(ABOVE: Screenshot from one of the worlds created during the pilot project.)
Ottawa Public Health is hoping that Minecraft will lay the building blocks to getting kids engaged in their community and its health.
A pilot project recently wrapped up at the Stittsville and Centrepointe libraries, where youth aged nine to 17 attempted to re-imagine and build a part of their local community in the popular building game Minecraft. Continue reading
(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. Continue reading
(via Councillor Shad Qadri’s weekly newsletter)
As you may know, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is currently under review for changes. This week, council reviewed the report and a motion passed (as presented by Councillor Harder) to amend Council’s position on the changes. Continue reading
Councillor Shad Qadri says City staff provided him with “misleading information” about the plan to convert Johnwoods Street into a park, and that he won’t be asking the Planning Committee to stop it. Continue reading
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
What a gorgeous day for a walk down Stittsville Main Street.
About 40 people joined me on Saturday for Stittsville’s first-ever Jane‘s Walk. The walk was part of a city-wide festival celebrating Jane Jacobs, a writer and activist who was well-known for her thoughts about city planning.
(Press release via City of Ottawa)
Residents and businesses are invited to engage with City staff at a new event, Building Better Connections – a community forum organized by the City’s Planning and Growth Management Department. Continue reading
“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.” –Omar Sultan, Jackson Trails
The city’s Planning Committee gave their blessing Minto’s Potter’s Key development today, along with several conditions to address some of the concerns from neighbouring residents.
Those conditions include maintaining a gravel road for construction vehicles until at least 2019, and requiring that any homes backing onto existing residential areas must be single family homes. Continue reading
Jackson Trails Community Association (JTCA) president Omar Sultan believes there’s still an opportunity for Minto to change their plan for Potter’s Key, before it goes to the city’s Planning Committee on February 23.
He’s written a 19-page letter on behalf of the JTCA outlining 11 community requests for including the subdivision plan that’s proposed just west of Jackson Trails. The letter includes a variety of requests and proposed solutions to mitigate concerns about issues like traffic, housing density, pedestrian safety, compatibility, and parkland. Continue reading
Re: QADRI: OMB will likely side with Minto on Potter’s Key road access
“If prolonging the process is the best that can be done when developers exercise their influence over City Hall – than that’s what we need to do, and that’s what we need our elected representative to continue to do.”
It’s great for “traffic specialists” to say from their office towers downtown that the community can support a specific amount of traffic based on their “transportation modelling”, however they do not LIVE here, they don’t pay taxes on property here, and their lives certainly won’t be impacted by any changes to our community.
“I can lobby my council colleagues to support me and the community in opposing this development… Based on my experience with developments going before the OMB and given that the City and Transportation experts support the current plan it would be very unlikely that the OMB would not allow the development to go forward…”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Councillor Shad Qadri responded on Facebook today to resident comments about Hazeldean Road access to the proposed Potter’s Key subdivision.
The temporary connection would be made through the site on Hazeldean Road and would connect into the road network of the development so this would be through an area of land that is shown to have residential development (the exact location has not been confirmed), after the timelines expires then they could develop those lots.
PHOTO: Construction equipment in front of the Bradley-Craig barn. Photo by Dan Pak.
The citizens of Ottawa spend considerable time and money defining the type of community we want to live in through things like the official plan, zoning by-laws, heritage designations and green space conservation strategies. Yet often developers spend just as much time and money to justify projects which contravene the City’s plan.
We often hear developers complain about how long it takes and how expensive it is to get anything done. But often this is because they are using expensive experts to prepare a rationale to be exempt from the controls set out by the City. Recently there have been several prime examples of this in the Stittsville area.
First is the Bradley-Craig barn. The City gave the farmstead (farmhouse and barn) heritage designation to protect it as prime example of the early agricultural history in the region. The developer who didn’t want it, asked to dismantle and move it. Although staff and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee voted against the request to move the barn, the Planning Committee and Council voted in favour of the developer.
Second is the clearing of 6279 Fernbank Road. The site is one of the last large nature area providing a home and refuge for wildlife. Through the “Protocol for Wildlife Protection during Construction” the City defines a number of best [ractices to minimize the impact on wildlife during construction. Regarding removal of trees and wetlands, it states that clearing should not take place in the winter (mid-October through March to protect overwintering wildlife). Yet contrary to the City’s own definition best practices they gave the developer a permit to remove trees this winter, starting February 1.
Third is the approval for the expansion of the landfill on Carp Road at the 417. Throughout the long approval process the City repeatedly prepared reports and passed motions listing environmental and community impacts. There were also concerns that more landfill capacity might impact long term waste reduction strategies. In this case the developer went above the authority of the City using the Provincial environmental assessment process. Since the province has little skin in the game it was easier for the developer to get approval and thus pressure the City to comply with rezoning and site plan approval.
So it seems that no matter what measures the City and the community put in place to direct development in a healthy way that leads to a city we want to live, work and play in, developers manage to get approval to develop a City that gives them the best bottom line.
Harold Moore, West Carleton
Here’s a transcript of two statements made by city councillors at last week’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee during a debate about the future of the Bradley-Craig farmstead. The first is from Tobi Nussbaum, the committee’s chair, and the second is from Stittsville councillor Shad Qadri. The committee ended up voting to deny an application to demolish the barn and move it to Munster, although that decision could be overturned when Planning Committee reviews the file on January 26. Photo above by Barry Gray.
(Above: Aerial photo of Fairwinds, by @TwitchxB)
On Tuesday, the City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee will receive the latest update on a project called “Building Better and Smarter Suburbs”. If it’s accepted, the plan will play a role (for better or for worse) in shaping the way Stittsville and other suburbs develops in the coming years. Continue reading