URBAN DESIGN BRIEF 305, 309, & 315 SOUTHDALE ROAD WEST LONDON ONTARIO

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1 URBAN DESIGN BRIEF 305, 309, & 315 SOUTHDALE ROAD WEST LONDON ONTARIO CARVEST PROPERTIES LTD. December 2013

2 Section 1 - Land Use Planning Context 1.1 Subject Lands The subject lands are located immediately south of Southdale Road West, west of Singleton Avenue and immediately east of the existing Tricar high density condominium tower and townhomes at 317, 325, and 335 Southdale Road West. The site includes an irregular shaped parcel with a total area of 1.72 ha (4.25 ac). The subject site is approximately 190 metres in depth and is approximately 133 metres wide at its widest point. The Pincombe Drain is immediately adjacent to a portion of the eastern property line, as is an open space block and trail that buffers the drain from the single-family homes on Singleton Avenue. The vacant land directly south of the site will be developed with high density condominium towers also by Tricar. Other developments in the area include the Village of Glendale Crossing Nursing Home east of the site on Singleton Avenue, and townhomes to the north on the opposite side of Southdale Road West. Figure 1: SUBJECT SITE 2

3 Currently the subject lands are undeveloped open space with a relatively flat topography across the property. No structures currently exist on the site. Looking southwest from Southdale Road West Looking southeast from Southdale Road West towards Singleton Ave 3

4 Looking west from Singleton Ave 4

5 1.2 Proposed Development The site is currently zoned R5-4, UR4, ER, OS4, and R9-7*H40. The current Official Plan land use designation on the subject property is Multi-Family Medium Density Residential, Multi-Family High Density Residential, and Open Space. However, a combined official plan and zoning amendment application has been made to change the current zoning to R5-4, and convert the Multi-Family High Density Residential and Open Space designations to Medium Density Residential. Carvest Properties Ltd., the owner of the subject property, is proposing to develop a 63 unit townhome block. The addition of the proposed medium density homes will compliment the existing single-family homes and future 12-storey condominium towers in the neighbourhood, and will contribute to a range of housing densities in the Andover Trails Community. Figure 2: SITE PLAN 5

6 Project Goals and Objectives The goals and objectives of the proposed development include establishing an overall site design that respects the urban design principles for this area by: Providing a residential development that, through the combination of its massing, orientation, pedestrian entrances, architectural detailing, and material selection, will blend well with the vision for the community; Providing multiple access points between the development and the arterial/collectors will serve the traffic needs and eliminate the potential for short-cutting; Creating an attractive interface between the units and existing and future Tricar towers by designing an enhanced landscape that compliments the buildings and transitions activity within the property to the public realm; Adopting a land use plan that is consistent with the Official Plan. 1.3 Design Response to City Documents The design policies relevant to the proposed development are taken from the City of London Official Plan (Chapter 11), as amended by Official Plan Amendment No The subject lands are currently designated Multi-Family High Density Residential, Multi-Family Medium Density Residential, and Open Space under the City of London Official Plan (Schedule A). The policies that are relevant to the proposed development are outlined below Medium Density Residential Policies The Official Plan establishes the following policies with regard to Multi-family, Medium Density residential development: i) Support the development of multi-family, medium density residential uses at locations which enhance the character and amenity of a residential area, and where there is safe and convenient access to public transit, shopping, public open space, recreation facilities and other urban amenities. ii) Encourage the development of well-designed and visually attractive forms of multi-family, medium density housing. iii) Promote the retention of desirable natural features through the appropriate location of buildings and parking areas Bostwick East Area Plan Under section of the Official Plan, specific policies are described for development of the Bostwick East Area Plan. These policies were taken into consideration in the planning and conceptualization of the proposed development. 6

