LETTER: Community should have had more notice about construction

Construction begins at Porter Place, June 2016.

PHOTO: Construction begins at Porter Place, June 2016.

Re: Sign’s up at Porter Place

The community is not amused by the description of Patten Homes’ Porter Place “Closer to nature, closer to the right pace of life. Porter Place promises inspired family-friendly living in a new community knitted into an established neighbourhood you will be proud to call ‘home’.”

The residents adjacent to the newly named Porter Place were not impressed by lack of communication from the City or the Developer as heavy equipment rolled on site the past week.

Residents were not given any previous notice (as required by the City of Ottawa Plan of Subdivision Conditions) even though the developer claims to have sent it weeks ago. Notification came to the SouthWest Stittsville Community Association from the Developer late on the afternoon of June 21 to advise the community that heavy equipment would be onsite starting June 27. Environmental protection measures would be put in place which would include Silt and Snow fencing along the Urban Natural Feature (UNF) beginning as early as June 22.

Regretfully once again the City and Developer have not taken the existing residents into consideration or shown any neighbourly courtesy with proper notice, nor have they held the Wildlife Protocol (which City of Ottawa Planner Mike Schmidt calls best practises and therefore not enforceable) to any standard. The property and adjacent UNF are currently hosting nesting birds, ducks, geese as well as ponding frogs and turtles during their reproduction season.

We can only assume, as a timeline has not been communicated, that this is the beginning of the site preparation and we can expect nothing less than aggregate dumping for the next couple of months. Residents should plan accordingly (whatever that means) and report any upset or displeasure to Mike Schmidt, Planner, City of Ottawa Mike.schmidt@ottawa.ca

Jillian McKim



7 thoughts on “LETTER: Community should have had more notice about construction”

  1. As we’ve seen recently, the City of Ottawa shows little or no respect with regards to consulting residents and even less respect for the environment and wildlife.

    A lot of staff time and your tax dollars, along with the time of volunteer organizations like ours was spent in developing the Draft Protocol for Wildlife Protection during Construction. It had enforceable regulations such as a Wildlife Mitigation Plan and a Construction Site Management Plan for which there was broad community support. The City indicated there were 106 submissions with the majority in favor.

    Very late in the exercise, developers complained to their political allies and senior staff in the Planning Department and the Protocol was gutted. It was replaced by, as City Planner Mike Schmidt says are “best practices and therefore not enforceable”.

    What is sadly apparent from the over 700 pages of documents we have received through FOI is that not one of the City’s senior staff made any attempt to defend what was a very reasonable and workable draft Protocol. They simply bowed to their masters in the development community, quickly back-peddaling to come up with a Protocol that is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

    A costly waste of taxpayers money and the community’s time.

    Hard not to come up with Mike’s take on who runs Ottawa.

  2. Mike Bryan

    I don’t know if that’s fair any one if took time and did some research they would know construction as going to start soon.

  3. Donna

    A couple weeks ago many in the core said we should not be building in downtown etc as there are lots of fields in the burbs so if there is any blame it goes to them.

  4. Thanks so much for your letter Jillian McKim, and for your comments Mike Bryan and Donna DuBreuil, all excellent. It always is and always has been, an exercise in futility trying to participate in public consultations when the public and the environment have so much at stake in the outcome. It’s not a democratic process, when the developer’s bottom line wins out time and time again over legitimate concerns raised by community members, many of whom are very knowledgeable in such matters and who donate their time and expertise. Something has to change soon!

  5. The City will ALWAYS allow a developer to break a by-law, or contravene zoning. It is to their benefit to NOT give any notice to the public of construction, or as little as possible. I have learned not to waste my time trying to preserve something. If you win its because they let you, and they will take it away when they want to.

  6. Sadly, from our observation backing onto the Site in question, the ducks and geese who were nesting by the UNF left when work started. Until then, the adult ducks were visiting us regularly. We can only guess that the nestlings died as a result. It’s very wet back there, and not easy to get across on foot.

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