Tag Archives: maple grove

COMMENT: Johnwoods closure comes too soon

Closing Johnwoods might make sense years from now when more of Stittsville’s planned road and transit infrastructure is in place, but it doesn’t make sense now.

I made this video in May 2016 ahead of a public information meeting hosted by the City to explain what’s going on.  Watch this: Continue reading


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North section of Johnwoods permanently closes on November 15

Councillor Shad Qadri shared an update about the closure of the north end of Johnwoods on his web site earlier today.   The plan is to turn that section of road into a linear park with a recreation path running north-south, and re-route traffic via Rosehill and Santolina to-and-from Maple Grove.

Here’s how the City explains it: “This work must be completed to satisfy a condition in Mattamy Homes’ Fairwinds West subdivision agreement. The idea to downgrade Johnwoods Street from a major road to a local street has long been supported in several Council-approved documents like the Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Kanata West Concept Plan, Cycling Plan, and Pedestrian Plan.
Historically, Johnwoods Street has experienced issues with cut-through traffic as population growth has outpaced the development of the arterial road network in the community. The construction of the Huntmar Drive extension and the Hazeldean Road widening have helped to alleviate some of these concerns. The partial closure of Johnwoods Street will further improve the situation.”

Despite all those council-approved documents, news of the closure will likely surprise many residents in the area, particularly in the Bryanston Gate and Fairwinds neighbourhoods.  It was a surprise to many of the 100 people who showed up at a raucous meeting in May 2016, after which the City of Ottawa’s planning department apologized for poor communication about the project.

Here’s what’s happening in the next few weeks:

  • Starting around November 8, concrete barriers at Rosehill near Warmstone will be removed, and temporary traffic calming measures will be installed. (Just what those measures are hasn’t been revealed.) Then on November 15, Johnwoods will be closed for construction. Removable bollards and barriers will be in place to stop vehicle traffic.
  • The park will be landscaped with a 3-metre asphalt path, four new benches, post and rail wood fences at the Maple Grove and Rosehill entrances, and small trees and shrubs.  The existing street lights along Johnwoods will be retained for park lighting. A letter to residents says that a future pathway could be built by the City to connect to Bryanston Gate via the pumping station property on Mika.
  • The closure will also result in a change for the 162 bus route.  They’ll travel along Santonlina beween Maple Grove Street and Rosehill Avenue, with two new bus stops on Santolina Street, one close to 151 Santolina Street and the other behind 346 Astelia Crescent.

***

Here’s the update from the councillor’s web site:

Starting on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Johnwoods Street will be permanently closed to vehicular traffic from Maple Grove Road to Rosehill Avenue and will be rebuilt as a multi-use pathway for pedestrians and cyclists.

This work will add a safe and accessible recreational amenity, more greenspace and direct connections for pedestrians and cyclists in your community. The pathway will also enhance privacy and livability for nearby residents by reducing vehicle traffic noise and headlight glare.

I encourage residents to please review the following documents which have also been mailed to residents in the immediate area.

Johnwoods Closure Notice 2017

Johnwoods Closure Frequently Asked Questions 2017 

Johnwoods Linear Park Design


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COMMENT: Committee should have deferred Maple Grove decision

A shout out to CBC for continuing to focus on Stittsville development issues this week. Here’s an excerpt (in red) from an article by Laura Osman published today, along with my comments.  I’ve added some additional context based on my work with the Fairwinds Community Association.

Bottom line: If councillors and city staff really believe in the importance of public engagement, this case illustrates how far they still have to go to ensure transparency and trust in the development process.

***

Residents not allowed to weigh in on big subdivision, councillor says
Councillors approve application to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road after decade of holdups
by Laura Osman, CBC Ottawa

A large new subdivision in Stittsville has been approved, despite the fact the last public consultation meeting happened more than a decade ago.

As far as I can tell, the last public consultation for this zoning bylaw amendment was in December 2004, when most of the area was still farmland.

The planning committee approved the rezoning for Richcraft to build 945 residential units on Maple Grove Road.

The last update we heard about the project was in December 2013, when a plan of subdivision was submitted for around 800 residential units.

The development has been in the works since early 2004 but was held up by an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. Richcraft then filed an appeal against the city because it’s taken so long for the city to make a decision.

Coun. Shad Qadri asked the committee to hold off on the decision on behalf of the neighbouring Fairwinds community, which didn’t exist when the initial public consultations were done.

“The area now didn’t really have the opportunity to put their comments in,” Qadri said, adding that planning documents were also not posted online.

Qadri lost the vote seven to one.

Usually when there’s a zoning bylaw amendment in front of Planning Committee, it’s easy to search the city’s web site to find background documents like planning rationale, transportation plans, environmental studies, etc.  We couldn’t find anything on the city’s DevApp web site, or on the councillor’s web site, or even on alternate sources like ottwatch.ca.

