GCA Board Meeting Minutes

 

Tuesday, September 24, 7:00 p.m.
Glebe Community Centre

 

Present: Bob Brocklebank, Kristi Carin, Anthony Carricato, Dan Chook Reid, June Creelman, Gabrielle Dallaporta, Rochelle Handelman, Jennifer Humphries (proxy for Jackie Bastianon), Wolf Iling, Carol Macleod (proxy for Christine McAllister), Nini Pal, Brenda Perras, Stephanie Small, Laura Smith (proxy for Carolyn Mackenzie), Josh Van Noppen, Caroline Warburton

 

Others: Peter Hook, John Humphries, Jonathan McLeod, Shawn Menard, Wendy, Lynn, Diane

 

Regrets: Jackie Bastianon, Silvia Grandi, Carolyn Mackenzie, Christine McAllister

 

WELCOME

Sarah welcomed all and acknowledged work that had taken place over the summer.

 

AGENDA AND MINUTES

The agenda was approved without changes (Carol / Anthony), as were the minutes (Bill / Bob).

 

REPORT FROM THE COUNCILLOR

Shawn reported:

  • Flooding issues on Glebe side of Flora Footbridge seem to have been mitigated. Other issues (e.g., garbage, trees, flooding on Old Ottawa East side) are being addressed.
  • Central Park West is closed so that the City can address drainage issues. It will re-open for the winter and then close again until June 2020.
  • They are working on commemorative trees at Browns Inlet.
  • The gateway speed zone (30 km/h between Bank and Bronson) has been implemented. Entrances are also being narrowed, and Shawn is asking staff for a traffic calming plan. He is looking to do similar work throughout the ward over his term. There may also be a motion at City Council to make the entire urban core 30 km/h.
  • With respect to the Lansdowne announcement, some of the changes are positive (i.e., seating, shade, pedestrian access), however the consultation was not good. Shawn is meeting with Mark Goudie to discuss the process.

 

In response to questions, Shawn said that he was aware that a Lansdowne announcement was coming. He also said that the Lansdowne working group, which he co-chairs with OSEG, will be reconvened this fall. Board members expressed concern about the lack of consultation, and the fact that the results do not reflect the survey feedback. Shawn said the process can be improved, and that the City should communicate as much as possible. Board members also asked about the naming rights process, and Jon said that the City’s Parks Department has authority in this area; Sarah committed to share a related memo.

 

With respect to the footbridge, Board members suggested that additional signage be put up to emphasize that it is a shared bridge between pedestrians and cyclists – particularly at the bottom of the ramp on the Glebe side. Board members also suggested that signage on the Old Ottawa East side should warn cyclists of the sharp corner. Shawn committed to follow-up.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS / MOTIONS / Q&A

 

Planning Committee

 

Motion 1: Official Plan (Planning Committee)

 

Whereas the City of Ottawa has begun work to rewrite the Official Plan;

Whereas the Federation of Citizens’ Associations, Ottawa (FCA) is highly engaged as the “umbrella association” representing Community Association’s across Ottawa;

Whereas the FCA provided written comments on August 22nd to the City regarding proposed high level policy directions that appear reasonable and well-considered;

 

Be it resolved that the Planning Committee write to the City in support of the FCA’s comments, so as to further support the feedback provided.

 

Discussion: Anthony provided some context about work on the Official Plan (and associated Five Big Moves), summarized comments made by the FCA, and presented the motion. He also invited Board members to provide feedback to online surveys. Laura will share with the Board a two-pager that Anthony prepared.

 

Anthony accepted a friendly amendment:

Be it resolved that the GCA write to the City in support of the FCA’s comments, so as to further support the feedback provided.

 

A Board member expressed concern that the survey was not widely publicized.

 

Bob invited others to attend an FCA meeting on October 16. He suggested that we have a GCA team engaged on this issue and that we make use of the “Official Plan tool kit” to facilitate community discussions.

 

(Anthony / Rochelle) Carried

 

Bank St Height and Character  Study

Sarah reported that preliminary findings were not in line with our recommendations. We sent a follow-up letter but have not had a substantive reply. There will be a public meeting in January. Shawn added that there are additional studies to be done (e.g., sun/shadow study) before planners can come back with recommendations. He has also asked for discussions with the community associations. A Board member expressed that it would be good to have resolution on the request that Bank St. be identified as a heritage conservative district between the Queensway and Bank St. Bridge.

 

Pretoria development

Peter described the development being proposed on Pretoria Avenue behind Loblaws. There is concern with respect to proposal’s height, density, building form, risk of overshadow, lack of study on traffic and parking, loss of trees, and loss of privacy for neighbours. Residents are generally not against development in general, but would like to meet with the developer to find a compromise that addresses their concerns. Sarah acknowledged Nini’s role in this work. While the City’s position is unknown, the Councillor’s office thinks the proposal will be approved at the City’s Planning Committee because it is not a significant departure from current zoning. 

