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LeBreton wish list includes park, day care, affordable housing

LeBreton wish list includes park, day care, affordable housing

The City of Ottawa has determined what it will build at LeBreton Flats as the leading federal state develops in the coming years, including a large new city park near the Ottawa River, affordable housing and a child care center.

The National Capital Commission intends to develop the large site west of the center over many years and phases.

The city’s new central library is already being built there, but a community group has pushed for too many more so-called societal benefits to go along with new housing in such an important part of the city. Some of it will be in NCC’s control.

The municipality also has a role there. In a report submitted to the planning committee on September 23, the staff detailed what facilities the city needs and how to get the money to pay for them.

The wish list includes a 2.5-acre city park at Nepean Inlet complete with a sports field with artificial turf, basketball and pickleball courts, playgrounds and a splash board, a permanent outdoor skating rink, skateboard park, dog park and community building with changing rooms.

Staff are linking the park to $ 6.25 million in current dollars, with an additional $ 3 million to the community building, and would intend to build the park section when a quarter of the expected 4,000 homes in LeBreton are in place.

Recreational staff in the city of Ottawa have created a preliminary design for what could be included in a future city park at LeBreton Flats. (City of Ottawa)

A special development fee or tax on tax bills may be required to build the park, staff say. They have used such tools in other parts of the city, including light rail in Riverside South and the Stonebridge golf course in Barrhaven.

The need for affordable housing comes up in many discussions about the future of LeBreton Flats, and policies require 25 percent of the units to be affordable, city staff say. This can be done by offering land to non-profit groups for a small amount or requiring units from developers.

City staff also see the need for a new child care center in LeBreton Flats, whether it is built by the city or a non-profit organization. They plan to report back to council members next spring after further investigation into the idea.

There is a longer wish list developed by the city during a workshop with the community, and it is attached to the staff report in a large grid, although it is not clear how these topics would be built.

The longer list includes federal parks plus everything from trails and communal gardens to grocery stores and space for nonprofits.

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