The Fairwinds Community Association asked Councillor Qadri to put forward a motion to defer a decision on the file until next month’s planning committee, to at least give residents time to access and review the documents.

Planning committee chair Jan Harder said the public had the opportunity to be heard at Tuesday’s meeting.

The committee received two written statements responding to the report that was tabled last week.

They would have received more than two written statements if there was a more proactive effort to alert residents about it. I stumbled upon it last week when I was reading the agenda. I doubt that many of my neighbours make a routine of reading the weekly agenda updates!  Besides that, how can we provide proper comments without the full information to work from?

(I would have loved to attend today’s meeting, but work commitments kept me from taking the morning off work to trek downtown.)

If the committee held off on making a decision, the developer would simply withdraw the zoning application and go through the OMB instead, Harder said.

“And then we’ll have a made-in-Toronto decision that may not be that great,” said Coun. Rick Chiarreli.

Chiarelli didn’t want the decision to be made by the OMB because there’s no way to appeal it, he said.

The developer has been working toward this subdivision for 13 years, and the city should not be holding up the process any longer, he added, comparing the application to a criminal trial. Serious charges would be dismissed after such a long period without a decision, he said.

I don’t know how accurate this is.  If the threat of an OMB decision is so significant, why did the report from planning staff attached to the agenda not call this out as a potential legal risk?  The document refers to previous OMB hearings but it doesn’t explain the relevant background or approval timelines for this application.  After 13+ years, what’s the rush to get this zoning approval through?  Shovels can’t hit the ground until next year at the earliest.

The proposal includes townhomes, detached houses and low-rise apartment buildings. It also includes some commercial development along the south side of Maple Grove Road, which is currently entirely residential.

During the initial public meeting in 2004 the city received six responses, including concerns about the Carp River restoration project and the timing of the development.

Back in 2004, the Stittsville Village Association did submit comments about transportation impacts. Current president Tanya Hein says that they did receive advance notice of the meeting, but just barely: “By chance, I found out late yesterday that a paper notice dated October 13th was mailed to David Jenkins (a former SVA member). I think he was on record from the original application, before email was the standard means of circulation. That, in itself, might suggest a more modern public consultation is warranted.”

Part of the development is expected to be built on the former floodplain of the Carp River, which is currently under construction to alleviate flood concerns.

The development must still be approved by city council.

The Carp River restoration … commercial development on Hazeldean Road … residential development in Fairwinds and Fernbank … an evolving mass transit plan … pending departure of the Senators… These are just a few examples of major changes in our area since 2004, and reason enough in my view to treat this zoning application with more scrutiny.

***

Another person who sent comments to councillors about the zoning bylaw amendment was Faith Blacquiere, a retired research librarian who reviews planning documents as a hobby.

She submitted nine pages of detailed technical notes to the committee, which are included below. She really gets down in the weeds of the planning process. I haven’t fact-checked the document, nor are all of her concerns necessarily within the scope of this zoning amendment. Still, I believe she’s identified enough inconsistencies and concerns with the published staff report to justify a deferral. Or at the very least, more scrutiny from on the Planning Committee today.


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NOTEBOOK: Major Maple Grove development coming to planning committee

This Tuesday, October 24, Ottawa’s Planning Committee will vote on a zoning bylaw amendment that would give the green light for Richcraft to proceed with a massive residential development on Maple Grove Road, just east of the Fairwinds neighbourhood.

You would be forgiven for thinking this latest zoning proposal came out of nowhere, even though this development has been going through the approval process since 2004. Continue reading


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Maple Grove closed from July 10-21 for construction

A section of Maple Grove, between Huntmar Drive and Terry Fox Drive, will be closed for construction work from Monday, July 10 at 9 a.m. until Friday, July 14. After that, Maple Grove Road will reopen between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road, but will remain closed between Silver Seven Road and Huntmar Drive until Friday, July 21. Access to businesses in this stretch of road will be maintained and detours will be in place.


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NOTEBOOK: LRT open houses, pedestrian safety upgrades, more

LRT OPEN HOUSES
Watch for a open house events in June and November for updates on plans to extend light rail transit west past Moodie Drive towards Kanata and Stittsville.  Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson shared the news in a newsletter update: “An evaluation of alternative corridors and selection of a preferred corridor and station locations will be discussed… on the technically preferred plan, which will go to Transportation Committee and Council for approval in March 2018.  Construction of this section cannot occur until after the LRT reaches Moodie in 2023 and a funding source is obtained.” Continue reading


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Maple Grove closed from Huntmar to Terry Fox starting Sept 8

(via City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa is in the process of constructing the new Kanata West Pump Station and Forcemains to provide servicing to new development in the region.  Work will involve the construction of a sanitary pump station at 1540 Maple Grove Road, a trunk sewer extension along Maple Grove Road, and twin forcemains along Maple Grove, Terry Fox and Katimavik. This notice serves as an update to the progress of work onsite in particular on Maple Grove Road.

