Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital
Kanata Forum Info
Preserving the Beaverpond Trails
(Click on this link to display a PDF file that can be printed and posted on your company/school/org bulletin boards)
Freedom of Information Requests
Destruction of South March Highlands Land
Black Cherry Trees
Campeau Agreement Requirements
Removal of Terry Fox Drive from the KNL Land
The following is the content of the "Beaverpond Trails" PDF file
PRESERVING THE BEAVERPOND TRAILS
Unless we take action to protect our rights we will soon lose most of the trails in the Beaverpond area, and lose the opportunity to enter the remaining forest areas from Kanata Lakes and Beaverbrook via natural trails as opposed to city sidewalks.
Our rights were supposed to have been protected by the Campeau agreement, which requires that 287 acres of forest (NEA) land be preserved, by the Official Plan which requires that a substantial stand of black cherry trees in the Beaverpond area be protected, and by an OP requirement that where possible there should be connectivity between natural areas, not only in the form of paths for people but also to ensure that the connections serve as links for plants and animals as well.
The City has not honoured those commitments, and we have a right to appeal such City decisions, but to do so we need to hire experts who are qualified to give evidence at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing. That costs money, but if the hundreds of people who have expressed their dismay at these City plans are willing to contribute the equivalent of a golf green fee or a ski lift ticket then we could afford to mount a proper appeal.
The map shows the trails as they exist, with green shading showing what is needed to provide connectivity across the property (here called the Beaverpond Trail for the sake of clarity). Note that there was once a second trail system south of Kizzel Creek, but that trail system was destroyed in the “Kanata Tree Massacre”. To add insult to injury, that open area is now included as part of the “NEA” allocation. Much of the balance of that allocation has been dissipated to provide open areas around the site, most of which will in time be developed under the City's intensification program. The map with the numbers 1 to 5 shows the trail areas that are obstructed, for which we need to restore some of the intended allocation, and the orange areas in the other map show where the required allocations might come from.
You can help by printing this message and posting it on local bulletin boards, and by making donations. Contributions should be made out to “Greenspace Alliance of Canada's Capital”, noting “Kanata appeals” in the MEMO space. Send them to Mik Svilans, 84 Kenins Cr., K2K 3E5. Further information can be found on the web site shown in the tags below.
Peter Van Boeschoten's outline of the Beaverpond issue
Narrative outline of Appeal Grounds (Ron Tolmie)
Other appellants' outlines will be added as they become available
There will be an Ontario Municipal Board prehearing on the KNL application on August 2. At the hearing we need to set out the grounds for our appeals and identify who will be appearing as expert witnesses. Such OMB hearings start at “square one” in that the existing Official Plan serves as the starting point (the Kanata Official Plan is the operative plan in this case) and the parties present their cases for retaining or revising the existing plans for the property. In this case an agreement was negotiated in 1981 and modified in 1988, together with a “Concept Plan” (a detailed map). These agreements were between the City of Kanata and the property owner at the time, Campeau Corporation, and are still in force.
In the 17 year interval since the second agreement there have been some significant changes:
The Terry Fox Extension was to have run within the property along the northern and western edges. The road took up a substantial amount of space that was to be deeded to the city, and that was not included in the allocations for development, parks, NEA land etc. There is a need to reach a new agreement on how that land should be allocated, and to consider what to do about the revised alignment, which now runs through the South March Highlands. The current proposals are ambiguous as to whether the SMH land redesignations are to be included in the plans.
There is a large land area south of Kizzel Creek that was forested and used as a trails area until KNL cut down most of the trees. In the OP that land was designated as Natural Environment Area (NEA) land, which was appropriate at the time. However it is now mostly open land and no longer qualifies as NEA land (but we will have to provide expert testimony to make that point).
The Concept Plan proposed that a large group of playing fields should be located in the NE part of the property, in an area that is not designated as NEA land. However, the allocation for playing fields provided in the Campeau agreement was entirely used up in developing the existing parts of Kanata Lakes (which were covered in the agreements). The City would like to provide a large soccer tournament field, and proposed to use some of the NEA land allocation for that purpose. However, the City has acquired a large amount of land to the West of the KNL property that is only a short distance from the original site and is open and level. This would be a logical alternative location that would provide for building on the previous playing field site, making it unneccessary to destroy the equivalent amount of forest land.
These three revisions all provide substantial amounts of land that could be developed, making it possible to meet 100% of the commitment to provide space for development without resorting to the destruction of what remains of the trails areas. The area known as Trillium Woods is to be retained as NEA land under all of the past and present proposals. However, the West Block forest area has been greatly reduced in the KNL proposal, and would no longer provide a useful connection to the highland land to the west of the KNL property that the City is about to acquire.
The other major problem is the connection between the West Block and the Trillium Woods, including the trails land in the Beaverpond area. The original Concept Plan retained the existing Beaverpond trail running north to the Trillium Woods but the connection to the west was narrow, providing a footpath connection but not a “forest trail” type of connection, and certainly not much connectivity for animals and plants. We need experts on wild life to determine what would be needed to provide for connectivity as is currently set as the objective for planning purposes for natural connections. Some, and possibly all, of the trails shown on the map (other than those south of Kizzel) might be retained, but that would entail major changes in the KNL plan.
The Kanata Official Plan contains an extensive provision for protecting the Black Cherry trees that grow in the Beaverpond area. This requires the services of a qualified Professional Forester. The OP requires that the trees should be considered as NEA land, which means that they should be surrounded by buffer land 30m in depth. Since the Beaverpond land and the west block contain the only remaining NEA land (other than Trillium Woods) the terms of the agreements and the OP can only be met if much of the Beaverpond land is retained as NEA land (i.e., as it stands). This may require relocation of the sanitary sewer or installation of a pumping station. There is an area in the NW corner that is presently open land, with no trails passing through it, and it is along the main road (which will be Walden Drive) so that area could be developed without harming the NEA areas. The KNL proposal is to use that particular area as yet another soccer field, with the argument that hikers and skiers could cross it to get to the Trillium Woods to the north. However, that totally obstructs the connectivity for plants, and for most animals as well, and is a singularly bad idea in that the route leads directly into a large swamp in the Trillium Woods.
This area, which extends north and west of the KNL property, is primarily special because of its Canadian Shield geology, a factor that was not even considered in the City reviews of the project. There is a need of a professional geologist's report that explains the significance. Moreover, this important natural heritage site needs to be reviewed to determine ways of protecting it from the ravages of urbanization. The planning for the forest areas should minimize the sources of damage and there should be conditions attached to the site plans to ensure that such protections will be ongoing.
The OMB prehearing will not attempt to resolve these issues, but it will be necessary to lay out the grounds for making any changes to the OP or for retaining the existing provisions, and to identify the experts who will participate. The main OMB hearing (to be held in the Fall or Winter) will have a fact-finding period during which the experts outline the facts as they see them, followed by argument summaries by the appellants and the City/developer re. what conclusions should be reached from those facts. There will be no debate between these parties.
The specific sections of the OP and the agreements will shortly be added here. The full text of the agreements can be found in KNL Draft Plan.