The following letter was sent to us by Spacing Ottawa reader Jason Garlough, who is a member of City of Ottawa’s Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee:
“On 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 lot along Uplands Drive near the airport. From the City’s 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 replaced with shopping, hotels and condos, this Exhibition Hall project seems to be contigent on the Lansdowne Live Development.
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. Surely it is ironic that the City would consider a proposal that would replace a large patch of existing forest with a parking lot & hall, all in pursuit of greening a small patch of Lansdowne.”