Phyllis Odenbach Sutton: Looking forward to spring 

OECAAs I have prepared this column, I have seen freezing rain, ice pellets, sunny skies, drizzle and rain.  Hopefully when you read this article, winter-like weather will be but a distant memory! 

 Probably the most contentious current issue in our community is the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) plans for Immaculata High School, i.e., the conversion of the playing field to artificial turf and a partnership with the Ottawa Footy Sevens to operate the field in the evening and on weekends.  

 Some key recent events include presentations by many residents at the March 27 and April 10 OCSB Trustee meetings and an April 12 information meeting at Immaculata. While I met some strong supporters of the new field at the Immaculata meeting, including community members and school students, there remain many others concerned about potential adverse impacts from noise, lights, parking and traffic. Note that construction information will be posted on Immaculata’s website http://imh.ocsb.ca   

 I continue to personally struggle with a number of issues relating to the Immaculata turf field initiative.  Should the public have the right to access publicly funded school grounds after hours, particularly in the inner core of Ottawa where green space is at a premium? (Note that the City has instituted a policy to share school fields with school boards in the suburbs.) And is there really no change in the use of a field when lights are installed and a commercial enterprise can operate the facility weekday evenings from 6:00 to 11:00pm and from 8:00am to 11:00pm on weekends? (Note it is only when there is a change in use that public consultations are required.) 

There is no further news on the timing of the City’s review of Main Street’s performance and safety.  But I have seen an increase in cyclist traffic, including a number of cyclists using the bike paths in the wrong direction.  I have also heard from residents north of the Queensway on the state of Main Street between Harvey and Greenfield; the poor condition of the asphalt and multiple potholes are making it difficult for both drivers and cyclists. 

Our community continues to be impacted by delays in the LRT system: the Queensway on-ramp at Lees will not likely reopen until early summer 2019, and there is no pedestrian access on the LRT bridge over the Rideau River. 

On the planning front, the rezoning application for increased height for one of the planned rental buildings in Greystone Village (from six to nine storeys) has raised concerns, particularly with our new neighbours at the Corners on Main. The application raises an important issue; no matter what the original plans and communications, there is still the possibility that applications to change such things as height or setbacks can be filed and approved.  

For your calendar:  

  • As the provincial election of June 7 approaches, the OOECA is joining with eight other community associations in Ottawa-Centre to host an all candidates meeting on Thursday, May 17 from 7:00-9:00pm at the Glebe Community Centre. 
  • The next Main Event will be back on Main Street on Saturday, June 16. The OOECA will again be running the barbeque as a fundraiser so please stop by for a hot dog or hamburger and a chat. 

 And finally check our website for links to our sesquicentennial Prime Ministers speaking series – videos courtesy of Nick Masciantonio at CommuniquéDirect.   

Have questions? Want to learn more or volunteer to make improvements in the community? Then please attend the monthly OOECA Board meetings (second Tuesday of the month, 7:00 p.m. at Old Town Hall).  For more details check out the OOECA website at http://www.ottawaeast.ca/ or contact Phyllis at info@ottawaeast.ca. 

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Filed in: Front Page, Political Pages

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