NOTEBOOK: Potter’s Key zoning; Photo radar; Hartsmere blasting

Minto's Potter's Key
Sign at Minto’s Potter’s Key development on Hazeldean Road.

This week City Council approved a zoning change for 6111 and 6141 Hazeldean Road, site of Minto’s future Potter’s Key development. Attached to that zoning change was a condition that “only single detached units are to back onto existing single detached units in the Echowoods and Jackson Trails subdivisions”.  

Qadri included the condition to address concerns of existing residents who didn’t want semi-detached homes backing onto their homes, over concerns about property values and aesthetics.

The item passed easily, but not before some push back from urban councillors who argued that similar concerns from residents in their central wards are routinely ignored.

Here’s how Councillor Jeff Leiper put it:  “I couldn’t support this change at Council given that so little regard is often given to compatibility issues in the core when we’re dealing with 15-, 20- and even 30-storey towers next to or very close to our low-rise residential areas. The proposal passed, but I and Councillor McKenney, who also voted against, made our point. Councillor Chernushenko voted in favour, but I have a lot of respect for his intervention. His point was clear: he hopes similar regard for compatibility will be extended the next time we consider an application that proposes to put a mid-to-high-rise on a residential street of low-rise homes.”

Speed limit sign on Maple Grove Road
Speed limit sign on Maple Grove Road

Council also deferred a decision on photo radar until May 4 to allow more time for study and public input.  That’s a good move, both politically and practically. It gives time for staff and councillors to better define what a photo radar program might look like.

Ottawa South MPP John Fraser had a good comment in the Citizen this week: “Fraser also noted the push for photo radar today is coming from people concerned about safety on residential streets, while 20 years ago it was a government initiative focused on provincial highways and seen by many as a new way to collect revenue.”

Photo radar on the 401 is a lot different from photo radar in front of an elementary school where there’s a speeding problem.  The city needs to come up with a policy that places safety above revenue, and clearly defines where photo radar can (and can’t) be used.

For example, photo radar could be limited to problem areas in front of schools, recreation centres and retirement residences.  Money from fines could be earmarked augment the meagre $40,000-per-ward traffic calming budget, or help fund sidewalks along busy roads like Maple Grove or Huntmar.

Once they’ve narrowed down the scope of photo radar, they should seek permission from the provincial government to run a focused pilot project to measure the results.

Councillor Qadri says that phase two of the construction for the new Stittsville South subdivision south of Hartsmere Drive will include rock blasting in order to build sewers, water infrastructure and roads.  That blasting is underway and is expected to be finished by April 18.  More blasting will take place over a four-week period in May or June.

“In addition to the blasting, there also will be some hoe ramming of the rock occurring over the next few months that may be interpreted as blasting by residents,” wrote Qadri in his email newsletter this week.

Qadri invited residents with concerns to call or email his office.

The Friends of the Huntley Highlands have a new name.  “After much debate and community feedback, we’ve changed our name to one more readily associated with the special and unique area we’re dedicated to preserving:  Friends of the Carp Hills,” they wrote on their web site this week. “We started this group just over two years ago to address the expanding urban boundary and the threat this posed to preserving both the wild areas and public recreational use of the Carp Hills. Because of you – volunteers, donors, the community, and local businesses – we have a new trail on public land, a partnership with a local land trust, an active Facebook page of engaged citizens, and over 160 subscribers to our newsletter.  Thank you for caring about the Carp Hills.”


We were expecting to hear by now what the Senators have planned for Canadian Tire Centre if the team ever moves to Lebreton Flats.   This Sens owner Eugene Melnyk sad they won’t reveal redevelopment plans until the Lebreton decision is made.


2 thoughts on “NOTEBOOK: Potter’s Key zoning; Photo radar; Hartsmere blasting”

  1. I understand Councillors Leiper and McKenney were trying to make a point, but I’m not sure withholding support for the kind of consideration for compatibility they want in their own wards is the best way to achieve it. Why not support change that confirms precedent and encourages respect for the reasonable concerns of residents, no matter their ward?

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