockington.
Janet Bradley, a lawyer representing Claridge – a competing development firm – argued that eliminating the parking lot would result in illegal parking downtown.
“It leads to a cruising around effect,” she said.
College Coun. Rick Chiarelli, said there’s a “constant problem” in his ward of students parking on neighbouring streets.
“My community was promised that this kind of thing would never happen,” he said.
In the end, he was the only councillor who dissented on the parking minimum.
The project will go to council for final approval.
This article originally appeared on metronews.ca on April 26.