GCA Board Meeting Minutes

 

Tuesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m.
Glebe Community Centre

 

Present:

Elizabeth Ballard, Dan Chook Reid (proxy for Josh Van Noppen), June Creelman (proxy for Christine McAllister), Rochelle Handelman, Jennifer Humphries, Bruce Jamieson, Carolyn Mackenzie (proxy for Sam Harris), Sylvie Legros, Matt Meagher, Johanna Persohn, Nini Pal, Brenda Perras, Bill Price, Jennifer Raven, Laura Smith, Elspeth Tory, Sarah Viehbeck

 

Others: Doug Casey, Neil Copeland, John Crump, Peter Hook, Andrew Hurst, Debbie MacDonald-McGee, Jim McGee, Shawn Menard, Jonathan Mcleod, Ian Nicol

 

Regrets: Silvia Grandi

 

WELCOME

Sarah welcomed all to the meeting and acknowledged that we meet on the unceded territory of the Algonquin people.

 

AGENDA AND MINUTES

The agenda was approved with some amendments to the order in which items would be considered, and with the deferment of two motions (vehicle idling and guidelines for GCA board on political activities) to the June meeting (Rochelle / Dan). The minutes were approved with a minor clarification on page 5 – that banner ads for the membership drive would be on the Glebe Report’s website (Bill / Brenda).

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS FROM THE EXECUTIVE

 

Motion 1: Insurance and Volunteer Canada

Whereas the GCA normally carries Directors’ and Officers’ Liability insurance; and

Whereas the insurance is usually subscribed through the Volunteer Canada organization in order to get insurance at a lower premium;

 

Be it resolved that the GCA renews the Directors’ and Officers’ Liability insurance with BMS Volunteer Canada Insurance Program for $1 million coverage at a cost of approximately $400 ($397.44); and,

Be it resolved that the subscription to Volunteer Canada be renewed at the last posted cost. (The last posted cost was $125.)

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion.

 

(Sylvie / Elizabeth) Carried

 

Motion 2: Opening of a sub-bank account

Whereas there is a need to open a GCA sub-account to segregate the funds used by the organization with those used for the GCC renovation project;

 

Be it resolved that the Treasurer opens a sub-account with the authority to disburse all related costs (bank fees, cheques).

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion. Sylvie identified that there would be an additional cost to order cheques for the sub-account. There was some discussion about whether the account would remain open after the project is completed.

 

(Sylvie / Bill) Carried

 

Motion 3: External Auditor

Whereas the GCA’s year-end is April 30th of each year at which time the organization must prepare its financial statements for the AGM held in June;

 

Be it resolved that the GCA requests Ted R. Lupinski, CA to review the GCA financial statements for the year 2018 – 2019 on a pro-bono basis.

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion. Sylvie noted that she would purchase a small token of our appreciation for Ted.

 

(Sylvie / Elspeth) Carried

 

REPORT FROM THE COUNCILLOR

Shawn Menard reported:

  • He will be sending an invitation to community associations to consult on Lansdowne.
  • As part of the Bronson Avenue re-design, four speed bumps will be installed on Powell Avenue (east of Bronson). A consultation with residents was held.
  • The Environment Committee passed the motion to declare a climate emergency and it is going to council on April 24. Sarah added that the GCA wrote a letter of support; in his response, the mayor committed to support the motion.
  • The motion about plastic bags in green bins did not pass at the Environment Committee.
  • Consultations regarding the official plan are ongoing. There will be a public meeting for urban areas in June. There will also be a meeting with 13 “within the green belt” councillors, probably in September. Feedback is due in October.
  • A proposal regarding the rink has been sent to school board. There will be a public meeting, hosted by the GCA, on May 15 at Mutchmor.
  • He would like for urban wards to have speed limits of 30 km/h on residential roads.
  • The soil at Firehall Park is being tested to see if remediation is necessary.

 

In response to a question about other options considered for the rink, Shawn said that the only other site that seems to be a possibility is Memorial Park but that it is not as good as Mutchmor.

 

In response to a question about the use of cash-in-lieu funds for remediation at Firehall Park, Shawn said this was done to get moving as quickly as possible; there would be a delay if other sources of funds were sought. There was some discussion about whether cash-in-lieu funds could be used for studies. Shawn committed to meet with the Ward Council in the summer about future work to be funded with cash-in-lieu funding.

 

OTHER MOTIONS FROM THE EXECUTIVE

 

Motion 4: Rink

Whereas in March 2019 the GCA passed a motion to host a meeting regarding the return of a boarded rink to the Glebe.

 

Be It Resolved That the GCA spend up to $200 to host this meeting in May 2019.

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion.

 

(Sarah / Elizabeth) Carried

 

Motion 5: Flora Footbridge

Whereas the Flora Footbridge will open in Fall 2019;

Whereas this bridge represents many years of advocacy to connect communities across the Canal;

Whereas this work should be acknowledged;

 

Be it Resolved that the GCA join OSCA and OOECA in advocating to the City that a plaque be installed to recognize the purpose of the bridge, its namesake, and the community leaders that contributed to its establishment.

