Update to Light Rail Issues

On behalf of the City of Ottawa, I would like to personally thank you for attending the September 21st Community Information Session for the proposed Maintenance and Storage facility on the Nepean Corridor. With roughly 200 people in attendance, it was clear to all of us how deeply you care about your community and this well-used and well-loved open space.

Rest assured that we got the message loud and clear: you have concerns about the proposed changes in your community, such as potential noise, vibration and safety issues, the scope of any berm, walls vs. hedges, changes to the water tables, loss of open space, the potential to secure the remainder of the site as dedicated park space (giving the rest of this land more protection as an open space than it has today), as well as several other issues around this proposal. 

We also heard that the mitigation measures proposed are a good start, and we received several excellent additional measures that we will review.  The summary of those items will be included in the consultation summary of the event, which will be captured in the Environmental Project Report (EPR).

We, along with city staff and the project consultants, agreed this was an excellent first exercise in hearing what you have to say about the various elements of the project, but it was just a start. This is part of a process that includes receiving ongoing input from you as to how this project can work for everyone.

We, as your elected municipal representatives, will support you in your efforts to push for an expanded Belfast Yards before any Woodroffe facility is built. Regardless of the potential for an MSF there, we would also encourage support for the City to purchase the Nepean Corridor so as not to leave it vulnerable to NCC development. Putting the land in the possession of the City is your best prospect for future parkland.

Finally, we are committed to ensuring the pathway across the Tallwoods Woodlot is maintained. It may have to be adjusted slightly to get under the elevated guideway, but it will be maintained, and you will see it on the final functional design. 

You are also looking for better communications, outreach and consultation efforts from the city. We can do better and we will by making every effort to ensure that impacted residents are kept looped in on the process as we go through it. As an added courtesy, we will also notify residents via the email list we collected at the information session.

As you heard from the consultant at the meeting, there are several different timelines to consider as we wade through the process of finalizing any project proposals.

Here is the formal technical Environmental Assessment process:

The current timeframe to complete the documentation required for Ministry of Environment review is approximately 8 weeks. Once they receive it, the City will issue a public notice – known as a Notice of Commencement – that will trigger the start of the public consultation period, which can run as long as 120 days.

During that time, information on how to obtain a summary of publicly-available documents will be posted on the City and Stage 2 LRT websites, and the project team will consult further with affected stakeholders. 

Out of this process will come the final Environmental Project Report for the entire western alignment for the Stage 2 light rail expansion, which includes the Woodroffe maintenance and storage facility. The public will then again have another review period – 30 days – to submit any comments to the Ministry related to issues of provincial significance and Aboriginal treaty rights. 

At the end of that period, the Minister’s Office will then have 35 days to make a decision on the final approval of the project.

As each of these processes gets underway, we will follow all provincial regulations required to notify the community.

Some of your neighbours may not be on our mailing list, or may not be within 30 metres of the project site, and may not get the same notifications that you do. As a courtesy, we would ask that you help keep your neighbours informed, or let them know how they can be added to our mailing list by contacting either of our office’s. 

Here is a link to the boards that were presented on the 21st:

http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/public-consultations/transit/maintenance-and-storage-facility-community-information

Also attached is the one-page summary that was available that night.

MSF Woodroffe one-pager French FINAL

MSF Woodroffe one-pager FINAL

Finally, if you would like to receive updates related to any Stage 2 light rail project, we invite you to register on the Stage 2 website: http://www.stage2lrt.ca/connect/

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                

Councillor Keith Egli                      Councillor Rick Chiarelli

Elected Representative to                 Elected Representative to

Ward 9 Knoxdale-Merivale               Ward 8 College Ward

110 Laurier Ave West                         110 Laurier Ave West

Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1                    Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 1J1

Tel:  613.580.2479                              Tel: 613.580.2478

www.keithegli.ca                                www.rickchiarelli.com