Qualicum-Graham Park Multi-Point Plan: Last Important Step
February 7th we held an in-neighbourhood community meeting that represents the second last important step in our complex plan for Qualicum-Graham Park. It was a success.
In order to protect the neighbourhood against a potential application for a incompatible development (possible mid-to high rise) I worked with the community and developed a multi-faceted plan to get the most positive outcome for quality of life and the environment while achieving the best available deal with taxpayers.
In the face of the location’s contaminated land, we got the City to invest over $2 million to purchase the property, tear down the existing buildings, decontaminate and construct a brand new community building on a portion of the space all the while preserving the adjacent park land. We, in turn, placed a low density compatible concept plan on the remainder of the property and sought bids to construct in a way that would best match the concept.
The winning bidder, Uniform Urban Developments, designed a 23 unit (5 fewer than the maximum we requested) two-storey and bungalow style cul-de-sac protecting the character of the community and accommodating those who wish to downsize but remain in the neighbourhood. Sales from the homes will also meet our end of the deal with Council to recover a portion of the City’s investment in the project.
We had an impressive turn-out at our most recent community meeting on this matter, held in the neighbourhood on February 7th. The city Planning Committee Hearing and vote on the re-zoning needed to give effect to the final piece of the multi-point plan will take place February 26, 2013 at City Hall, 110 Laurier at 9:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and to speak on the matter. Having said that, the near unanimous support by the community that was registered at our community meeting February 7th will be reported to the Committee during the Hearing, so do not worry if you cannot make it. However, feel free to email me with your comments. This has been a long and complex issue and solution and, despite the discouraging words from many skeptics who did not think we could get its many elements through Council, to this point, we have succeeded.
Thank you to all of you who have come out to the various community meetings to develop our positions at each step of the way. Thank you to Paul Webber, the former City of Nepean solicitor and later City of Ottawa lawyer guiding this file through the courts, who has been working on this matter since oil contamination was discovered on the site in the 1990s - there is a reason we picked him! Thank you to Scott Pegrum, the community president who was available on short notice to quickly deal with sensitive matters. Thank you to the community association executive for being ready to make swift and urgent decisions and thank you to City Planning and Real Estate staff Dave Donaldson, Dhaneshwar Neermul and Simon Deiaco who bought-in to the goal and assisted all of us with determination and skill over the years.