Special Study

Forum submission at the Planning and Environment Committee

Brunton's report on the Special Study Area

Carp River Watershed Study

OMB Appeal filed Dec. 9/04

Amendment 16 designations

Closeup view of northern escarpment

Contour map of the Special Study Area

 

Text of the Kanata Highlands proposal

From: Edward Balys <edbalys@mac.com>

Date: Fri May 21, 2004  2:14:35 PM Canada/Eastern

To: Bruce.Finlay@ottawa.ca

Cc: Peggy Feltmate <peggy.feltmate@ottawa.ca, Ned Lathrop <Ned.Lathrop@ottawa.ca>, Dennis.Jacobs@ottawa.ca, Susan Murphy <Susan.Murphy@ottawa.ca>, nancy@meloshe.ca, berniem@achilles.net, Paul Webber <pwebber@bellbaker.com>, Don Loeb <dloeb@avantiprop.com>, Kenny@balys.com

Subject: Special Study Area: Proposal for Resolution from Landowners of 400 acre Kanata Highlands Properties

 BY FAX AND E-MAIL

 May 20, 2004

 Mr. Bruce Finlay

Planning Environment and Infrastructure Policy Branch

Planning and Development Department

110 Laurier Ave West, 4th Floor

Ottawa ON K1P 1J1

 RE: Kanata Special Study Area – Proposal from Landowners of Kanata Highlands Properties

 Dear Mr. Finlay:

 On April 28, 2004 our planning consultant Nancy Meloshe and I met with you and Susan Murphy to discuss your upcoming report with respect to the preparation of an Official Plan amendment for lands within the Special Study Area between the proposed Terry Fox Drive and the Hydro Cut in the former City of Kanata. The Kanata Highlands property represents about 63 acres of land within the Special Study Area and our lands are delineated on the attached plan. (Ref. Photo/Map of KHP)

 At that meeting you advised that the City’s Environmental consultant, Dan Brunton was still completing his field work and that it was staff’s intention to hold a public meeting in June to be followed by your report to Planning and Environment Committee in July 2004. You advised that it was your intention to designate much of the Special Study Area lands as General Urban Area but most of our lands east of the Terry Fox Drive would be designated Natural Environment Area.

 As you know we have actively participated in the planning study for this area and we have retained at considerable expense to the landowners a qualified team of professionals including planners, civil engineers and environmental consultants to undertake studies for our lands and to represent our interests through the planning process.

 We believe that approximately 43 acres of the south portion of our lands severed by Terry Fox Drive alignment should be designated as General Urban Area for responsible development while preserving the northern 20 acres, (30%), as Natural Environmental Area as we have outlined in the enclosed photo/map plan.

 The 20 acres to be preserved will include the prominent east tip of the Hazeldean Ridge and the environmentally sensitive lands identified by Dan Brunton for his 'tunnel' under Terry Fox Drive. It will also include a generous widening of the Hydro Cut to make a more substantial environmental  linkage of the NEA lands in KNL's Kanata Lakes development to the south with the City's Parklands to the north.

The 43 acre portion of our lands is a well-drained, relatively flat plain of former pastures and well-timbered woods of secondary growth and deciduous trees. In the opinion of our environmental consultant, Bernie Muncaster these lands lack most of the features and diversity in the natural habitat that have generally been considered NEA. These lands have no old growth trees or significant landforms. There are has no coniferous or mixed forests nor do the lands contain many of the features present in other portions of the Kanata Lakes area that have been considered Natural Environment Area. We also noted that most of this portion of land has not been identified as a Significant Environmental Area nor given any of the three Priority ratings in D. Brunton's  'South March Highlands Study Area Natural Assessment Report' dated July 1992. (p.86, Figure 40: Significant Areas)

We appreciate the importance of preserving the natural environmental quality of the March Highlands. In addition to the 30% of land to be preserved with the right to develop 43 acres of land in the Special Study Area east of Terry Fox Drive, we also propose to reserve 110 acres of environmentally significant lands northwest of the Terry Fox Drive alignment for acquisition by the City. These lands include the spectacular Hazeldean Ridge that is part of the pre-Cambrian shield with its pockets of old growth trees and the head waters of Shirley’s Brook on both sides of the railway tracks. These lands in public ownership would make a significant addition to the adjoining 604 acre City owned natural parkland.

 With City ownership of the NEA lands on both sides of Terry Fox Drive, a significant passageway structure can now be designed and strategically positioned to provide not only the vital connectivity your experts have requested for fauna and wildlife and watercourses but also to serve the Kanata communities for their recreational usage and safe passage under the 4 to 6 lanes of Terry Fox Drive. It would become the prime community recreational access to the the City parkland to the north.

We believe that this proposal represents a win-win solution for the City, the community and the landowners. We propose that 43 acres of our land east of Terry Fox Drive as outlined on the attached plan would be designated as General Urban Area. A 20 acre parcel of our land east of Terry Fox Drive and north of those lands proposed to be designated General Urban Area would be designated Natural Environment Area and dedicated to the City. In addition, the 110 acre parcel of land north identified west of Terry Fox Drive would be preserved as Natural Environment Area and reserved for acquisition by the City. The remainder of our lands west of Terry Fox Drive and north of Huntmar Road would be designated General Rural Area.

As discussed at our meeting of April 28, 2004 you are prepared to include our proposal in your report to Planning and Environment Committee for consideration. We would also like to have the opportunity to present this proposal at the public meeting in June. We have met with Councillor Peggy Feltmate and a number of the leaders in the Kanata communities and they are aware of our proposal.

We would be pleased to discuss our letter with you in more detail and we look forward to your positive response in the staff report to Committee and Council.

Yours Truly,

Edward A. Balys, P Eng

President

  Photo/map Balys-2

balys-map2.jpg ¨

cc Councillor Feltmate

    Ned Lathrop

    Dennis Jacobs

    Susan Murphy

    Nancy Meloshe

    Bernie Muncaster

    Paul Webber

    Don Loeb

    Kenneth Balys

 

 

Subsequent addition by Ed Balys (June 17)

The City staff at tonight's public meeting slotted me 20 minutes to present the KHP landowners' proposal dated May 20/O4. We have engaged CSW and Jerry Corush, well known for interconnection of parklands, who will be making the presentation of our proposal and will explain the possibilities it opens to link and expand the City's 604 acre parklands to the north with the NEA lands in Kanata Lakes. I have been advised by the City's planning staff that a generous amount of time will be scheduled for Q's & A's.

This meeting is very important because our proposal is not supported by City's planning department. Unless the residents of Kanata show strong public interest and offer support for our proposal at tonight's meeting, it will not get Councilor Peggy Feltmate's support either, -and that will be essential if our plan has any chance at the Planning and Environmental Committee meeting on the SSA lands now delayed to September. Then this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we offer to make Kanata live up to, if not exceed its hype as 'the green city with uptien kms. of interconnecting nature trails' may well be lost for ever.

With the support of the KHP landowners, I put our best efforts in this plan to create a 'win-win' proposal that all the diverse interest in KHP lands are addressed, fairly accommodated and presented to all in an open, up-front manner. If it is rejected, I will no longer be able to control the KHP landowners. I then foresee the KHP lands will quickly be sold to one of the major land developers that are on standby who will then go directly to the OMB route and most likely will win. As you can appreciate, this coarse will only preserve token areas of land as green space.