Tag Archives: richcraft

PHOTOS & UPDATE: The Bradley-Craig Farm, October 2017

Thank you to Mandy Hambly for sharing these beautiful photos of the Bradley-Craig Farm on Hazeldean Road. The sunset photos were taken on October 26, and the photo of the barn reflected in water is from earlier in the month.

Sunset over the Bradley Craig Farm, October 26. Photo by Mandy Hambly.
Sunset over the Bradley Craig Farm, October 26. Photo by Mandy Hambly.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Cardel Homes seeks naming rights for Goulbourn Rec Complex

(Goulbourn Rec Centre, May 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.)

The GRC could soon be known as the CRG if city councillors approve a $600,000 naming rights deal with Cardel Homes.

Next week, the City of Ottawa’s Community and Protective Services Committee will consider a proposal to change the name of the Goulbourn Recreation Complex to “Cardel Rec – Goulbourn”.  In return, Cardel would pay the City $40,000 for the next 15 years. Continue reading


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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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LETTER: A little house on Hazeldean

(EDITOR’S NOTE: It was a year ago this week that I joined several community members at a Planning Committee meeting at Ottawa City Hall to oppose Richcraft’s proposal to move the Bradley-Craig barn to Munster. Unfortunately we were not successful, and now Richcraft has until January 2018 to complete the move.  Since last January, I’ve heard from a lot of people with stories, memories and questions about the farm. Here’s an interesting story about the tiny house that’s on the west side of the barn.  I’m sharing this letter anonymously at the request of the writer, out of respect for her family’s privacy. -GG.)

I love that you invited photographers to the BradleyCraig property to take pictures of the barn and farmhouse. The pictures are beautiful. I hate the idea of the barn moving away, and of the little house likely being torn down (I can’t see them moving it). It is outrageous that developers get way with so much. Just so that they can build other bunch of cookie-cutter houses, no doubt.

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Petition opposes tree cutting from South March Highlands

(PHOTO: South March Highlights. Photo by Denise Deby.)

Trees are again being cut down in Ottawa’s South March Highlands. KNL is removing trees from 75-100 hectares of land in the Highlands, one of Ottawa’s most biodiverse areas, in preparation for construction. They’re required to take measures to mitigate against harming species at risk (including Blanding’s turtles, Least bitterns and butternut trees) and other wildlife. Continue reading


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NOTEBOOK: Stories we’re watching in 2017

Let’s take out the crystal ball and look ahead at what 2017 may have in store for Stittsville…

CANADIAN TIRE CENTRE
Earlier this year we should hear from the Ottawa Senators about what they have in mind for Canadian Tire Centre once the Sens leave for Lebreton Flats. Last year, team owner Eugene Melnyk teased that the development would be an “entertainment-driven” transformation.  Whatever it is, any change will have a major impact on Stittsville and Kanata for jobs, transportation and economic development. Continue reading


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NUSSBAUM: Bradley-Craig “a disappointing loss”

Photo by Steve Garecke / sg@stevegerecke.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s part of a blog post from Rideau-Rockliffe Councillor Tobi Nussbaum about the Bradley-Craig barn, after council approved demolition/relocation to Munster. He was one of three councillors to vote against the plan.

I consider the outcome a disappointing loss for the built heritage of our growing City… By moving the barn, Richcraft is missing an opportunity to repurpose it into something exciting and valuable, from both a financial and community perspective…

There are fewer sites designated as heritage in the suburban and rural areas, which further increases the unique value these buildings can lend to redevelopments. A re-imagined and repurposed Bradley/Craig barn could have made this into a landmark destination. There are many examples – both within our own region and internationally – of creative adaptive re-uses of barns… Richcraft acknowledged it did not actively consider such ideas, something Council should have required before permission to dismantle and move the barn was granted…

In light of the homogeny of much of the new retail and commercial plazas sprouting from the very fields where farmers once toiled, the importance – and the opportunity – of protecting outstanding examples of our rural heritage becomes that much greater.  Today, Ottawa irrevocably lost a piece of its history in time and place…

Read the full post here…

 


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COMMENT: Bradley-Craig demolition debate was constructive (somewhat)

ABOVE: Bradley-Craig Barn, October 2015. Photo by Barry Gray.

UPDATE: City council approved the demolition/relocation on Wednesday. The vote was 20-3, with councillors Leiper, Nussbaum and McKenney opposing demolition.

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Today’s marathon debate at Planning Committee on the fate of the Bradley-Craig barn was so long that councillors ordered in pizza, and one even fell asleep (I won’t name names). Continue reading


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Andrew King reimagines the Bradley-Craig Farm

Does suburban commercial development always have to be so bland? Why do builders tend to bulldoze everything and start from scratch? What if we applied a bit of vision and imagination to our commercial areas?

