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Campaign to save Bytowne Urban Gardens, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  • Subject: [cg] Campaign to save Bytowne Urban Gardens, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • From: Seamus Vanderkelt helpsavebugs@yahoo.ca
  • Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2003 10:53:59 -0400 (EDT)

Dear fellow urban community gardeners:
I wrote you in the spring to let you know about the threat to a community garden in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Bytowne Urban Gardens (BUGs) is in its 7th growing season on a piece of vacant land owned by the City of Ottawa. This year, the City bureaucrats have applied to rezone the property to accommodate an ambulance station and potentially an apartment building.
The BUGs participants have mobilized to ask that the garden would also be designated as an official use of the site, and two weeks ago, they won! After some intense lobbying and with the leadership of the local ward councillor, the Planning and Development Committee of the City of Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) unanimously approved an amendment to a rezoning proposal to stipulate that the community garden should be a mandatory component of that site. The final decision will be made tomorrow (September 10) at a City of Ottawa Council meeting, but it is expected that they will not overturn a unanimous decision of their own sub-committee.
If it passes tomorrow as we hope, this will be a major victory for BUGs and for the community garden movement in Ottawa. The downside is that the property is still vulnerable to an appeal from a developer to be granted variance from the new zoning. As well, there is currently no formal designation in the zoning system for "community garden". This will be the next step and the local Community Garden Network will be lobbying for this in the next few weeks.
If any of you have experience in getting a zoning designation for community gardens, I'd appreciate some "pro-tips". Please write me @ helpsavebugs@yahoo.ca
Thanks! Viva BUGs! Viva!
Dwayne Hodgson

Help Save BUGs!
A coalition to keep the
Community Garden in
Centretown, Ottawa.

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