Here are the minutes for November 18, 1998 meeting of the CCA Executive, Ashcroft, the city and regional representatives.

The meeting was held at the Carlington Community Health Centre.

Subject of Discussion: The Clyde/Maitland Access Point


Mark Lavinskas: CCA President
Patrick Legault: City of Ottawa Planner
Roger Hunter: RMOC Planner
Susan Murray: CCA Director at Large
Steven Johns: CCA Director at Large
Bruce Bradshaw: CCA Director at Large
Matthew Darwin: CCA
David Choo: Ashcroft
August Diensthuber: Ashcroft
David Kardish: Ashcroft
Bruce Cole: CPCA [ed: should be "CPCG"]
Cathleen Cleghorn: CPCA [ed: should be "CPCG"]
Frances Tanner: CCA Vice President
Ida Grant: CCA Director at Large
Dorothy Stoiber: CCA Secretary
Steven Agulnik: CCA Treasurer
Jerry Penso: CCA Director at Large
Karin Howard: Councillor / City of Ottawa

Opening Statement by Mark Lavinskas, President of CCA:

Mr. Lavinskas stated that the CCA would be focusing on the Clyde/Maitland access issue at this meeting, and was there to help Ashcroft develop and blend harmoniously into the existing community. As President of the CCA, he was here to embrace the new development. It was his hope that this meeting would lead to other meetings with Ashcroft on other issues. This meeting was not to be interpreted as being a "public consultation" meeting.

Presentation by David Kardish and David Choo / Ashcroft Homes:

Mr. Kardish explained that he had originally sold the Assaly Lands to David Choo and his group, and was now working with Ashcroft to resolve various issues. After four months of negotiation at the City level, an agreement has been reached as to the location of the pond and the open space. The passive park which David Choo had envisaged was not to be. The City wanted a full size baseball diamond and soccer field. To incorporate these two features in the space within Central Park, and to meet the City's requirements, the configuration of the ring road had to be slightly adjusted. It went a bit further west before on the Draft Approved Plan, was moved to the east on the first concept plan, but now is proposed to be located as shown on the concept plan which is slightly west of the location shown on the first concept plan. The ring road was to be wider to contain the park amenities and pond. The area to the west of the park and pond and within the ring road, was to be developed either as a combination of adult bungalows and/or as 2 to 3 storey retirement homes, or apartments, that is, residential and some form of retirement concept.

It was explained that the original plan was a series of compromises, as there were two owners, Assaly and the Region. With the integration of the two lands under one owner, the overall density has been reduced, and this allowed pulling everything back to the ring road, with the only access being to Merivale Road The original plan of approval called for a ring road, a transit only link to the Assaly lands, a new Clyde/Maitland intersection, and emergency access only to Clyde Avenue. The updated traffic study that is now being done by Ashcroft's consultants will be ready in a few weeks, and it is proposed that all traffic come out at the two access points on Merivale Road. Mr. Kardish stated that the study may show that a third access at Clyde is not necessary. The lands adjacent to the intersection are in the hands of Industry Canada and will not be available for another 2-3 years.

Mr. Kardish and Mr. Choo continued with their presentation, which was interjected by various questions and comments from those present. After it was all over, the body of the agenda was discussed. The agenda was quite complex, so that at times the questions and responses were repetitious. However, underlying issues that related to the agenda were brought forward and discussed.

Commercial Development Discussions:

Jerry Penso inquired as to the area deemed for future commercial development as shown on the concept plan. Mr. Choo responded that it consisted of approximately 5 acres, with approximately 55,000 square feet of commercial plus restaurants, of which 30- 35,000 square feet would be a food store. A discussion followed as to the size of the commercial development. Mr. Lavinskas stated that a 30-35,000 square foot food store was contingent on it being required, and Mr. Penso stated that a store of this size would draw from the outside community. Mr. Kardish offered that one cannot isolate a store, and that the level of retail proposed is at a community level, not a big box store. Mr. Choo stated that this size of store was needed to make the site work. There would be no increase in the "floor space index" although access to the lands to the west was required. Mr. Kardish added that the line for rezoning was moved from the original request for rezoning, that is moved further to the east again. Mr. Lavinskas added that in his discussions with Ted Robinson, the Commissioner for the City of Ottawa, Mr. Robinson stated that any one commercial unit would not exceed 20,000 square feet. Mr. Kardish and Mr. Choo responded that at no time in their various discussions with Ted Robinson was a cap to the size of a single unit discussed. Mr. Lavinskas interjected that the size of the commercial development will effect the traffic impact study, and Cathleen Cleghorn asked why one that size was required. Mr. Kardish responded that the City and Region's Plan was to develop a self-contained community, and the stores offered would be viable, given the number of people from the Central Park Community, eventually numbering 4,500 people. Ms. Cleghorn added that people generally go to a number of stores, and even walk to the Loblaws near the site. Mr. Bradshaw was assured by Mr. Kardish that the traffic impact study would include the size of store Ashcroft was proposing. Mr. Lavinskas added that the CCA argument was that even though the market wanted a big box store, this was not feasible in this development, for example, a store the size of Costco, and this would be opposed by the community. Mr. Choo stated that Ashcroft had voluntarily given up rezoning for a big box at the 0MB, and that a regional type use store was not in the plan for development. Mr. Kardish added that Ashcroft was looking for a balance, and that a big box store did not fit their marketing plans.

