City council approves CFB Rockcliffe redevelopment (Alex Robinson, Ottawa East News)

City council has approved the mammoth redevelopment of the CFB Rockcliffe lands, which will create a new neighbourhood that will eventually bring 10,000 new residents to the area.

“It will be an exciting day for many people who have been eagerly anticipating the approval of this very ambitious project,” Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Tobi Nussbaum said at a council meeting on Oct. 14.

“It could really give us an exciting and visionary opportunity to build new residential areas.”

City council unanimously passed the project, which will create a new subdivision with 6,000 new homes.

The site for the development is the former home of a Canadian Forces base in the east end. The large parcel of land is bounded by the Ottawa River to the north, Montreal Road to the south, Blair Road to the east and the Aviation Parkway to the west.

The mixed-use development will include a diverse array of buildings, including low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise structures. The new community will have schools, a main commercial strip and a network of paths for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We’re going to realize the ambitious vision in the Community Design Plan and work hard not to water down that vision,” Nussbaum said.

Nussbaum said the biggest challenge with the development going forward will be to ensure transit infrastructure keeps up with the needs of what will become a growing community.

Figuring out how to link the development to the Confederation Line, the east-west section of Ottawa’s Light Rail Transit project, will be very important, Nussbaum has said. The station at Blair Road will likely be the closest.

The community will be developed over  the course of 15 to 20 years, meaning the 10,000 new residents will move in gradually, which Canada Lands Company hopes will lessen their impact on the area’s transit system.

The Canada Lands Company, a crown corporation that is overseeing the development, first announced the former military base was going to be developed in 2006.

Canada Lands then launched an extensive consultations process over a number of years before it submitted its application to the city this summer. It initially presented three possible designs for the new neighbourhood, but ultimately decided to use the best elements of all of them based on comments from residents, representatives for the corporation said.

City council approved the zoning amendments needed for the project to go forward at its meeting on Oct. 14.

Canada Lands expects work on the development will start in late 2015 and the first residents will start moving into the site in 2017.

For more information on the development, go to clcrockcliffe.ca

Source: Ottawa East News