Updates to the Post made on 26 April are in Blue.
Summary: It appears that the cutting occurred in an area zoned for development, probably without proper regard for consulting MVCA or MNRF or telling the neighbours, but generally it is lawful.
This post is meant to provide information about the property near Hidden Lake Park where tree cutting started on 23 April 2018. Zoning Information is sourced from GeoOttawa and is current (confirmed).
First, the property consists of 35 acres (14 ha). In the map below, it is shown in blue. It has narrow road frontage on Carp Road shown in the bottom left. The property is next to Hidden Lake Park, shown in purple on the the right hand side.
There are three zonings on the property, which are outlined in RED:
- V2B – an L-shaped area where residences can be built,
- DR1 – development reserve, a pie-shaped area where residences can be built, and
- EP3 – environmental protection level 3 where a single residence can be built subject to various constraints.
The next map shows that the V2B and the DR1 areas fall within the Community Design Plan for the village of Carp – see the pink overlay. Combined with the zoning, these areas are available for development at a density consistent with other development in the village. (Note: The EP3 area does not fall within the CDP area.)
A Provincially Significant Wetland lies within the EP3 boundary. Permission of the conservation authority, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority in this case, must be given for any alteration of the wetland or any alteration of its hydrological function within120m of the wetland. Part of the DR1 zoned area falls within the 120m boundary. Councillor El-Chantiry has asked MVCA to visit the site to determine if there has been an impact on the wetland function.
The mica mine in Hidden Lake Park is located at the easternmost corner (right side) of the DR1 zoned area. Looking at the logged area on 25 April from this vantage point, it would appear (this is opinion, not a fact) that logging has cleared the V2B and DR1 portions.
This City has confirmed that is has not received a planning application for this property, and thus cannot regulate tree cutting. Ottawa’s Tree Conservation Bylaw only applies to the urban area and Carp lies outside the urban boundary.
So, what can we conclude?
- Development of V2B and (part of) DR1 was a given. Trees were going to be removed sometime.
- Since there is currently no planning application, the City has no authority over the removal of the trees.
- If there is no alteration of the wetland’s hydrological function within the 120m area, then there is no violation of regulations.
What’s in questions are:
Where? Hidden Lake is a known nesting area for Species at Risk (SAR) Blanding’s turtles (Threatened status). Under the Endangered Species Act, habitat cannot be damaged or destroyed, but the guidelines are flexible and require quite a bit of on-the-ground knowledge about the extent of the population and its habits in the area.
When? At the federal level the Migratory Bird Act comes into play as we’re into nesting season. In addition, the City has a Protocol for Wildlife Construction during Construction, but this does not apply to this property since there is no planning application.
How? (This is speculation) It is likely that the clearing of this property has been done without consultation with MVCA or MNRF. Permission from the City was not required.
Who? We want to make clear that the owner of this property is NOT the owner of the Hidden Lake property where the new house is being built behind Charlie’s Lane. Please see our Post about Hidden Lake.
This is all the information we have at this point. Updates will be made as more information becomes available.