Mr. Kardish then explained traffic planning and trip generation, and that the City applied these counts when zoning their lands. Frances Tanner asked for details on the proposed zoning and unit count. Mr. Kardish stated the traffic study would be tested at a high of 1400 units, not the low of 1100 units. Mr. Choo explained that the intersection that was built was developed from the concept plan and traffic studies to carry traffic from 1160 units.. Ashcroft was building at 25-30% less than the approved maximum of 2000 units for the combined Regional and Assaly lands. David Kardish stated the zoning (as detailed in the June 14, 1993 staff report), permitted a maximum of 1500 units for the RMOC lands alone. The initial Plan called for three accesses and more units on the Regional lands than what Ashcroft was now proposing on the combined two sites. A discussion followed with various counts being presented from various studies, and Mr. Lavinskas stated that there was confusion as a result. Mr. Legault added that the City did not zone for seniors. Mr. Hunter stated that new traffic studies were to be based on what was being proposed now. Mr. Choo added that Ashcroft was looking at realigning the boundaries of the zones at this time. Frances Tanner asked if apartments were being proposed on the Assaly lands. Mr. Kardish responded that Ashcroft will be submitting their proposals and total count to the City. Mr. Lavinskas added that the traffic impact study should take into account what Ashcroft proposed, as well as any change in the market. Mr. Choo assured all that the traffic impact study would look at the maximum proposed unit count. The safeguard was that if Ashcroft wished to exceed the unit count in the future, they would have to go through the whole approval system again, with new traffic studies. Mr. Legault reiterated that Ashcroft was reconfiguring the lines to the roads, and further, that if the number of units proposed exceeded the number allowed, this would mean new approvals and a public review process.

Discussion of Assaly Lands / Clyde Intersection:

David Kardish stated that the plan of subdivision for the Assaly lands was at the 0MB and had approval status. A new plan of subdivision would have to be re-submitted to the Region and City, meaning the public process system with public hearings. Mr. Lavinskas stated that the community was no further ahead in the public process than in 1992. David Choo offered that under the planning Act the 0MB was the ultimate arbitrator. Originally, there was the issue of two owners for the Assaly and Regional lands, but now these two lands were consolidated. Co-operation is possible, and it would enable Ashcroft to build a better community. The original transit-only link between the two lands was a compromise. The concept plan offered by Ashcroft has removed the transit-only link and integrated the two communities. An intersection at Clyde is not required. Mr. Bradshaw asked why not have the extra access point at Clyde and integrate to the greater community. Mr. Choo illustrated that there was no access to the DOC owned lands, where the intersection was proposed. The difficulty of turning left onto Baseline Road would lend itself to vehicles cutting through the residential streets of Central Park, unless the Clyde intersection was restricted, that is, having a one-way out only. Mr. Lavinskas added that there was nothing wrong with the access point at Clyde as it would integrate the community. Mr. Choo then offered to have his Transportation Consultants available at another meeting, after the traffic impact study was completed. Cathleen Cleghorn wondered if there was flexibility as to where the third access could be placed, and at a location where the public would have fair access to the park. Frances Tanner had three concerns, firstly, the latest concept plan that was presented at the meeting should be drawn to not show the straight-through traffic at the Clyde access point; secondly, that the old traffic counts including 700 beds not be used; and thirdly, that the old traffic counts were based on office buildings, not commercial units. David Choo replied that from a developers standpoint there is no market for an office building in todays market, and that a 203,000 square foot office building is allowed on part of the Ashcroft lands. Susan Murray asked why the access had to be at Clyde/Merivale, not at Baseline, and why two million dollars to build a Baseline intersection. Mr. Hunter advised that the intersection was not at Baseline. Ms. Murray asked why there were no parking facilities at Central Park.

