Urban Design Brief December 23, 2015 Southside Construction Group Official Plan & Zoning By-Law Amendment

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1 Urban Design Brief Proposed Official Plan & Zoning By-Law Amendment 3244, 3263 and 3274 Wonderland Road South Southside Group December 23, 2015

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3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page No. INTRODUCTION... 1 SECTION 1 LAND USE PLANNING CONTEXT The Subject Lands The Proposal Design Goals and Objectives Design Response to Official Plan Urban Design Principles and Southwest Area Plan Urban Design Guidelines Spatial Analysis Community Context 400 metres Community Context 800 metres SECTION 2 DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND DESIGN RESPONSES Conceptual Design Public Realm Sustainability Techniques... 16

4 INTRODUCTION The purpose of this Urban Design Brief is to provide the design details for a proposed development by Southside Group consisting of a big box / new format retail development located on vacant lands on both the east and west sides of Wonderland Road South in the Bostwick neighborhood. The retail development will be occupied by a mix of multi-unit and stand alone retail buildings. SECTION 1 LAND USE PLANNING CONTEXT 1.1 THE SUBJECT LANDS The subject lands are located on the east and west sides of Wonderland Road South, immediately south of the planned extension of Bradley Avenue (Figure 1). The subject lands are comprised of a portion of two rectangular parcels on the east side of Wonderland Road South and two rectangular parcels on the west side of Wonderland Road South. The parcels on the east side of Wonderland Road South have a combined frontage of approximately meters (51.29 feet) along Wonderland Road South (Figure 1). Only a portion of these parcels is subject to the application and therefore, only metres of the total meters (1, feet) property depth is included, for a total site area of approximately 3.63 hectares (8.97 acres) in area. The parcels on the west side of Wonderland Road South have a combined frontage of approximately metres ( feet) along Wonderland Road South and a depth of approximately metres ( feet), totaling approximately 3.75 hectares (9.27 acres) in area. The total area proposed for an expanded range of commercial uses is approximately 7.38 hectares (18.24 acres). The subject lands are known municipally as 3244, 3263 and 3274 Wonderland Road South. A municipal address has not yet been assigned to the northerly parcel on the west side of Wonderland Road South. The subject lands are predominately vacant with the exception of the southerly parcel on the east side of Wonderland Road South, which is the site of a former motor vehicles sales establishment that included two commercial buildings and a separate detached dwelling. 1

5 Figure 1 Subject Lands Figure 2 Subject Lands (west side of Wonderland Road South) Figure 3 Subject Lands (east side of Wonderland Road South) 2

6 1.2 THE PROPOSAL The development proposal for the subject lands is for a big box / new format retail development, similar to the existing built form to the north of the subject lands. The conceptual design for the subject lands provides for a total of 18,689 sq. m (201,166 sq. ft.) of retail floor space spread over four large, retail units, and a number of stand alone buildings with opportunities for multiple tenants (Figure 4). Figure 4 Conceptual Development Plan The general layout and building placement is in keeping with the layout of the lands to the north; stand alone buildings are placed close to the road frontages of Wonderland Road South and Bradley Avenue while larger spaces for anchor retailers are placed further to the rear. Vehicular access is provided by five, full-turn accesses on Bradley Avenue (including a service access at the easterly property limit) and three, right-in-right-out (RI/RO) accesses on Wonderland Road South (two for the easterly lands and one for the westerly lands). Pedestrian linkages are anticipated along both Bradley Avenue and Wonderland Road. On-site pedestrian linkages are facilitated by wide pedestrian boulevards in front of the retail plazas, similar to what currently exists to the north of the subject lands at the Winners/Homesense/JYSK plaza (Figure 5). Extensive landscaping is proposed for these areas to provide a high quality pedestrian environment. 3

