Open Letter to City Planners from the Woodpark Community Association
Woodpark is very concerned about the role of Density Distribution along Carling from Richardson AVE to the SJAM.
Less than 5 years ago, Woodpark participated in the Cleary New Orchard Transit Secondary Study in which properties along the Richmond RD went through the exercise to determine a rational and aesthetically pleasing approach to support planning in the area.
Woodpark members Larry Ladell and Ken Winges dedicated their time and energy to the process. After the adoption of the secondary plan three projects already in the planning process have progressed and have positively embraced the secondary plan and its guidance.
The LRT project progresses but not at the pace that was expected. KEV’s December notice to the City pushes the turn over of Stage 2 out a year. To date Stage 3 remains an optimistic dream without a firm plan to even ask upper levels of government for support.
Woodpark needs Stage 3 in order to address the traffic congestion from commuters on adjoining arterial roads surrounding our community. Without Stage 3 LRT to Kanata and South Barrhaven commuters will not get out of their cars. Compounding this massive challenge is that there is no viable rail link to the Quebec side of the river and those federal government employment centres.
Richmond Road Density Distribution
There are six properties on Schedule C of the Cleary New Orchard density redistribution schedule. Four of these properties are held by the Dilawri family and their holding company not the Automotive Properties REIT. The Dilawri family recently acquired Topps Carwash, thus holding the three properties in a row from 955-979-993 Richmond Rd Ottawa Honda, Topps Carwash and Tim Hortons.
Recently 1047 Richmond RD the Metro Chrysler site put forward a development application for three towers of 40, 38, and 36 Stories. “As of right” via the secondary plan the subject site was given 20stories or 25m.
The development application submitted by Fotenn on behalf of Fengate pursues a doubling of the height!
The Metro Chrysler sale to Fengate is on hold due to this development application and its ability to dramatically affect the financial reality of the pending redevelopment.
Woodpark was startled by the scale of the 1047 Richmond RD proposal but we are also distressed by the possibility of all sites along Richmond RD doubling and creating a massive curtain of glass along the north side of Richmond RD. The scale and its impacts are beyond the guidelines and principals as outlined in the secondary plan for the area, and the pending new Official Plan. If the City Planning Department is going to accept outlandish applications then the City needs to publicly say that the Planning Department will vigorously fight for their planning directives and policies.
Woodpark will shortly be asked to participate in density distribution study for the north side of Carling. On Facebook, a resident recently was concerned about the property at Richardson and Carling and was concerned that it will be no longer be low-rise R5 and was concerned that it would be massive hi-rise. Based on Richmond RD they have every right to be concerned!
Bluntly, there is no way to reassure the residents because the Lincoln Field transit secondary study process will up-zone the lots and then the developer will apply for more. Or perhaps the city has a more reassuring message; because faith in the City’s process will not be the balm to soothe residents.
The character of this community will drastically change over the next 25 years with the large population increase due to the new collection of hi-rise apartment dwellers along Richmond RD and Carling AVE and the redevelopment of LF RioCan Mall. It looks like much of the plans could double. These developments will dramatically affect the fabric of the community and place massive stresses on the modest community social infrastructure in the neighbourhood. As a point, in the Cleary New Orchard Secondary Plan almost all investments earmarked by the City will occur outside of the Woodpark borders.
Please provide the Woodpark Community Association with a response that will support Woodparkers and others in the Inner Urban Transact that can reassure residents that the City wants orderly development reflecting the plans and policies that communities through public process work so hard to contribute to.
Faith in public institutions is at an all time low. We are tired of trying to reassure people that the City works. It will be challenging to have productive participation from Woodpark in the LF study if our past activities are whipped away by the first challenge of a secondary plan such as 1047 Richmond RD.