 

Discussion: Sarah presented the motion. In response to a question, it was clarified that the motion asks the City to do this; there is no funding included in the motion. It was also clarified that the other community associations were holding similar votes.

 

(Sarah / June) Carried

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS / MOTIONS / Q&A

 

Planning Committee

 

Motion 6: Initial comments on Bank St. Height and Character Study

 

Whereas the City of Ottawa is undertaking the above-mentioned study and has invited initial feedback and comments from the community regarding appropriateness of building height, character and transition elements, as well as prioritisation of travel modes on Bank Street;
Whereas the GCA’s Planning Committee has reviewed the vision for Bank Street articulated in ImagineGlebe (2016) as well as almost 90 surveys completed by community members as part of the present study which indicated strong support for maintaining 4 storey height limit with some potential for additional height at northern and southern portions of Bank Street;

Whereas the existing heritage structures are a key part of the character of Bank Street and the outcome of the City’s efforts to create the heritage register which includes many Bank Street buildings should be specifically taken in account in any final study recommendations;
Whereas the GCA promotes appropriate intensification/building height/form and a vibrant Bank Street;
Whereas the GCA values development that contributes strongly to building a community that promotes a livable, sustainable and diverse urban neighbourhood, as reflected in the core comments from both this study and ImagineGlebe;
Whereas the comments that follow are provided with the explicit caveat that they will be appropriately assessed and refined through specific planning studies as part of this overall study so the impacts (including, but not limited to sun shadow, increased density, etc.) can be properly understood;

Motion Part 1:  Be it resolved that within the study area:

The following building heights (see map) may be appropriate, based on the planning studies noted above:

  • Zone A: Village. A maximum height of 4 storeys between Fifth and Patterson Avenue  (the core of the Glebe “village”)
  • Zone B and C: Transition. A maximum height of 6 storeys between Fifth and Holmwood Avenues and Patterson and Pretoria Avenues
  • Zone D and E: Neighbourhood scale gateway. Areas potentially suitable for higher densities and taller buildings (specific criteria to be developed through additional planning and design work as part of this study to ensure compatibility with low-rise residential).

 

Motion Part 2:  Be it resolved that within the study area:

The building heights as set out in Part 1 should be considered only in conjunction with the following building transitions:

  • To better establish pedestrian scale, any building up to 6 storeys should provide a more meaningful “step back” of a minimum of 2.5 m after the 3rd storey (current TM zoning calls for step back of 2 m after 4th storey). For buildings above 6 storeys, the building step back should be a minimum of 4 m.
  • To achieve appropriate scale with the north side of Central Park (west side of Bank Street), a meaningful building stepback above a 3rd storey of a building that overlooks the park.
  • Building heights/transitions should ensure that Bank Street sidewalks have a substantial amount of sun on their entirety (i.e. no less than 5 hours of sunlight per day between spring and fall equinox and/or X hours during winter months.).  [Note that this may point to different constraints on east vs. west side of Bank Street].
  • Where building height is above 4 storeys, built form MUST respect all other current TM zoning (ie. to include 7.5m rear yard set back, as well as respect for 45 degree angular plane transition down to the rear/residential zone).
  • Consideration could be given to “relaxing” the required 7.5 m building set back to 3 m, but ONLY where a building continues to respect the 45 degree angular plane (this would result in a building being no higher than 2 storeys within 3 m of rear lot line).  If allowed, appropriate amenity space, preferably incorporating trees, MUST be provided to the rear of the building to provide better transition to residential, provide shade and health/environmental benefits.

That character should be enhanced and promoted by ensuring that:

  • Store widths in buildings up to 4 storeys should be no wider than the current average storefront, +25% [or equivalent metric to ensure compatibility with existing cadence]
  • Building design itself reflects the existing store width “cadence”, in other words, design must incorporate transitions so that building does not “read” as single built form.
  • Exterior materials in Zone A should reflect heritage elements; in all other Zones materials should reflect and/or strongly complement heritage elements.
  • Buildings should contribute to climate adaptability in the overall design, e.g. through green/landscaping and green buildings.
  • That the first storey building height be in keeping with the existing character

 

With respect to prioritisation of travel and traffic issues:

  • Pedestrian traffic is overwhelmingly seen as needing greater priority. Enhancements to ensure greater walkability/safety is a key issue.
  • Priority should also be given to people taking transit as a strong second priority.
  • The need to slow traffic down has been identified as a priority (vehicular traffic was rated last)

Discussion: Carolyn presented the motion and suggested that there be a subsequent meeting on April 29 about building height (i.e., the first part of the motion). Feedback must be submitted by mid-next week.

 

One Board member voiced support for proposals that are most favourable to Glebe residents and not completely restrictive for developers.

 

Another Board member said that the City could alter its requirements that ground floor storeys be 16ft (i.e., they could be 12 ft.) and that they be used only for retail.

