Turtles Turtles everywhere!!! Stormwater Management Woes Continue for Developers

Building upon community concerns about bad planning expressed at the January 26th, 2012 Kanata North Ward meeting, the most recent Ward meeting, held on March 26th, 2012, saw over 200 local residents and many members of the SMH-CRC attended. The meeting  focused on municipal planning and environmental issues related to the South March Highlands. The ward counselor was in attendance accompanied by city engineering, planning and forestry staff. The results of the Shirley’s and Watts Creek Storm Water study, completed by AECOM in October, 2011 (and only released publicly after a determined access to information request) was presented by the study’s engineers. The presentation confirmed  findings that showed higher water levels in the Kizell and Beaver Pond areas than as per original design. The presentation also included information on the additional technical studies that will be needed to address the serious existing capacity issues and attempt to deal with any additional drainage requirements.

City staff presented the interim report on the Blanding’s Turtle Management Plan and provided information on a conservation plan for the Blanding’s turtles in the South March Highlands. A strong population of approximately 100 turtles makes it home in the area of the planned Urbandale and Richcraft housing development and in the city owned conservation forest north of the Terry Fox Drive Extension. As a threatened species the city’s efforts to ensure the protection of this key turtle population will be carefully watched.

An engaged and active audience posed several specific and well researched questions to the different  experts in attendance. While few clear answers were provided, most of the members of the public in attendance left the meeting with the very clear impression that all future developments in the areas of  KNL “Blocks 7 and 8″ (north of Kizell Pond and west of Goulbourne Forced Road) has been halted pending future study and approvals. A small reprieve in the constant assaults on this beautiful area. Time to organize, take stock and plan our next steps!!!

Next key dates:  The turtle conservation plan is expected in the fall of 2012 and the next phase of the AECOM study is expected in January 2013.



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