Need For Commercial Growth Comes With Residential Growth

By David Brown, Ward 21 Councillor

On July 31st, my office was pleased to host a community information session for residents of Manotick regarding the proposed commercial development at 5646-5650 Manotick Main. Many in the community may have heard of this proposal as it is the one involving the development of a Starbucks and car wash.

At the community meeting, residents had the opportunity to ask questions of Fotenn, who is representing the developer, and discuss the development proposal with me and my office. With changes introduced by the provincial government, these kinds of information sessions are no longer required. I hosted the event because I believe that providing residents of Manotick with the opportunity to voice their opinions was important. Moreover, representatives of the developer are not required to attend these sessions. I want to thank Jillian, Jacob, and Daniel from Fotenn for making themselves available to answer tough questions and address community concerns.

Over the course of the evening, roughly 50 residents attended. Many had pointed questions about the development, with concerns including traffic, wastewater management, site use, trees and fences, and much more. Of these concerns, traffic was the largest one raised and the one most frequently raised by those who have contacted my office.

I believe that measures can be introduced to better manage traffic on Manotick Main as part of the proposed development. In particular, I would be supportive of a Northbound left turn lane being added to Manotick Main near the site, as this will reduce traffic congestion and will reduce the risk of drivers becoming impatient and driving erratically. Additionally, as there is soon to be a roundabout at Bridgeport and Main, I would also support having the exit of the site be a right hand turn only, routing Northbound drivers leaving the site to the roundabout rather than having them cut through traffic.

I have raised these points with the developer. I have also shared with the developer some of the concerns from the community with respect to noise and privacy from the site, and provided some suggestions as to how to best ensure that these concerns are properly mitigated as part of the site plan.

While these concerns are worth consideration, I believe it is worth keeping in mind that, since the project was first proposed, I have heard a roughly equal amount of support and opposition to the project, including support from some residents who attended the information session. Generally, residents do not reach out to my office to share their views on these matters unless they are opposed to a proposed development. That they have done so this time means that there is certainly demand for this project to proceed.

Moreover, many of the issues identified by residents – such as traffic concerns and the potential impacts of the development on existing businesses – are contingent on demand. That is, there would be no traffic to the site unless there is demand for this project to proceed.

Manotick is growing quickly with the community welcoming thousands of new residents in the Mahogany development. As the number of residents grows, so too does the need for new commercial developments in the community, offering both amenities for residents and job opportunities for young people. It is important to keep in mind that since the addition of the Mahogany community, there has been virtually no new commercial development in Manotick. I believe these are important factors to keep in mind as the project is considered by City staff.

Additionally, over the course of the information session, I heard a great deal of concerns about issues impacting the village which are much larger than the proposed development. For instance, residents expressed concerns about existing issues with traffic, noting that the proposed development may make existing issues worse. While these are certainly worth considering and acting upon, I believe that they are best to act upon outside the process of this project, and I am doing just that.

To that end, for Manotick Main, I have requested that staff look into adding a pedestrian crossing light at Eastman toward the dock. I also worked to ensure that a feasibility study received funding for extending the sidewalk down Manotick Main. Furthermore, I am working with staff to ensure that the roundabout at Bridgeport is introduced quickly. And as I often write about, my top priority is the removal of trucks from Manotick. Taken together, these measures will significantly improve safety for residents while addressing the most serious traffic concerns in the area, concerns that exist irrespective of the proposed project.

The community information session was an excellent opportunity to hear from residents about their thoughts on this project and about challenges facing the community more generally. Residents with comments, concerns, or questions on the project are encouraged to reach out to my office at