Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is the National Capital Commission removing the Equestrian Park from the Greenbelt?

  According to a federal law called "The National Capital Act" (1985), the National Capital Commission has the power to give away, sell, lease or transfer any property that is owned by the Crown corporation.
     During the mid 1990's, the NCC planned to remove the Greenbelt Riding School and the Conroy Pit from the Greenbelt.(See: "NCC Revises Master Plan for Greenbelt" by Heather Burke-March 1996.)
     A foundation connected to high-tech entrepreneur Terry Matthews is leasing the 269-acre National Capital Equestrian Park and the 200-acre former Ottawa Municipal Campground, from the NCC.
     According to the document "Submission - 1996 Greenbelt Master Plan Amendment - 401 and 411 Corkstown Road Ottawa- (January 23, 2013):
for 401 Corkstown Road:

  • a major renewal and expansion of the equestrian facility,
  • the addition of seven full and nine mini sized sports fields as a new complimentary use to the equestrian centre.
for 411 Corkstown Road:
  • renewal and addition to the municipal campground site including the Forest School Canada components of the Wesley Clover Foundation Greenbelt Stables Outdoor Recreation and Learning Centre Proposal.
If the City of Ottawa refuses to rezone the properties (from GR - Greenbelt Rural Zone to Commercial), the NCC could appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The Conroy Pit (110 ha.) is an abandoned sand pit, with recreational integration and development potential. (See: "NCC - Greenbelt Master Plan Background"- 1996 -pdf Page 4.)
A real estate company called Claridge Homes is building two residential developments on Conroy Road in Ottawa:
Hunt Club Estates - located at Conroy and Johnston roads.
Hunt Club Flats - 72 condo units at 3249 Conroy Road.
Thanks to the apathetic or otherwise distracted people of Ottawa, the NCC will eventually sell/ privatize the following properties:
  1. Lands east of Conroy Road and south of Hunt Club.
  2. Isolated parcel bounded by Highway 416, Richmond and Baseline Roads.
  3. Site at southwest corner of West Hunt Club and Woodroffe Avenue.
  4. Isolated parcel on west side of 417; open field with scattered shrubs and small trees.
  5. The study team was also requested to consider a fifth parcel for other uses, that consists of the lands located at the southeast corner of Carling and Moodie, extending south from Carling to Highway 417 and west from Moodie Drive to the Greenbelt boundary bordering the Crystal Bay Community." (See: "Greenbelt Master Plan Review-Phase 1-Step C-Land Use Concept - January 2012". Page 17 and Page 21.)
 A federal government committee was critical of NCC real estate transactions, and made several recommendations, including:
RECOMMENDATION 1
We recommend that the National Capital Commission develop a meaningful public consultation process which would apply to either the disposal or change of use of property held by the Commission.

RECOMMENDATION 2
We recommend that the Treasury Board rescind its 1991 Real Asset Management Funding Strategy as it relates to the National Capital Commission and that monies received by the Commission for the sale of surplus assets be directed to the Consolidated Revenue Fund as these were assets held for all Canadians.
(See: "The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance - Nineteenth Report"; Chairman Lowell Murray, June 13, 2003.)


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