7 Figure 5 Pedestrian Boulevard 1.3 DESIGN GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The overall goal of the development proposal is to construct a retail environment that contributes to an attractive street presence within the Wonderland Boulevard and the existing commercial development to the north. The design is intended to benefit the City s southwesterly Wonderland Road South gateway, and to be compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood. In order to effectively achieve this goal for the subject lands, the following design objectives have been identified: Create street-oriented development that reinforces the spatial enclosure of the street and addresses all abutting streetscapes. Enhance the aesthetic quality of the residential and commercial neighbourhoods in the vicinity of the subject lands by utilizing architectural elements, such as building massing, articulation, materials and colours that are attractive and complement the existing buildings. 4

8 Appropriately screen the associated parking areas from public view. Provide a high quality pedestrian environment by providing pedestrian walkways and crossings lined with landscaped features. Provide high quality site and building design at the southwest gateway to the City of London. Provide for a development of the subject lands that will be supportive of investments in public transit and provide convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists as well as those arriving by car. 1.4 DESIGN RESPONSE TO OFFICIAL PLAN URBAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND SOUTHWEST AREA PLAN URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES The City of London Official Plan includes urban design principles that are to be applied to new developments city-wide. Section in the Official Plan lists the urban design principles that are to be promoted in the preparation of development proposals. In addition to these urban design principles, the Ontario Municipal Board approved the Southwest Area Plan (SWAP) in April 2014, which contains additional design guidelines to be applied to new developments within the southwesterly area of the city. Section of SWAP lists the design guidelines that are to be promoted in the preparation of development proposals. The urban design principles and guidelines contained in the above mentioned documents do not always apply to each specific development and are dependent upon the location and characteristics of the proposal. The urban design principles and guidelines frequently focus on common themes and, where appropriate, we have addressed the urban design principles and guidelines together according to these common themes. The urban design principles and guidelines relevant to this development proposal by Southside Group and how they are addressed are described in the following: Trees - Official Plan Section ii) The subject lands currently contain sporadic groups of trees. Existing trees will be conserved where possible to enhance the look of the site. Strategic tree-forms and tree-types will be planted to achieve specific functions on the site. For example, deciduous shade trees are proposed along 5

9 all bounding streets on private property adjacent to the public sidewalk and will assist in the spatial enclosure and delineation of the street-line and will provide for an attractive and comfortable pedestrian environment along the public sidewalks. Parking islands internal to the site will be landscaped with deciduous shade trees and a mix of shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses to visually break up large parking areas. The wide pedestrian boulevards internal to the site will be defined by broad landscaped areas in a similar fashion to the pedestrian boulevards to the north of the subject lands. High Design Standards Official Plan Section iv) The proposed commercial campus has been designed to respond to the obligation to provide an attractive streetscape and high quality design and landscaping proximate to gateways to the City, districts or neighborhoods as elaborated below in discussion of gateways. Architectural Continuity Official Plan Section vi) Common architectural elements such as building massing, articulation, materials and colours bring consistency and continuity to the grouping of buildings that comprise the proposed commercial campus. These architectural elements as proposed will also be compatible with, and complement, existing buildings in the vicinity of the subject lands. The proposed buildings have a low-rise, moderate massing that is compatible with the existing commercial node to the north and is of an appropriate pedestrian scale recognizing the planned pedestrian orientation of the bounding streets according to the Southwest Area Plan. The proposed buildings are one-storey in height, also consistent with the existing commercial buildings to the north. The proposed building elevations are highly articulated through a variety of means (i.e. changes in the cladding materials, entrance and window placement, the use of datum/ cornice lines, building projections and recesses). A similar level of attention will be paid to all elevations in terms of articulation. The proposed materials selection will include a masonry base, brick middle, and stucco top for most buildings which will complement the similar use of materials that clad existing buildings to the north. Colours will be selected based on a range of colours that will complement existing buildings, north of Bradley Avenue. 6

