It’s time developers realize that people want urban green spaces. Not more concrete.
Yet ClubLink, Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes are ignoring community protests and the city’s legal objections, pushing their plans to destroy the Kanata Lakes Golf Course.
The siege to develop the 70.9 hectares of rolling fairways and mature trees started in 2019, with plans for 1,500 apartments, townhomes and single homes on small lots.
Recently, ClubLink submitted a second plan, increasing the density to 1,544 units and offering less green space.
The developers and ClubLink argue their proposal will “gently intensify an existing community in a sensitive manner.”
Residents have banded together to fight this abomination, arguing the application destroys a rare urban gem, the “green heart” of Kanata North.
This is Bill Teron’s award-winning “garden community” which has drawn people to live, work and play since the ‘60s. It’s a mature master-planned community that values the environment and recreation.
If Covid has taught us anything, it’s the importance of access to the outdoors.
Kanata Lakes and Beaverbrook residents walk, run, cycle, ski and snowshoe for hours across the course and linked parklands and forest trails.
Bad development should not rip out the green heart of Kanata North.
And yes, there is more than enough room to meet the housing demand. More than 9,000 homes have already been approved in Kanata North and nearby West Carleton.
ClubLink, Minto and Richcraft suggest the proposal is a “new development on vacant land in designated growth areas that contributes to the completion of an existing community.”
The addition of 1,544 homes is a community in its own right.
It is wholly incompatible with the existing neighbourhoods. Consider that the current density of homes/hectare in Beaverbrook is 7.8 and is 9.3 in Kanata Lakes.
Density in the proposal is 21.6 homes/hectare, an increase of 132 percent. This is not a gentle intensification.
The proposal fails miserably to allocate any land for basic community services that 5,000 new residents will require. Roads will be packed, schools will be overcrowded and access to foot and bike travel to work in Kanata North will be impeded.
The newest ClubLink proposal suggests this space is “underutilized” and a “unique opportunity for redevelopment”. These statements are entirely inconsistent with the strategic directions of Ottawa’s Official Plan, which states:
- infill and redevelopment will be compatible with the existing context or planned function of the area
- green spaces will be valued and protected
- the maintenance of greenspace and the high quality of life will enhance the attractiveness of the city for business development
Health and safety issues are being glossed over. An Environmental Site Assessment confirms widespread mercury contamination. There is no assessment that confirms that the site is safely remediable given its location in a fully developed community.
The area contains important naturalized stormwater management with lands and ponds to provide drainage. This system was created in the 80’s to support the Kanata Lakes residential development and address extensive surface groundwater and flooding risk in neighbouring Beaverbrook.
Given the City of Ottawa’s acknowledgement of a climate change crisis in April 2019; how can the important contributions of over 70 hectares of grass, plants and trees be ignored? The trees and abundant wildlife should be protected.
Developers must not be allowed to ignore a 40-year-old agreement to maintain the course as greenspace, trampling the interests of residents.
A better future for our city and neighbourhoods requires looking back at the vision of Bill Teron: Designing a Garden City where residents live, work and play. Planners now call this a 15-minute neighbourhood. A model we should embrace.
It’s time to choose green over concrete and congestion.