Tag Archives: notebook

NOTEBOOK: Breaking down the City budget from a Stittsville perspective

Continued protection of our critical infrastructure and assets! Keeping our communities safe and vibrant! Making the environment a top priority! A progressive future for our city and its residents!

That’s how the City of Ottawa’s PR department touts the 2018 draft budget.  News outlets like CBC have done a good job at outlining the city-wide, big picture spending items.  (You should definitely read Joanne Chianello’s analysis.)  But what are the specifics for Stittsville? Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Shea Woods, Fairwinds parking, and a few odds and ends

AT CITY HALL
City Council gave full approval today for the acquisition of 5 hectares of Shea Woods. The City will pay CRT (Claridge-Richcraft-Tamarack) Developments just over $1.5-million for about one-third of the land … Council also approved a zoning bylaw amendment for 1620 And 1636 Maple Grove Road, paving the way for a 945-unit residential development. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Clearing begins on CRT lands & Shea Woods

We knew it was inevitable but it was still a shock this weekend to see the trees already coming down along the edge of the Shea Woods.

A strip of cedar trees and brush along the east side of the forest has been cut down, and the field to the east is being cleared and is surrounded by construction fencing.

Continue reading


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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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NOTEBOOK: City moves a step closer to protecting part of Shea Woods

(PHOTO: Mayor Jim Watson and Councillor Shad Qadri joined local residents on Tuesday to announce plans to protect the Shea Woods. Photos by Frank Cianciullo.)

The City of Ottawa hosted a media event today to announce a $1.5-million agreement to conserve part of the Shea Woods, a cedar forest located southeast of Holy Spirit Church and a popular spot for dog walkers.

The forest is currently owned by CRT Developments, who are planning a housing development in the area.  A City of Ottawa press release (included below) outlines how the City intends to protected the forested area. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Carp-Hazeldean collision stats, 2011-2015

(ABOVE: Collision at Carp and Hazeldean on September 25, 2017. Photo via Wendy Wright / @wrightofwayCFRA)

Stittsville Councillor Shad Qadri says he’s asked the city’s traffic department to review resident concerns about the Carp-Hazeldean intersection.  But if you read between the lines, it doesn’t look like this intersection is dangerous enough to warrant any immediate changes.

In his weekly newsletter published on Thursday, Qadri shared the most recent collision data available from 2015.  The Carp-Hazeldean intersection had 10 reported collisions, ranking it 167th on the list of intersections with the most reported incidents. (By comparison, the intersection of Hunt Club and Riverside was the worst in the city with 60 collisions.) Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Councillor pushes for construction industry watchdog

Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper wants to establish a watchdog to rein in what he calls “needlessly thoughtless and disrespectful behaviour” on the part of the construction industry, particularly on problematic infill developments.

He wants the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) to fund an ombudsperson to field complaints and resolve disputes. Here’s part of what he wrote on his web site on the weekend:

One of the greatest frustrations I have as the one looked to most often to sort out disagreements between builders and neighbours is how few tools Councillors and even the City have to deal with the litany of complaints that we hear. Parking, noise, and property standards by-laws can be enforced by the City, but the process is slow, there’s too few resources on the ground, and enforcement is ultimately up to the courts which means the City takes a graduated enforcement approach.

The courts are also the only recourse for neighbours whose property has been damaged by builders. This is an immense frustration. Telling residents to lawyer up when disputes arise over property lines or damage is not why anyone runs for office.

There needs to be a better mechanism to deal with infill issues. Too many problems are dealt with by too many levels of government and agencies.

Infill development in Stittsville may not be as intense as in Kitchissippi but it’s still happening out here. Just about every month at the Committee of Adjustment there’s an application to subdivide a big residential lot in order to squeeze in another house.  That’s only going to accelerate in the coming years.

It’s not just infill that’s a problem either. New housing development generates lots of complaints too: traffic, noise, dirt, blasting, etc.

I’m not sure an ombudsperson is the most effective way to deal with this issue.  He or she might play a useful role in mediation with GOHBA members, but I bet most of the problematic contractors and developers aren’t members of the group.

