** UPDATE: The city says registered letters were delivered between Sept. 20-23 to homeowners who may be expropriated. After our request for a list of properties, the city sent a second round of letters which were delivered on Oct. 12 and 13. **
A Nepean homeowner says he had no idea the city is considering his property for expropriation as part of the proposed Baseline Road bus rapid transit corridor.
Atsu Dogdey, who lives along Baseline, says he only learned his property may be expropriated when ** _ OttawaStart.com _ ** contacted him for comment on Friday.
“I’m really shocked,” he said, adding he’d checked the mail days ago and never received a letter to let him know. “I haven’t read about the project either… I don’t know what to say.”
[caption id="attachment_53944” align="alignright” width="465”]
What the corridor will look like (City of Ottawa)[/caption]
The Baseline BRT (bus rapid transit) corridor proposes overhauling Baseline from Bayshore to Heron, replacing the centre median with two bus lanes. It would also have four car lanes, a bike lane and new sidewalks. The bus lanes are expected to shave 6.5 minutes off the average commute.
Versions of the plan have been in the works since 2012, with the latest version presented to the public on October 5. It is currently in the environmental assessment phase and will be presented to the transportation committee next year.
In order to accommodate the new lanes, the city has identified 217 residential and commercial properties that may need to be expropriated. Of them, city documents say 15 residential properties will likely need to be acquired in full – including Dogdey’s.
We’ve obtained a list of the 15 properties from City Hall:
1. 1604 Baseline Rd 2. 1710 Baseline Rd 3. 1580 Baseline Rd 4. 1578 Baseline Rd 5. 1664 Baseline Rd 6. 1660 Baseline Rd 7. 1652 Baseline Rd 8. 1584 Baseline Rd 9. 1590 Baseline Rd 10. 1640 Baseline Rd 11. 1624 Baseline Rd 12. 1350 Henry Farm Dr 13. 1460 Baseline Rd 14. 1 Pender St 15. 1688 Baseline Rd
_ “We have not heard a peep.” _
After we spoke with Dogdey, he rushed out to check the mail, confirming he hadn’t yet received any letters about expropriation.
He recalled getting a letter earlier which told him about the public consultation on Oct. 5, but says it was on too short a notice for him to attend. “It’s hard to just up and change your schedule in a few days,” said his wife Cayo.
They want to see more done to inform residents.
“This has been going on since 2012… we have not heard a peep,” Atsu said.
In an email Oct. 11, the city’s manager of transportation planning Vivi Chi told ** _ OttawaStart.com _ ** the acquisitions won’t start for some time.
“It is too early to initiate the property acquisition process. Before that can happen, funding for implementation has to be secured and detailed design has to be undertaken to finalize the property requirements.”
As for Dogdey, he says he’ll be calling his city councillor Rick Chiarelli first thing Monday.
[caption id="attachment_53945” align="aligncenter” width="720”]
The city says its goal is to ensure landowners are “treated fairly and compensated appropriately” if their land is expropriated. (City of Ottawa)[/caption]