Residents Strongly Opposed to Splitting the Community

Phyllis Odenback Sutton

In addition to concerns about the process adopted by the City to implement a new Official Plan, many other troublesome issues have been raised by Old Ottawa East (OOE) residents. The Plan’s proposal to split our community into two secondary plans, two transects (the Downtown Core and Inner Urban) and one special district – the Rideau Canal – is clearly not popular either.

For example, Jim Strang commented that “(i)t was surprising to learn that the area of Old Ottawa East north of the 417 and east of the Canal was planned to be stripped away from the rest of our well-established community for planning purposes. To remove this long-established area of OOE from the Old Ottawa East Secondary Plan (SP) and add it to the Central and East Downtown Core SP without any consultation came as a bit of a shock.

“From a community perspective,” Strang continued, “the sector of Old Ottawa East north of the 417 has historical and well-established ties with the rest of OOE to the south. The residents both to the north and south of the 417 have shared interests in the coordinated planning and future of our entire OOE community. Certainly, the northern sector of OOE should not be arbitrarily hived off from the OOE Secondary Plan.”

In their letter to the City, Barbara Kirk and Francine Leduc asked a number of questions: “What is the rationale for this exclusion? What of significance has occurred to warrant excluding this area from OOE?” They went on to note that “(i)t appears that this is just another arbitrary decision based on no objective reasoning. In our view, there should be a single Secondary Plan (SP) for the entire community that includes the features of the existing SP, and it should be included in the same transect as OOE.”

Linda Pollock indicated that “despite going through the plan carefully, I am still not certain I clearly understand all its ramifications. For example, the concepts of transects and overlays are quite confusing.”

Lynda Colley is concerned that “an important piece of green space in the community, Springhurst Park, would no longer be part of Old Ottawa East for planning purposes, and our ability as a community to influence its development would be lost. Why this is being done has not been made clear in the document and leaves residents to wonder about the real motivation behind the change.”

Joseph Zebrowski wrote: “I am opposed to the attempt to cut out sections of the Old Ottawa East community for future planning purposes. Removing these lands from Old Ottawa East for planning purposes does not make sense and will complicate planning for transit and park development. It would turn current planning issues into trans-border planning issues.”

None of the 24 letters to the City that OOE residents shared with The Mainstreeter supported the division of the community.

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