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BMW dealer parks plan to pave nearby forest

After months of retreating from the community, an Ottawa car dealership parked its expansion project in a nearby forest.

Otto’s BMW had requested to extend its parking lot to approximately 1.57 hectares of nearby forest at 400 Hunt Club Rd. Because the dealership was facing space issues and needed more space to store and park cars.

The concessionaire has now voluntarily withdrawn its zoning by-law change request, which was due to be presented to Ottawa city council on September 9, and the request is temporarily on hold while the company evaluates other options.

Com. Riley Brockington, whose neighborhood includes the dealership and the nearby Hunt Club Forest, says he’s grateful the plan has been cut short.

“I think you could have had a solution and not created this significant tension and conflict during a pandemic,” said Brockington, who has been in talks with Otto’s since their request was made public in June.

Locals protested, petitioned and posted signs opposing the paving of the Hunt Club Forest. (Christophe Elie / Facebook)

“Struck in people’s hearts”

He says other options have been on the table for a few months and are now being seriously considered.

“When I met them, I made it clear that there were city plots nearby. There are other private plots in the vicinity which would meet their needs and which would not require the cutting down trees for this purpose, ”he said. .

“I see public opposition all the time, but this time it was different. It really hit people’s hearts how offensive it would have been if it had happened.”

Community members organized protests, created online petitions and posted signs in the Hunt Club forest advocating for the saving of trees.

In an email, a spokesperson for the dealership says Otto’s is committed to taking appropriate action with respect to community and environmental processes, and that they are exploring all available options.

The original plan would have seen over a hectare of trees cut down for parking. (Carolyn Marie Evers / Facebook)

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