By Ben Flood
Community Meeting #6 was primarily focused on two topics.
First, the developer gave a presentation on the latest layout, complete with a color rendering showing the locations of various uses, open space areas, approximate building heights and road network. He also touched on the phasing sequence of the project, which involved the development of the internal retail area first, in order to create “a place” and get the overall project to critical mass so that the first phase of development could survive on its own as future phases might not be constructed for some time afterwards. The developer highlighted some of the changes from the previous layout shown in an earlier meeting based on the Advisory Group and community comments. The largest revision to the plan included the placement of retail along Calvert Street.
The second part of the meeting had the City providing an update on their latest plan for Jefferson Park. They presented a generic color rendering of possible improvements which they have tried to align with the Developers latest plan. Improvements involved a clean-up, instead of an overhaul, of the existing park. Notable improvements included an expanded dog exercise area which would potentially be fenced in, improvements to the existing drainage area on the north end near Raymond Ave and an opening of the connection near Stewart Ave. Additionally, the City mentioned they would remove invasive plants and replace with non-invasive species.
Finally, the issue of connectivity was intertwined throughout the entire meeting. While the City urged that questions and discussions regarding connectivity be held until the next meeting, which shall take place on Oct. 27th (location to be determined), the topic was clearly on the minds of the community members who attended. Community members who feel strongly about this issue should absolutely attend the next meeting, where the focus of the conversation will be connectivity. However, the City and developer did make some statements worth nothing. First, the developer on several occasions, stood behind statements made in the past that their plan does not call for a vehicular connection (or any connection for that matter) at Stewart Ave through Jefferson Park nor does the plan in general require a connection at that location to be viable. The developer’s plan also does not speak to any improvements within the public space of the Jefferson Park, only within their property which borders the park. The City noted that they are working on a transportation study of the area which will be presented at the next meeting. As part of that study, they have explored a vehicular connection through the Jefferson Park onto Stewart. This should in no way be interpreted that a connection at that location is favored by the City. To this day, they have not made any indication as to what connection options are more favorable than others, just that they are studying those identified by the advisory group and community discussions as worth further exploration.
For more details, visit the City of Alexandria Oakville planning site: