Capital Ward Bulletin - August 2nd

I hope you’re having a good summer, so far. At City Hall, summertime means fewer meetings, and so I’ve been able to spend a bit more time with family, enjoying our lovely city. But just because City Hall is a bit quieter in the summer doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot going on in our ward.

Chamberlain, Catherine and Isabella Consultation Summary

On June 6, 26 people attended the Public Open House on the re-design of Chamberlain, Catherine and Isabella. Although work won’t begin for at least another eight years, this is an important project for Capital Ward and the entire city.

Currently, these streets buffering the Queensway are hostile to pedestrians, bicyclists and city life, in general. We are working with staff to create streets that will better serve residents and vulnerable road users. Coupled with the work being done on the Bank Street Height and Character Study, we can lay the groundwork for a more vibrant, more livable streets in our ward.

We’ve been working closely with city staff on this project, and we will continue to collaborate with them throughout the summer and beyond.

You can see a summary of the consultation at the project website.

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Capital Ward Bulletin - July 18th

Well, it’s been an interesting week or two at City Hall. We've seen the 10 Oblats proposal in Old Ottawa East get rubber-stamped at Planning Committee and City Council, ignoring all the hard work the community put into the Secondary Plan. City Council allowed the unpopular expansion plans for the Chateau Laurier to go ahead. And we’ve heard that RTG plans to handover LRT this summer.

Old Ottawa East Community Plans Broken

The recent decision at Planning Committee and at City Council to rubber-stamp the developer’s request to alter the years of work that went into the community design plan in Old Ottawa East is one reason that I am calling for the break-up of the Planning Committee.

The Old Ottawa East community came out in large numbers to speak to the committee. It was wonderful to see such passion and engagement from residents. It is unfortunate that their reasoned and thoughtful words could not carry the day.

 

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Is it time to split up Ottawa's planning committee?

I debated my colleague Scott Moffatt this morning on my proposal to break up the planning committee at City Hall. We deserve more representative decision-making regardless of the outcome; Moffatt supports the status-quo.

Check out the debate at CBC.ca here.

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Menard: Break up planning committee and bring democracy back to Ottawa City Hall

City Hall belongs to you. City Hall is your building. Council members work for the public and should be tasked with putting the needs of the people first over other demands.

That’s democracy. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.

But you live in Ottawa, so you know that too often, City Hall isn’t a place for people, at least not all people. Too often, City Hall is a place for developers.

Read the full article at the Ottawa Citizen here.

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Approval in Principle for a New Pedestrian Crossing in Old Ottawa South

In another step towards making Capital Ward the safest place for active transportation in Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the City of Ottawa have come to an Approval in Principle for a new intersection pedestrian signal (IPS) to facilitate crossings of Colonel By Drive at Seneca Street.

The crossing point will include a traffic signal to control vehicles on Colonel By Drive, and a pedestrian crosswalk and cycling crossride to access cycling and pedestrian facilities along Seneca street.  This is a big improvement from original designs which only included a PXO (pedestrian crossing). There is also agreement in principle to reduce the traffic speed along that stretch of Colonel By. This will provide safe and comfortable means for residents to access the Multi-Use Path (MUP) on the south side of the Rideau Canal.

“The Old Ottawa South Community Association’s Traffic and Safety Committee has been working diligently for some time now to see a safe crossing implemented at this intersection. Once again, we see what communities can achieve when residents are motivated and properly supported by governments,” said Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard. 

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Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard Calls for the Break-Up of the Planning Committee

For Immediate Release

Ottawa—In a report released on the planning and development process in the City of Ottawa, Capital Ward Councillor Shawn Menard calls for democratic reform to representation at City Hall. The primary recommendation is to split the Planning Committee in two, creating more representative decision-making.  

This proposal is one of a number of recommendations in the report, alongside increasing transparency, employing a grassroots approach to development planning, by-law and legislative changes, a focus on the environment, and looking to other cities for best practices. 

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It's Time to Shake Up the Planning Process

Today, I am releasing a report on the Planning and Development Process in the City of Ottawa. As we've repeatedly seen, no longer does the planning process properly serve the needs of residents. We need to do better.

Shortly after coming into office, I hosted a forum comprised of residents who have devoted their time to working on development issues in the city. They shared their insights, experiences, concerns and suggestions for improving the process. This report distills what was learned from that forum, highlighting seven ways to improve development in Ottawa: breaking up the Planning Committee, increasing transparency, employing a grassroots approach to development planning, by-law and legislative changes, a focus on the environment, and looking to other cities for best practices.

Click here to download the report [PDF].

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New Rideau River MUP Underpas is Open for Use!

Today, the new Multi-User Path underpass at Bank Street and Riverdale is opened for pedestrians and bicyclists. The MUP, located on the south side of the Rideau River runs adjacent to Riverside and goes underneath the Billings Bridge. A collaboration between the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa, this project will give vulnerable road users the ability to avoid high-traffic intersection at Bank and Riverside when travelling along the well-used path.

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Capital Ward Bulletin - July 5th

I hope everyone had a good Canada Day. It’s always a great way to kickoff summer in our city—there’s so much to do and so many great places to visit. It’s a great time to be outside, enjoy the sun and relax. 

Flora MacDonald Footbridge 

In case you missed it, the Flora MacDonald Footbridge opened on Friday, two months ahead of schedule! This is a great way to connect two neighbourhoods, Old Ottawa East and the Glebe (at Clegg and 5th), and add to our active transportation network, helping people get around our city while also getting a bit of exercise. It’s only been open a week, but already it’s been well-used. This will be a valued and important piece of our community for generations to come.

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Developers Win Again at Ottawa City Hall

For Immediate Release

Ottawa—It’s another sad day for communities in Ottawa, as the city’s Planning Committee has abandoned a collaboratively-derived aspect of our city’s Official Plan. The Secondary Plan for Old Ottawa East was created in consultation with the community a few years ago and precludes buildings from exceeding six storeys, but the Planning Committee today approved Regional Group’s desire for a nine-storey height limit on more than 13 acres of land. They did so despite broad opposition from the community, including from residents, the Community Association, neighbouring property owners, the neighbouring university, the ward councillor and the local MPP. 

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