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.  


  1. Reduce the acreage allocated to corridors between the Beaver Pond and the Trillium Woods.  We suggest that only one (20 m) corridor be created, where the proposed eastern corridor is located, and that the additional acreage should be allocated in the West Block as described in #2.


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.  


  1. Allocate all ‘found’ acreage to West Block.   This acreage should either be to the west of the existing West Block greenspace, protecting all the land between this greenspace and the 1st Line Road Allowance, or east of the existing greenspace north of Kizell Pond. 


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.


  1. Reduce acreage for soccer pitch by providing shared parking for the soccer pitch and the high school, and reducing the soccer pitch to 10 acres.  Reallocate found acreage (at least 4 acres) to West Block as in #2.


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.


  1. Build a row of housing (about 20 units) facing Trillium Woods on the west side.


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.


  1.  Allow development on some of the denuded land south of Kizell. The area directly adjacent to the pond should be rehabilitated as planned, with recreational trails and planting to create a visual buffer and stabilize the soil and slopes.  The remaining land to be used for development.  The equivalent of that land (6-8 acres), plus extra land which would represent savings of the rehabilitation, be used to retain intact upland maple/beech forest in the West Block.  The exact area would be determined by vegetation studies done previously by Brunton, and preferably would be adjacent to the lands to be retained along the pond.

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.  


  1. Protect and post securities on existing trees during development.  We suggest that the natural areas be clearly marked during construction with snow fencing that extends at least to the drip line of trees. We also suggest that securities be posted on the trees, as was done for the trees in the ravines in the South Riverside development.  These securities will require removal of dead trees and replacement.  We will forward further information on this later.


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. 


  1. Prepare a hydro-geological study of Kizell Pond before the stormwater drainage is designed.  


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.  


  1. The knoll south of the area marked A should not be considered part of the 40% open space.  This area should be developed and the ‘found’ acreage should be added to West Block as in #2. This could add approximately 2-3 hectares to the west block.


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.”