Comments on the Kanata Lakes 40% Plan, Revised November 4, 2003
December 31, 2003
Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee
OFGAC has been appointed by the City to advise on forest and greenspace issues. We are suggesting that the corridors between Beaver Pond and Trillium Woods be reduced to a single, functional path, and that all available acreage be used to preserve the valuable forested areas in the West Block. We are concerned that residents have unrealistic expectations of the Beaver Pond corridors, and that their desires for forested recreational areas will be better met in the West Block. A number of other proposals are listed below.
Note: These comments reflect the opinions of the Kanata subcommittee of OFGAC. Time constraints have not permitted them to be approved by the committee as a whole.
Rationale: Additional acreage in the West Block will provide more ecological and esthetic value. The corridors north of the Beaver Pond are too narrow to provide the scenic value expected by residents – even at a width of 40 meters they will not provide a forest experience. Houses will be visible to walkers, especially as it is reasonable to expect a significant dieback of trees along the corridor due to construction damage and wind throw. Cedar hedges and replanting will not be enough to mitigate this. It is preferable to retain a true forest experience in the ecologically valuable forested areas in West Block.
These corridors and the trails around Beaver Pond and Kizell Pond are also too narrow to serve as wildlife corridors, and will in fact only trap wildlife, and direct them into residential areas.
We selected the eastern corridor because it is shorter than the western one, and uses less of the acreage, and it is closer to the parking lot, so that the trail going around Beaver Pond will not be impacted by traffic going to Trillium Woods.
Rationale: These are both parcels described in the Brunton Report as ecologically valuable upland forests. They will result in a larger forested area, contiguous to the Kizell Pond. The western parcel should be contiguous to future greenspace in the Special Study Area.
Rationale: Hiking, cycling and cross country skiing are active recreational
uses, and land should be identified for these uses as well as soccer. There are already trails in the West Block for these purposes and this use will continue. Shared parking between the high school and the pitches will also save valuable space and still create adequate spaces for vehicles.
Rationale: The area will be empty at nights and on weekends with the proposed uninterrupted row of institutional uses (schools and soccer pitches). Residents provide eyes and ears, a form of neighborhood watch, for the woodlands. This will increase public safety, and will protect the woodlands from such abuses as bush parties. This could be accomplished by moving the soccer pitch adjacent to and west of the high school and replacing it with a cluster of homes.
Rationale: This land has been set aside because there are concerns that it would be a bad precedent to allow development after clear cutting of a Natural Environment Area. We share this concern, but feel that it would be foolish to clear cut an ecologically valuable upland forest in the West Block (which is also NEA) in order to set aside the denuded area and make this point. The concern about precedents will be addressed in the forthcoming Good Forestry Practices Bylaw which provides clear and appropriate penalties.
Rationale: It is likely that there will be significant tree loss along the ponds and in the corridors. One mature tree provides leaf cover equal to many replanted trees.
Securities will ensure replacement of those trees lost during construction.
Rationale: Stormwater is ecologically destructive. It appears likely that Kizell drains into the wetland in the ‘compensation lands’, an area set-aside for natural environmental values.
Rationale: This area is not ecologically valuable, nor does it provide any recreational or ecological value. We understand that it is difficult to develop, but do not think that this in itself constitutes adequate reason for considering it “open space.”