Representatives of the Cumberland Community Association, armed with more than 400 signatures from local and city residents unequivocally objecting to a big box store commercial development along the Ottawa River, attended the June 25th Planning Committee meeting at City Hall to comment on the Tamarack’s proposed Cardinal Creek Village development. When fully build out in 2031 it will stretch over 208 hectares from Cardinal Creek in the west, the South Tributary on the south, on the east by Frank Kenny Road and the west side of Ted Kelly Lane, and on the north by Ottawa Road 174 and the Ottawa River.
While it was agreed that most of the proposal would create an attractive residential community, significant concerns were expressed with respect to the proposed big box store commercial development (Mixed-Land-Use) site along the Ottawa River. However, two significant issues remain and were addressed to Planning Committee by members of the Cumberland Community Association and Councillor Bloess:
- Location of Commercial Site “A’ was strongly questioned.
- Feasibility of the commercial location given it’s proximity to the river,
- Necessity for such a large commercial complex (8 hectares) given the significant retail and commercial enterprises at Orleans Town Centre and along St. Joseph Road as well as commercial property available on Trim Road
- Size and nature of the large format retail
- Customer base to sustain such a huge shopping complex focused on drive-by customers.
- Will effectively cut CCV off from access to the river.
- Assumed outcome of Environmental Assessment of OR174
- Continues to call OR174 a major commuting arterial road.
- Requires OR 174 to become 6 lanes in order to safely access commercial complex.
- Effectively cuts off CCV community from all accessibility to the Ottawa River.
- This mixed-land-use site is both is visually and geographically separate from the rest of the development as is evident in the proposed site lay out.
Taggart representatives stated that they wanted to create a model community that they could offer as a showcase of how well they can design communities, and agreed that given the timescale for the full development much of the detail will only be settled in the future, as the many phases of the implementation plan are evolved. They assured councillors with pretty pictures of street front retail shops that there were not going to be box stores in their commercial site and that they wanted to create a ‘village-style’ character to the commercial outlets on the northern site to fit with the rest of the CCV development and blend with the natural landscape.
It was agreed after some discussion that Taggart would create a design guideline process for the Mixed-Use-Area and that the community would be significantly consulted. They stated in writing that “While we would apply to draft approve these lands we would not ask for zoning or site plan approval for the Mix-Use-Land until these guidelines are finalized”. Chair Hume additionally asked that Councillors Blais and Bloess with staff support create a further resolution that will hold Taggart to their word, before the CCV Concept Plan goes to City Council for approval on July 17. The CCV Concept Plan was approved without revision but is still subject to some conditions identified by staff and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
As these proceedings concluded it is important to note that there was no change to the:
- location or,
- road access
to the commercial ‘A’ area of the Cardinal Creek Village Concept Plan. We will stay vigilant to ensure that they respect and implement what they told Planning Committee.