The Planning Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee voted 9 to 3 in favor to create a new community situated in the Carlsbad Springs (west of Hwy 417) area, setting the seed in the first stage of the development of a new community comparable to double the size of Blackburn Hamlet or Bells Corners, an urban area that will be 445 hectares for a future proposed urban expansion in south-east Ottawa. Choosing Tewin as a new community option would not commit the City and future Councils to subsequent expansions. Future councils however will be challenged to make more viable the extensive infrastructure and transit investments required to establish this option and also achieving the Five Big Moves. This option does create some unique opportunities that were not possible with the other options that were presented. But there was some controversy with this decision.
Developers stunned by recommendation to remove lands from boundary expansion to help Algonquins project. (Ottawa Citizen)
Several developers who own land in the South March area were set to have their high-scoring properties brought into the new urban boundary, only to be rejected by councillors.
Councillors blindsided four development companies on Tuesday by recommending the removal of high-scoring development land from inside a proposed urban boundary in the Kanata area so the Algonquins of Ontario can build a major residential community on low-scoring development land in the rural east.
A joint meeting of the planning and agriculture and rural affairs committee established which additional lands should be included in a shifted urban boundary to satisfy growth projections in a new official plan.
“The joint committee has taken a step backwards in their supposed step into the future with a new official plan. It has taken one of the biggest employment nodes and one of the only true 15-minute communities out of the equation that these same politicians drew up to start the process.”
Instead, councillors took the roughly 175 hectares of land and packaged it with 270 hectares that still needed to be slotted into the urban boundary, ultimately assigning the 445 hectares of land to the “Tewin” project pursued by the Algonquins of Ontario and Taggart Investments west of Carlsbad Springs.
Councillors heard that the land owned by the Algonquins of Ontario scored at the lowest end of the scale because of its far-flung location not near public transit and other municipal infrastructure.
But an important variable emerged.
The Algonquins of Ontario told the joint committee this week that the city should bring its lands inside the urban boundary, in part, in the name of Indigenous reconciliation. The group said it needed 500 hectares brought into the urban boundary.
Janet Stavinga, executive director of the Algonquins of Ontario, said the organization should still be able to proceed with its project with the 445 hectares.
There was a pronged approach to get the Algonquin lands into the urban boundary on Tuesday.
Coun. Eli El-Chantiry convinced the majority of the joint committee to remove the South March lands, which he argued are unsuitable for development, even though the lands received acceptable scores from city staff.
Tewin lands in south-east rural Ottawa:
The motion below was voted 9-3 in favor of the Tewin Lands on Jan 26, 2020:
Reconciliation and the Duty to Consult: Following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings in June 2015, and the 94 Calls to Action, the City of Ottawa made a formal commitment to reconciliation through the continued work of the Aboriginal Working Committee and the Reconciliation Action Plan. To work towards the City of Ottawa’s commitment to reconciliation, staff acknowledged the need to have a focused partnership with Indigenous communities as a priority for the new urban boundary expansion. The City is working towards reconciliation with the Algonquin Anishinaabe Host Nation and Ottawa’s urban Indigenous populations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. The City recognizes Indigenous cultures are diverse and distinct from each other, with their own histories, culture, values, symbols and spiritual traditions. Staff have participated in discussions with several different representative groups within Ottawa’s Indigenous communities. Discussions to date have focused on issues such as cultural recognition and acknowledgement, significant housing and employment challenges in the Indigenous populations, and opportunities for participation in economic development as the City grows.
From Tewin.ca website:
The Algonquins of Ontario have been working with the Taggart Group of Companies on a vision to build a community of 45,000 in Ottawa's rural south-east.(www.tanakiwin.com)
Proposed Tewin Lands situated between Boundary Rd (east) and Ramsayville Rd (west) in Carlsbad Springs (west of Hwy 417):
A once in a generation opportunity to create one of Canada’s most sustainable and innovative communities – Tewin: (from Tewin.ca website) "Now is the time for Ottawa to be bold, and embrace the creation of a new community based on Algonquin practices and teachings, to set a global example of sustainable community development, to enable the Algonquins of Ontario to more fully participate in the growth of the city, and to demonstrate the value of centering Algonquin practices in a large-scale, future-focused project. The opportunity at Tewin is unprecedented in the Canadian and international context, presenting the City of Ottawa with a chance to create one of the world’s most innovative, respectful, and sustainable new communities."
Ottawa’s next One Planet Living community - Tewin.ca website:
"The One Planet Living framework will ensure that Tewin is developed in a way that fosters social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Tewin will be a community rooted in Algonquin respect for the earth, driving towards a better future for people and the planet."
Lynn Clouthier, representing the Algonquin's presented to the Planning Committee explains the project and reasons why the area should become part of the urban expansion area:
Algonquins say their 'time is now'
The Algonquins of Ontario were the first to address councilors, and argued they should be allowed to develop a vast parcel of some 2,000 hectares in the rural south-east now, instead of waiting years longer. They have been working with developers Taggart on a sustainable community of up to 45,000 residents they call Tewin, and have held several meetings with the city. "Our time is now," said Lynne Clouthier, the negotiation representative for the Algonquins of Ontario. "Tewin is not just about a business deal for the Algonquins of Ontario. It is a matter of being included as people... who deserve a bright, healthy sustainable future for themselves and for future generations."
One concern is that City staff feels the property would have "very high" costs for servicing with water and sewers and want to do more study of Tewin as an option for a future community between now and 2026. The Algonquins of Ontario, disagree, and say they are backed by an experienced team and shouldn't be made to wait years longer.
Online video presentation to the Planning committee held on January 25:
The areas below in pink are "Algonquin" owned properties in Carlsbad Springs (west of Hwy 417):
But not all properties will be developed. The areas below (with lines in pink just west of Hwy 417) will be left as "natural areas" and not urbanized. According to the map below the main urban development will be situated between Ramsayville Road and Farmers' Way on Piperville Rd and down south towards Mitch Owens Road near the south community of Edwards, in south-east Ottawa.
Decisions on urban boundaries can often lead to legal wrangling and drawn-out disputes at the local planning appeal tribunal, but this time, whatever council decides for setting its new urban boundary on Feb. 10 cannot be appealed.