There were approximately 100 people at the public meeting sharing their perspective on the new development and how it will affect their lives. Photo by Shannon Lough.

Residents pack hall for lively meeting about Minto development

(Above: About 100 people atttended the public meeting to share their perspective on the new Minto development. Photo by Shannon Lough.)

There weren’t enough seats in the room for concerned residents or time for all their questions at Wednesday night’s public meeting on Minto’s proposed subdivision, Potter’s Key.

Over 100 residents filled the hall at Goulbourn Recreation Complex. Six City of Ottawa staff members and five representatives from Minto Homes fielded comments and concerns over the two-hour meeting.

This was the second public meeting on the subdivision planned for west of Jackson Trails, north of Hazeldean Road and east of Echowoods Avenue. Since the last meeting in June 2014, Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri says he’s heard many concerns about the development. In the last three days he’s received at least 75 emails on the subject.

“Why are we feeding all this traffic into the east side of the community?”

To ease some of the concerns, the vice president of land development at Minto Homes, Susan Murphy, presented the revised “final draft plan.” Some of the highlights include less housing density with 409 homes instead of 464, additional park space along the north and south of the Feedmill Creek, and a fourth access point from Kimpton Drive to Echowoods Avenue.

The next presentation came from David Wise, the program manager for the city. He went through how the city has tried to mitigate some of the main issues. The city investigated if a row of trees could be a viable buffer between the two communities but they found the trees wouldn’t survive.

When Wise asked who was worried about access to Hazeldean Road almost every hand in the room shot up. He assured them that from the city perspective Minto’s plans show how traffic would be accommodated to service the new development. But as soon as the floor opened for questions it was clear that traffic was still an issue.

Omar Sultan from the Jackson Trails Community Association, asks a question at the public meeting while councillor Shad Quadri listens in the background. Photo by Shannon Lough.
Omar Sultan from the Jackson Trails Community Association, asks a question at the public meeting while councillor Shad Quadri listens in the background. Photo by Shannon Lough.

 

“What was the math done to see if it’s okay?” Was the first question. Arman Matta, Minto’s transportation planner, referred to his studies and statistics on estimated traffic volume. Matta said that not everyone works 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and

“Not everyone drives at the same time on the road.”

Another resident pointed out a flaw in Minto’s visuals of the traffic plan where it shows zero pedestrians crossing at Bandelier Way during peak hours. During that time there’s a crossing guard for children going to and from school.

Qadri said he’s going to ask Minto to do the study again and see if it gives different numbers than what were presented.

There were several more questions on traffic and a few regarding safety concerns for the lack of sidewalks and children walking to school on the roads, especially with an increase in traffic. City staff responded that they haven’t gone into details of where the sidewalks will be located.

At one point there were about nine people in line waiting for a chance at the microphone. The representative of Jackson Trails Community Association, Omar Sultan, asked a few questions and offered comments for Minto to consider.

“How many other subdivisions have 1,300 homes and only two exit plans?” Sultan said. Although Minto’s revised plan now has four access roots he said the traffic really goes to Stittsville Main — the same exit for Jackson Trails.

Some people in the room said they weren’t being listened to and Wise offered the city’s perspective. “The city does not have the power to force a private landowner to build a road on private land,” he said adding that the city looks at safety and environmental concerns.

“Yes, you will be listened to in areas where the city will affect change.”

Murphy said that Minto will revise the plan to relocate the townhouses that back onto Overland Drive and they will consider adding a trail along that area. She said Minto would continue to communicate through the councillor.

Minto Potter's Key subdivision plan
Potter’s Key subdivision plan.

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7 thoughts on “Residents pack hall for lively meeting about Minto development”

  1. My biggest concern here is that want to add all these homes with families , and yet we still don’t get a high school???

  2. Potter’s Key stay tuned. The residents of the Echowoods area want further action. Traffic study by the city is bogus. A petition we need. I will be talking to the people of Echowoods, Stoney pond and Lloydalex this weekend creating awareness of the destruction a community.

  3. Several years ago I attended a meeting about the building of Westwind Public School. I had a few minor concerns related to aesthetics and received some promises regarding landscaping.
    It is frustrating that none of these promises were kept and the one stand of trees that they left at the side of the school was recently cut down. The landscaping is a mess as no one maintains the shrubs, ornamental grasses or the lawn. Let’s hope that any hard earned concessions are actually implemented and not forgotten like they have been in other cases.

  4. Did I read….traffic directed to Stittsville Main? You can’t put more traffic on Stittsville Main. It is gridlocked most of the time!
    And routing more traffic onto Hazeldean; does that mean more traffic lights ?? The whole purpose of having roads is to drive on them, not to stay in a stopped position on them advancing only inches at a time.

  5. As a long time resident of stittsville, this is the same story over and over again. Promises near west wind school, promise for maple grove, a public high school never to appear, houses towering over existing house in braynston gate, promises for less traffic on johnwoods. Now a new development funnelling through existing residential neghibourhoods. The list goes on and on! Take a break, stop building houses and figure out traffic flow,more roads from the hwy into stittsville or expand existing roads (which I don’t think is possible) Have people who actually plan this stuff talk to the residents and come out here and look around. Shad learn to say no or at least slow down!

  6. I recently attended the meeting at GRC. I could not stay due to other commitments but I certainly understand residents’ concerns with traffic from this community having no direct access to Hazeldean. Minto’s excuse is that the “land owned by others” is untouchable. I’m pretty sure Minto has deep enough pockets to purchase this land and make everyone happy.

    I initially went to the meeting to see if Minto still had any of their Avenue Townhomes planned for this community. As a single Dad with three children, I am particularly interested in these affordable homes. I get that owners of large single family homes tend to think that these three storey homes would put a “blemish” on their community.

    Why doesn’t Minto purchase the land between Hazeldean and what they already own for Potters Key? They could build the road everyone wants and also place some of their “higher density” homes close to Hazeldean. This would offer more affordable townhomes to many and provide the much needed access to the community from Hazeldean.

    I work for the city. I’ve seen aerial maps of communities with the streets mapped out on top of aerial views of what was once large expanses of farm land. There is a park in my old neighborhood that once had a long line of mature trees before it was all clear cut for development. There was no need to remove all the trees to make room for infrastructure which does not pass through the park. The city’s claim that trees will not survive in a narrow 5 meter band is total BS! Look at the 100 year old trees along farmers’ hedgerows dividing their fields. Those trees seem to be doing fine! The city is merely giving in to developers and allowing them to clear-cut and squeeze as many homes into a given area. It’s developers’ greed that motivates the city’s decisions. If purchasing a “single” family home 4.5 feet from your neighbor is the only affordable option for many, then many will continue to buy. Then, we all get in our cars to go find open spaces. When our kids outgrow the token tiny park and play structure built by developers, we all get into our cars to go somewhere else, then when we come home, we often find our narrow streets choked with cars with no place to park. Greed, greed, greed!

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