Below is the letter sent to the City of Ottawa on behalf of Woodpark the Community.
IMPORTANT: The Jan. 18, 2024 7:00pm meeting at the Lady of Fatima School will be online only due to the illness of the technical support person from the WCA. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom Link.
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January 17, 2024
Policy Planning, Community Planning Unit
Economic Development and Long Range Planning
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1
The purpose of this letter is to set out some comments, concerns and questions about the proposed Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan and its implications for the Woodpark Community in advance of the January 18, 2024 meeting with yourselves and residents of the Woodpark Community. The content of this letter is largely based on the views of the members of the Infrastructure and Development Committee of the Woodpark Community Association who have attended the recent meetings about the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan.
We have five areas of concern that we would like to discuss during the January 18th meeting and resolve before the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan is finalized. These are as follows:
The Building beside 2385 Carling Avenue – Footprint and Height
Edgeworth Avenue – Building heights and Infrastructure
Parkland and Community Facilities
Carling Avenue – Patchwork approach to Height Limits
Naturalizing the Pinecrest Creek to the Ottawa River
1. Building beside 2385 Carling Avenue – Footprint and Height
The community has been aware for some time that the area just west of 2385 Carling Avenue (apartment building on the northwest corner of Carling and Woodroffe) has been earmarked for affordable housing. We have been led to believe that the site would extend as deep as the property at 2385 Carling. At the recent meetings on the Secondary Plan, we were very concerned to hear that the site might extend as far as 200 metres north of Carling and that the building towers could be as high as 40 storeys. At 40 storeys, this building(s) would be the largest in Woodpark, significantly higher than the approved Colonnade Bridgeport development at Carling and Woodroffe.
If the building(s) and associated infrastructure such parking and garbage storage were to extend to the 200 metre mark, there would be a significant reduction in the much-needed greenspace between the new building and Lawn Avenue. Furthermore any greenspace remaining would be of questionable quality due to shadowing, high use and possible flooding. Finally, the backyards of any remaining houses on the west side of Edgeworth would not get any sunlight and there would be significant shadowing in the neighbouring area.
We urge the City to limit the depth of the lot to a depth consistent with the lot at 2385 Carling Avenue and limit the height and massing of the building (s) to minimize shadowing in the green space north of the area and in the backyards of residents along the westside of Edgeworth.
2. Edgeworth Avenue – Building heights and Infrastructure
We were very surprised to see the proposal to allow high rise developments along the west side of Edgeworth Ave, a street within the Woodpark Community. We are aware of Official Plan’s Spoke and Hub approach with the spokes being the arterial roads and transit corridors and the hubs areas of intensification around transit stations. The Official Plan (Schedule B) identifies a hub around the Lincoln Fields Transit Station but does not include the houses on the west side of Edgeworth as part of that hub.
Edgeworth Avenue is a modest road and is one of a few controlled access points into and out of Woodpark. There are no sidewalks. Youth walk on the road to access Woodroffe High School and transit users use it to get to the buses along Carling Avenue and the Lincoln Fields Transitway station. The intersection at Lawn and Edgeworth is already problematic due to poor design and high use and has become a safety concern. The infrastructure along Edgeworth is old and dated. The sewer main is a lined 9 inch pipe. Drainage for surface water is already a problem. If highrise apartments are approved and built, there will need to be significant infrastructure upgrades to handle the demand from the new units in addition to other intensification happening nearby.
We urge the City to reconsider its proposal to allow high rise buildings along the west side of Edgeworth and plan for smaller multi-unit buildings at more of a community scale.
3. Parkland and Community Facilities
Woodpark has very limited greenspace and the construction of the LRT has reduced the quality and amount of the limited greenspace we had access to in the past. Prior to the LRT construction the Woodpark Community has used the National Capital Commission (NCC) lands west of Edgeworth as part of a continuous network of greenspace for recreation. This area includes the remaining centennial crab apple orchard and it has been a wonderful pocket of
greenspace with paths leading to the LRT station, Woodroffe High School, Pinecrest Creek and the NCC’s trail network. The Woodpark Common Ground Community Garden involving gardeners in Woodpark and the surrounding area was established there in 2017.
We must not lose any more of our greenspace due to the construction of high-rises and LRT infrastructure on the lands surrounding the LRT and Kichi Zibi Mikan. In the past we have asked the NCC to cut the wild grass area south of the garden but they did not agree to do so. With all of the proposed development in the area, we question whether the stranded NCC lands west of Edgeworth will continue to serve the NCC’s mandate. We welcome the idea of creating a city park in the area west of Edgeworth (which would include the existing community garden) and we would like to be included in the discussions with the City of Ottawa and the NCC with respect to the development of this greenspace as soon as possible. We have ideas we wish to bring to the table.
The Woodpark Community has no direct or easy access to recreational facilities such as community centres, ice rinks, soccer, or baseball fields. The need for such facilities will only increase as the population grows. We feel strongly that planning for such facilities needs to take place as part of the development of the Secondary Plan or at least in parallel.
4. Carling Avenue – Patchwork approach to Height Limits
The proposed high rise developments along Carling Avenue within the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan has a zig-zag pattern. In most cases the line follows the property line of the existing commercial buildings along the north side of Carling . However, in the area along Carling between Wentworth and Woodland, a number of existing residences have been included in the area designated for highrises. We are concerned that this type of development will lead to a patchwork of building types negatively impacting the properties of existing residents and opening the door for developers to argue for additional properties to have higher height limits.
The community is also concerned about driveway locations for the buildings along Carling. The proposed large development should have driveways and parking garage access from Carling Avenue to moderate the speed of the traffic on Carling and diminish cut through traffic in the neighbourhood. If the driveways are on the side streets such as Wentworth, Hartleigh, Richardson and Woodland, it will invite more traffic on our narrow streets cutting through to the only northern exit of Allison. Allison is being rebuilt as a right turn exit onto Richmond RD with no entrance.
5. Naturalization Pinecrest Creek to the Ottawa River
In past briefings by the NCC, the restoration and daylighting of Pinecrest creek has been raised as a future project to enhance the environment. Much work has already been undertaken from the Woodroffe HS pedestrian bridge south to Baseline to create a naturalized creek bed. Massive storm water ponding systems are nearly completed north east of Woodroffe and
Baseline. Much work has already gone into building out the ecosystems in the area, both aesthetically but more importantly so nature works. During the Stage 2 LRT planning process, the City moved the tracks and the Lincoln Fields station east because of the floodplain in the area. What remains to be done is to remove the storm water pipe from Woodroffe High School to the ponds on the edge of the Ottawa River. Given that most of the last stretch of Pinecrest creek to be restored is within the boundaries of the Lincoln Fields Secondary Plan, strong consideration should be made to include it in the plan.
To conclude, Woodpark residents understand that they are living in an area which will undergo significant intensification in the coming years. As an unplanned community, we have already experienced a steady stream of development as single family homes have been replaced with semi-detached homes and many in the community are ready to accept well planned gentle intensification. We have reviewed the objectives for the Secondary Plan and find that while the plan appears to do a good job in addressing objectives 1) “to improve connectivity and access to transit” and 3) “to increase the supply and diversity of housing options”, it is sorely lacking in it approach to objectives 2) and 4) to improve “the public realm and parks” and “to provide a variety of non-residential amenities for the surrounding communities”. It is these latter elements that are particularly important in building and maintaining a sustainable and liveable community.
We urge you to consider the issues we have outlined in our letter. We look forward to the discussion on January 18.
Woodpark Community Association
Infrastructure and Development Committee
Woodpark Community Association