383 Albert, transit oriented parking requirements

The pictures above show the Claridge proposal for three residential (condo) towers in downtown Ottawa. As noted in a post a few days ago, they are to be built on the lot between the Crowne Plaza Hotel and 151 Bay condos. The current parking lot location abuts Barabarella’s dancing establishment, which will remain after this project is built.

The two 28 storey and one 22 storey towers will have approx 481 apartments. They are located directly above the proposed west downtown LRT station which is under Albert Street. Perhaps those delighted looking ladies in the photomontage just exited the LRT and are headed towards Minto Place …

The city rationalizes a big part of its LRT expenditure on intensified infill development around the stations. As part of this intense Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD) the plans call for high density and reduced parking.

Claridge is proposing to provide 365 residential parking spaces (365spaces/481units=75% parking). This is less than what developers usually provide for condos, for eg along Richmond Road, West Wellie, or Champagne Avenue they provide 113% (1.13spaces per unit). Better developers provide reserved prime spots for VirtuCar since each VirtuCar satisfies approximately 17 households, ie eliminates 17 parking stalls which cost developers approx $30k each to build (several developers I talked to said the 30k cost/price is cost recovery).  Claridge is also providing 241 bike parking spaces (50%) which I suspect is way too low.

So what does the City of Ottawa require as the MAXIMUM number of spaces the developer can provide for this Transit Oriented Development, so as to encourage people to walk and use transit?? Why … the maximum number of spaces within 600m of a transit station is … wait for it … 722 spaces, or 150% parking. Think about that: the city’s maximum number of spaces to encourage transit usage is HIGHER than developers want to provide or normally provide either in the downtown core or inner suburbs. Is our TOD policy as farcical as it looks? Makes me wonder what other marvellous things are in that policy.