City of Ottawa Official Plan Amendment Proposal
File Number: D01-11-0018
Original Dated: 24 December 2012
Cardinal Creek Village Urban Expansion Area
Updated Comments on Revised Proposal
The Cumberland Community Association (CCA) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the updated draft plan (Cardinal Creek Village CONCEPT PLAN April 2013) originally submitted by Tamarack (Queen Street Corp.) in December 2012. While revisions have been made based on City Planning requests, no changes are proposed to address the concerns raised in our submission dated 18 January 2013. While we recognize that the developer has in many ways respected the preferences of the local communities we still have two major concerns that were not fully assuaged by a meeting held by the developer with community stakeholders, on April 29th, specifically the intricately intertwined issues of the assumed widening of Ottawa Road 174 and the massive mixed land use development along Ottawa River / Ottawa Road 174 (OR174).
Widening Ottawa Road 174 from 2 to 4 to 6 Lanes
Ottawa Road 174 is currently the subject of an Environmental Assessment (EA) scheduled to be completed in 2014. This EA is considering the broad issue of how the transportation system in the east end of the city can best be upgraded to accommodate the current and long term future growth of Clarence-Rockland and areas beyond, recognizing that the City’s priority is enhanced public transportation rather than increased roads. It is currently examining three options, two of which include a connector road from the 174 and Trim to link with an east highway to Rockland.
This proposal continues to presume the outcome of the EA, which is, widening of OR 174 from 2 to 4 to 6 lanes. We believe that this assumption is flawed. In the event that the EA rules out widening the OR174 east of Trim Road and proposes instead a southerly connector to an east highway (eg. Innes Road) which would service many growing communities of the south and east region of the City and Rockland the traffic volumes on OR 174 would be significantly reduced making the proposed 2 to 4 to 6 lane expansion unnecessary. Further, we believe that with reduced vehicular traffic on OR174, the viability of the scale of commercial development proposed along OR174 is severely challenged.
Concurrently, we are adamantly opposed to the proposed two additional access roads onto the 174 to service the commercial development. These entrances are unequivocally targeting east-bound vehicular commuters as the entrances are proposed to be “right-in, right-out” access. This would result in 3 new entrances onto the 174. We conclude that the widening of OR174 is solely to access the proposed large commercial development by eastbound commuters since the connector road into the development is proposed to be only two lanes.
In any event, we believe that this aspect of the proposal cannot be approved until the final recommendation arising from the EA report on this issue has been made.
Mixed Land Use Along the Ottawa River / Ottawa Road 174
The proposed plan uses the “Arterial Mainstreet A” designation along OR174 defined in part by “large format retail stores and supermarkets” to serve the needs of “both Cardinal Creek Village Community and adjoining communities”. The City of Ottawa is moving away from massive sprawling box store developments and the CCA continues to question the need for this “A” designation. Currently there is significantly underused shopping capacity at Place d’Orléans, along St Joseph Boulevard and Trim south to Innes, which have ample capacity for growth.
The proposal’s commercial development along OR174, appears to be focused primarily on providing retail services to vehicular commuters traveling east (to Rockland). In this regard the proposal is not in keeping with the concept of “complete communities” which the City of Ottawa favours, in which amenities are made accessible in the community, for the community, primarily by pedestrian or cycle traffic, and are hence centrally rather than peripherally located. By focussing commercial development along the central thoroughfare (Cardinal Village Drive) to Old Montreal Road the community would achieve a true traditional village Main Street, easily accessible from all quadrants of the development, and keeping the commercial activity internal to the community it is designed to serve allows for residential development to enjoy the magnificent views over the river.
We feel compelled to point out that nowhere else in the City has commercial development been allowed immediately adjacent to the Ottawa River or any other major waterway. Rather, previous councils and planners have recognized the exceptional public value of our waterways and have preserved them in perpetuity with parkland with low speed limit parkways to enable the public to enjoy the scenic beauty supported by cycling and walking pathway. The CCA supports this vision for OR 174, from Trim Road to the east city boundary, in keeping with what has been done elsewhere in the City and providing a link to the bike path from downtown that now ends at Trim Road. This would be in line with the City’s own stated intention of ensuring attractive, welcoming entrances to the City of Ottawa.
Finally, the CCA would like to point out that in west end of Ottawa there is extensive river access to the public through green spaces (Parkdale to Island Park, Kanata) and huge city owned and operated parks and beaches (Britannia, Andrew Haden, Dick Bell) all connected by pathways, which is currently not available to east end residents.
As stated in our original submission, the Cardinal Creek Village Urban Expansion Area provides a wonderful opportunity to create a special new community that takes advantage of the scenic beauty of rural Cumberland and the Ottawa River. While the Tamarack Homes proposal as submitted does recognise the beauty of the area in general, and we appreciate their ongoing commitment to developing a unique and stunning flagship community, it continues to fail to realize and respect the full potential of the environmental setting and thus requires amending. We feel that the commercial space for this community should be focussed on the central area – Cardinal Creek Drive and Old Montreal Road – rather than at the periphery and that the planned treatment of the area adjacent to the Ottawa River be amended to residential, supported by enhanced two lane OR174 and widened shoulder for multi-use pathway along the river’s edge.
In this the 400th anniversary year of Samuel de Champlain’s voyage up the Ottawa River past our shores, the City of Ottawa Planning Committee needs to preserve the scenic beauty of the region by insisting that retail operations and a multilane highway do not border the Ottawa River in the nation’s capital. “Walmart by the Water” is unacceptable! We can do better!
President Cumberland Community Association
1525 Kinsella Drive
Vice President Cumberland Community Association
1677 Ottawa Road 174
Dated: 1May 2013