More Changes Coming to QTN: Update on Berms, Paths, and New Development

Planning Committee Report

Thank you for taking time to provide thoughtful suggestions and concerns on proposed plans for QTN, such as the proposed berms in Connaught Park, the paths that will connect us to future LRT stations, and the Lincoln Fields and Queensview surveys. Your feedback helps to get more serious attention to present issues and future plans for our community.

Connaught Park Berms: Revised Design & Update

Work on the berm plans continues. Feedback from residents showed that more residents supported having berms to mitigate the visual and noise impacts of the LRT than the original plan which had almost no mitigation measures except tree re-planting. A drainage study was completed and the plans for the berms were revised to address some concerns.

On June 24, a revision of the berm proposal was presented to several QTNca board members. Click here to view the revised berm presentation (slide 8) and a  high-resolution PDF of the concept. Please note that the proposed modifications are subject to change. They were made to address many resident concerns:

  • Drainage concerns;
  • Visual impacts of the LRT (e.g., fly-over, tunnel);
  • Noise impacts of the LRT (e.g., berm size, location, greenery);
  • Preservation of natural environment and replanting of trees/vegetation;
  • Quality of pathways (e.g., ease-of-access to LRT stations, local travel for groceries or school, safety issues, winter maintenance); and,
  • Active uses such as dog-walking, winter sledding, and other casual recreation uses.

This week we learned that the City is taking over leadership of the berm project. Instead of final plans coming soon from KEV, as expected, the process is delayed again. The impacts of the City taking over the project are uncertain. We will continue to advocate for strong measures to mitigate visual and sound impacts, ensure usable paths, and maintain trees and green space.

We will share final plans and updates on the process to keep everyone informed.

Multi-Use Pathways (MUPs)

Residents who copied us on their feedback were clear – the Queensview station connections to QTN are insufficient and changes are needed to make crossing Carling Avenue more safe. Many of the proposed improvements, such as connecting Queensview station to Severn Ave, are not funded. While they would improve access to the LRT, they may not be built as part of the Stage 2 LRT project, unless other funding is found.

We continue to insist on improved access to LRT as essential, along with improved pathways that allow residents to bike and walk to get services or for recreation. All residents can help to reinforce the importance of making these improvements now, without delay.

Queensview Drive – Impacts of the Official Plan

The City has changed its approach to planning for Queensview Drive. Plans for its future as a hub close to a LRT station will now be included in the new Official Plan which covers the whole city. We will not have the promised community consultation through the station study before major decisions are made that will impact QTN. The secondary plan, including QTN, will now address details later, after the Official Plan is adopted.

Expected changes include:

  • Mixed commercial/residential uses (currently employment area zoning)
  • High, medium, and low-rise buildings (specifics will be in draft plan)
  • Transit-oriented development (e.g., less parking, more pedestrian walkways)

The QTN planning committee has highlighted:

  • Community-oriented services, accessible by foot or bike
  • Well-designed transition between commercial areas and neighbourhood, including trees.
  • Noise reduction on south side of the neighbourhood
  • Issues relating to the one exit from Queensview Drive onto busy Pinecrest Avenue.

We hope to learn more about the options being considered by City Planning in late-Summer in order to host some form of discussion for residents prior to the tabling of the draft Official Plan this Fall.

Lincoln Fields & Carling Ave Redevelopment

Similar to Queensview Drive, plans for the Lincoln Fields Station/Carling Avenue area, as an LRT hub, will be included in the new Official Plan. The secondary plan, which will now deal with additional details, has been delayed until after the Official Plan. Expected changes include mixed commercial/residential uses and higher densities. For example, the proposed apartments on Richmond Road/Forest St/Bond St anticipate future development on the north side of QTN.

We have been told that further community discussions will occur this Fall. Earlier newsletters and a QTN submission on Lincoln Fields mall address impacts for QTN that we continue to raise. We are pushing for more community input early in the process. Watch for fall updates.

Sidewalks – Update on Connaught Ave, Henley St

QTN residents had early input into planning a pedestrian sidewalk or walkway on Connaught Avenue, during our annual Winter Carnival. City planners will re-engage the community with their final plans/options in the Fall. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.

We have learned that plans for a sidewalk/pedestrian path on the north side of Henley from Connaught to Alpine are being developed, as part of the sewer renewal project on Henley. We have flagged the significant drainage issues from Elmhurst Park onto Henley St which causes localized flooding year-round. We expect more specific plans and discussions this Fall.

Questions and Suggestions

We continue to advocate for action on the issues identified by QTN residents. We welcome your questions and suggestions and hope to host community discussion in early Fall – likely on-line due to COVID-19. We will continue to update you on each of the projects in QTN.

Sincerely,

Kathy Vandergrift, Chair of Planning Committee & Vice-President, QTNca
Simon Partridge, President, QTNca