Saturday, August 22, 2009


If there is one thing to be said about the brothers Wright - Wilbur and Orville - it is that they were progressive in their view of the world. Be not for them and their understanding of powered flight, we very well might still be flapping our arms waiting for some magic take-off.

It seems that here in Ottawa, objectors to Orville's namesake: A real estate development named "Orville Station", in the city's deep west end, have locked themselves into the notion somehow that our world isn't evolving quite as it should. To digress ever so briefly: In fact, well advanced into my 62nd year I am considerably offended by the suggestion from David Jenkins, of the Stittsville Village Association, that..."particularly seniors, don't like the design."

Okay! You ask - What the hell is he ranting about? To confess: I am intrigued by, and interested in the design of "Orville Station". It's a proposed 36-unit stacked condominium project in Stittsville, Ontario a west end Ottawa community. It has already received the blessing and approval of the City of Ottawa's planning staff as a pioneer in both the city's intensification goals and praiseworthy environmental standards. But...old notions die hard.

Thus the local City Council member, Shad Qadri, and a group of local reactionaries the "Stittsville Village Association" (obviously seriously in need of a hobby), are in cahoots to sink the project. Well surprise! The City of Ottawa is about to spend upwards of $30-billion on a light-rail subway transit system. It has the stated honourable goal of creating pedestrian friendly communities and creating a society that relies less on the automobile as a means of transportation. But beware: When a developer seeks to achieve those goals precisely...old fashioned ninnies it seems feel called to arms. Progress indeed: Just make sure, not in my backyard. Good Grief! this case: Stittsville's "Orville Station", all of the bellicosity over essentially a total of roughly 3 automobile parking spaces. Twenty first Century entitlement gone mad. If you don't like it move to Russia.

Little wonder that the project's proponents and supporters are appalled at the "Johnny come Lately" politically motivated attempts to block the project. The city's own double-speak on the matter is equally appalling. Developers innovate and play by the rules, and get shafted in the end (literally) for meeting design guidelines and award winning environmental standards....But Ottawa's Planning and Environment Committee is set to consider an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board of the city's own Committee on Adjustments' decision to give the go ahead to "Orville Station". Left hand - Right hand - Duh! Bureaucracy gone wild on the taxpayers' tab.

Let's face reality: As if our present environmental challenges are not quite sufficient proof. Some people apparently still need to be dragged into the 21st Century. I am not one of them and I resent my money being spent on frivolous legal arguments that date back to another era and time. I will gladly trade parking for innovative green spaces any day. Get the picture?

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