To the Residents of Westboro and McKellar Park

10 04 2018

 About Rochester Field: Where We Stand 

As many of you will already know, City Council passed a zoning bylaw on February 14 to allow the National Capital Commission to develop a piece of the Rochester Field property and put up two buildings on the Northwest corner of the property, along Richmond Road.

The NCC has owned this property since the 1950s when it and the adjoining building (now the Keg) and the garden (Maplelawn) were bought from the Rochester family.

The property has served for several generations as a valuable community resource, in all seasons. It has long been expected that the City would enforce a longstanding policy and keep this property as parkland.

Instead, as part of the tradeoff that allowed the new LRT to be buried under the Sir John A Macdonald Parkway, it reached an agreement with the NCC in 2016 that allowed the NCC to develop part of Rochester Field, with the rest being parkland.

The residents of Westboro, and the Westboro and McKellar Park Community Associations, have been fighting against this development of their park since last year. We were able to get the discussion of the redevelopment delayed at Planning Committee, and at City Council.

Our Councillor met with the NCC and with City planners in an attempt to change their plans.

Ultimately the people of Westboro and McKellar Park were unable to prevail against the combined forces of the City and the NCC.

Westboro and McKellar Park community associations, and concerned residents, have been meeting to plan our response. This community resource is too valuable to allow it to slip away from us.

We considered launching an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board against the decision. Ultimately, our resources, as local associations, are not enough to hire the legal and planning support we would need to launch such an appeal, and experienced people have told us that, even with professional help we would not likely succeed in having this decision overturned.

However, we are not ready to give up on this.

In the coming weeks we will be launching a public effort to affect the political decision-making process, and ultimately the NCC, which now has permission to go ahead and develop part of Rochester Field with multistory buildings abutting Richmond Road.

Among the things we need to consider:

  • An intervention in the upcoming Provincial election. Rochester Field is in Ottawa Centre riding, which is currently served by a Provincial Cabinet Minister, Yasir Naqvi. We will seek to make Rochester Field an issue, and we will expect answers from all candidates. We will do our best, later this spring, to organize an all-candidates’ meeting in Westboro, and we will be asking questions.
  • Similarly, we will be seeking to make Rochester Field an issue in the upcoming municipal elections. Rochester Field is in Kitchissippi Ward, and the sitting Councillor, Jeff Leiper, has been supportive of our efforts. We will want to know how all candidates feel about this issue, how informed they are about it, and what they are prepared to do if they are elected. We will want commitments, not simply nice words. We know how important Rochester Field is. We don’t need to be reminded of this.   We need firm commitments and we will be urging residents to inform themselves of where the candidates stand.
  • Finally, we will want to make Rochester Field an issue in the Federal election next year. The NCC has said that its plans for Rochester Field will take some time to finalize. The current MP in Ottawa Centre, Katherine McKenna, is the Minister of Environment. We will want to know what she, and the other candidates, are prepared to do for us on Rochester Field, in some detail, and we will ensure that all residents know their responses. Again, firm commitments will be expected. We will do our best to organize an all-candidates’ meeting, and we will make Rochester Field an issue.

In theory, in a democratic society, a well-informed community should have some impact on how its elected representatives behave – and what decisions they make.

In the coming months, and perhaps over the next few years, we will begin a process to see if that really works in practice.

We will keep you informed. And we welcome your support. We may need help in organizing meetings, contacting our elected representatives and candidates, working on social media, distributing flyers, contacting the media, and other tasks.

Please let us know whether you support us in this effort, whether you have any other ideas on how to keep this issue alive, and what you are prepared to do.

To begin with, if you agree that Rochester Field needs to be protected, contact your elected representatives and say so:

Jeff Leiper 613-580-2485 jeff@KitchissippiWard.ca
Yasir Naqvi 613-722-6414 ynaqvi.mpp@liberal.ola.org
Katherine McKenna 613-946-8682 Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca
 

Contact Us At:

 

   
Westboro Community Association www.westborovillage.ca hellowestboro@yahoo.ca
McKellar Park Community Association www.mckellarpark.ca mpca.blog@gmail.com
Advertisements




Don’t forget, the Annual McKellar Park Egg Hunt is tomorrow!

30 03 2018

easter_egg_hunt

Thank you to our wonderful McKellar Park neighbours who are once again organizing this annual tradition. Join your neighbours and help spread the word by sharing this event and inviting your friends.

The hunt is on — rain, shine, snow, or mud — on Saturday, March 31st beginning for the kids at 10:30am.

For the first timers, here is how it works:

Parents provide 10 eggs per participating child. One adult arrives in the park early (9:45am) to hide eggs.

When the hunt begins, all the kids shoot off to find any 10 eggs. Then the older kids help the young ones to find their 10.

Bringing baked goods or other peanut-free snacks for the cookie potluck is always welcomed!

Hope to see you in the park on March 31st!





28 03 2018

Bottle drive





23 03 2018

CommunityForum





Don’t forget, the Annual McKellar Park Egg Hunt is tomorrow!

17 03 2018

easter_egg_hunt

Thank you to our wonderful McKellar Park neighbours who are once again organizing this annual tradition. Join your neighbours and help spread the word by sharing this event and inviting your friends.

The hunt is on — rain, shine, snow, or mud — on Saturday, March 31st beginning for the kids at 10:30am.

For the first timers, here is how it works:

Parents provide 10 eggs per participating child. One adult arrives in the park early (9:45am) to hide eggs.

When the hunt begins, all the kids shoot off to find any 10 eggs. Then the older kids help the young ones to find their 10.

Bringing baked goods or other peanut-free snacks for the cookie potluck is always welcomed!

Hope to see you in the park on March 31st!





17 03 2018

OMB REFORM: GETTING HERITAGE PLANNING RIGHT

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – 19:00 to 20:00

We have all seen the problem. City Council-approved Official Plans, Neighbourhood Plans and Heritage Conservation District Guidelines – developed to safeguard communities’ criteria for density and building heights – are successfully challenged by property developers at the Ontario Municipal Board.  The four-storey height limit on a neighbourhood main street is rezoned to allow for a 10-storey building, or a large lot that contributes to the heritage character of a HCD is approved for subdivision.

To say that the workings of the OMB have been controversial is an understatement. Now it is set for revision. Will Ontario finally get heritage planning right?

Join Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, former OMB adjudicator and advocate Marc Denhez, and community activist Jay Baltz for an evening of discussion on new directions for the Ontario Municipal Board and its replacement Tribunal.

The Lecture is free and there is no need to pre-register.

SPEAKER(S):

The Honourable Yasir Naqvi is the Attorney General of Ontario, Ottawa Centre MPP, Commissioner of the Board of Internal Economy and Government House Leader.

Marc Denhez is an Ottawa lawyer, mediator and author on heritage policy who served on the Ontario Municipal Board and on the Conservation Review Board.

Jay Baltz PhD is a long-time Ottawa heritage advocate who has served on the board of Heritage Ottawa, and is a former Chair of the Ottawa Built Heritage Advisory Committee.

ADDRESS:
Auditorium, Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M2

Canada





8 03 2018

OMB reform town hall Saturday March 10
The provincial government recently passed the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017. This legislation replaced the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which will help ensure that proceedings before the tribunal are faster, fairer and more affordable. To provide an update on the legislation and respond to questions, Attorney General and Ottawa Centre Member of the Legislature, Yasir Naqvi, has organized a town hall discussion on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Road, Ottawa. To register your attendance or for additional information contact Ben.Charlebois@ontario.ca