7 1.3.3 Urban Design Policies The urban design principles, as set out under Section 11.1 of the Official Plan, that are relevant to the subject site are discussed below: a) Natural Features There are no significant natural features associated with the subject site. Currently the subject lands are undeveloped with a relatively flat topography across the property. No mass grading is proposed, as the site is designed to match existing grading and respect the existing surrounding developments. b) Open Views There are open views into the site from the public realm, off of both Southdale Road West and Singleton Avenue. However, privacy of residents will be maintained by strategic landscape plantings that will act as visual barriers into front, rear, and side yards. c) High Design Standards Given that the proposed development is located near a significant commercial hub, as well as a major gateway to the city, it is anticipated that a high standard of design will be implemented. Such design standards include, but are not limited to: safe access for pedestrians, public space amenities to facilitate interaction among neighbours, best practices for built form design, and a landscape plan designed to enhance connectivity, proximity, and synergy with adjacent land uses and built form. d) Streetscape Site access is provided off of Southdale Road West via a shared private lane to the existing Tricar tower and townhomes. Units in the north side of the site will be accessible via Singleton Avenue and the private laneway to the west. A landscaped window street parallel to Southdale Road West will share the streetscape and contribute to the aesthetic of the adjacent public realm. No noise attenuation measures are proposed along the arterial road. e) Pedestrian Traffic Areas Pedestrian traffic to and within the proposed development is facilitated by a network of concrete sidewalks of varying widths. Pedestrian transit is offered via Singleton Avenue to the east and the private laneway to the west, both servicing Southdale Road West. Internally, a concrete sidewalk bisects the site in an east-west orientation and services the superbox/gazebo. 7

8 f) Access to Sunlight The proposed units will reach three storeys in height once constructed, and will be separated from the existing development to the west by a shared laneway. This is the only existing or proposed development directly adjacent to the subject site. As such, the proposed units will not impact neighbouring properties access to sunlight. g) Landscaping Detailed planting beds are proposed for the front of each unit and will utilize a combination of perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, and ornamental trees. Landscaping is proposed along the visible side of building façades, between rear and side yards, and as visual barriers to preserve the privacy of residents and block vehicle headlights. Shade trees will be planted along the perimeter of the property and where adequate space allows. h) Building Positioning The buildings have been positioned to create defined, secure, and attractive open space areas, and facilitate efficient vehicular and pedestrian circulation both within the development and in transition to adjacent circulation routes. i) Parking and Loading Surface parking will be provided on site as required by the zoning by-law. 8

9 1.4 Spatial Analysis The subject site is comprised of an irregularly shaped parcel that is located within a concentration of various residential and commercial developments inside the urban growth boundary. The lands west of the property along Southdale Road West are zoned for existing and future commercial uses. The existing community located southeast of the subject lands includes low density residential uses. Figure 3: LAND USE PLAN 9

10 1.4.1 Site Spatial Analysis (400m) The community context within 400m of the subject lands is mostly developed, or in the process of being developed, and open space. There are currently high, medium, and low-density residential opportunities, existing and future commercial developments, and transit connectivity including automobile, cycling, and pedestrian routes. Existing developments directly adjacent to the subject lands are designated high and medium-density residential and open space. Andover Trails subdivision, located south and east of the proposed development, is comprised of low density residential homes, the Village of Glendale Crossing Nursing Home, open space trails, and a neighbourhood park. The subdivision north of Southdale Road West contains a mix of medium and low density family homes. Barely within the 400m radius of the proposed development is the commercial node elaborated under the subsequent heading Regional Spatial Analysis (800m). Figure 4: SPATIAL ANALYSIS at 400 metre radius 10

11 Regional Spatial Analysis (800m) The community context within 800m of the subject lands is similar to the use of lands within the 400m radius in that it contains a mix of developed and under-development residential land; however there are some additional land uses dispersed beyond the 400m boundary. Low and medium density residential developments primarily occur north and east of the subject site. To the south and southeast of the site, there are residential lands currently under development, an existing storm water management pond, a designated park block, and a designated school block. There is also some light industrial and commercial land uses towards Bradley Ave and Wharncliffe Road. The commercial nodes at Wonderland Road and Southdale Road West fall directly west of the proposed development, extending north and south of Southdale Road West on both sides of Wonderland Road, and includes a mix of service and retail oriented commercial opportunities and small scale offices, such as Bates Law and the Animal Care Centre on Pine Valley Boulevard. Westmount Public Library and Westview Baptist Church are also within the 800m radius. Further west, the 800m radius just encroaches on vacant land designated primarily for residential use, but also including commercial, light industrial, and open space land uses. Figure 5: SPATIAL ANALYSIS at 800 metre radius 11

