Ottawa's Maturing Neighbourhoods
FROM CRITERIA TO REGULATION
In all maturing neighbourhoods we must begin building infill that suits our future dream for walkable urbanism. But in the mean time, our “soon-to-be-walkable” and “not-yet-walkable” areas we must be provided with transitional parking solutions.
The need for transitional parking cannot be underestimated. Without an adaquite transitional parking plan, builders/developers will not risk invested in walkable density.
Without transitional parking our neighbourhoods will be in a development limbo -- it's a real 'chicken and egg' problem. It will take 15 to 20 years to transition most urban neighbourhoods to being walkable. Increased population density is needed to fund this slow transition. BUT density is impossible now in the desired/necessary walkable form (without parking) because the neighbourhoods are not yet truly walkable. Transitional parking is the solution.
Transitional parking must include:
street permit parking (on only one side of the street if there are no sidewalks),
temporary front yard parking that 'times out' (see zoning),
temporary neighborhood parking lots (on future development properties).
The City, neighbourhood associations and industry will need to collaborate in finding the best temporary parking solutions.
The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association has suggested:
"To achieve a balance between these goals [parking now and walkability later], the City should approach parking as an interim use of land as people slowly shift away from predominate automobile use to other modes of transportation for the majority of commuting. The city should consider the following options:
Allow surface parking, whether located ina rear yard or in a front yard. As an alternative to attached garages, surface parking increases the opportunity to have lively facades facing the street. Surface parking can be replaced over time with soft landscaping and trees.
Encourage parkades with retail on the main floor and parking on higher floors, where the facade disguises use (which is well-used downtown). Above ground structures can be converted to different uses at an appropriate point in the future.
Expand and encourage condo buildings with underground parking to be used for tenants and the public – as is the case with the condo building parking on Byron between Roosevelt and Golden.
Develop small community or neighbourhood parking lots.
Allow off-site parking a short distance away for a designated cluster of homes. This would provide the city with the dense housing typology it desires, and the parking lot could be developed at a later date."
From CRITERIA to REGULATION:
"The philosophy and approach to parking is the “elephant in the room” in terms of intensification and the Official Plan."
Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association, Letter re Westboro Infill Study, 2019