by Mark Lavinskas
On November 10, 1998, Mark Lavinskas (president of the CCA), Karin Howard (Ward Councillor) and Matthew Darwin met with City of Ottawa Commissioner Ted Robinson. Here are some of the points brought up at the meeting:
Is the access to Clyde Maitland considered by you and your staff to be not feasible or unneccessary at this moment?
Why is the city even considering a concept plan that ignores the ruling laid down by the OMB in 1992, for which the city, region and community associations played an extremely active role in formulating?
Changes occur, and even the planning act allows for change which is what OMB follows. Also, the ruling is seen to be a compromise to what was then a very contentious issue.
If factors have changed so considerably, why should we now have any faith in the projected figures that are being presented now? Is there a city policy to reconsider subdivision plans that have already been ruled upon by the OMB?
No real answer to 1st part of question, other than it is as much an art as it is a science (traffic studies). There is no strict city policy to reconsider or not reconsider OMB rulings.
With the current concept plan indicating all access through Merivale Rd., are you insisting on a traffic study that includes the full impact of this development? This would include rumoured increases in housing density whether there are 750 additional units or revisions upward or downward, and the commercial entities planned along Merivale Rd.! The CCA would like the city to insist upon this and that it be a new study rather than a revised study.
The city will insist upon a new traffic study with the full impact. The city is asking us to include a list of terms of reference to use in any new study. For example, I noted that we should also include any retirement concept, the impact on the neighbourhood traffic intersections, etc. etc. We should get busy forming this list, and e-mail it to Ted R. Wendy Stewart has informed me that this could be happening faster than we think!
What is the compelling reason(s) or supporting data behind accepting the concept plan with no access to Clyde / Maitland at this juncture?
The Industry Canada lands are not readily available (time constraint???), the city would prefer to have an integrated community, and finally the projected decrease in traffic impact. The CCA is insisting that both sides should benefit from a decrease.
Are there any trade offs being made or considered to accept the access as is (i.e. more park land, money in lieu of, etc.)?
We would ask that all current & future documentation & correspondence relevant to this issue be submitted to our community association so that we may properly monitor its progress without misinformation. Does the city have a problem with this?
No, the city has no problem with this. However, nothing has really happened on paper. Mr. Choo would even meet with the planning & park recreation staff with his park & recreation concept plan drawn on the back of an envelope. Almost all information for the past three months has been verbal. It is only recently, since he hired David Kardish as his consultant that the city has now taken his plans more seriously. They are now being handed in a much more formal manner.
The current park plan has no parking available for its users, which is unacceptable. How is the city addressing this?
The park is not destined to be for outside communities, and there will be no lights for any of the playing fields. The parking area will most likely be the commercial lot next door.
Regarding the commercial zoning fronting Merivale (i.e. big box store area). We are repeatedly told that this is a dead issue, is it? What is the current configuration being considered for this commercial zone? Is the city considering rezoning the residential protion that the commercial area occupies on the concept plan?
Yes, the big box issue is dead. What the city is planning for is a 20,000 ft2 community based food store along with small restaurants (i.e. Pizza Hut, etc.). Since no plan has been submitted for the commercial area, the city is not considering rezoning any of that area at this moment.
Under what circumstances will you allow staff to attend our community meetings? We will be needing a city staff planner to attend meetings we've arranged with Mr. David Choo.
Where new & compelling information is going to be given or shared, the city will allow staff to attend.
Is the stormwater treatment pond issue now resolved? Will it be integrated into a passive recreation area or is it going to be fenced in?
The issue is resolved to the city's satisfaction, but it still must be reviewed by the region. The area initially will be passive with no fence. The city wants to see how Ashcroft will landscape the area and whether there are dangers posed by the open area (residents may have exceptions & the city's liability exposure may be great). It will be somewhat wait & see on this issue. Wendy Stewart says she will insist upon the open concept to be incorporated into the official pond plan.
How is the city addressing the conservation easement (swamp area)?
Doesn't know. Wendy Stewart finds this hard to believe that a planner would not have any comment on that environmentally sensitive area.
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