In the last 4 months planning and design for a renovation and addition to 205 Crichton Street have continued at a fervent pace. More than 30 editions of the project’s CAD (computer aided design) file have been produced, with the majority created since October 2013.
Although consultation with the City of Ottawa heritage planning staff was begun in early 2012, communication continued sporadically while I focused on other priorities. With the intention of submitting a Heritage Permit Application before the end of February (the first step in the approvals process for the proposed project), I reopened a dialogue with the City of Ottawa in the fall of 2013. Major areas of discussion included:
a) the cladding material used above the existing home to complete the building’s second floor (i.e., retention of the existing yellow brick versus tinting of the existing yellow brick to a red colour);
b) cladding material used on the addition to the rear (i.e., wood siding versus masonry); and,
c) accessible access to the existing building (i.e., ramp to first floor level versus walk out basement).
By early January, my revised proposal had the support in principle of the City of Ottawa’s heritage planning staff.
On January 16th I met Ted and Bev Mathesius (residents of the only adjoining property, at 201 Crichton Street) to discuss the project. At that meeting Ted and Bev expressed their support for the project as illustrated in the draft plans. When asked if there was anything about the proposed plans that they wished to have changed, Ted expressed a preference for homes with peaked roofs (like their own) instead of flat roof buildings because in his opinion peaked roof buildings shed water better. Notwithstanding his lack of confidence in the reliability of flat roofed buildings, Ted understood that the flat roof was being proposed since one of the primary design intentions of the project was to finish the construction of the home that was started by his step father in 1945.
In early 2012 the New Edinburgh Community Alliance Heritage and Development Committee (NECA HDC) commented on a preliminary proposal for a renovation and addition to 205 Crichton Street. This week I had an opportunity to present my revised plans to the NECA HDC. (After 4 weeks of unanswered messages to the committee chairperson, the meeting was ultimately facilitated by the City’s heritage planner. I wonder whether or not the committee was testing my resolve or purposely stalling with the knowledge that their input was an important component of my consultation process.) At the meeting I addressed each of the issues raised by the NECA HDC in 2012, either through the provision of additional information, or through a revision to the preliminary concept. A cover letter sent with copies of the revised plans to committee members last week provides a good outline of the discussion had at the meeting.
I believe that revisions made to the plans in response to the NECA HDC’s comments in 2012 both address their concerns and improve the project overall. I look forward to receiving the committee’s feedback prior to submitting the Heritage Permit Application.