Revised Lansdowne plans scheduled for release

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Presentation at City Hall to include updated drawings for site

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

New drawings showing updated plans for Lansdowne Park were scheduled to be released at 9: 30 a.m.

The presentation, in the city council chamber at City Hall, was to include the architects and designers working on each of the project's major features: Robert Claiborne on the renovations to Frank Clair Stadium; Jeffrey Staats on the new urban park to replace the parking lots on the southern and eastern parts of the site; Julian Smith on moving the Horticulture Building; and John Clifford on the "mixed-use area," the commercial and residential buildings to be erected on the northern third of the property.

"The 90-minute presentation will cover the details, sightlines, building materials, architecture and landscape plans for Lansdowne Park," said a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to city councillors. It represents the designers' "completed work," he wrote.

On Monday afternoon, the council chamber was guarded by city hall security guards, who stood in front of the drapes used to obscure the view inside for city council meetings in closed session to consider labour, legal or personnel matters. By evening, the room was open again and as empty as it usually is when it's not in use, suggesting a technical rehearsal had been conducted.

Capital Councillor David Chernushenko said Friday that the public session would be within the next two weeks, sometime before a meeting of city council's finance committee on Feb. 16. That's the same meeting at which the future of the city-owned baseball stadium on Coventry Road is on the agenda, and it was postponed, according to Mayor Jim Watson, because multiple items due for consideration wouldn't be ready. He said at the time that he couldn't remember what the other matters were.

New Lansdowne plan almost ready to be unveiled

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By David Reevely, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — The people working on the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park are preparing to show off an updated plan for the project within two weeks, though they're still struggling with some details.

The list of differences between the city's design-review panel for the quarter-billion-dollar project and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group's planners has been whittled down from "absolutely hundreds" to about a dozen, said Capital Councillor David Chernushenko Friday afternoon, after an all-day meeting on the subject.

Chernushenko sits on the city's design-review panel, which includes planning committee chair Peter Hume and three renowned outside architects and urban designers — George Dark, David Leinster and James Parakh. The group spent most of Friday closeted in city hall's Colonel By room, along with the city's project manager Graham Bird and OSEG representatives, trying to agree.

It's their job to represent the city and the people of Ottawa as the renovation — which includes rebuilding Frank Clair Stadium for a new football team and upgrading the Civic Centre, constructing new commercial and residential buildings on the northern third of the Glebe site, and turning most of the parking lots on the site into real parkland — is planned together with the developers and sports entrepreneurs in OSEG. They've met at least a dozen times, in a process that's taken much longer than it was ever supposed to.

"That has nothing to do with lawsuits and OMB and all the rest," Chernushenko said, referring to the legal challenge that still awaits a ruling from the Ontario Court of Appeal and a long hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board, which can overturn land-use decisions. "It's a beast of a project with so many parts and so many players that in order for the design work, the approvals, and us to properly see things in advance and critique them has taken many months longer."

Residents worry Lansdowne dome will cancel path plans

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By Laura Mueller, EMC News

Just months after approving a new plan for Old Ottawa East, community members are worried the city is forsaking its commitment to constructing the Rideau River nature trail in order to find a new home for the sports dome that has to move out of Lansdowne Park.

The city and the University of Ottawa have partnered in a plan to move to dome to the university's Lees Avenue campus, and plans for the project were presented at a public open house at the campus on Jan. 17.

But while a few people in attendance said they were excited about the prospect of a new sports facility in the neighbourhood, many more expressed concerns that the tight fit for the dome at 200 Lees Ave. would essentially make it impossible to construct the planned pathway.

One section of the pathway along the Rideau River at Springhurst Park has already been constructed, and the Old Ottawa East co mmunity design plan calls for pathway construction in the remaining sections that are currently informally used by residents in the area, including the University of Ottawa property, which is the "messiest" and most significant section, said pathway proponent Mary Trudeau.

Residents hear Lansdowne traffic plans

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EDDIE RWEMA, Ottawa This Week

Residents hear Lansdowne traffic plans. Several residents from the Glebe and Old Ottawa South gathered at the Glebe Community Centre on Dec. 1 to hear city's plans to monitor problems with traffic and parking prior to Lansdowne Park redevelopment planned to commence next year. Eddie Rwema

Glebe and Old Ottawa South residents fear the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park will create more traffic, noise and air pollution and substantial lose of residential parking spots during major events.

Their concerns were acknowledged by John Smit, a manager of development review for the city, who said the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park will generate additional traffic.

"Nobody is denying it whatsoever," Smit told those gathered at a public meeting about Lansdowne transportation monitoring held at the Glebe Community Centre on Dec .1.

The redevelopment will include retail stores, movie theatres and the renovation of Frank Clair Stadium, all of which are expected to increase the amount of traffic passing through the Glebe and Old Ottawa South.

"We recognize that there is going to be more traffic that is going to be happening in the area and we recognize there is going to be more demands with respect to parking in the residential streets," said Smit, adding the purpose of the meeting was to try to understand some of the key issues they should be considering in order to develop a comprehensive monitoring program.