10 Streetscape Official Plan Section vii) The proposed commercial campus will position buildings within close proximity to Wonderland Road to minimize the building setback and thereby provide a strong and consistent built edge that contributes in part to the spatial enclosure and delineation of the street-line. The positioning of the proposed buildings allows for most of the associated parking areas to be located internal to the site behind the proposed buildings and screened from public view, contributing to an attractive street presence. The highly articulated building elevations will ensure that blank walls are not featured in the streetscape. The rear and side building elevations that will face bounding streets are highly articulated and have a similar level of architectural detail as the front or principal building elevations. The highly articulated building elevations will provide visual interest and punctuation at the prominent corner locations. Public sidewalks are planned along the bounding streets, and several direct connections from the on-site pedestrian walkways to the public sidewalks are proposed. Pedestrian Circulation Official Plan Section viii) A series of pedestrian walkways and crossings will facilitate pedestrian circulation through the site from Wonderland Road and Bradley Avenue, as well as link the on-site buildings. The pedestrian walkway connections with the public sidewalk are available for use by those who will access the site by foot, bicycle or public transit. The pedestrian walkways and connection through the site will ensure that a convenient pedestrian circulation route is provided For pedestrians traversing the parking areas internal to the site, the pedestrian walkways and crossing through the site will provide areas of refuge. Access to Sunlight Official Plan Section ix) The shadow impact from the proposed commercial campus onto adjacent lands and streets will be negligible given the low-rise and moderate massing of the proposed buildings. Clear glazing is proposed for the front or principal building elevations and there is an opportunity for both clear glazing and spandrel glazing on the side and rear building elevations to suit tenant layouts. Landscaping Official Plan Section x) Landscaping will unify and enhance all elements of the proposed commercial campus including building design, pedestrian circulation, parking and views into the site from the bounding streets 7

11 (Figure 19). A layered approach to landscaping (i.e. deciduous shade trees and a mix of shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses) is used in several areas to soften the transition to the proposed buildings, screen parking areas and visually break up large parking areas. It is important to note that landscaping along the bounding streets will contribute to an attractive street presence and internal to the site will reinforce the presence of pedestrian walkways and crossings through the site and link buildings. Building Positioning Official Plan Section xi) As elaborated above in the discussion of streetscape, the proposed commercial development will position buildings within close proximity to Wonderland Road to minimize the building setback and thereby provide a strong and consistent built edge that contributes in part to the delineation of the street-line. The positioning of the proposed buildings allows for most of the associated parking areas to be located internal to the site behind the proposed buildings and screened from public view contributing to an attractive street presence. Accessibility Official Plan Section xii) The proposed commercial campus will be built to provide for universal accessibility. Ramps have been incorporated into the design of the pedestrian walkways providing barrier free access to and from the parking areas. Accessible parking spaces have also been provided throughout the site at various locations in close proximity to most building entrances. Parking and Vehicular Access Official Plan Section xiii) As elaborated above in the discussion of streetscape and building positioning, most of the associated parking areas will be located internal to the site behind the proposed buildings and screened from public view. All required vehicular parking can be accommodated on-site, applying the rate for anticipated uses for the commercial development. Due to the expanse of on-site parking required, the site is divided into smaller parking areas through the use of landscaped parking islands and pedestrian walkways and crossings though the site. The associated parking areas will be accessed by driveways off Wonderland Road and Bradley Avenue to provide vehicular access to the site. The use of a right-in/right-out accesses along Wonderland Road is intended to reduce the potential traffic conflicts on the arterial road. 8

