Proposed rezoning of north end of Preston Street

Councillor McKenney was interviewed by Michael Powell on CKCU radio on Wednesday, January 21 concerning the proposed rezoning of Preston Street between Somerset and Albert. Listen to the interview here (at the 67 to 72 minute mark).

The City had proposed to rezone this section of Preston Street from Residential to a Traditional Mainstreet zone, in order to comply with the Official Plan. This could allow for a range of commercial uses such as cafés, retail stores, and offices.

Catherine will be asking for an Official Plan Amendment in order to protect the residential character of the neighbourhood.

A public meeting is scheduled for January 21, 2015 at the Plant Recreation Centre. The purpose of this meeting is to give residents the opportunity to ask City staff questions and gain a better understanding of the process we will use to maintain the residential character of the street.

Somerset Ward councillor hit the ground running

The Somerset ward councillor hit the ground running at her first meeting, successfully pushing for some sober second thought on a recommendation that, if approved, would have cut the number of committee meetings each year. McKenney, who succeeded veteran councillor Diane Holmes, will have a full plate this term. She’s been named vice-chair of the transportation committee and will also sit on the environment and built heritage committees, as well as the boards of Ottawa community housing, public health and the library.

To read the rest of the column go to Ottawa Citizen.



Attempt to build an arena at LeBreton Flats

You don’t have to be a diehard Senators fan to realize how exciting, how convenient and how utterly reasonable it would be for our NHL arena to be downtown.

So it’s no surprise then that news the Senators are considering an attempt to build an arena at LeBreton Flats has been met with everything from squeals of delight to relieved sighs that imply, “It’s about time.”

As Foreign Minister John Baird told the Citizen earlier this week, “I’ve travelled quite a bit and I’ve never seen a major sports arena in the middle of nowhere.” A potential move to LeBreton Flats would put the arena smack dab on the city’s currently under-construction LRT. Mayor Jim Watson even suggested that the location of the Pimisi station, to be built at LeBreton, could be tweaked to the best advantage of a new NHL arena that could be built there.

Although Watson was careful to point out that the final decision rests with the National Capital Commission, the mayor, like so many others, is already in the favour of the plan.

That’s understandable. But we’re also getting a bit ahead of ourselves.

To read the rest of the column go to Ottawa Citizen