I suppose we should be used to this by now…. Not only was my internet cable cut but the area was fenced off, so the technician couldn’t fix the problem. I guess there is always a bright side. With no internet for a few days, we can catch up on our reading.
In 2011, the community brought concerns to the attention of the City of Ottawa and Council regarding the mitigation of construction damage to homes adjacent to a prospective condo construction development site. This condo development was subsequently approved and construction began.
In 2014, multiple homes located next to a condo construction site in Lowertown began experiencing damage including sinking floors, gaps and cracks in the walls and in one case, a collapsed ceiling. Numerous construction processes took place directly adjacent to the properties including sheet piling, dewatering as well as drilling.
Below is an excerpt from the 2011 minutes outlining the damage concerns of the community and the response. Was this response appropriate? And was this issue later addressed in the Site Plan Control stage or the Building Permit stage?
SITE DESIGN/SITE FUNCTIONING ISSUES
- There is no indication of how the developer would mitigate the effects of construction on the neighbourhood. We assume that in order to construct there will be significant blasting, trucks and other equipment coming through, staying on site etc. Given the size of the development and the absence of an open space to put equipment, where will that equipment be kept? How will it be moved? What is the compensation regime for any damage caused by the construction (do we have to go through the normal civil courts with the resulting time and money, or is there some expedited process?)
Construction methods are not considered through the Zoning By-law amendment process, the issues identified pertaining to construction would be addressed at the Site Plan Control stage and Building Permit process stage. If development were to proceed, the applicant would have to store the construction vehicles on-site or off-site in accordance with the City’s regulations. The Site Plan Control application is currently on hold until a decision regarding the Zoning By-law Amendment has been made by City Council. If the Zoning By-law Amendment application is approved, the Site Plan Control process would continue and at that time the issues of de-watering, blasting and construction issues would be addressed.
The full version of the minutes from 2011 can be found here: http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2011/08-25/pec/1%20-%20ACS2011-ICS-PGM-0085%20-%20Zoning%20St%20Andrew%20Street.htm
Debris, construction material and trash are all common sights in the backyard of Lowertown residents living next to a construction site. A recent spill of what is believed to be cement has left the deck, chairs and herb garden of one resident covered in residue. The resident says cement also fell on a guest’s car, while parked in his driveway.
So this week the developer next door, you know the one who had the Rock Thrower hit our front window and air conditioner? They came back and dug up the rocks they had thrown down and decided it was OK to rip out the side of our foundation membrane without asking us first. When queried about how they were allowed to do it they simply said “don’t worry we will fix it later this fall.” This really is the Wild West.
I hadn’t either, but starting back in May of this year, I could no longer open my front door. I guess a new set of repair skills is something to look forward to as we go through this process.
You can see here and here that our fence was in top shape back in fall/winter 2013. But throughout the construction it’s been getting worse and worse. We really liked the fence as it kept our garden sheltered. You can also notice in this picture that the right side of the house appears to be sinking. Damage to other parts of the house appear to be supporting this theory as well. Will this ever get fixed? Stay tuned.