Central Park and Amenities:

David Kardish, in reply to Susan Murray's question as to why there were no parking facilities at the park, stated that there was the ability to put in parking, but the City negotiated for a full sized ball diamond and soccer field that would be unlit and therefore required no parking facilities. Ms. Cleghorn added that lack of parking would be a traffic issue. David Choo stated that his original vision articulated a passive park with a stone bridge over the pond and the pond being available for skating in the winter. But the City negotiated what is now shown. Dorothy Stoiber added that she now lives behind a park and the lack of a parking facility put stress on the on-street parking. Patrick Legault stated that the City's policy was that if a park was not lit no parking facilities would be provided. The "central park" is adjacent to the commercial units where parking is available. The City anticipated only one use per evening of the park facilities, and this rationale concluded that it will not generate much parking. David Kardish added that the present park was a compromise with the City. Susan Murray stated that in the summertime there would be all day and night use, and cautioned the City that this was a potential hazard. Mark Lavinskas added that the City was lacking in facilities, this park would help alleviate some of the shortage, and the park would be integrated into the City's schedule as promised to the community. Bruce Cole added that the City's budget was the bottom line. Karin Howard stated that the park was a compromise with not much community input, and that she personally preferred grass and no recreational facilities. Cathleen Cleghorn stated that the community wanted a passive park, but Frances Tanner stated that the community needed active recreation.

Concept Plan:

Karin Howard stated that the developer (Ashcroft) liked going for a concept plan which is not grounded in the approval process, and asked why do a concept plan now versus doing a subdivision agreement now. It was stated that the concept plan looked at the issues at a macro level, and the benefit of the concept plan was that it would flush out the larger issues, such as parks, traffic issues, and stormwater management. Karin Howard expressed concern about procesing a macro plan, that there was a potential downside to this method. Roger Hunter stated that in his opinion there was no downside to this development review process as it invited public participation. Dave Kardish added that the public process alows for approval from the City and Region. By presenting the concept plan to the community, it would know what is proposed and what to anticipate. There would be a shared vision.. Mr. Kardish suggested that this process would allow the Assaly plan to be taken from the 0MB and a new plan of subdivision be resubmitted, on the principles of the shared concept plan. Karin Howard stated that she did not want the existing plan of subdivision for the Assaly lands to be withdrawn. Roger Hunter stated that the Region's and City's Official Plan already established the principle of residential development as a permitted use for the plan of subdivision. Karin Howard then asked how to smooth the way for continuing the process. Roger Hunter stated that the Region will not register anything that precludes registration of the Clyde intersection. The geometrics of the road and the traffic impact study need to be in place.

Registration of Regional Lands / Clyde Intersection:

David Kardish stated that Ashcroft needed to register all the Regional lands, and this does not preclude the intersection at Clyde. Frances Tanner stated that the community should not box itself into a plan that precluded a Clyde intersection, and her concerns that the plan showed the road at this access point as being drawn in a straight line. Cathleen Cleghorn stated that the new concept plan still showed the access point as too direct. Karin Howard stated that since the traffic was consistent with the approvals, why freeze the process, and asked the community to consider a few more approvals. Mark Lavinskas stated that it was not fair to ask this question. Bruce Bradshaw stated that they went to the 0MB and they got a ruling. If the community were to go back to the 0MB it would be a crap shoot for the community. David Kardish stated that Ashcroft's preference was two intersections, and if the study showed that it worked, there would be further negotiations with the community. Mark Lavinskas added that the emergency access only on Clyde Avenue recognizes and acknowledges that the community is boxed in, that the emergency access is a safety issue, and that this reaffirms the need for the Clyde intersection. David Choo added that the community would lose if there was a link at Clyde. David Kardish added that there was a difference of opinion regarding the "intersection" and "emergency access only" at Clyde.

Patrick Legault stated that the zoning determines the density and the unit count, and Roger Hunter added that the traffic impact study will show the concept plan. David Choo stated that the two intersections on Merivale have been approved, based on an approved traffic study and unit count. Bruce Bradshaw stated that broad scale modelling was required. Mr. Kardish stated that Ashcroft anticipates land use, and a traffic impact study is done with respect to the existing zoning, and it is rezoned if required. Frances Tanner asked if the terms of reference were two intersections, and Roger Hunter stated that all intersections would be examined. The three scenarios for Mr. Kardish were (1), two access points only on Merivale Road: (2), transit only link at Clyde, and (3), a full intersection at the DOC lands. At this point Mr. Bradshaw requested further meetings with Ashcroft on other issues, and Mr. Choo stated that he would be happy to attend.

