08 Sep Carlington Hill Proposal coming to Community and Protective Services Committee
Dear Neighbours of Carlington West,
On September 15, 2016, the Community and Protective Services Committee (CPSC) of the City of Ottawa will consider and discuss a staff recommendation to develop a mountain bike pump track and skills area on a portion of the north-facing, lower plateau of Carlington Hill (see map).
The Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) is a volunteer based, not-for-profit organization. Over the last ten years OMBA has successfully partnered with the City in the development and management of multi-use trails in the South March Highlands Conservation Forest. In 2013 OMBA approached the City of Ottawa with the idea of developing a mountain bike park in a City park. The proposed concept is to create a publicly accessible location where bike riders can develop their off-road riding skills in a safe and progressively challenging environment. The new biking features would be installed in a dedicated area offering a variety of off-road features that provide challenge and enjoyment for cyclists of all skill levels. The area would include a range of features such as bumps, jumps, and berms created out of compacted earth rather than concrete.
In the staff report, it is recommended that the committee approve a partnership with Ottawa Mountain Biking Association for the installation of a Mountain Bike pump track and skills area in Carlington Park.
The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department believes that this initiative will:
- Create new recreational opportunities for cyclists of all ages and skill levels;
- Leverage the volunteer resources of the OMBA to build and manage the park at limited cost to the City; and
- Install park features that are compatible with the site and that will not preclude any of the existing uses.
The Carlington Community Association (CCA) is aware of the proposal from the OMBA. The CCA took the lead, spearheading community outreach and consultation and hosted a public forum and community vote on this matter at their Annual General Meeting on May 25, 2016. Of those who voted at the AGM, 70% were in favour of the proposal.
The Association is in favour of Phase 1 of the proposal and asked the following be considered:
- That no further phases of the bike park be implemented without approval by Carlington residents, through the CCA;
- That the CCA and Carlington residents, through a dedicated working group, are consulted on Phase 1 design and construction details and opportunities to inform further planning;
- Bike park facilities be accessible by residents of all ages and be free of charge
- That Carlington residents be involved in the construction and maintenance of the facilities,
- That appropriate environmental and conservation experts are consulted; and
- That concerns expressed by Carlington residents are noted and considered carefully as planning and implementation of Phase 1 progress.
A petition opposed to the proposal was also circulated, garnering signatures from Carlington and non-Carlington residents. I forwarded that petition to the City Clerk and City Council officially received it this past Spring.
Please note, this matter was not originally destined to be heard by the committee. I have forced City staff to write a report and present it in a public forum for members of the public to attend and have their voices heard. I have ensured that the final decision is not decided upon by City staff or by myself, rather, a Committee of elected City Councillors, and ultimately, City Council itself. You are encouraged to attend the September 15, 2016 Community and Protective Services Meeting at City Hall. Residents will have an opportunity to speak at the committee by identifying their concerns and/or support for the proposal. If you are unable to attend the September 15 meeting (9:30am in the Champlain Room at City Hall), you can submit your comments in writing to the committee coordinator through my office. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
The report is now available on the city’s e-agenda at http://app05.ottawa.ca/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=6761&doctype=AGENDA.
If you do not have internet access, please call my office at 613-580-2486 for a copy.