The forces at work in our neighbourhood

24 05 2011

If you haven’t yet heard, planning committee was supposed to discuss a plan to let a road cut through the linear park on Byron Avenue. That item was pulled from the agenda at the behest of Councillor  Hobbs. You can read more about that here.

In related news, this was a letter to the editor that was published in the Ottawa Citizen on May 23.

Re: Build access road to Westboro convent site across Byron park, city planners recommend, May 17. The development of a lovely old convent in Westboro, once a place of peace and contemplation, has exploded into a messy, acrimonious debate that has pitted neighbour against neighbour. It has also seen the new city councillor for the area badmouth her predecessor.

At issue is a second road that Ashcroft, the developer, wants to include to give access to the development. The choices on where this road would go are all unacceptable: Byron Park, resulting in a road cutting through a linear park (Councillor Katherine Hobbs now says she no longer supports this option due to public outcry); Shannon Avenue, a tiny lane that would be widened and destroy the front yards and quality of life of the families living there; or snaking it through the development itself, resulting in the elimination of a stand of mature maples earmarked to remain accessible to the public.

These choices are bogus. Don’t ask us to choose between a set of rotten alternatives, instead make the developer produce a plan that does not require an additional access road. Reduce the density; put the seniors residence across the street on Richmond Road as was originally planned. I am sure Ashcroft can come up with some sort of layout that will be profitable, preserve the maples and not require radical changes outside the development. I am certain they could do it, but the city is not asking them to, so we are left squabbling among ourselves.

I completely resent being put in this position. Why are the developers the force in our neighbourhood, rather than the people who live here and the council that is supposed to lead and protect us?

Heather Mitchell, Ottawa

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3 responses

25 05 2011
Mark Douthwright

You couldn’t have said it better.

26 05 2011
marg

A fine letter. Thanks.

29 06 2011
Baden W.

Turning lovely little Shannon Avenue into a widened, high traffic roadway in and out of the proposed development is nothing short of insane! So much for a quiet quality of life where little kids can safely play in the area. Residents on Shannon are being bullied and I feel for them. Pretty sad.

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