By Joe Lofaro, Metro Ottawa
Coun. David Chernushenko told a livid group of Glebe residents Tuesday that he was shocked and disappointed construction workers were chopping down trees in Lansdowne Park along Holmwood Avenue without notifying residents beforehand.
"This was not supposed to have happened this way," Chernushenko told residents amidst a patch of fresh tree stumps. "This was – dare I say it – an accident, a mistake."
Chernushenko explained to the crowd that a contractor involved in the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park began work Tuesday morning without authorization.
Michael Fitzpatrick, the city's media relations manager, said the clearing of the trees is needed to access contaminated soil for remediation and to begin preliminary work to move the Horticulture building.
To help rectify the situation, he has asked for a public apology from the contractor and is reminding all city contractors that no work is to move forward unless approval is given.
He also said no further work at the Holmwood Avenue site will be done before June 11 at the earliest and affected residents must be given 48 hours' notice beforehand.
That didn't sit well with Holmwood resident Martha McKeen. She and her friend chained their two bicycles to a backhoe to effectively halt the cutting operations.
"I think that this is the start of something bigger and I want to see some serious consideration on the part of City Hall and Mayor Watson," said McKeen.