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Eyesore no more

City council passes motion on the future of Somerset House

The fight over the future of the Village eyesore known as Somerset House is now resolved, as Ottawa City Council unanimously passed a motion to settle all outstanding legal matters with the building’s owner, TKS Holdings, Dec 19.
 
In light of TKS Holdings’ recent payment of $650,000 to the city, the motion, moved by Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes, states the city will accept this payment as a full and final settlement to end the five-year battle.
 
The motion indicates that both the city and TKS Holdings wish to see the property developed as soon as possible.
 
Jeff Morrison, board president of Centretown Community Health Centre, created a petition in October that amassed 370 signatures, urging the city and TKS Holdings to settle the issue.
 
Morrison says he has been in contact with the city’s chief lawyer, Rick O’Connor, in recent months but can’t say for sure if his petition played a central role in the resolution.
 
“The fact that this has been ongoing for five years and suddenly, a few months after we made our efforts, the situation is resolved, would suggest the community did play a role in the process,” Morrison says.
 
Holmes did not respond to a request for comment on the future of the site, but Morrison says he would like to see the community have a say in what happens at Somerset and Bank.
 
“There are limitless possibilities,” he says. “What I hope is that the community will be heavily involved in the discussions as to what goes there next.”
 

The executive director of the Bank Street Business Improvement Area, Gerry LePage, did not respond to a request for comment on the resolution.  Ottawa City Council, Somerset House motion