#ParksNotParking: A Community Protest to Save Besserer Park -UPDATED

posted in: Upcoming Events

Join Action Sandy Hill on Thursday, September 9 between 4:30 and 6 p.m. as we voice our opposition to a proposed road opening through Besserer Park, one of our neighbourhood’s few public greenspaces. Please also consider signing our petition to Ottawa City Council.

The road would serve solely to access three private parking spaces for a proposed low-rise apartment development at 244 Fountain Place.

Where is Besserer Park? Check out Google Maps.

This street extension violates the City’s own secondary plans for the area, which de-legitimizes the entire purpose of the Official Plan (meant to set guidelines for development). It also reduces the park land available to residents at a time when greenspace has never been more important for physical and mental well-being. The pandemic has shown how essential public greenspaces are to communities, particularly in Sandy Hill where few residents have private backyards.

Besserer Park may be small, but reducing its size sets a dangerous precedent: that a developer can request use of public park space for private gain—and have that request granted by the City.

In the coming days we will be launching a petition to record community opposition to sacrificing park land for parking spaces. Stay tuned!

With several hundred new apartments and condos under construction or proposed for Rideau Street, now is the time to stand up for our greenspace and smart intensification. ASH has sent a letter to Mayor Jim Watson, City Council, and other City officials expressing its concerns (see the letter below).

On Thursday, September 9 join us in Besserer Park for light snacks, music, and community conversation. Speeches will start at 5 p.m. and members of the ASH board will be on site to answer questions.

All participants are requested to wear a mask to this event and respect physical distancing guidelines.
Photos from the event (click to enlarge)
Please spread the word! Download the poster here.

From: Jim Watson (Mayor/Maire) 

7-Sep-2021

Good Afternoon Ms. Khazaeli,

Thank you for your letter. I have followed up with staff on this file and understand that the Site Plan and road opening is currently on hold. The applicant is reviewing their original proposal due to cost and as the result of community consultation and opposition. The applicant have yet to provide a revised concept to the City, but staff will follow up to confirm that they are still planning on proceeding without the proposed parking in this location.

I would like to thank you for reaching out to my office on this issue and I would suggest you reach out to Douglas James (copied), Manager of Development Review, if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,

Jim Watson

Mayor

City of Ottawa


From: Susan Khazaeli, Action Sandy Hill (ASH) Community Association, President

16-Sep-2021

Good morning Mayor Watson, Douglas and Kimberley.

Thank you all for your responses.

Action Sandy Hill has been able to garner over 640 signatures (and counting) in opposition to the applicant’s plan to encroach on public park space.

Attached [below] you will find ASH’s response to the City’s announcement that the plans have been paused. While we are heartened by the news that the developer is considering revising the application, we also understand that nothing has yet been formalized. As such, we will continue our opposition to any plan that in any way threatens or diminishes green space.

With kind regards,

Susan Khazaeli, PhD
Action Sandy Hill (ASH) Community Association, President

Besserer Park - follow-up letter for City