EMC News editorial re: 160 Lees Avenue

The EMC News (Ottawa East) has posted a great editorial regarding 160 Lees Avenue. You can read it here.

Latest update on proposed parking lot at 160 Lees Avenue

As a result of the community rallying together and demonstrating an effective lobby campaign against the proposed parking lot at 160 Lees Avenue, the City of Ottawa and the University of Ottawa are developing a new tentative agreement to build the parking lot in a different location.

At the February OECA meeting, Councillor Chernushenko announced that there is a tentative deal whereby the proposed temporary parking lot at 160 Lees Avenue would not go forward but instead the city would give the university land adjacent to 200 Lees Avenue. If this agreement is reached, the university could enlarge its existing parking lot just to the north of the 200 Lees Avenue university buildings, bounded by Lees Avenue as it ramps up over the Queensway and the Queensway itself (sort of a triangular piece of land, some of it now owned by the city). In addition, the university would also get day-access to the Sandy Hill arena parking lot for a longer period than originally proposed.

This very good news remains tentative because the university's board needs to approve the agreement at its meeting on February 25, 2013. That said, Councillor Chernushenko advised the OECA that university staff support the new proposal and it is expected to be passed. The proposed bylaw amendment concerning 160 Lees Avenue has therefore been removed from the city's planning committee agenda for February 26, 2013. News of the university’s decision will be posted on the website as soon as it is available.

In the meantime, thank you to everyone in the community for their extraordinary efforts. We all came together passionately but calmly and thoroughly to fight for our greenspace. Of course, while this is indeed a great success, we need to keep our community lobby efforts alive to ensure that 160 Lees Avenue remains a greenspace for the long term as well. This land is still slated to be used for the Alta Vista Transit Corridor in the city's transportation master plan. So we will need to continue our community lobby efforts again in the near future in hopes of getting the AVTC removed from the transportation master plan.

Have your say! Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031

The City of Ottawa is now revising the fundamental plans that will shape the city in the years to come through a process called “Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031.” The revision of the Official Plan, the transportation master plan and the cycling and pedestrian plans will have major implications for Old Ottawa East. For instance, the transportation master plan continues to have the four lane $200+M Alta Vista Transportation Corridor (AVTC) included, even though traffic volumes do not justify it and it makes even less sense as the city proceeds with the $2.1B light rail project. Furthermore, the AVTC would consume a huge portion of the greenspace between the Lees Avenue apartment buildings and Springhurst Park, as well as bringing traffic onto Lees and Nicholas Avenues despite neither having the capacity to take the additional volumes.

Citizens have the opportunity to make their opinions known. To learn more about “Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031”, please visit the City of Ottawa's planning website. We also encourage you to complete a survey located on the city’s website here. You may also wish to submit your specific comments to Mayor Watson and Councillor Chernushenko with a copy to info@ottawaeast.ca.

You may also be interested in reading the draft comments on the transportation master plan compiled by the City Centre Coalition (CCC) of which the OECA is a member. They are available for review here as many points are relevant to Old Ottawa East.

Upcoming City of Ottawa Planning Primers

Interested in learning more about the City of Ottawa’s planning process? The Planning and Growth Management Department offers the Planning Primer Program to help residents become more aware of, and more involved in, the land-use planning process.

The Primer I course will be offered on two days: February 23 or February 25. The Primer II course will be offered on two days: March 23 or March 25. Courses are held at Ottawa City Hall on Laurier Avenue West. Note: Primer I is a pre-requisite for Primer II. Additional elective courses on the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) will be held in April 2013.

For more information, please visit the City of Ottawa's website.

Rideau Canal Crossing - Environmental Assessment Complete

The City of Ottawa has completed the environmental assessment (EA) on the proposed footbridge crossing over the Rideau Canal at Fifth Avenue and Clegg Street. You can view the Environmental Study Report (ESR) online at:

It is also available for a 30-day public review period from February 8 to March 18, 2013. It is available at the following locations during their regular business hours:
City Hall, Client Service Centre, 110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa Public Library, Main Branch, 120 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa Public Library, Sunnyside Branch, 1049 Bank Street
Carleton University, MacOdrum Library, 1125 Colonel By Drive
University of Ottawa, Morisset Library, 65 University Private

Comments should be submitted by March 18, 2013, to:
Colin Simpson, Senior Project Manager, City of Ottawa
613 580-2424, ext. 27881
613 580-2578 (fax)
colin.simpson@ottawa.ca (email)

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