Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Reid Park - over to the planners

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I'm very pleased to say this morning that we're at a point in discussions about Reid Park where we can turn over the final vision to the planners. In May, it became clear after discussions with residents that we needed further consultations to arrive at a plan for the park with opportunity for everyone to have meaningful input. Since then, I and my staff have been working with consultant Wesley Petite to host workshops and solicit input around what the community would like to see. In late November, we posted his report with the outcome of those consultations. The feedback I've gotten is that his report was an excellent reflection of the work that residents did around building something approaching a consensus.

Today, I'm sending the attached document to our park planners to begin the process of planning for the community's requests. It is a very big change from the field house that was originally proposed, but I think the improvements we're asking for will have a more meaningful impact on residents' ability to enjoy the park on a day-to-day basis. The only significant change from what Wesley recommended is that I'm seeking a clearer demarcation for the area intended for dogs. Many of the details will still need to be worked out, and there will continue to be choices to be made. My commitment is to continue consulting with the community when we have important choices to make. My hope is that many of the items will begin this spring and summer. We have every reason to believe that, with the money set aside in the previous term of Council, that this plan is realistic and achievable.

Take a look at the document. I'm thrilled that we'll soon begin making it a reality. I'd also like to add that I've found this process helpful and useful. As residents are coming to learn, I'm a hands-on councillor. It was a leap of faith for me to turn this over to professional facilitation, but I'm glad I did. My thanks go to all the residents for their generosity in engaging with this, the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association on which we leaned (as always) heavily for guidance, and particularly to Wesley for his assistance with the project. When the right opportunity arises, I will take the same approach again to the extent that my budget allows.

Posted January 12, 2016