Letter: Langstaff development will change face of village

To the Editor,

Times are a’ changing, of that there is no doubt and with it, so too will forever be the face of our village.

Yes, change is inevitable and to quote our councillor, Eli El-Chantiry, “It will happen.” But it is our responsibility to see this change happens in the best way possible for all concerned but, more importantly, that it happens in accordance with the will of the people.

Recently we were a part of a public information meeting designed to inform residents of the scope and intention for the development of one of the few remaining, precious green spaces in the village. The draft plan proposal appeared in West Carleton Online a few weeks ago. Much dissatisfaction and concerns were raised by residents in response to this and previous releases of the proposal. The existing residential pockets in Carp are jewels well designated and designed to make the village unique and appealing. Most were hoping to learn more substantive information regarding the detail about the project. From all accounts the briefing was very short and incomplete, leaving residents wanting to learn more about its’ desirability.

 Rental properties of the proposed scope leave many feeling uneasy. We are all familiar with rental developments in other communities. What begins with promises and integrity by the builder often leads to undesirable consequences. Understandably, the developers have a dream and a vision of a “beautiful 55+ community.” This, however, is not shared by the locals, nor the residents who face the property and live in the real, daily world on Langstaff and observe first hand the ever-increasing steady flow of speedy traffic using Langstaff as the main access and exit route. Add to this the school traffic congestion and overflow of school parking vehicles on both sides of the road as far down as the soccer field with the arrival of visitors driving to engage in community activities.

 What we do not need, as voiced by many during the meeting, is higher density and further traffic in this segment of Langstaff nor on other main routes. Little was done to appease the anxiety voiced regarding this concern. The city traffic manager has never visited the actual area to gather traffic flow information to discover first-hand the impact on the local school, West Carleton Medical Centre and the neighbourhood, wasn’t familiar with the traffic study itself and relied on traffic data that was collected on a week day in mid-August. How can these facts in any way be used to evaluate the impact of the traffic from the development?

Given the fact the Village of Carp is reluctant and slow to desire change as it affects the tranquility, beauty and face of the community nestled between much loved and utilized green spaces, forests, agricultural land this proposal smacks of altering forever what makes Carp the desirable community it is currently. The interpretation of the village design plan is from a developer’s highly subjective point of view and it definitely flies in the faces of the massive number of residents who put money in to Buy the Village Green.

To all residents who have been here for generations or those returning home to raise families or new folk who have selected Carp as their ideal place to reside, it is your time to voice your concerns, visions, your hopes for the future of the village. This is our time to put our heads, hearts, insights together to gift our community with an awesome plan for moving into the future. Carp needs your involvement now.  Whatever we create today will be our legacy for tomorrow.   

Glenda Longworth,