Greening Lansdowne Park by Paving Greenbelt Forests.

Next Wednesday, September 1st 2010 the City’s Committee of Adjustment will be considering an application for a “Minor Variance” that would allow more than 28 acres of existing forest in the Greenbelt to be destroyed and replaced with a 2,000 car parking lot and Exhibition Hall.

Our city has already accepted a proposal from the Shenkman Corporation to build a 220,000 square foot exhibition hall and massive parking along Uplands Drive near the airport (Link to the June 1st report here).   From the report:

“The construction of a new Exposition Hall Facility, as proposed by Shenkman, will not only solve the problem of lack of contiguous exposition hall space that has significantly limited the ability of the trade and consumer show industry to grow in Ottawa, but will also allow the City to pursue its ‘greening” objectives for Lansdowne Park”

Lansdowne Park currently has a total of 96,400 square feet of exhibition space and since most of it will be replace with shopping, hotels and condos this Exhibition Hall project seems to be packaged in with Lansdowne’s Partnership Plan.

While I understand that the NCC has marked the proposed area for development, after touring the proposed building site you can’t help but wonder why the Exhibition Hall needs to be built in an existing forest when there is acre upon acre of manicured green lawn just across the road.

Construction is due to be completed by December 2011.  So while our attempts to Green Lansdowne may be just, it is somewhat ironic that constructing a 2,000 car parking lot in the existing forests of our greenbelt.

p.s. Other Contacts:

City of Ottawa’s Lead Planner for the Exposition Hall Facility Project:

Simon M. Deiaco, MCIP RPP
City of Ottawa
Planner II
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
Planning and Growth Management Branch
t: (613) 580-2424 Ext. 15641
f: (613) 560-6006
e-mail: Simon.Deiaco@ottawa.ca

UPDATE #1: It looks like Spacing Ottawa has picked up on the story and is getting some good comments!

UPDATE #2: Metro Ottawa has picked up the story as well.  (Thank you Tim!)