Stittsville subdivision gets go-ahead, worried neighbours win 'small victories'

The City of Ottawa's planning committee has paved the way for a 400-home subdivision in Stittsville, but took steps to ease concerns of nearby residents who have voiced opposition to the development.

Developer must construct temporary road, build detached units behind existing homes

The City of Ottawa's planning committee approved Minto Homes' 404-unit Potter's Key subdivision in Stittsville Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. (City of Ottawa)

The City of Ottawa's planning committee has paved the way for a 400-home subdivision in Stittsville, but took steps to ease concerns of nearby residents who have voiced opposition to the development. 

The committee approved plans for Minto Homes' Potter's Key subdivision with three amendments, including the construction of a temporary road aimed at keeping construction vehicles away from surrounding residential streets. 

Some nearby residents were concerned with the initial plans for the 404-unit subdivision at 1611 and 1641 Hazeldean Rd. because they worried traffic — including construction vehicles — would cut through their neighbourhoods to get to Hazeldean Road and other major arterials. 

The original Minto plan for Potter's Key included no direct link to those roads.
The original location map for Minto's Potter's Key subdivision in Stittsville, with no direct access to Hazeldean Road. (City of Ottawa)

The city councillor for the area, Shad Qadri, has been sympathetic of those concerns, and in recent weeks encouraged residents to write to planning staff, attend town halls and sign up to speak at Tuesday's meeting.

On Tuesday Qadri voted in favour of the subdivision, with the proposed amendments.

"Well what made me change my mind is, first of all we put a lot of due diligence on this file, but beyond that, the two major issues that were concerning the community, Minto did work with [us] on that," said Qadri.

Minto Homes will keep the temporary construction road in place until at least the end of 2019, and will top the road surface with granular materials "prior to the first occupancy within the subdivision to facilitate the public's use of this temporary road," according to one amendment.

Coun. Shad Qadri was sympathetic to residents' concerns, but voted in favour of the Potter's Key subdivision, with amendments. (CBC)

Some residents were also concerned about Minto's plans to build townhouses behind existing single-detached homes.

On Tuesday the planning committee decided only single detached units will be allowed to back onto existing single-family homes in the neighbouring Echo Woods and Jackson Trails subdivisions.

'Is it perfect? No.'

"Yes, it helps. Is it perfect? No," said Echo Woods resident Chris Levesque, who spoke at Tuesday's meeting. "We'd like to see some definite traffic calming in our neighbourhood. [I'm] not the happiest, but we'll have to see what happens. It's going to be a while before this all takes place."

Omar Sultan, president of the Jackson Trails Community Association, called the amendments "small victories."

"There's still a long way to go," said Sultan. "I guess sometimes you just have to take what you can get." 

The chair of the city's planning committee, Jan Harder, said she thinks residents got a "good compromise." Harder said even though residents aren't getting a permanent road, the temporary construction road should address some of their immediate concerns.