CARP – The Carp Road Corridor Business Improvement Area (BIA) says the City of Ottawa has clearly listened to the business area’s concerns as the re-writing of the Official Plan continues.
Earlier this year BIA board members started meeting with senior city officials to convey the area’s business and property owners’ priorities in advance of a major update to city planning and economic development.
“Along with assistance from our councillors we have met with city manager Steve Kanellakos, general manager Steve Willis, a few times, and manager of economic development John Smit,” BIA executive director Roddy Bolivar released in a statement today (Sept. 3). “Over the past year, a number of city staff have visited and become more familiar with the corridor. The reception from senior city staff has been very positive. For some of the business association priorities, city staff responses have changed from ‘no’ to ‘it’s not if, it’s when’ significant change will come to the corridor. While priorities such as municipal water or transit may still be some time off, the business association is no longer working against a no. We are now providing economic development justification for member priorities.”
Some messages BIA members want city staff to hear includes:
- “Municipal water would allow me to grow my business on my current site”
- “Transit would help me hire employees – one of my biggest constraints to growth”
- “I want to put up a sign to attract new customers but off site signage is not allowed in rural Ottawa”
- “Traffic congestion is growing and it is starting to have an impact on my business”
Bolivar says there are clear indications the city is listening.
“How do we know they are listening?” Bolivar said. “Last week city staff presented a document titled 5 Big Moves which include corridor priorities. The moves are the new directions staff say the city needs to move in order to maintain and grow business opportunity and quality of life in Ottawa. The 5 Big Moves are not the answers – they are major discussion points under which business and property owners can talk to the city. Some of the issues we have raised with the city are contained in these ‘big moves’ and give corridor owners and the business association a long sought opportunity to engage with the city.
The following list, provided by Bolivar, starts out of order with Big Move #5 because it is most relevant to the corridor. His comments follow the title:
#5: Economic Development as Part of Planning: New to the city is a plan to have economic development have a greater influence all planning decisions by putting economic development policies in the Official Plan. As the city grows, there are many new opportunities and pressures and continued economic development is a key to the city’s success. Under this “Big Move” the Corridor business association will bring forward how member issues are directly related to economic growth and success in the corridor (and since the corridor has the largest stock of vacant employment land in the city, success here is success for the city);
# 1: Growth Management Focused on Intensification: The city is placing a priority on directing growth to existing designated areas. The corridor is already designated for light industry development and has zoning in place. This “big move” will promote more new builds in the corridor;
#2: Sustainable transportation: Two elements of the city’s plans provide opportunity in the corridor. Sustainable transit will rely on an improved transit system which will attract users. The corridor, with more than 4,000 employees and right between growing Carp and Stittsville is an ideal target to promote sustainable transportation alternatives including transit. Also, the city’s plans include understanding and planning for efficient movement of goods. The corridor is already a goods movement hub and this priority will bring attention to the need for road improvements to ensure efficiency;
#3: Improve community design at all scales: The Carp Road business area is community zoned exclusively for light industry uses. This priority will bring attention to the lack of services in the corridor – a bank, a gas station, some convenience retails, professional services offices, restaurants – needed to make up a complete business community;
#4: Climate: Like many other cities, Ottawa is putting climate as a priority for the future. And like in other areas of Ottawa, the corridor is experiencing issues related to climate and city services. Two issues the corridor business association will advance on behalf of members is property drainage, protection of well water supplies and quality and the economic benefit of municipal water supply;
The city’s planning and economic projects can be viewed here. You can contribute your own comments on these directions to the business association, to the city at email@example.com and to Councillors Eli El-Chantiry (Eli.El-Chantiry@ottawa.ca) and Scott Moffatt (Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca).
Ninth Annual Nine and Dine
The annual business association Nine and Dine is an
opportunity to get to know your business neighbours. Each year a few of
the same and a bunch of new “golfers” join in for a very casual nine
holes of golf and, this year, a roast beef meal.
“Come along, and maybe invite your business neighbour as well,” Bolivar said. “Golf skills definitely not required.”
The ninth Annual Golf Nine and Dine at Irish Hills is Tuesday Sept. 17. The Meet and Greet starts at 2 p.m. and tee off is at 3 p.m.
There is a cost recovery fee to register. Thanks to the many sponsors who provide funding and prizes. Contact Roddy Bolivar early to make sure you get a good spot 613 314 7597or firstname.lastname@example.org