12 The loading associated with the proposed commercial buildings can predominately be addressed by the standard on-site vehicular parking spaces and through standard pedestrian entrances to the proposed buildings. Privacy Official Plan Section xiv) There are no existing residential developments adjacent to the subject lands that would require privacy protection. Waste Management Official Plan Section xix) All waste materials are proposed to be stored in on-site Molok containers that are a preferred alternative to standard dumpsters contained and screened by purpose-built enclosures. With most of the Molok containers capacity located underground less developable space is consumed by waste management; compaction results from the natural force of gravity; and fewer odours result due to cooler underground temperatures. As such, it is expected that the Molok containers will be emptied less often than standard dumpsters, reducing the private truck traffic associated with waste management. Strategic locations for the Molok containers have been identified on the site plan. Resource Conservation Official Plan Section xx) The proposed development of the subject lands will make efficient use of urban land and investment in existing and planned infrastructure (i.e. roads, water-mains, sanitary and storm water sewers) and services (i.e. public transportation). The proposed commercial development will make use of best-practice techniques of current construction practices to ensure the resulting buildings are energy efficient. Gateways Official Plan Section xxi) The Wonderland Road corridor functions as a southerly gateway to the City. The proposed commercial development has been designed to respond to the obligation to provide an attractive street presence and high quality design and landscaping proximate to gateways to the City, districts or neighborhoods. As elaborated above, buildings will be positioned within close proximity to Wonderland Road to create a strong and consistent built-edge on a currently vacant portion of the roadway. The massing and articulation of these buildings will enhance the planned pedestrian orientation of Wonderland Road. 9

13 Buildings and Site Design Southwest Area Plan Section iii)b) entrances to the smaller buildings are located facing the street, with direct pedestrian connections out to the City sidewalk; windows and signage will be incorporated into the building design facing the street, consistent with the existing commercial node to the north; buildings facing the street will accommodate various architectural elements to provide weather protection; parking and drive aisles are located between the street and buildings, consistent with existing commercial development to the north; however, a special policy has been applied for to address this through the OPA; the proposed buildings provide setbacks consistent with the existing commercial node to the north; parking for the larger-scale retail buildings has been located to the rear of the smaller, street facing buildings, out of view from the public realm; the drive aisle pattern is consistent with existing development, providing an extension of the drive aisles within the existing commercial node to the north. Pedestrian walkways are provided throughout the site, with linkages to building entrances and the City sidewalk; and the buildings at the Wonderland Road and Bradley Avenue intersection have been sited along the Bradley street frontage to anchor the corner and mirror the layout of the existing buildings on the north side of the intersection. The rear and side building elevations that will face bounding streets will be highly articulated and have a similar level of architectural detail as the front or principal building elevations (including the range of materials to be used masonry base, brick middle, and stucco top; building projections with a corresponding raised parapet detail and recesses; and ample-sized windows). The highly articulated building elevations will provide visual interest and punctuation at the prominent corner location. The articulation of the proposed building elevations is also used to emphasize the location of main entrances by locating the entrances on portions of the front or principal elevations that project and include raised parapet details. 1.5 SPATIAL ANALYSIS An appropriate scale for the spatial analysis of the subject lands includes the lands bounded by Southdale to the north, Singleton Avenue to the east, Wharncliffe Road South to the south and Pack Road to the west (Figure 6). 10

14 Figure 6 Spatial Analysis Community Context 400 metres Within the 400 metre community context of the subject lands Wonderland Road South is an arterial road while the Bradley Avenue extension (dashed yellow line) is identified as a future arterial road according to Schedule C Transportation Corridors to the City of London Official Plan, placing the subject lands at the future intersection of two arterial roads. Two bus routes service this section of Wonderland Road South (28 Lambeth and 12 Wharncliffe). Land uses within the 400 metre community context of the subject lands include a mix of lowdensity residential uses, including single-detached residential dwellings and cluster townhouse dwellings (northeast, east); industrial (south), large-format commercial (north), high-density residential (northeast), commercial/industrial (south), open space (east), and agricultural (west). Lands to the north have developed as a big-box format regional commercial node, consisting of large anchor stores located to the rear of the lands and smaller, stand-alone buildings occupied by a range of uses located close to the street line. These lands provide high quality landscaping along Wonderland Road South, including trees, armour stone, ornamental grasses, and shrubs (Figure 7) Lands to the northeast have recently developed for a range of residential uses including single detached dwellings, cluster townhouses, fourplexes, and high-rise apartment buildings. Lands to 11

