The consortium selected to build Ottawa’s new light rail system has backed down from using greenspace on Lees avenue as one of its staging areas.

Members of the Ottawa East community were told that 160 Lees avenue was slated to be rezoned to accommodate 362 parking spots and a staging area for the light rail construction. The lot would be in place for three years.

“It's kind of going to be a problem because there's nowhere else to go because we're already downtown so it's all streets. It's the only real green space around,” says Mataya Timbrell who lives next door.

Timbrell says she takes her dog to the park everyday which is filled with families during the summer.

Ottawa mayor Jim Watson says the parking is to replace spots being displaced from the University of Ottawa.

“There are still people who need to park cars. And when we're staging the site we want to make sure the staging is safe and secure and not going to endanger anyone,” says Watson.

The Rideau Transit Group made the decision today not to use the greenspace as a staging area significantly reducing the footprint on the greenspace. A temporary parking lot is still slated from the location.

Ward councillor David Chernushenko says there is an argument to be made to make the proposed parking lot much smaller as the lot at the University of Ottawa only help 230 spots.

“We'll be able to find something that can work for everyone. Even if it's not ideal for the convenience of construction on one side, or we don't want any of it on our fields on the other side,” says Chernushenko.

A public meeting is being held Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Old Town Hall on 61 Main Street.

The motion for the rezoning is scheduled at the city’s Planning Committee on January 14, 2013.

With a report from CTV's John Hua