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.

Contract awarded for demolition of the south-side stands at Lansdowne

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City of Ottawa

The City of Ottawa has selected Delsan‐Aim Environmental Services Inc. for the mechanical demolition of the remaining south-side stands at Lansdowne Park. The work is scheduled to commence on November 7, 2011 and conclude by mid-January 2012. The contract award for approximately $550,000 is 63% less than the original estimate of $1.5 million.

"Lansdowne Park is an important City asset and it is time to move ahead with this part of its revitalization," said Mayor Jim Watson. "The fact we can do it at a significant cost saving is a real bonus for taxpayers."

The south-side stands are approaching the end of their service life and need to be removed to accommodate the stadium redevelopment. The vast majority of materials from this demolition will be re-used and with the selection of mechanical demolition no disruption to the use of the playing field is anticipated.

Council approved the demolition of the south-side stands in August of 2011. By bringing the south-side stands down at this time the City benefits from a savings of approximately four months in the revised project schedule. This also allows for an additional cost savings as most of the concrete work can take place before the winter months and therefore avoid winter construction cost. The demolition of the south-side stands will help achieve substantial completion of the stadium by December 2013.

No road closure and traffic detours will be required for the duration of the project. The demolition area will be fenced off and secured in order to accommodate planned activities on site, such as the Ottawa Farmers' Market.

For more information on construction activities at Lansdowne Park, visit ottawa.ca/newlansdowne.

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City Outlines Plan To Manage Contaminated Soil at Lansdowne

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CFRA, with files from Stephanie Kinsella

The City's plan to keep contaminated soil on site at Lansdowne Park has Glebe residents seeing red.

The contamination stems from former uses on the site, some dating back decades, and includes heating oil and dry cleaning chemicals.

The City plans to move much of that contaminated soil when the underground parking garage is built, and construct a 'berm,' or man-made hill, near the stadium.

City Environmental Remediation Manager Nancy Horton says taking the soil and creating a berm is something that has been done across the City, and the province, for years.

Residents lined up at a meeting in the Glebe to blast that approach, asking why the City doesn't simply remove the dirt from the park.

A consultant hired by the City says it would take 6,000 dump truck trips to remove all of the contaminated soil, and that would prove riskier than containing some of it on site.

The Ministry of Environment will decide if the plan meets all the necessary health and safety guidelines.

A Bus Pass With Every Condo at Lansdowne Proposed

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Josh Pringle, CFRA

Each residential unit at the redeveloped Lansdowne Park could come with a one year transit pass for OC Transpo.

The Transportation Demand Management Plan report by McCormick Rankin recommends the City require the developers to provide all purchasers of residential units with a transit pass to "create and establish a culture" of transit amongst the residents living at Lansdowne.

The report notes the City of Toronto recently introduced a policy requiring all new condo developments with more than 20 units to include a one year TTC Metropass with the purchase of each unit.

The Transportation Demand Management Plan outlines ideas to ensure the Lansdowne Park redevelopment achieves maximum benefits from a wider use of sustainable transportation modes, including public transportation and bicycling.

The City is also encouraged to set up enhanced bicycle parking facilities, create preferential parking for registered carpools and build showers and locker room facilities for employees at a redeveloped Lansdowne Park who bicycle to work.

Public Meeting for Lansdowne Soil

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Josh Pringle, CFRA

A meeting will be held at the end of this month to discuss the environmental issues surrounding the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park.

Friends of Lansdowne says the lot contains large amounts of contaminated soil that will be dug up during the construction on a redeveloped Lansdowne.

The Ministry of Environment, the City and an independent environmental expert will make presentations on the cost and care required for the clean-up.

The meeting will be held October 27th at the Glebe Community Centre.

City's Lansdowne consulting firm earned $2.8M on sole-sourced contract

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By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

Only one firm could help the city government navigate its deal with private developers to renovate Lansdowne Park, according to the top city manager, and it doesn't come cheap.

The company: Graham Bird & Associates. The price tag: $2.8 million (and maybe more). Competition for the work: None.

Documents obtained for the Citizen by access-to-information specialist Ken Rubin say Bird's firm is to be paid $1.776 million for its work on the Lansdowne redevelopment plan between July 2010 and the end of December 2013, broken into chunks that match the project's stages. With sales tax of $230,879.99, the bill for the 3½ years of work is $2,006,879,99.

Bird and his team worked on the file before that, though, and e-mails between city purchasing officials trying to decide how to bill for and record the work indicate that there's an "invoice history" up to June 2010 of $792,341, suggesting a grand total of about $2.8 million.

The documents predate the project's conclusion date slipping by two years, but in a written statement city spokesman Michael FitzPatrick said the longer timeline shouldn't mean the city pays more money: "The overall cost of the contract will not increase regardless of the schedule delay," he wrote.

Bird wouldn't speak to the Citizen to discuss just what the city gets for the money, but of course it doesn't just buy the services of Graham Bird himself: he's the head of a consulting firm with seven staff listed on its website, and they all need to be paid.

Lansdowne plans move forward

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City committee approves new finances, timeline

YourOttawaRegion.com

GLEBE - Glebe merchants are threatening to launch an appeal and another man has filed a second court challenge against the Lansdowne redevelopment plan, but that didn't stop city councillors from endorsing a new financial plan and timeline for the project.

The city's finance and economic development committee gave the thumb's up to the updated plan on Aug. 18, after city manager Kent Kirkpatrick said the project is "stronger now than it was" in June of 2010, when city council first approved the redevelopment plan, which is a partnership with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG).

But that came after a few barbs leveled at councillors by Paul Webber, a lawyer representing the Glebe Business Improvement Area (BIA).

The city broke its promise to block fashion retail stores from moving into Lansdowne, Webber charged, and Glebe businesses will fight the city if it tries to allow those types of stores on the site.