 

Some Board members stated that it is necessary to have sun shadow studies (i.e., on the impact of 6 storeys vs. 4 storeys) to make a recommendation. One Board member commented that the GCA should not put forward a proposal that suggests we accept higher buildings than what is already already permitted, until the City has done the studies that say what is acceptable to maintain the character of the Glebe. Carolyn clarified that this was being presented as our initial feedback. A friendly amendment was accepted:

 

The building heights as set out in Part 1 should be considered only in conjunction with the following building transitions and appropriate planning studies:

 

One Board member commented that the motion should address the fact that most of Bank Street is two storeys, and that the heritage nature of storefronts in the Glebe should be preserved. In response, a friendly amendment was accepted:

 

That existing heritage structures are a key part of the character of Bank Street and the outcome of the City’s efforts to create the heritage register which includes many Bank Street buildings should be specifically taken in account in any final study recommendations and that character should be enhanced and promoted by ensuring that:

  • Store widths in buildings up to 4 storeys should be no wider than the current average storefront, +25% [or equivalent metric to ensure compatibility with existing cadence]
  • Building design itself reflects the existing store width “cadence”, in other words, design must incorporate transitions so that building does not “read” as single built form.
  • Exterior materials in Zone A should reflect heritage elements; in all other Zones materials should reflect and/or strongly complement heritage elements.
  • Buildings should contribute to climate adaptability in the overall design, e.g. through green/landscaping and green buildings.
  • That the first storey building height be in keeping with the existing character

 

WIth these friendly amendments, the Board voted only on the second part of the motion.

 

(Carolyn / Brenda) Carried

 

Transportation Committee

 

Matt asked if anyone is able to be the Glebe lead for the Capital Spokes event, please let him know.

Motion 4: Second Avenue

Given that the GCA Transportation Committee is committed to the objective of making Glebe streets safe for vulnerable road users, and given that:

  • speeding on Second Avenue is a concern that has been brought to the GCA Transportation Committee on numerous occasions; and
  • the addition of street parking can be effective in narrowing wide streets and acting as a traffic calming measure; and
  • the Glebe Community Centre has indicated an acute need for additional parking at various times of day; and
  • there is ample room to add street parking in front of the Glebe Community Centre and St. James Tennis Club;

 

Be it resolved that the GCA supports the addition of parallel parking on the south side of Second Avenue in front of the Glebe Community Centre and St. James Tennis Club properties.

 

Discussion: Matt presented the motion, emphasizing the traffic calming that would be achieved. Nearby residents are supportive. In response to a question, Matt clarified there would be no physical changes and that the spots would be subject to regular City parking rules. Board members emphasized the importance of ensuring that the nearby condo was supportive.

 

(Matt / Elspeth) Carried

 

Motion 3: Gateway signage of speed limits

Given that the GCA Transportation Committee is committed to the objective of making Glebe streets safe for vulnerable road users, and given that:

  • speeding on Glebe streets was the safety concern raised most often by respondents to the GCA Transportation Survey;
  • there is strong evidence that vehicle speeds over 30 kmph result in far more serious injuries to vulnerable road users when accidents occur;

 

Resolved that the GCA supports the use of gateway signage to designate all residential, non-arterial streets within the Glebe as 30 kmph zones.

 

Discussion: Matt presented the motion, saying that this has been done in Centretown.

 

(Matt / Elizabeth) Carried

 

Membership Update

Elizabeth said that Carol has contacted area reps to ramp up for the membership drive. New volunteers are welcome. Sarah and Elspeth will coordinate web and social media updates.

 

Great Glebe Garage Sale Update

Sarah highlighted an article in the recent Glebe report, and Johanna spoke to the Heritage Committee’s temporary heritage plaque initiative. Board members agreed it would be a great day to canvass for memberships.

 

Annual General Meeting and nominations

June provided a brief update on nominations. We will be looking for people to fill the positions of treasurer, webmaster, and chairs for Transportation and Parks committees.

 

Parks Update

Bruce provided a brief update on the work of the Parks Committee:

  • He sought advice on how to get community members to complete a survey the committee has prepared. Board members suggested doing it online and promoting it during the membership drive. Sarah and Elspeth offered to assist with the online survey.
  • Following a collaboration on the pollinator garden, GCI has approached the committee with an offer to support environmental projects of the GCA. One idea was another pollinator garden, with a sign crediting the donation. In discussing how to accept the donation, the Board agreed that no motion was needed but that it would be earmarked in the budget. It was also suggested that we send them a thank you note.

 

Lansdowne

Sarah said that there will be time dedicated at the May meeting to discuss the Lansdowne strategic review, being led by OSEG. Sarah has reached out to OSEG about engaging further and will report back on the discussions they have with them. She also said that Shawn’s office is organizing a meeting on May 1 to discuss Lansdowne; Sarah will attend and would welcome another Board member to join her. Sarah asked committees to consider Shawn’s preliminary vision for Lansdowne and report back on any feedback prior to the May 1 meeting.

 

Dan added that someone from OSEG was in touch with him and wanted to meet.

 

COMMENTS / ISSUES FROM COMMUNITY

N/A

 

OTHER BUSINESS

N/A

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 9:01 pm. (Rochelle /Nini)