From today's Citizen. You might want to pitch in your two cents.
Public asked for Lansdowne input Glebe association sets up web survey on future of park Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2007
With the city inching toward redeveloping Lansdowne Park, the Glebe Community Association is seeking early public input on what should be done with the site.
The association has created an online survey, and is asking people from across Ottawa to take it.
"We're trying to get people thinking about this," association president Bob Brocklebank said. "We think it's important and that there's a lot to discuss, and we want to get the conversation started."
The survey asks people whether they think the park should be redeveloped at all and whether it should remain a public place or have some private sector development. It also seeks opinions on what buildings should stay on the site, if development should be linked to a football team, what uses the future site should have, and whether or not a design competition is the right way to go.
The survey, which can be found on the association's website (glebeca.ca), will run for a month, and Mr. Brocklebank said the results will be made public and turned over to the city.
He also said the association will be holding a meeting on the issue in November and people from across the city are encouraged to attend.
Redevelopment of the site has become a hot issue in the past few weeks.
Alta Vista Councillor Peter Hume and Capital Councillor Clive Doucet, in whose ward the park sits, propose having designers and developers from across the world submit ideas for the park.
City staff are working on guidelines for such a competition, judging criteria, public input and budget, but council has not yet approved the idea.
After the idea was put forward, Mayor Larry O'Brien revealed he had been talking with a group of Ottawa developers about a plan that would include bringing a Canadian Football League franchise back to the city and turning over almost all of the park to private development.
Since then, other developers have expressed interest in redeveloping the site.
Yesterday, the Central Canada Exhibition Association, which runs the annual summer fair at the park, also weighed in.
In a statement, association president David Presley said "extensive public consultation," including talks with his group, should take place before the city decides what to do.
"Our elected representatives and others should keep in mind the longstanding tenants who use the facilities on an annual basis and who contribute to the bottom line of the park," he said.
He said his group feels it needs to be kept in the loop in order to plan for the future. "SuperEX and Lansdowne Park have a very deep history together -- one that would be a shame to end prematurely," he said.
Mr. Hume and Mr. Doucet say the key to any redevelopment will be public support for whatever option is chosen.
"We need to find out what people are really interested in seeing there," Mr. Hume said. "If we don't determine that, a plan won't have much chance of succeeding."
Mr. Doucet agrees.
He said he's been getting a lot of response from people he represents and others from around the city, and that so far, the "overwhelming response is people want to see it kept a public place.
"They don't want Lansdowne Park condominiumized," he said. "They want to keep it a place for the public to enjoy."
© The Ottawa Citizen 2007