In an article published in the Ottawa Sun, I noted that the Overbrook Community Association is still torn over the auto shop expansion proposal. The Association supports the auto shop concept and considers Bel-Air to be a good corporate citizen. The company consulted with residents before submitting an application to the city. But, the community association stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the city's planning department in opposing the land use. Association president Rawlson King said it's about sticking up for the city's vision for McArthur Ave. and not allowing spot rezoning.
Every community wants a quaint main street, but even the association questions if McArthur Ave. can be turned into one. "There's that long-term vision and there's reality, and the reality is it's more of an arterial street," King said. "If council decides to do spot planning that goes against the approach that's outlined in the official plan, then what's the point of it being designated a traditional main street?" Still, the community association needs to support the vision described in the planning documents, King said.
The Overbrook Community Association reluctantly opposed the application for the construction of a car repair facility on McArthur Avenue because of the road's designation as a traditional main street.
It was a challenge for us to oppose the application, since we consider Bel-Air Lexus-Toyota a good corporate neighbour who actually wants to work with us.
Ultimately I told the Ottawa Community News that the Association had to agree with staff’s recommendation to uphold the Official Plan, since it seems to happen so rarely.
“We really feel conflicted,” King said in the article. “This is when long-term planning confronts economic development. Do you really want to stop a project that makes jobs, that makes sense? I’m personally not surprised that they would have approved the rezoning. In the interest of economic development they would want to move forward with this type of zoning.”