City of Ottawa, developer agree to concessions with 11 of 14 Lansdowne opponents

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By Joanne Chianello, Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The city and its partner in the Lansdowne Park redevelopment — the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group — settled on Wednesday with 11 of the 14 parties appealing the project to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The concessions include giving $300,000 to the Glebe BIA and $30,000 to community groups to help them through what will surely be a disrupting construction session when the Lansdowne project gets under way. The city and OSEG will split the costs equally.

The changes also include preserving what amounts to air space for area residents.

For example, one condition of the settlement sees the total elimination of nine-storey residential buildings that were to be built behind townhouses facing Holmwood Avenue. While the walk-ups are still going ahead, the commercial buildings behind them will only be about four storeys high — the same height as the townhouses.

The condo tower going up at the intersection of Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue will be capped at 12 storeys instead of the previously planned 14, and a small public square will be installed at the corner.

All Aspects of Lansdowne Redevelopment Behind Schedule: Councillor

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Josh Pringle, CFRA

Capital Ward Councillor David Chernushenko insists the legal challenge to the Lansdowne Partnership Plan is not the only reason for delays with the project.

City Staff say construction on the Lansdowne Partnership Plan won't begin until the fall due to a number of reasons, including the court case attempting to quash the project.

But Chernushenko says "everything is well behind the original schedule."

Chernushenko sits on the Lansdowne Design Review Panel, and says delays have been encountered in "almost every aspect of the design work, the legal agreements and the search for commercial tenants."

The Capital Ward Councillor insists the delay in the Lansdowne Park redevelopment is an opportunity to offer new ideas.

Chernushenko says Glebe residents are "positively bursting" with constructive ideas about how to redevelop the public space to offer opportunities for athletes, businesses, artists and others.

© 2011 Bell Media

Lansdowne delays are an opportunity to offer ideas, not lay blame

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It may be convenient to label Glebe residents as anti-anything at Lansdowne Park, but that does not make it true. People here have co-existed for many decades with the traffic, noise and exciting energy that characterize this public venue, and they are more interested than anyone in seeing Lansdowne Park redeveloped as a vibrant hub of culture, enterprise, recreation and sport. 

Indeed, local residents are positively bursting with constructive ideas about how to redevelop this public space to offer opportunities for athletes, businesses, artists and others. Not once in many weeks of campaigning in Capital Ward — and not once since — have I heard a single citizen say they want to leave Lansdowne Park as it is.

Lansdowne Park is arguably Ottawa’s most important public space, and many continue to believe that it should be redeveloped in a way that achieves the very best results for the public good, remaining in public hands.

As for the delays, it is equally convenient and untrue to attribute these to the court challenge. I sit on the Lansdowne Design Review Panel and can tell you that everything is well behind the original schedule. This is a big and complicated project, and delays have been encountered in all most every aspect of the design work, the legal agreements and the search for commercial tenants.

But delays are not always a bad thing. Used constructively, delays offer us a chance to question, revisit and improve on what has been proposed to date. Delays also provide an opportunity to listen to the many ideas that previously went unheard at open houses that were more sales pitch than consultation. The best ideas could still be adopted, the rest rejected.

The outcome of the court challenge will not be known for months. Let's use the intervening time to improve, not to blame.

–David Chernushenko

Lansdowne sport fields suggested

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Include soccer, ball facilities, residents tell consultants

By Sneh Duggal, Ottawa Citizen

Residents expressed concern Thursday that the design for a new urban park at Lansdowne does not include designated sporting areas such as soccer fields.

"We're going to spend a lot of money, but we're not going to have any soccer fields or baseball diamonds," said resident Fraser Pollock.

"There are some practical elements that just aren't there."

About 25 people turned out for round two of public consultations being held for the urban park that will be part of the Lansdowne Park redevelopment.

Accompanying the park will be a refurbished Frank Clair Stadium and the development of 340,000 square feet of commercial space -being overseen through a public-private partnership between the city and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.

A group with Phillips Farevaag and Smallenberg (PFS) are in Ottawa this week to get public input on their proposed design plan. The Vancouver-based firm beat out four others shortlisted in the design competition for the public space.