Please be advised that Maple Grove Road will be closed from Huntmar Drive to Terry Fox Drive from September 8th until October 28th, 2016 to complete a sewer crossing and reinstate the road surface.  Access to all properties will be maintained throughout the work.


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Maple Grove Road to close until early September for sewer work

(press release via City of Ottawa)

Maple Grove Road will be closed to traffic between Terry Fox Drive and Silver Seven Road beginning Wednesday, July 20. The closure will allow for the installation of sewer pipes related to construction of the Kanata West Pump Station on Maple Grove Road. The closure will remain in effect until early September.

Work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., extending to 10 p.m. as required. No overnight work is planned. A signed detour will be in place throughout the construction period. Motorists and cyclists are advised to follow all signage directed at them. Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout the construction period.

There are no anticipated effects to OC Transpo routes.

Walter Baker Park and nearby businesses will remain open as usual and access will be maintained.

For current information about traffic and construction around the city, visit ottawa.ca.

 


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Section of Maple Grove closed on Saturday for more hydro pole relocation work

(via Hydro Ottawa)

In May, Hydro Ottawa began conducting a pole relocation project to improve the reliability of the electrical service in the Stittsville and Kanata West area. Pole relocation involves excavating and moving existing poles located on your street and/or in your backyard. Continue reading


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What’s happening with the Maple Grove link to Jackson Trails?

Today, the west end of Maple Grove Road is just a dead-end dumping ground for construction waste and dog poop bags. Someday, it could be a road connection to Stittsville Main Street.

It’s an idea that’s been talked about for several years, and it shows up from time to time on planning maps, but there’s no specific timeline.

It came up recently during the discussions about Minto’s Potter’s Key subdivision. Some homeowners in Jackson Trails have suggested that Maple Grove could provide a second exit from their community, although many residents don’t want it opened up just yet. Continue reading


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VIDEO: How Hydro Ottawa moved 20 poles in a day along Maple Grove

(Editor’s note: Here are some photos, text and a video shared by Hydro Ottawa, with background on Saturday’s pole-moving project on Maple Grove. Hydro Ottawa is proactively moving the poles to accomodate future road widening, currently slated for after 2013 in the City’s transportation master plan.)

Twenty-five employees, six contracting staff, 20 poles, 12 hours, one Pole Claw, one day. These are the numbers required to successfully complete hydro pole relocation on Maple Grove Road on Saturday, May 14, due to a road widening project. Continue reading


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LETTER: Hold planning staff accountable for “epic fail”

Re: Qadri and planners get rough ride over Johnwoods “proposal”

As a former political staffer to Bob Chiarelli from 1987 – 1990 and again in 1999, I have seen some great work down by bureaucrats at the provincial level and at the former Region of Ottawa-Carleton (ROC). I went out of my way to thank staff when they were of assistance to the MPP and then Regional Chair as well as helping me in my role. Continue reading


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Qadri and planners get rough ride over Johnwoods “proposal”

UPDATE: Planning staff apologizes over Johnwoods consultation


What we had here was a failure to communicate.

I was one of about 100 people who showed up at a public meeting tonight at Johnny Leroux Arena to hear about the city’s plans to convert the north end of Johnwoods into a linear park and bike path. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stittsville South zoning, french immersion, Huntmar-Maple Grove, more

STITTSVILLE SOUTH ZONING APPROVED
This week the City’s Planning Committee unanimously approved a zoning change for a subdivision at Stittsville South, paving the way (pun intended) for a new residential development including 339 single detached, 162 multiple attached and 152 low-rise apartment units.  It goes to City Council for full approval on February 24. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Kanata dog park, new mini-roundabouts, Bradley-Craig Farm

KANATA DOG PARK UPDATE
Last fall we reported on a proposed fenced dog park in Kanata at Insmill Park near Terry Fox Drive. Here’s an update from Kanata North Councillor Marianne Wilkinson: “Thank you to everyone who provided feedback about the proposed fenced dog area for Insmill Park. I will be meeting with City staff later this month to review your concerns and to consider alternative locations. The NCC has been approached about a dog park on their lands and I hope to have more information on that soon.” Continue reading


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Dedicated left turn lane coming soon to Huntmar-Maple Grove

The verdict is in for the new lane configuration for the lights at Huntmar and Maple Grove.

Councillor Shad Qadri wrote in his weekly newsletter that he’s asking City staff reconfigure the northbound lane markings to allow for a dedicated left-turn lane plus a shared straight/right-turn.  The bike lane will be removed.  (Lanes in the other direction stay the same.) Continue reading


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