Here's a bit of good news. It looks like some Ottawa politicians have realized that nothing will happen with Lansdowne park if they leave it up to this stupid design competition. Better to deal with the owners behind closed doors, get the CFL team all set ASAP.
Glebe group upset over stalled Lansdowne process
Jake Rupert , The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Monday, June 02, 2008
[url=http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/city/story.html?id=9fcd6e9a-b269-446d-b96e-5b131d5b7007]http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/new ... 131d5b7007[/url]
[i]OTTAWA - Members of the Glebe Community Association are angry the "open and transparent" process the city was following to determine the future of Lansdowne Park is stalled while municipal officials deal directly and privately with three developers who won a conditional CFL franchise for the city.
Association president Bob Brocklebank said the city was doing the right thing by holding an international design competition that was heavy on public consultation and openness throughout the process, and that to stop it to hold private conversations with developers, is a "major step backwards" because it is exactly what residents of the city said they don't want.
Indeed, results of a city survey of citizens on what to do with the park show strong support for a publicly owned project, not connected to fixing up Frank Clair Stadium. The survey found redevelopment of the park should not be contingent on having a professional sports franchise, that fixing the crumbling stadium in exchange for development rights to the site is unacceptable; and that only a slight majority of participants favour retention of the stadium at all.
Despite this, two weeks ago, city officials put a halt to their redevelopment process to deal with the developers and their potential football team before the municipality decides how to proceed.
The conditional franchise was awarded to the group contingent on them having an appropriate stadium to play in. Frank Clair Stadium is crumbling and the city has no plans to fix it up.
In a memo to council on why the competition was stopped, the deputy city manager of planning, transit and the environment Nancy Schepers said the municipality needs to know several things from the group. These include whether they need only Frank Clair Stadium and the Civic Centre, or if they expect additional lands for development, parking or other uses, and whether they expect or require any form of financial contribution from the city.
Councillor Peter Hume said the questions have been put to this group, but it hasn't given answers yet.
This is the same group of developers that gave the city an unsolicited proposal for a 100-per-cent private redevelopment of Lansdowne Park last year while pledging to try to bring a football team back to Ottawa. Recently, members of the group have said they're it is not trying to win a preferential position to develop the park by bringing CFL football back to the city where it's failed twice in 15 years.
Mr. Brocklebank said his group is mad because the public has clearly said development at the park shouldn't linked to football.
"They believe public ownership and control of the entire site needs to be maintained," he said. "If these are the findings of the city-run public consultations, why is the city ignoring their wishes and going back to Plan A - back room discussions and decisions made with developers? This is not in the public's interest.
"We have one chance to do this right. It would be a shame if we blew it. We hope the City will open those doors once more so that the public is fully informed - and consulted - every single step of the way. It's the right thing to do."
Capital Councillor Clive Doucet said he has the same concerns as the association, and the situation prompted Mayor Larry O'Brien to question whether or not the city wants or needs a sports stadium on the prime real estate site at all.
He said he thinks the municipality should have a world-class sports facility, but that he's not sure anymore that it should be at Lansdowne Park.[/i]