Mr. Hunter, in response to a question by Councillor Howard on the Region's approval process, stated that for the registration of the Region's lands, it was a technical process, a red-line change by staff. However, Mr. Hunter further elaborated that the Region will seek public participation before approving changes to the Assaly lands deleting the third intersection. Roger Hunter added that Regional and City staff, after public participation, and determining what is best for the community, will make their recommendations to the politicians. Ultimately politicians make the decisions, but acknowledged that often it is difficult for politicians to override technical recommendations from staff. David Kardish stated that the registration of the Regional lands, which is the pressing issue for Ashcroft Homes, requires a political buy-in. Further registration on Regional land will not preclude what happens on Clyde. The process can be a red-line approval if all parties agree.

Karin Howard then asked David Choo if he anticipated any financial difficulties if incremental approvals were not granted. Mr. Choo stressed that he needed registration of the Regional lands within the next few weeks, and that the two intersections that were approved on Merivale Road, one of which is nearing completion, are designed to carry traffic from all of the Region's lands. Karin Howard stated that it is possible City staff would consider incremental approvals, as long as they did not preclude the Clyde/Maitland intersection, for which the traffic impact study was required. Mark Lavinskas then asked why the traffic study could not include the Carling/ Merivale intersection. Mr. Hunter stated that the Region will require the developer to examine several intersections including Baseline/Merivale, Baseline/Clyde, Merivale/Kirkwood, but it will be up to the transportation experts to determine what intersections to study. He asked where do you draw the line, how far do you push traffic studies for one developer.

David Kardish then reiterated one issue. It would take a few weeks to complete the traffic study. It would be presented to the community in mid January to study, with another meeting following. By mid February Ashcroft needs to register the balance of the Regions' lands. This registration would not prejudice other intersections. Ashcroft would hold off on the Assaly lands at this time. Councillor Howard then asked if the community members present at this meeting would agree to approve incremental approvals, that is, the registration of the remainder of the Regional lands. Bruce Bradshaw stated that he did not want to hold up Ashcroft's registration of the Regional lands as long as it would not prejudice the third intersection. David Kardish re-iterated that nothing in the registration of the Regional lands prejudiced the outcome of this intersection, and that Ashcroft would deal with the third access and the Assaly lands after the traffic study had been tabled, and later through a public process with the community. Someone then stated that it was not the community's intention to unduly delay Ashcroft's process for registration of the Regional lands, as long as it did not preclude a third intersection, and that the community needed time to reflect on this. David Kardish then stated that since the Assaly subdivision was at the Board, neither the City nor Region, or Ashcroft, could unilaterally change this decision.

Answering a request, David Kardish stated that a concept plan on mylar would be submitted to the community.

In his closing statements, Mark Lavinskas wanted to ensure that the community was represented and given a fair shake. He requested another meeting with Ashcroft after the traffic impact study for the combined Assaly and Regional lands was completed. It was agreed, that after the new traffic study was tabled, David Choo and Ashcroft would again meet with the community to review the findings of the traffic study, before proceeding with the Assaly lands. Mark Lavinskas stated that open dialogue would be continued, the community would not make the developer wait, he promised to deal in a prompt manner, and that hopefully a community decision to support Ashcroft to register the balance of the Regional lands would be forthcoming within the next two weeks, as requested by David Choo.

David Kardish's final words asked for restraint, and he stated for the record that the pond has to be built. Mr. Kardish stated that what Ashcroft proposed was a "buy-in" for everyone.

Note: The author of this report, for clarification, has added the approved City zoning maps for the Assaly and Region's lands, as well as the tables showing the maximum densities allowed in those zones.

August Diensthuber
"FINAL VERSION issued November 29, 1998"

Comparison of 1991 and 1998 Land Uses: Clyde-Merivale Lands

SITE: 1992 Concept Plan RMOC/Assaly Lands (140 acres) Ashcroft Holdings pluc DOC (140 acres)
Beds: 750 125
Apartment Units: 370 260
General Facilities: 64,000 sq.ft. N/A
RESIDENTIAL (Traditional)
Low Density: 293 467
Medium Density: 311 630
Medium High: 390 100
Alternative Standards: 196 N/A
Mixed Use: N/A 32
Total (Traditional Residential & Apartments)
  1190 1229
Total Residential (includes senior apts.)
  1560 1489
  2310 1614
  451,920 sq.ft. 217,000 sq.ft.
  21,520 sq.ft. 94,000 sq.ft.

Note to the Comparisons:

NOTE: the City of Ottawa by-law implementing the 1992 plan of development contemplated the development of approximately 1521 units on the former RMOC lands alone and 591 units on the combined Assaly and DOC lands for a total of 2110 units. Out of these units, 1679 units were to exit to Merivale Road and 433 to exit at Clyde. Under the present concept 58 units front on Clyde Avenue. Under maximum buildout of 2110 units, 375 units of the 401 destined to Clyde under the draft approved plan would be directed to Merivale Road. Ashcroft now proposes a Concept Plan that has less than 1679 units going to Merivale.

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