 

Board members suggested there could be lessons learned from other construction in the neighbourhood, such as effects on nearby residents (e.g., cranes, underground rods). There was also concern expressed about the precedent this would set and potential effects on the one-story building beside the area on Pretoria.

 

Motion A: Pretoria development

Whereas the City has received an application for the rezoning of 24 to 30 Pretoria Avenue,

And whereas the GCA’s Planning Committee has reviewed the development application in some detail,

And whereas,

  • Significant concerns were raised by residents of the adjacent properties at the GCA Planning Committee meeting of September 10, 2019
  • Greater heights and massing proposed are considered inappropriate adjacent to the R3 zoned residential neighbourhood
  • The proposed development includes for the removal of 80% of the trees on the property.

 

The GCA Planning Committee seeks the approval of the GCA Board to request that the City:

  1. Require the Developer to submit a traffic and parking impact study and implement any resulting recommendations.
  2. Require the Developer to hold a community consultation meeting to present the proposal and receive feedback from those concerned.
  3. Secure modifications to this proposal to achieve:
    1. A reduction in the height and massing of the proposed building;
    2. The preservation of the majority of the trees on the property, particularly those providing visual screening along the site boundaries.

Further, the GCA requests that the CIty defer presentation of the proposal at a City Planning Committee meeting until, at a minimum, items 1 and 2 above have been completed.

 

Discussion: Peter presented the motion. Following discussion, he accepted two friendly amendments:

  1. The preservation of the majority of the trees on the property, particularly those providing visual screening along the site boundaries in keeping with the Urban Forest Management Plan and in the spirit of the revised Urban Tree Conservation Bylaw.

Further, the GCA requests that the CIty defer presentation of the proposal at a City Planning Committee meeting until items 1, 2 and 3 above have been completed.

 

(June / Jennifer) Carried

 

Environment Committee

John provided an update on the windows project. In response to a question, he said that there would be significant communications associated with the project; Bill Nuttle is the lead on this aspect. John also said that the nursery school is aware, but no dates have been determined yet.

 

Membership Committee

Carol reported that there are just under 1,000 household members of the GCA – just over a quarter of the community (about the same as last year). There is still some money to come from GACA. Carol encouraged Board members to ask their committee members to join the Board.

 

UPDATES

 

All Candidates Meeting

Carol reported that five candidates will be present, and it will be live-streamed by Rogers. She asked for additional volunteers to help. Sarah shared the question submitted by the GCA.

 

Patterson Creek Bistro

Sarah reported that we sent a letter to the NCC outlining the GCA’s position with respect to the absence of consultation and requesting additional information. When we did not receive a response, Catherine McKenna’s office contacted the NCC on our behalf. Sarah received a response just before tonight’s meeting (which she will share); it describes criteria for site selection and project success. The letter invited us to provide feedback on evaluation criteria; Josh and Wendy will propose ideas to the Board at our October meeting. Sarah was interviewed by NCC ombudsman as part of this process.

 

Sarah clarified that the project didn’t proceed this year because the timing made it not viable; the intention is to resume the project next year.

 

Concern was expressed about the activity level of the park and problematic access (condition of walking paths, lighting, requirement to cross the Queen Elizabeth Driveway from canal). One Board member asked if we had considered asking the NCC to deed the park to the City, as had been done with Dundonald Park.

 

Budget

Caroline presented the budget. A Board member suggested increasing the membership budget so that additional brochures could be printed next year. Sarah thanked Caroline for her work on this and asked that committee chairs and those responsible for special projects review the budget and provide changes to Caroline. We will vote on the budget at our October meeting.

 

With respect to the Third Avenue parklet, it was thought that the BIA covers the costs for this. Sarah will follow up with Sam.

 

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

Sarah acknowledged work done on the gateway speed zone, drainage of Central Park West, and the community opening for the Flora footbridge. She reminded Board members of the GCA guidelines of how we work during election periods. Finally, she said that there is a consultation for gateway signage into the neighbourhood. The results will be shared in mid-October.

 

In response to a question, Sarah said that the last ward council meeting took place in April. Shawn said that he is asking community associations for information on cash-in-lieu, after which they will reconvene the council.

 

One Board member asked if we should bring the attention of the media to the Pretoria development issue. Another Board member suggested that we should allow our letter to go to the City so that they have the opportunity to see where we are coming from.

 

COMMENTS / ISSUES FROM COMMUNITY

Sarah summarized the Lansdowne announcement, and asked if we would support aspects that were consistent with our previous motion on Lansdowne. Board members commented:

  • Would like to see the GCA take a position that continues to support the farmers’ market.
  • Reluctant to support when there was no engagement with community associations.
  • Concern that Aberdeen Pavilion, a heritage building, might deteriorate further.

 

One Board member proposed that we request a meeting with OSEG. Anthony will follow-up with OSEG and Dan Chenier. Old Ottawa East and Old Ottawa South could be included.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

Jennifer will send an email about Browns Inlet meeting, which was very positive.

 

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting adjourned at 8:57 pm. (Bob / Rochelle)