A meeting was held this week to discuss the conversion of a section of Johnwoods Street (from Rosehill to Maple Grove) to a Linear Park. The meeting was well attended and I appreciate that this is a major concern for residents in the area as I have heard from those who both oppose and support converting this section of the street to a park.
This concept to convert a portion Johnwoods Street into a pathway initiated from the Planning Department because Johnwoods Street is not functioning the way it was intended. The street was designed to operate as a local road but has instead been operating as a cut-through route which has resulted in speeding and other traffic related issues. Diverting traffic from this section of Johnwoods removes the direct route for cut-through traffic, reduces speeds, and pushes traffic to the major road network. By converting the road, traffic from Johnwoods will still be able to travel eastbound and northbound via Rosehill Avenue and Santolina Street, both streets are engineered and designed as a minor collector roads. As Mattamy Homes was undertaking the Fairwinds West development abutting this road it provided an opportunity that the City could require the developer to undertake the work for the conversion as part of their development and there would be no cost to the City.
During the approval process for the subdivision which included the condition for Mattamy Homes to cover the costs associated with the conversion of the street, I was required to declare a conflict of interest as I own a home abutting the Fairwinds West development. This conflict of interest restricted my ability to share information through my office. Any inquires that came into my office during that time I forward to the City’s Planning Department.
At the public meeting I committed that I would look into taking the necessary steps to have the conversion reviewed which could involve bringing a motion to Planning Committee to have the plan of subdivision amended. At the meeting I did state that the success of such a strategy is unlikely given the approval and appeal process. I am meeting with Senior City staff and the Planning Committee Chair on Monday next week to discuss this important item further.
As your representative I am making this a priority and can assure you that as discussions continue I will provide updates through my e-column and will also be mailing further information to residents in the immediate area. I can appreciate that some residents felt they were not informed throughout this process and I will be taking the steps to address this and also ensure that more information is shared with residents.
Please make sure that you receive my weekly community e-column for updates from my office and also ensure that the Planning Department has your contact information by emailing your full contact information to City Planner, Kathy Rygus at Kathy.Rygus@ottawa.ca.
For interested residents I strongly encourage you to review the Planning Department Summary Response and the Community Information Session PowerPoint Presentation from the May 4th meeting.