On January 10, 2018, a public meeting was held to discuss the proposed development at 195 Huntmar, which is located west of Huntmar Drive and south of Highway 417. The site falls within land covered by the Kanata West Concept Plan. The subject property is currently a vacant parcel of land approximately 54 hectares in size with approximately 153 metres of frontage on Huntmar Drive.
At the public meeting, a summary of the proposed development was provided including changes that have been made from the original submission to the City. One of the changes to the plan is the inclusion of an Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) High School site. As I noted at the public meeting, while it is encouraging to see a high school site at this property, there is no guarantee that a school will indeed be built. I have been in contact with the school board regarding this site and they noted this site is in addition to the site in the Fernbank lands currently being held for a public high school.
In the long term, the OCDSB has determined there will be a need for both sites in the area as well as another high school site in Kanata North in the KNL lands. In Stittsville, we have needed a public high school for a very long time. I have been supporting the efforts for a new public high school, however the funding for a new school is provided by the Provincial government. A public high school in Stittsville has been a top priority of the Board as recently as last year; however, the OCDSB has not received the required funding from the province. Once the development is registered (after all approvals), then the school board has 7 years to purchase the site or it is then returned to the developer. This 7-year timeframe has not started for any of the above-mentioned sites.
With the inclusion of a high school in the plans, the district park has been moved to border the school site as this follows the City’s Building Better and Smarter Suburbs initiative to have shared spaces with the schools and parks as much of the peak use times for these facilities are at different times. If the school is not built, then there will be a requirement for more land to be provided for the district park.
It was noted at the meeting that the density of the development has been reduced from the original proposal and the low-rise apartment building was removed. Some residents expressed concern with the current parking situation in Fairwinds and it was noted that this development is proposing longer lot sizes, which will provide longer driveways that can accommodate more vehicles. In addition, as noted in the City’s Building Better and Smarter Suburbs, there is also direction that townhouse rows be mixed with single homes which provides more opportunity for on-street parking spaces and less congestion on the streets.
For additional information, I encourage residents to review the following information:
Pathway and Park Area Connections Kanata West District Park & High School Concept Plan– Please note this is a high level conceptual plan of the shared District Park and School Site and is subject to change.
The City will be reviewing and considering all comments from the meeting and those that have been submitted.
Future updates will continue to be provided through my eNewsletter. If you wish to be included on the notification list for this development please contact Louise Sweet at Louise.Sweet@ottawa.ca.