Still, good on Leiper for at least raising the issue and bringing attention to it. At the very least, it will spur discussion about how to create a fairer and clearer process to react to homeowner concerns. He’s asking residents to share their infill construction horror stories via his web site…

Councillor Jeff Leiper shared this example of this text message exchange: "Recently, a Champlain Park resident, just trying to get through the infill going in next to them, had an exchange with a builder to ask him to move, as previously agreed, the security fence off their property. The exchange by text is a follow-up to a voicemail left by the resident with the builder that was never answered. The exchange is beyond disrespectful, and I think crosses the line into abusiveness. I’ve had enough.
Councillor Jeff Leiper shared this example of a text message exchange between a resident and a builder: “Recently, a Champlain Park resident, just trying to get through the infill going in next to them, had an exchange with a builder to ask him to move, as previously agreed, the security fence off their property. The exchange by text is a follow-up to a voicemail left by the resident with the builder that was never answered. The exchange is beyond disrespectful, and I think crosses the line into abusiveness. I’ve had enough.

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NOTEBOOK: Transportation Committee approves increase to parking time limit

It’s looking more likely that starting next June, you’ll be able to park on residential streets in Ottawa for more than three hours without worrying about getting a ticket.

Earlier today, the City of Ottawa’s Transportation Committee approved an increase to the maximum time for street parking on the weekends to six hours. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Work begins on commercial development at Iber and Hazeldean

In an update on Facebook today, Councillor Shad Qadri advises that tree clearing work started today on the site of a new commercial development owned by Huntington Properties at Iber and Hazeldean:

“Tree Clearing Starting today for development at south west corner of Hazeldean/Iber. A tree permit has been approved for the construction of a mixed retail, commercial and office to be located at 5734 and 5754 Hazeldean Road and 2 Iber Road. Unfortunately, the parking and building layout do not allow for more tree retention. Approximately 140 trees are scheduled for planting within and surrounding the development. Approximately 117 trees will be removed. 44 trees are to be retained on or adjacent to the developed areas. The tree permit issued for this address is issued under Part II of the Urban Tree Conservation By-law. Huntington Properties is developer of the site and have advised they are finalization of the leasing and pre-construction plans for the site and will provide more information in the future which I will share with the community.”

The original site plan for this development was submitted nearly four years ago in October 2013, with approval granted in 2015. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: New bike repair station at Village Square Park

Nice to see this new bike repair station added to Village Square Park this week, along the Trans Canada Trail near Stittsville Main.  It’s a good spot for it, with hundreds of cyclists passing by each week.

(This would have come in handy a few weeks ago when my wife blew a bike tire on Abbott street just past the park!)

Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) is setting these up at parks, libraries and other public areas around the city, but there aren’t too many yet in the suburbs.  According to SRO: “Each self service bike repair station includes a work stand, an air pump and the following tools:

  • Philips screwdriver and stand
  • 2 steel core tire levers
  • pedal wrench
  • 2 cone wrenches (8/10 mm 9/11 mm)
  • Torx T-25
  • Hex key set
  • The air pump includes heads to fill both Presta and Schrader valves.

Information on how to use the repair station and tools can be found at www.Ottawa.ca/bikerepair

UPDATE: City staff will be at the repair station to give tips on bike maintenance and safety on Monday, August 21 at 6:30 p.m.

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Anecdotally, I’ve heard about more and more cyclists from outside of our community coming to visit Stittsville by bike. For example, blogger Andrea Tomkins and her husband Mark, who biked in from Westboro a few weeks back.  That’s about 50km round trip, and you can do it entirely on recreation trails.  More evidence: the bike rack behind Quitters is usually overflowing on a sunny weekend day.

Stittsville as a cycling destination?  Sounds good to me.

Now let’s hope we see some safer bike infrastructure on Stittsville Main Street in the near future too.


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NOTEBOOK: A fenced dog run, more cash for road repairs, ice cream at Quitters

FENCED DOG RUNS PLANNED FOR STITTSVILLE SOUTH NEIGHBOURHOOD

Valecraft Homes recently tweeted out the design of a park and stormwater pond in their new Rathwell Landing neighbourhood, (located south of the existing Westwind neighbourhood). Continue reading


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WINTER IS COMING: City consults on snowplow driveway markers

(Photo: Snowed in, February 2017. Photo by Barry Gray.)

It’s the middle of July, so of course the top thing on your mind right now must be snowplow driveway markers.

