Saturday, 7 August 2010

Marianne's Folly - Kanata Lakes 40% Agreement


It seemed like a good deal - a developer agreeing to protect 40% of it's land as "greenspace" instead of the normally mandated 5%. It seemed like a good deal till you realize none of that land should be developed in the first place as it was all zoned as environmentally protected conservation lands. The only thing that made it seem like a good deal was the fact that developers rule in Ontario and have their own kangaroo court - the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to threaten communities, municipalities and environmentalists with.

We can argue till the proverbial cows come home whether the deal should have been made or whether the developers bluff should have been called and the original zoning defended by the cities of Kanata, Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton and City of Ottawa.

What we do know is that the agreement could not have been implemented in a worse way, resulting in very little actual environmentally sensitive land being protected and a private golf course being designated as "greenspace".

The first mistake was in designating the allegedly "protected" land as "greenspace" rather than environmentally important land. The second mistake was in not identifying the protected lands at the very beginning before any development took place in Kanata Lakes. And the third, and most important mistake, was in virtually letting the developer decide what was to be in the 40 of "greenspace", leading to such absurdities as the golf course being included in the "protected" lands.

So now we have an unsustainable corridor of protected land, surrounded by development and barely connected to the rest of the South March highlands . That is what we got for giving up the fight to protect all of the South March Highlands - folly indeed.

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