On July 23, 2015, City Clerk and Solicitor Rick O'Connor sent a memo to the members of Council, informing them that the charges against Metcalfe Realty and Ottawa Valley Tree Experts had been withdrawn, by decision of the City Prosecutor.
The memo gives no substantive reasons for why the evidence did not meet the Prosecutor's criteria for proceeding to trial. In the last paragraph, however, it states:
"...in May 2015, a determination was made that lands in question did not meet criteria for the designation of significant woodlands. The Prosecutor was advised that the Planning and Growth Management Department did not consider the lands to be a natural heritage system feature under City Official Plan Policy 3.11(7b). That said, the alleged tree cutting did not have a bearing upon these determinations, nor did these determinations have any bearing on the charges being laid or the subsequent decision to withdraw the charges."
Of course not. Here is a June 2 letter from Nick Stow confirming the non-status of this woodlot. We expect to receive a written rationale of this decision.
For a July 24, 2015 Ottawa Citizen story on this by David Reevely and Patrick Smith, go here.
Following a public meeting called by the City on June 25, 2015, the Greenspace Alliance sent in its comments.
Canada Lands Company is commended for its public consultation process and its generous designation of parkland, among other things. We do feel that more effort could be made to retain existing trees and that park amenities should be more respectful of the existing vegetation. We argue for an additional section of the Community Design Plan that would set out a number of "green" goals for future development on this land.
The documents pertaining to CLC's applications can be found here:
Official Plan Amendment D01-01-15-0001
Zoning By-law Amendment D02-02-15-0027
Plan of Subdivision D07-16-15-0003