Richcraft has applied for a demolition permit so that they can dismantle the big red barn at the Bradley-Craig Farm on Hazeldean Road, and move it to Munster to be re-assembled at Saunders Farm. (The city’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee has already voted against the plan, and the Planning Committee is set to debate the issue on Tuesday, January 26.)
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NUSSBAUM: Hazeldean road development ‘rather disappointing’

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.

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NOTEBOOK: Bradley-Craig recap, electric vehicle charge stations

The motion at Thursday’s Built Heritage Sub-Committee was a bit wordy: “That the Built Heritage Sub-Committee recommend that Planning Committee recommend that Council refuse the application to demolish the Bradley/Craig Barn, 590 Hazeldean Road.”

But after over two hours of public presentations and debate, the decision was clear: the committee voted 4-2 to support the motion, refusing the application to demolish the Bradley-Craig barn and move it to Munster.

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COMMENT: Clearing up some misconceptions about Bradley-Craig heritage

(Photo: Barn at the Bradley-Craig farmstead, September 2015.)

UPDATE: The heritage committee has rejected the proposal to move the barn. The demolition will now be considered at a Planning Committee meeting in January.

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This morning, the city’s Built Heritage Subcommittee will consider a proposal to demolish the barn at the Bradley-Craig farmstead, and move it to Munster.

The city’s heritage staff opposes the move, but Councillor Shad Qadri supports the plan.  I’ve read a few comments and arguments over the past few weeks that deserve a bit more context and clarity.
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Saunders Farm statement on Bradley-Craig barn

(press release via Saunders Farm)

Our mission here at Saunders Farm is to create amazing fun, food and memories, and our vision is to be the most amazing family farm in the world.

As a long-standing member of the North American Farmers Direct Marketing Association- an association of leading farms that sell directly to their customers – and Ontario Farm Fresh- the equivalent Ontario association- we have travelled all over the U.S., Canada and the U.K. to visit farms and to seek inspiration and ideas.  And hundreds of farmers have travelled from around the world to our Farm in Munster to seek similar inspiration.   Continue reading


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ART OF THE POSSIBLE: Barn raising, not barn razing

If you’re having trouble picturing how a heritage farm could be incorporated into a modern suburban environment, a project in Surrey, B.C. might spark your imagination.

Rempel Development Group, a company based in Abbottsford, B.C, has made the historic Bose Farm, built in 1936, the centrepiece of a townhouse project. Continue reading


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Richcraft gets deferral on demolition decision

The City of Ottawa’s Built Heritage Subcommittee was supposed to decide today on Richcraft’s proposal to dismantle and move the Bradley-Craig barn at 590 Huntmar, but they deferred the decision until the next meeting on December 10.

FOTENN, the consultants who represent Richcraft on the file, made the request for deferral. They agreed to extend the 90-day period in which the city has to respond to the demolition request.

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At the same meeting, the committee passed a motion to designate Boyd House at 173 Huntmar as a heritage building.  In 2013, the heritage committee held off on full designation when the owner agreed to work with city staff to incorporate it into the new development.

Barry Padolski, a committee member and prominent local architect, said that the planned subdivision will benefit from the “iconic” presence of the old stone house, and said that this was a positive outcome for planning and development, and that it would “benefit the discussion on the Bradley-Craig barn at the next meeting.”

The developer will also preserve some of the trees along the north side of the property, and a long laneway will mimic the traditional driveway that runs from Huntmar Road into the farm.

 

Miguel Tremblay, a planning consultant with FOTENN, was at the meeting to represent both Richcraft on the Bradley-Craig file, and Amazon Properties who own Boyd House.

Tremblay said his client was very much in favour of heritage designation for Boyd House, but the fact that it wasn’t originally designated in 2013 gave the developer more flexibility in designing their plans.

“We asked for flexbility [for Boyd House],” said Tremblay. “It’s the same thing we’re asking at 590 Hazeldean to work through some issues.”

The Boyd House designation still has to be approved by the city’s Planning Committee and City Council.

The plan of subdivison for 173 Huntmar incorporates Boyd House across from a large park. A row of trees on the north side of the property will be preserved and a long laneway from Huntmar to the heritage house will mimic the traditional farm driveway.
The plan of subdivison for 173 Huntmar incorporates Boyd House across from a large park. A row of trees on the north side of the property will be preserved and a long laneway from Huntmar to the heritage house will mimic the traditional farm driveway.

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