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2005

Westboro Beach Visioning Session

posted Dec 3, 2010, 10:28 AM by Westboro Beach Community Association   [ updated Nov 18, 2014, 8:05 PM by Westboro Beach Community Association ]

Originally posted May 12, 2005

Special Meeting of the Westboro Beach Community Association
Westboro Beach Visioning Session
May 12, 2005
19:30-21:00

David Adams, Chair of the Westboro Beach Community Association (WBCA), welcomed the community to the meeting. He noted that, at WBCA and WCA (Westboro Community Association) urging, the City has agreed to do a “Community Design Plan” CDP (new terminology for a Neighbourhood Plan). This was an important meeting as it is the first opportunity for the community to express its views on how it wishes to see Westboro develop.

The purpose of this meeting was to begin to work out what we want in the CDP in terms of a vision for our community. He invited Peter Campbell, Chair of the WBCA’s Greenspace Working Team, to bring the community up to date on the Team’s findings, and following that, asked Bob Spicer, Planner III in the City’s Community Planning and Design Division, Planning and Growth Management Department, to outline how the CDP would proceed, starting with approval of the Terms of Reference at Planning and Environment Committee in June. These two presentations were followed by a discussion session. About 40 residents attended the meeting.

There was general consensus that the vision being developed by the Greenspace Working Team was the right one and that the Team should continue its work along the lines outlined by Peter Campbell.

It is clear that Westboro will undergo a great deal of development over the years to come. This in itself is not bad, but it needs to be managed with livability, environmental and longer term aspects in mind. We see Westboro as a “green” community (indeed, this is our reputation in the City and one of the reasons so many people want to live here), and as a community that has already a number of successes in promoting an active outdoor lifestyle, often in partnership with the business community, the Dovercourt Community Association, the City and the NCC.

Looking ahead, however, we see dangers. We are already experiencing flooding from overloaded sewers; persistant pollution at the Beach; traffic noise, pollution and safety risks on Lanark; and restricted access to the river resulting from traffic volume and speed on the Ottawa River Parkway (“Queensway North”). Longer term, the huge influx of newcomers will increase demands on recreation and green spaces (already in short supply), and, if not managed properly, could result in a less “personal” community than we now enjoy.

In defining our vision for our community and what should be reflected in the CDP, the following should be given central consideration.

  • Build on our “green” credentials. Many of the sustainable development concepts of the Global “Ecovillage” Network will be applicable to our community (http://ena.ecovillage.org/English/region/index.html).
  • Retain and enhance our recreational and green spaces. We are already short of recreational playing fields, and while it may appear green on the map, our greenspace along the river is compromised by the noise, pollution and danger posed by the speed and volume of traffic on the Ottawa River Parkway.
  • Protect the river for both our own community and the rest of the citizens of Ottawa. We must accept that this may mean constraints on new development along the river
  • Build on Westboro as a focus for active outdoor living. We need to link our active outdoor living and green spaces to other areas so that they can be enjoyed by all residents of the Ottawa region.
  • Address increased traffic on our roads, both on quiet side roads and on mainstreets. Our community should not be a “place to drive through”, and we need to ensure that busy roads do not divide our community.
  • Build on, and expand our partnerships with business, the City and the NCC to further enhance our opportunities for active sports and recreational activities
  • Integrate newcomers to our community. Failing that, we will lose the social and personal security elements that a sense of community brings to us.

Underlying this vision is the requirement to make or complete a number of “paradigm shifts”, so that all stakeholders fully understand and appreciate:

  • the economic and social value of the environment;
  • the importance of sustainable development along the lines of the “Ecovillage”;
  • the vital role of greenspace in a healthy eco-system; and
  • the value of active living to the health, both physical and social, of our communities.

Peter Campbell confirmed that The Greenspace Working Team will continue its work and offer guidance to the City along the above lines.

Although pleased that the CDP will be in place by June 2006 to manage new development, the community remains very uneasy about possible changes to Rochester Field, to the old NCC Maintenance Yard on Atlantis and to the Selby plain. All of these could be redeveloped in the next 2-3 years. We feel that these spaces have key environmental value as buffers for the river, that they represent our only remaining large windows on the river, and that they play important recreational and social roles in our community. Furthermore, the former NCC Yard has considerable potential as a community centre, home for the riverkeeper, centre for paddling sports, etc. The loss of any of these properties to development would be a major set back to our vision for the Westboro area.

The Kitchissippi Stromatolites

posted Dec 3, 2010, 10:10 AM by Westboro Beach Community Association   [ updated Nov 19, 2014, 4:27 PM by Westboro Beach Community Association ]

Originally posted March 12, 2005

A Presentation to the National Capital Commission’s Board of Directors – The Kitchissippi Stromatolites.

Presentation to the National Capital Commission

posted Dec 3, 2010, 10:05 AM by Westboro Beach Community Association   [ updated Nov 19, 2014, 4:29 PM by Westboro Beach Community Association ]

Originally posted March 11, 2005

The Treasure of the Kitchissippi Lands.

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