The City of Ottawa is running a consultation on “formalizing guidelines for snowplow driveway markers”.  Most people have probably never given much thought to this issue and it’s kind of amazing how specific the rules get.  Take a look at all the rules  being proposed:

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Local businesses invited to BIA info meeting on Tuesday

UPDATE: About 50 people attended the meeting on Tuesday night to hear about the BIA proposal, ask questions and share concerns.  The steering committee plans to keep educating the local business community on what the proposal is all about, and there’s a survey on the City’s web site for local business owners to complete.

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Local businesses are being encouraged to attend an information meeting on Tuesday, July 18 to hear about plans to create a Business Improvement Area (BIA) for Stittsville. The meeting happens at 7pm at the Goulbourn Recreation Complex, Hall A.

A group of around half a dozen local business owners have formed a steering committee to drum up interest and support in the plan.  (The group includes a variety of owners and management from Walkerworks Framing, Jo-Jo’s Pizza, Huntington Properties, Stittsville IDA, Covered Bridge Brewing, and Warmstone Dentistry.)

From the group’s Facebook page: “Stittsville is such a dynamic community with incredible opportunity. The growth we’ve experienced and will continue to experience at an increasingly rapid pace needs direction. The Stittsville BIA proposal is here to exhibit the power of BIAs and how we can help unlock untapped potential for all Stittsville business owners. We need to support each other and our businesses through an organized effort. Shop the Stittsville is movement. Come enjoy some pizza courtesy of Jo-Jo’s and voice your opinion – it matters!”

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Jack Ketch update, Carp Rd landfill contaminated soil

THE JACK KETCH RESTAURANT PLANS AUGUST OPENING
John Curry
wrote a great overview of some of the historical buildings on Stittsville Main Street recently in the Stittsville News.  The piece starts with a brief history of the yellow house at 1536 Stittsville Main Street: “The two-storey building… was built in the 1890s as the home of Miss Rebecca Stitt, a dressmaker who worked at the Mann General Store in the village. It was passed on to her sister Elizabeth, who was a nurse. It was the home of Sterling and Grace Howie for 27 years until they sold it in 1992 for use as the hair salon for Precision Cut Hair Styling. It later served as a day care centre and is now being renovated to be a restaurant.”

The new restaurant will be known as The Jack Ketch, a 30-seat restaurant run by Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce. Conway says they plan to open the restaurant sometime in August.  For some hints as to what’s in store, check out their a teaser web site, Facebook page and Instagram.

Trout with lentil ragout and mussels

A post shared by Jack (@jackketchfood) on

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WASTE MANGEMENT APPLIES TO PROCESS CONTAMINATED SOIL
Waste Management has filed paperwork with the Ontario Government to amend their Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) so that they can process contaminated soil at their Carp Road landfill facility.

Here’s how minutes from a public liaison committee meeting describe the proposal: “application is to construct a soil treatment pad to treat hydro carbon impacted soils, these materials once they meet strict soil analysis would also be used on site for the same purposes as above and including cover material for the landfill/waste operation, none of this material would leave the site.”

Hydro carbon impacted soils include soil contaminated by petroleum products like oil and gas.  Waste Management’s application seeks permission to process and store up to 120,000 tonnes of contaminated soil per year, above and beyond any previously approved landfill capacity.

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RADAR GUN & DEER RUN
I jotted down a couple of quick notes at last night’s Stittsville Village Association meeting:  1) Councillor Shad Qadri says that part of this year’s $40,000 traffic calming budget for Stittsville Ward will go towards a radar gun. The gun will be available for community associations to borrow to measure traffic speed on neighbourhood streets.  (I wonder if baseball teams can borrow it to measure pitches too?)  2) Qadri also mentioned that construction of the new splash pad at Deer Run Park is progressing well and could be finished by mid-August.

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PEAK PARSNIP
We appear to be in peak Wild Parsnip season. The yellow weed is growing along pathways, fields and ditches all over our community. This is the third year that the City of Ottawa has been spraying herbicide in public areas.  If you’re wondering about what to look for, or how to safely get rid of the plant on your property, check out this article from our archives in 2015…

Wild Parsnip. Photo via the City of Ottawa.
Wild Parsnip. File photo via the City of Ottawa.

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CELEBRITY NEWS
If you were at NeXT restaurant on June 27, you might have spotted Michael J. Fox having dinner there with his family. He was in Ottawa to receive a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award at Rideau Hall the next day.


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NOTEBOOK: We’re the guinea pigs for building better suburbs

The City of Ottawa sent out a press release earlier this week about progress on a long-term project called “Building Better and Smarter Suburbs”. (You can read the full press release below.)

