(Photo: Ian McKim, Jillian McKim, Gerry Kroll and Keldine FitzGerald stand in front of the land at 6279 Fernbank Road last fall. Photo by Barry Gray.)
An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearing about a proposed development at 6279 Fernbank Road ended last week with the developer and the City of Ottawa agreeing to try to reach a consensus.
The hearing ran seven days from April 20 to April 28. On the last day, the hearing was adjourned with the city and developer agreeing to work together to find a common approach to address the city’s concerns about stormwater management plans and other engineering issues.
“At this time, we look forward to being engaged in the study process to resolve the water concerns raised by the City. The concerns raised are not, in our opinion, insurmountable. Within the process that is about to commence there are resources available to determine the next steps and hopefully the ultimate solution,” said Ursula Melinz, the lawyer representing the developer.
“The intent is to see if an approach can be developed by September 18, 2015. If the discussions are not successful, written submissions would be made to the Board as to the appropriate outcome of the hearing,” said Tim Marc, Senior Legal Counsel for the City of Ottawa.
Nearby residents will also have a role to play. Jillian and Ian McKim, who live on adjacent property on Fernbank Road, will participate in regular meetings between the city and the developer. The first meeting is planned for Wednesday, May 6.
McKim attended all seven days of the hearing to represent the community.
“The City presented a really strong front for the community and for their concerns on discrepancies in the reports. They’re concerned about the water and the Urban Natural Feature (UNF), and they’re concerned that the applicant has not shown that they fully understand where the water will go and how it will impact the surrounding community,” says McKim.
“(The developer) demonstrated that they’ve heard some of the concerns. Not all of the concerns, but we have to be reasonable. The community is doing everything that we can to make sure that if the plan of subdivision is approved, that it will be as compatible and provide as minimal impact to the adjacent homes and UNF as possible,” she says.
Besides McKim, several other residents attended over the course of the hearing. City councillor Shad Qadri attended for part of each day of the proceedings as well.
McKim says that crews are expected to access the land over the course of the summer to conduct survey and field work, but that no additional heavy equipment or material will be brought in. They’ve also asked the developer to restore the natural flow of the water on the site.
“The water is becoming quite stagnant, there’s an odour. It was my understanding last week that they were going to come out and assess the situation before any damage is done to the urban natural features or adjacent properties that (the water) is backing up to,” she says.
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