By: Joanne Lostracco
On 28 August residents of Old Ottawa East appeared before the City of Ottawa’s Planning Committee related to the approval of the Site Plan Control for Immaculata field and requested limited hours for the new intensive soccer complex recently installed at the school. Residents Hanya Soliman and Joanne Lostracco spoke on behalf of the many residents of the area that wrote in to express their concern with three soccer games being played simultaneously until 11:00 p.m. each evening and all weekend from April-November.
City of Ottawa staff in their report to the Planning Committee supported reduced hours ending at 9:00 p.m. every evening. The staff report did not speak to the intensiveness of the games making the activity more suited for a "major" institutional zone rather than a "minor" one, which is currently how Immaculata is zoned. In addition, the staff report didn't provided any disclosure of the City's failure to uncover that there was a 1993 Site Plan Control agreement for the field and that the City had initially and erroneously told the Ottawa Catholic School Board that no Site Plan Control approval was required.
Residents expressed support for Immaculata students but made it clear that the cost of the new sports complex was being borne disproportionately by Old Ottawa East residents since there are many homes within mere feet of the field. They requested activity on the field end at 8:30pm and start no later than 10:00 a.m. on weekends. Also appearing in support of this request was Phyllis Odenbach-Sutton, President of the Old Ottawa East Community Association as well as Shawn Menard, Candidate for Ward 17.
The Planning Committee voted in support of reduced evening hours ending at 9:00 p.m. The Ottawa Catholic School Board has indicated that they will appeal this decision, however at the time of this report no appeal has been filed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).
In the meantime, Counsellor Chernushenko has asked for the City of Ottawa to look into new regulations for the intensive use of soccer fields that are near to residential housing.