Suburbs are changing, and the city’s policies, bylaws and planning/design guidelines need to be updated to adapt to the evolving environment. The Building Better and Smarter Suburbs project contains a series of strategies covering all sorts of issues. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Owners want to axe Palladium Autopark capacity limit

Oh the irony.

A planning consultant says that a luxury auto dealership planned for Palladium Drive will be pedestrian friendly.

I’ll admit, a lot of the information contained in the Proposed Zoning By-Law Amendment Planning Rationale for 2499 Palladium Drive, 2500 Palladium Drive and 675 Autopark Private is over my head, but I know enough to read these documents with a certain degree of skepticism.

Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Congestion pricing, cell phone tower, patio season

CONGESTION PRICING BACK ON THE RADAR
Looks like the debate over “congestion pricing” might be coming to City Hall in the near future. That’s the idea of using financial incentives (or disincentives) to decrease car use and increase transit ridership, particularly from the suburbs of Ottawa into the downtown core.

The four downtown councillors – Chernushenko, Leiper, McKenney and Nussbaum – commissioned a study that was presented at a symposium last week.

The study looks at the potential effects of four pricing models: highway tolls, “cordon” charges (a toll to enter downtown), parking rate changes and a gas tax increase. The authors conclude that raising the cost of parking downtown would be the most cost-effective tool: “The report concludes that while a cordon charge to enter the Ottawa central area could be more effective at accomplishing the stated objectives, the implementation costs given today’s technology would make it impractical. Tolling the highways was evaluated to be less effective given the possibility of leakage onto parallel arterial roads and the inability to address north-south traffic. The study notes important jurisdictional and other challenges regarding the feasibility of raising the gas tax and concludes that focussing on parking charges would be more useful in addressing congestion and increasing transit ridership. Although high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes were not examined in detail, the report suggests their feasibility could increase in light of provincial highway expansion plans.

“Managing congestion using pricing tools is increasingly recognized by cities worldwide as a way to increase transit ridership, lower greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and address commuting frustration” says Chernushenko. “Our goal in commissioning this research and analysis from CPCS is to contribute to an ongoing conversation about how to best to encourage sustainable transportation and support our significant investment in LRT. This is a very important discussion for Ottawa to have.”

There are no immediate plans to move forward on any recommendations in the study, but it’s a debate that Stittsville commuters will want to keep an eye on in the months to come.

You can read the report here…

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CELL TOWER PROPOSED FOR IBER
Via Councillor Qadri: “Shared Network Canada (SNC) is proposing a 50m tri-pole communication tower to be constructed at 145 Iber Rd. The tower will be used to offer space to multiple cellular carriers to enhance and support their networks. A small fenced area with a walk-in cabinet will be constructed at the base of the installation. A public meeting will be held at the Main Hall of the Goulbourn Recreational Complex (1500 Shea Rd) on Wednesday, April 12th to help answer resident questions and concerns regarding the project.” There’s more info about the meeting here…

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590 HAZELDEAN ROAD ZONING
On April 11, the City’s planning committee will be considering a zoning bylaw amendment for 590 Hazeldean Road.  Currently zoned as agricultural land, the proposed change would allow for a residential development with parks, a school and commercial areas.  The initial consultation for the zoning change happened way back in late 2013 / early 2014, but the item is only now coming in front of councillors.

The staff report prepared for the meeting describes the land as “vacant”, but that’s not really accurate. The word suggests empty, worthless land.  In this case it’s quite the opposite. Until a few years ago it was home to an active farm, and the Bradley-Craig heritage house and barn are still standing along Hazeldean Road.  (The barn is supposed to be relocated soon to Saunders Farm.)

You can read the background documents here…

SIGNS OF SPRING


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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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NOTEBOOK: Development notes, O’Leary in Kanata, music in Stittsville

UPDATE ON HAZELDEAN CAR DEALERSHIP
There’s a revised site plan online for the proposed car dealership at 5835 Hazeldean Road. The property is currently a gravel lot for the Canadian Auto Mall, with a temporary sales trailer on site. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: New restaurant on Stittsville Main, OC Transpo suburb service, more

Stittsville Main Street is getting a new restaurant this spring. Kevin Conway and his partner Allison Pearce plan to open a 30-seat restaurant called Jack Ketch at 1536 Stittsville Main Street. Most recently, the building was home to Brown Bear Daycare.

Continue reading


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