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Guest Blog - Alan Crawford

Editor's Note - This blog post from Alan Crawford (resident of Woodpark) was intended as a comment on the January 17 blog post concerning the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan.  It provides the contents of an email he sent to Jocelyn Cadieux, the City Planner responsible for drafting the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan . Due to the size limitations for blog comments, Alan has agreed to have his comments posted as a new blog post.


As a resident of Woodpark for over 35 years, I wish to support strongly the concerns expressed in the well thought out letter from the Woodpark Community Association, to you and Peter Giles, of 17 January 2024.  


Additionally, I would make the following comments.

  1. 2085 Carling Avenue buildings and NCC green-space.  The NCC Parkway is the only large green-space adjacent to Woodpark which the City itself apparently acknowledges lacks park space.  The advent of Phase II of the LRT and the new Lincoln Fields transit station has drastically reduced this green-space near Woodpark by more than half as well as effectively cut off the community from the proposed Pinecrest Creek naturalization zone.  The City’s proposed zoning west of 2085 Carling and northward into the NCC green-space would further drastically reduce this limited resource.  Additionally, I am shocked by the suggestions that 40 story “affordable housing” buildings would be erected in this space.  Have we learned nothing from the 1960s redevelopment “projects”?  This is a recipe for creating a slum.  Surely, it is better to integrate low-income housing into a community with other levels of income housing, as has already been done effectively on Edgeworth Avenue, not concentrate it in giant blocks.  The proposed changes environs. 2085 Carling need a serious rethink with much greater attention to protecting the remaining green-space.

  2. Westside Edgeworth Avenue.   This side of Edgeworth already comprises affordable housing (460 Edgeworth), triplexes, duplexes, single family dwellings and a multi-story apartment building.  This mix of home owners and renters is exactly the type of community that should be protected and fostered not destroyed.  The City’s own Plan objectives advocates diversity in housing options yet the Plan proposes to eradicate the already mixed community by replacing it with a Wall of apartment blocks.  It is working well, don’t break it.  This proposed change should be scrapped.

  3. Carling Avenue height limits.  The City’s proposals would extend the Edgeworth Wall along the north side of Carling Avenue with serious impacts on the nearby neighbourhood as outlined in the WCA letter.  Such large buildings also have wind tunneling and vortex effects that should not be ignored.  Its not the same as having multi-story apartments on the south side of Carling where their shadowing effects impact mostly the street.  These proposals need to be scaled back.

  4. Naturalization of Pinecrest Creek.  This admirable goal of the NCC seems entirely overlooked in the Secondary Plan not just on the Woodpark side of the Parkway but on the westside.

  5. “Intensification creep”.   Of notable concern is the prospect of further changes to the zoning of Woodpark following from this Plan.  If the westside of Edgeworth gets multi-story apartments, especially after all the necessary infrastructure work to the street, why not the east side?  Its just as close to the LRT.  Similarly, why not extend the apartments along Carling northward especially if some form of rapid bus transit is added to Carling?  And what about Byron Ave?  It is even closer to the LRT, so why not multi-story apartments there, and along Woodroffe?  Soon, Woodpark could be completely encircled by a Great Wall of apartments.  Moreover, there are a number of larger than normal housing lots throughout the centre of Woodpark.  Multi-story apartments on each?  Needless to say this would have a undesirable effect on Woodpark.

  6. General Remarks.  The City’s proposal is not the same thing as filling in the site of a defunct shopping centre with housing.  The Plan envisages the destruction of parts of an existing long-standing community.  Woodpark and particularly Edgeworth Ave is a suburban mixed housing neighbourhood.  It is not downtown Ottawa and should not be treated as such.  The proposed zoning changes will radically and detrimentally affect this community.  The Plan should drastically scaled back.

  7. One final comment.  I was struck by the “objectives” listed for the Secondary Plan which seem extremely biased towards development and developers.  Why is there not some objective like: “preserving and fostering the unique history and character of Ottawa and its component neighbourhoods”?  Is this not a value for urban planners to have in their work?  There needs to be some balance added to the skewed plan objectives.


Thank you, for your consideration of these remarks.

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Guest
Mar 13
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you, Alan!

As a longstanding member of Woodpark, I couldn't have written a more thorough and clear appraisal of the city plans. There are far more red flags and concerns than benefits, and it most certainly destroys any of the qualities that make this neighborhood a great place to live.

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Unknown member
Mar 12

Further to my earlier comment, I would like to elaborate on the following:


-       What about the capability of our existing infrastructure (sewer and water) to handle much more in the way of development?  The city replies “It should be fine” but says so without doing a thorough impact assessment. Our infrastructure in the neighbourhood is old and must be evaluated to determine its ability to cope.

 

-       With respect to parking, the city would have us believe that everyone will be selling their cars and taking the LRT.  Past experience has shown us that does not happen.  Many families keep their vehicles (often two), because they have errands to run or children to pick up from day care…


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Unknown member
Mar 12

Extremely well written and thought out Alan.  Bang on the money in all aspects. I could not agree with you more. 

It is time to stop worshipping the God of intensification.

Furthermore, the notion that all the folks who will live in these new developments will give up their automobiles and rush like lemmings to the LRT, is a fantasy pushed by city planning but ultimately as we have seen has NO basis in fact.

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