Aerial photo of Fairwinds. Photo by @TwitchxB

2016 REWIND: The year in planning and development

(PHOTO: Aerial photo of Fairwinds. Photo by @TwitchxB.)

Retirement homes, car dealerships and density. Those are the three words I’d choose to sum up the development proposals we saw this year in Stittsville.

Let’s start with the retirement homes. Construction is underway for a 5-storey, 230-unit Hazeldean Gardens retirement home project on the old flea market lands on Hazeldean Road. Further east on Hazeldean Road, there’s a proposed mixed use development called Wellings of Stittsville that includes 185 active living apartments and a 256 unit long-term care facility. Planning and approvals are still ongoing for a 189-unit building on Wildpine Court originally proposed in 2015. Several older buildings were demolished on Stittsville Main this year just south of the Revera retirement home. Revera owns the land, but still no word on what they have planned for it.

As for car dealerships, the city received a site plan application to build a 5700-square-foot showroom and service building at 5835 Hazeldean Road. That piece of land is already home to a gravel car lot and a trailer that serves as a temporary auto sales centre. There are three 5-acre automotive parks included in a major mixed use development at 195 Huntmar near Palladium. That development, still subject to approvals, also includes houses, a low-rise apartment building, and a large district park. Also: another gas station opened on Hazeldean Road.

More development proposals from this year (most of these still need approval):

  1. Over 1,800 homes proposed for a large piece of land in the Fernbank area, just east of Iber
  2. Grocery store and restaurants for the corner of Fernbank and Shea
  3. New stores for the Shoppes at Fairwinds (Hazeldean @ Huntmar)

With the Ottawa Senators getting the green light to build at Lebreton Flats, we were expecting to hear by now what the team has in mind for redeveloping the Canadian Tire Centre, but we’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out. Team owner Eugene Melnyk says he envisions an “entertainment-driven” transformation. “We’re just finishing up the costing of it and I think it’s going to be a spectacular site even post-Sens.”

Also worth mentioning is Planning Committee’s final approval of Minto’s Potter’s Key subdivision, after significant opposition from residents. The committee added several conditions to the approval to address some, but not all, of the neighbours’ concerns. “What we have ultimately ended up with was two victories out of many requests… Councillor Qadri worked really hard, along with some of the other councillors, to negotiate the motion. It’s been a long battle. It was by far the best we were able to get Minto to agree to,” said Jackson Trails resident Omar Sultan after the decision.

What does all this increased development and density mean for our community? Writer Devyn Barrie looked at that question from a couple of angles this year. First, he talked to urban planning experts about the effect of a shift from single detached homes to low-rise apartments. Second, he looked for answers to the question: “Can a ‘village feel’ be maintained in Stittsville?” The answers may surprise you.

Last but not least, one of the most-shared social media stories was this timelapse showing the growth of Stittsville since 1984.

We’ll have more about development later this week when we round up the year’s top news stories.

(This post is part of our end-of-year 2016 Rewind series. Read more here…)


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