A design charrette will take place regarding the Oak Parliament site in Niagara on the Lake

The following message is from POST (Preserve Our Special Town) in Niagara on the Lake:

Municipal Heritage Committee meeting, February 8, 2022

At a meeting of the Municipal Heritage Committee last Tuesday substantial time was devoted to the issue of a previously requested design charrette. A 35 page powerpoint presentation was submitted by members of the Urban Design Committee (UDC). This is to outline areas of concern for the developer to respond to regarding changes to the existing application.

The presentation was a substantial undertaking by members of UDC and went into great detail analyzing the developer’s proposal. They looked at the design versus neighbourhood context, the building mass, scale and character, the Official Plan requirements, comments made, a detailed analysis of the immediately surrounding streetscapes, neighbourhood sensitivity and recommendations.

A sample slide from the Municipal Heritage Committee presentation requesting “considerations”; the sample slide accompanies the recent message from POST regarding the Oak Parliament redevelopment site

The design charrette, which is voluntary, will be attended by members of both committees and the developer to resolve these issues. This presentation will go to council and the planning department for comments before being submitted to the developer for his response.

POST’s position is that the Official Plan does not support the apartment building form and that low density single family housing is appropriate for this site.

Articles from The Lake Report in Niagara on the Lake

Two recent articles in the Feb. 10, 2022 edition of The Lake Report provide additional background regarding the Oak Parliament story as it unfolds.

An excerpt from the first article, which is entitled: “Council roundup: Councillors concerned about sale of Laura Secord school,” reads:

Parliament Oak discussion Town staff are working on a “charrette” between the town and Parliament Oak property developer Liberty Sites (3) Ltd.

A charrette is a meeting between stakeholders in a project to map out solutions and deal with issues.

Acting community services and development supervisor Rick Wilson said the meeting is still a ways from taking place.

“There are a number of issues that need to be sorted out before we can try and schedule some sort of charrette,” Wilson said.

He noted no terms had been agreed upon for what the discussions would cover and said much more work needed to be done to figure out how to bring public input into the equation and ensure that something meaningful comes out of the meeting.

“There’s a lot of correspondence that we’ve received thus far. In trying to distill that down to what elements a design charrette can assist with I believe is sort of a joint venture with the heritage committee and the urban design committee.”

Click here to access the Feb. 10, 2022 edition of The Lake Report >

A second Feb. 10, 2022 The Lake Report article is entitled: “Willowbank students hold Parliament Oak study.”

An excerpt reads:

Students from the Willowbank School of Restoration Arts are hosting an online survey to gather people’s opinions about the Parliament Oak school site.

The survey is part of a project for students to create a conservation management plan, something the students have to do every year as a purely educational exercise.

“A conservation management plan is simply a document that explains why a place is significant and then how the owner, whoever that is, can sustain the significance in any new use alteration or repair,” said Caitlyn Wooll, the school’s director.

Wooll stressed the project is purely internal and doesn’t want to get involved in the debate about development on the Parliament Oak school site.

However, she did say the school might share the results of the survey on a purely educational level for the public to read. The students’ assignment runs until April.

Previous posts

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