Doucet threatens legal action to block Lansdowne
Perhaps one of the greatest opponents to the deal to redevelop Lansdowne Park is threatening legal action to kill the project.
Coun. Clive Doucet left the council table before the final vote late Monday night. Now, he says he's considering taking the case to court. An Ontario Municipal Board challenge also seems likely.
Although council approved the deal by a vote of 15-9, there is still lots of work to be done, including zoning and site plan approval.
After 13 hours of debate, council approved the project by a margin that mirrored the first vote held in November.
"We're building a city for the 21st century. We're looking forward and the only thing more important than the past for this council appears to be the future," said Mayor Larry O'Brien.
In favour: Shad Qadri, Maria McRae, Glenn Brooks, Marianne Wilkinson, Eli El-Chantiry, Steve Desroches, Jan Harder, Rob Jellett, Bob Monette, Gord Hunter, Peter Hume, Doug Thompson, Rainer Bloess, Rick Chiarelli, Larry O'Brien
Opposed to the plan: Christine Leadman, Georges Bedard, Michel Bellemare, Diane Deans, Jacques Legendre, Diane Holmes, Clive Doucet, Peggy Feltmate, Alex Cullen
On the streets of Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood reaction to the redevelopment plans was mixed.
"I think it's been an eyesore for too long and while there may be some details in this plan that might not suit everyone, that it's far better to have some action on this," said Shawn Murray.
"I'm very concerned about traffic and parking. For 67's games and other events at the Civic Centre right now, the streets are just full of traffic and I'm concerned with more development that there'll be more," added Peter Mossop.
The plan, put forward by Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, will renovate Frank Clair Stadium, and build 350,000 square feet of commercial retail space at the site. It will also build 250 housing units, and develop an urban park on Lansdowne's front lawn.
"I think it's a big step forward for a major project. A major city asset that's been left to deteriorate for a very, very long period of time," said developer Roger Greenberg.
Although council has plenty of information about plans to renovate the park, councillors won't see final details of the site plan until November, after the Oct. 25 municipal election.
Council pored over nearly 50 motions to alter the project on Monday. Some tweaks to the plan include:
- giving the city a special rate to host its own events at the venue;
- the promise that a pro-football team will be signed to Ottawa within 90 days;
- preserving Sylvia Holden Park, located at the current site.
The stadium itself will be rent-free to developers for 30 years. Taxpayers would contribute nearly $173 million to the project, while developers will pay $117 million.
Unless the newly elected council chooses to re-open the debate, Ottawa is expected to have a new stadium at the park by 2013.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Norman Fetterley