KGPC May Update – eNews

The KGPC took the opportunity this week to remind Ottawa how critical accessible space is to neighbourhoods mid-pandemic.  Kanata North was designed with access to nature and space in mind and we appreciate it now more than ever.  Read our release on liveable Kanata.

Hope you all made a special moment or two to celebrate a different Mother’s Day …  

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy and coping as positively as you can with our current pandemic. If you are one of the thousands and thousands of essential workers putting yourself at risk for the rest of us during Covid-19, thank you so very much! You are a gift to all of us!  If you are simply doing your part to fight Covid-19 by following the rules and respecting the expert advice as it comes, thank you for that too!

The KGPC took the opportunity this week to remind Ottawa how critical accessible space is to neighbourhoods mid-pandemic.  Kanata North was designed with access to nature and space in mind and we appreciate it now more than ever.  Read our release on liveable Kanata.

For the golfers among us, the season looks to be just around the corner with ClubLink hoping to open its courses when the province allows. Our 175 acres of shared open space is looking and sounding very spring-like – trees in bud, grasses greening and birds nesting and singing.  Please remember to respect the golfing membership and the restricted golf season access.

Beyond catching up, we have some news to share.   We have a small update for you today specific to our legal issue with ClubLink and some information that you may find interesting on the new Official Plan for our city and the proposed altering of our urban boundary.

Let’s get to it.

Legal Update: Imperial Tobacco declines participation

When we last wrote in early April, ITL had been successful in receiving approval to join the city lawsuit against ClubLink as a party.  After consultations with their various creditors and others, ITL has now decided against active participation in the lawsuit.  They will follow on the sidelines.

Our legal experts have no concerns about this change.   It is regrettable that our two hearing days scheduled for February 27 & 28 were lost due to the proposed ITL involvement, however, we have no choice but to wait patiently for a signal from the court and a rescheduling of the hearing days.  The KGPC is committed to the defence of the 40% Agreement and our greenspace and our legal team at Caza Saikaley remains ready.

Planning Update: LPAT Appeal by ClubLink

Likewise, the LPAT has not provided a reopening date as yet either.   This one will definitely be a much slower process – it could well take several years to reach an LPAT hearing date.  Why?  Due to the number of issues in dispute and the size of the application, it is expected that this LPAT hearing will consume several weeks (even up to a month) in the tribunal calendar and, as a result, a long planning window is required to find that amount of availability across all parties.

When LPAT resumes from the Covid-19 adjournment, which is hoped to be by the summer, the first step would be to schedule a pre-consultation meeting for all of the parties.  Those in the know do not expect that meeting could occur much before late autumn or even into December 2020.

A reminder to all, that this process is separate to the legal defence of the 40% Agreement above.   The KGPC will actively follow both processes as they run in parallel until a decision point is reached in either of the legal or planning lanes.

Official Plan and Growth Management Strategy Report

Meetings and consultations have been ongoing in Ward 4- Kanata North and elsewhere across the city on the Ottawa Official Plan review for nearly to two years now.  Recently, things have heated up around a staff report on the subject – Report on Growth Management Strategy.  The staff recommendation from the 3 options proposed is being called a ‘Balanced’ approach  – a mix of urban boundary expansion with some densification in existing neighbourhoods.

At the root of this is the push and pull between intensification in existing neighbourhoods (now often called densification) and expanding the urban boundary to allow for more development (commonly known as urban sprawl). For those of us passionate about protecting green and open spaces, tree canopies and addressing the environmental risks of climate change, we frequently hear that densification puts all of this at risk. In following the development of this issue, the KGPC has learned that misinformation and assumptions abound on all sides.

To that end, if you are interested in better understanding this complex issue and the background beyond the staff report above, we recommend you read Density Done Right by the experts at Ryerson City Building Institute. We found this to be an unbiased and informative document and of particular value to Ottawans given it speaks to the Ontario experience. It offers clear insight into what could be considered for a city and by default where some in Ottawa might say our city has missed out on good quality intensification (now known as the ‘missing middle’). A good, relatively quick but thought-provoking read!

Through the past few months, the KGPC has been working with the Federation of Citizens’ Associations (FCA) to promote the development of what we see as critical policy around natural environmental infrastructure and its preservation. We believe that regardless of what strategy of growth management that City Council adopts on the urban boundary/densification issue, its approach to the policy around protection of our environmental infrastructure must become more ambitious and much more thoughtful in order to protect us all. After all, this very Council declared a Climate Emergency last year. They should take every opportunity to put good policy in place to see that it is addressed. We also wanted to register our deep concern about the general lack of financial analysis and other performance metrics necessary to understand the reasoning behind the staff recommendations. Here is the KGPC’s written submission to the Joint Committee and Council on the issue.

The KGPC views on the importance of our environment to these discussions were also included in a media release this weekend by the FCA.  We’re grateful for their support!

Virtual Meeting – Special Joint Meeting of the Planning and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committees  – Monday, May 11 at 9am

On Monday morning this Special Committee will meet to receive more than 150 public presentations (5 minutes each maximum) on this issue.

Details about this meeting are on the City website and include the YouTube channel address where you will find the meeting live.   You can make a written submission that will be shared with City Council before the May 27 meeting where the final decision will be made.

CHIP IN FOR GREENSPACE – Postponed to 2021

In the past few weeks and with much more Covid-19 news under our belts, we have decided to postpone our inaugural golf tournament.
We have received great support from our friends at The Brookstreet and The Marshes and they are working with us to reschedule for 2021.

SPRING IS HERE…where’s your lawn sign?

When we’re out walking in our neighbourhood, we are bowled over by the pockets of houses and streets with clusters and clusters of signs. It seems that one sign encourages the next one. A little family of support pops up!

Help us fill our streets again this year with a message for ClubLink.

The $25 from your lawn sign purchase will help fund our legal and planning battles going forward. Fundraising is critically important for us and is more difficult than ever with the Covid-19 restrictions. Please help us to protect our shared greenspace. Order your sign on our website. We’ll even do the work and plant it on your lawn for you!

We are always pleased to hear from you. We would love to hear some fundraising suggestions if you have them.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Be safe and stay hopeful! We are always better together!


Barbara Ramsay
Chair, Kanata Greenspace Protection Coalition

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