15 the east, south of the existing developed residential lands, are expected to develop for a similar range of residential uses in the near future. Figure 7 Landscaping along Wonderland Road South An open space corridor to the east runs north/south and includes stormwater management areas proximate to the subject lands and multi-use trails. A hydro corridor, containing high voltage power lines and transmission towers, is located adjacent to the west of the subject lands and runs north/south. Agricultural uses (cultivation) are the dominant land use to the west of the hydro corridor, although long-term uses are expected to be a range of residential uses. Within the 400m context there is are public sidewalks along both sides of Wonderland Road South and a portion of the Bradley Avenue extension Community Context 800 metres Within the 800 metre community context of the subject lands there are three additional arterial roads; Southdale Road West to the north; Wharncliffe Road South to the west; and, Bostwick 12

16 Road to the west, according to Schedule C Transportation Corridors to the City of London Official Plan. Land uses within the 800m community context of the subject lands are similar to the land uses within the 400m community context with the notable additions that the 800m community context includes a range of commercial/industrial uses to the south, comprised of self-storage establishments, a London Transit Commission bus depot, a business park, and building supply outlets. It is noted that the long term plan for these lands (on both sides of Wonderland Road South) is for a commercial corridor, similar to the existing commercial node to the north of the subject lands. SECTION 2 DESIGN PRINCIPLES AND DESIGN RESPONSES 2.1 CONCEPTUAL DESIGN The conceptual development plan for the subject lands provides for a built form that is generally consistent with the existing commercial node to the north. Large-format retail anchor stores are positioned to the rear of each parcel with wide pedestrian boulevards linking each individual retailer. Smaller, stand-alone buildings placed close to the street frontage, creating a defined street edge. This building arrangement allows for the floor areas required by large retail establishments while maintaining smaller, pedestrian scaled buildings at the street. Parking for the proposed development is provided in accordance with the parking requirements set out in the City of London Zoning By-Law Z.-1 for shopping centres. A double-loaded parking area is provided in front of the stand-alone buildings, consistent with the parking arrangement of the lands to the north. Access to the proposed development is facilitated largely from driveways onto Bradley Avenue, with only one right-in/right-out access proposed onto Wonderland Road South. Internal linkages to lands to the south may be possible, given that these lands are anticipated to develop in a similar format as the subject lands. 2.2 PUBLIC REALM The proposed development features the placement of small, stand-alone buildings close to the street line to provide a pedestrian-scaled environment. Enhanced landscaping, consisting of trees, ornamental grasses, and shrubs will be implemented along the Wonderland Road South and Bradley Avenue frontages, consistent with the landscape treatments on developed lands to 13

17 the north. The combination of pedestrian scaled commercial buildings and enhanced landscaping will provide a positive pedestrian environment along the two arterial roads. Wide pedestrian boulevards are proposed in front of the large anchor stores on both portions of the subject lands, similar to the ones found to the north of the subject lands (Figure 5). This development concept has proved be a successful pedestrian-oriented environment, facilitating pedestrian travel between on-site retailers. Enhanced landscaped treatments are proposed for these pedestrian boulevards (Figures 5, 7, Figure 8 Landscaped pedestrian boulevard Figure 9 Landscaped pedestrian boulevard 14

18 Figure 10 Landscaped pedestrian boulevard Figure 11 Landscaped pedestrian boulevard Figure 12 Landscaped pedestrian boulevard 15

19 Public sidewalks will be constructed on both sides of Wonderland Road South as well as the south side of Bradley Avenue. Figure 7 Internal pedestrian walkway 2.3 SUSTAINABILITY TECHNIQUES The proposed development of the subject lands will make efficient use of urban land and investment in existing and planned infrastructure (i.e. roads, water-mains, sanitary and storm water sewers) and services (i.e. public transportation). The proposed commercial development will make use of best-practice techniques of current construction practices to ensure the resulting buildings are energy efficient. 16

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