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Heritage Ottawa lawsuit says city was wrong in delegating Château Laurier decision

An artist's rendering of a proposed addition to the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa is seen in this undated handout photo.
An artist's rendering of a proposed addition to the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa is seen in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, architectsAlliance

Heritage Ottawa and its legal counsel have submitted a motion to quash the city’s decision to delegate authority on the approval of the Château Laurier addition to staff.

According to Heritage Ottawa, the city of Ottawa’s delegation of authority by-law says the general manager of planning can only approve applications for heritage alteration under the Ontario Heritage Act when certain criteria have been met.

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According to the bylaw, the gross floor area of the proposed addition cannot exceed 30 per cent of that of the existing building, and it cannot negatively impact the heritage attributes of the existing heritage building.

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Heritage Ottawa says the project has not met either of those criteria, which would mean the decision must instead be made by elected council.

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Heritage Ottawa has retained Micheal S. Polowin of Gowling WLG as counsel in the suit.

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In a statement released by the city Tuesday, City Solicitor David White says the city received the notice Monday morning but would not be commenting further as the matter is before the courts.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up at the end of July by Heritage Ottawa to pay for the lawsuit. As of Tuesday morning, the campaign has raised over $54,000.