12 SWOT Analysis An analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) presented by the neighbourhood context and the proposed development can be summarized as follows: Strengths Appropriate location for Medium Density development; Located within a currently designated High and Medium Density residential area, which is adjacent to mixed use developments, including Low and Medium Density residential; Designated open space/parkland immediately to the east provides opportunities for recreational activities; Accessible from both Singleton Avenue and Southdale Road West (via a shared laneway); Within walking distance to neighbourhood commercial nodes, including a range of amentities, such as Loblaws, Fresh Co., Home Depot, Winners, Canadian Tire, the LCBO, Westmount Public Library, Palasad South, Westview Baptist Church, gas stations, and a multitude of dining establishments; Designated small office zoning in the neighbourhood offers local professional services and encourages future business endeavors; Public transit is currently available along Wonderland and Southdale Roads, with bus stops located on Southdale Road West within the 400m radius in both eastbound and westbound directions. Within the 800m radius, there are both northbound and southbound bus stops on Wonderland Road; A proposed window street along the north property line will provide a spatial separation between proposed residences fronting on Southdale Road West, negating the need for a noise wall or wood privacy fences; Several ingress/egress points will augment accessibility by emergency vehicles and can also provide a means for Paratransit to service the site. Weaknesses Directly adjacent to a major arterial route and thus requiring mitigation to the exposure to traffic-related noise; Potentially limited access to sunlight due to shadowing from existing apartment building to the west and future building to the south; Setbacks required from high pressure gas line. Opportunities Provides an opportunity to develop the proposed Medium Density designation in a complimentary plan that will increase residential concentration in a rapidly developing district; Provides potential pedestrian connection to the existing commercial hub along Wonderland Road; 12

13 Facilitates infill within the urban growth boundary in accordance with Official Plan policies. Threats There are no perceived threats at this stage of the development Neighbourhood Character and Compatibility The neighbourhood character in this area of the city is a mixture of single family subdivisions together with medium and high density residential development. The area also environs a major commercial hub at the Wonderland Road and Southdale Road West intersection in all directions. Wonderland Road is also a significant gateway into London and a major arterial route through the city. Section 2 - Design Principles and Design Responses 2.1 Conceptual Design The design objectives for the subject lands are: i. Create a development that is sympathetic to the land uses existing and planned in the neighbourhood. ii. Create a development that will adhere to a high standard of urban design and architectural principles. iii. Provide well-connected landscape treatment and employ appropriate landscape architectural design principles. The goals outlined above have been achieved through appropriate building scale, the placement of various elements on-site and inclusion of landscaped site elements. Townhome Units The proposed townhome units will be located within an internal block with access along an existing joint private laneway off of Southdale Road West and a proposed private laneway off of Singleton Avenue. The townhomes will be three storeys high with a single car garage. The architectural elements of the proposed units will consist of a mix of brick and siding. A mix of window design will enhance the look of the townhomes by avoiding continuity and provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to the proposed units. There will be no shadow impact on existing residential developments west of the development or proposed residential developments to the south. Landscape Design and Fencing Detailed planting beds are proposed for the front of each unit. Each unit s planting scheme will utilize a combination of perennials, ornamental grasses, shrubs, and ornamental trees to enhance the front 13

14 façade and highlight the building s architectural features. Additional landscaping is proposed along the visible side building elevations to add interest to the built form and facilitate site plan approval requirements for landscape components. Deciduous and coniferous trees are strategically located to provide screening and separation between the units where necessary. Planting beds comprised of ornamental shrubs and grasses along Southdale Road West will both contribute to the aesthetic of the adjacent public realm and provide visual screening to maintain the privacy of window street units. Consideration has been given to both the height and aesthetic properties of the ornamental shrubs and grasses to preserve the foregoing design intent. These plantings will also provide delineation of the property boundary in the place of a wood or ornamental fence. Along Singleton Avenue, low berms planted with ornamental shrubs and grasses, as well as coniferous trees, will screen views into side and rear lots of Units 1 to 8. Wood privacy fences flanking rear corners of the proposed buildings will provide visual barriers into rear yards from the private laneway to the west and Singleton Avenue to the east. Given the depth of the Pincombe Drain and potential for access by the public, chain link fencing was considered along the development bordering the drain, but was not added as this is not standard practice for stormwater management facilities. 2.2 Public Realm Proposed units along the northern perimeter will front onto Southdale Road West, thereby alluding to an enhanced public realm and permitting strategic sightlines into and out of the subject site. Lands within the proposed development will be owned by the future condominium corporation. 2.3 Sustainability Sustainability measures for the proposed development could include the following strategies for the building and the site: Energy efficient appliances (Energy Star appliances, windows and doors; low flow toilets, etc.); High efficiency HVAC (individual air handlers with ERVs and unit air conditioner); Installation of native and drought tolerant plants; Strategic location of trees to provide shade for building and parking lots, which reduces cooling costs and urban heat island effect; Recycling and waste management; Site is fully serviced; Close to proposed schools and recreational opportunities. 14

15 Appendix A - Site Plan

16 Appendix B - Landscape Plan

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18

19

20

21

22 Appendix C - Elevations

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