We discussed safety on Bank Street, a kayak/canoe launch in the neighbourhood for the Rideau Canal and a number of other items at this month’s meeting. PDF version of February 2016 minutes.
Glebe Community Association
Minutes of the Board Meeting
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Board Members: Christine McAllister, Sharon Chartier, Sylvie Legros, Elizabeth Ballard (with proxy for Carol MacLeod), Angela Keller-Herzog, Vaughn Guy, Rochele Handelman, Sam Harris, Carolyn Mackenzie, Johanna Persohn, Dan Chook Reid, Ken Slemko, Sarah Viehbeck.
Others: Sarah Anson-Cartwright (Bookmark the Core), Louise Aronoff, (Dows Lake Residents Association), Ashley Chapman, Kaleb Earl, Nathalie Mezey (for Councillor Chernushenko), Brian Mitchell (Traffic Committee), Joshua Vaanoppca,
Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted with the addition of a report from the Health & Social Committee and the Planning Committee and a presentation from Bookmark the Core
(Christine McAllister/Sharon Chartier) Carried
Approval of the Minutes
The minutes of the meeting of January 26, 2016 were approved.
(Christine McAllister/ Rochelle Handelman) Carried
President’s Report – Christine McAllister
– Yasir Naqvi invites participants for the Scarf Drive for Kindness Week. Participants knit or purchase scarves to be dropped at the Community Office on Catherine Street. The Glebe’s share for the campaign runs from Feb 16 to Mar 4.
– Residents are invited to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Women Association (Ottawa Branch) for an annual peace conference – Women and World Peace on March 19th 1:30 – 4:00 pm at the Glebe Community Centre. Women only (sorry)
– They also invite residents to their 50 year celebration at Ottawa City Hall on April 5th at 6:00pm.
ii) Bookmark The Core
Sarah Anson-Cartwright introduced the Bookmark the Core which is a group of Ottawa residents whose goal is to advocate for greater consultation and transparency during the process of the development of the new Ottawa Central Library. Construction is scheduled to start in Q2/2018. To date, only one public consultation occurred and that was a year ago and there was no possible talk about the new library location. The process is very opaque so the group was formed to push for more public consultation and transparency. In specific, they want to (1) advocate for the new central library to be located in the heart of Ottawa, (2) increase transparency and public engagement to achieve the right size and design for the library and (3) advocate for an international design competition. The group is touring community associations to get support and so far, they received the endorsement of 12 communities. In light of the presentation, the GCA decided to put a motion to support Bookmark the Core.
Motion: Whereas the GCA has been asked to support the mission of Bookmark the Core to
• advocate for Ottawa’s new central library to be located in downtown Ottawa, the heart of the city, for optimal use and enjoyment by patrons, visitors and tourists alike
• encourage a transparent public process of sustained engagement with citizens to achieve the best design, size and location choice, and
• advocate for an international design process;
And whereas Glebe residents would benefit from the achievement of each of these objectives;
Be it resolved that the GCA endorses Bookmark the Core’s mission.
(Christine McAllister/ Ken Slemko) Carried
Christine sent a Job Description for the President’s position with the agenda. Please send your feedback on these duties.
– There were some discussion on the GCA 50th Anniversary and whether we should hire an event coordinator for the festivities
– On March 7th, there is a brainstorming session on how to get funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Issues from Community
Louise Aronoff expressed her community frustration about the consultation process that took place regarding the new building at Bronson and Cambridge intersection. When the project was presented for public consultation, the buildings consisted of a combination of 12 storeys on Bronson and 6 storeys on Cambridge. By the time the project was at the City level, the building was a full 12 stories although current zoning allows for 9 storeys only. The residents accepted the first proposal but would have never supported the structure that is currently proposed. She questioned the integrity of the public consultation process. The Chair of the Planning Committee provided an update on the project stating that a meeting with several reps and the Councillor took place during the month. The project has the support from the Councillor with the addition of a new pedestrian entrance, a height of 12 storeys for the building and a number of parking spots that is not finalized yet. The issue of how the building went from 6 and 12 storeys to 12 and 12 storeys has not been answered.
Councillor’s Report – Nathalie Mezey
The Councillor was absent so Nathalie was available to answer questions from members.
– On the Bronson Cambridge project, the Councillor supports between 32 and 100 parking spots for the property
– 5th Avenue / Craig intersection: the staff is looking at the reviews and a recommendation should be issued within the next two weeks.
Motion 1 – Health and Social Services Committee (Sarah Viehbeck) (at the January meeting, this motion was postponed for lack of time)
Be it resolved that the GCA adopt the following mandate for the Health and Social Services Committee: The Health and Social Services Committee identifies and responds to health and social services issues within the Glebe community and draws issues to the attention of the GCA. The Health and Social Services Committee also represents the GCA on health and social services issues with other organizations.
There was a request to change some wording on the motion to add that the committee will provide recommendations to the GCA when it raises issues to its attention.
(Sarah Viehbeck/Ken Slemko) Carried
The Chair of the Health and Social Services Committee provided an update on a few projects:
– Glebe St-James skating rink, there is a consultation meeting on February 24th to discuss the possibility of re-locating the rink at Sylvia Holden Park
– The committee on refugees sponsoring is looking for new sources of funds or get subsidies to support their activities.
Motion 2 – Parks Committee (Sam Harris and Elizabeth Ballard) (at the January meeting, this motion was postponed for lack of time)
Motion: Kayak Launch
Whereas, the number of possible access points for safely launching kayaks and canoes into the Rideau Canal in any close proximity to the Glebe is non-existent, and
Whereas, facilitating access to this national recreational asset is critical to the broadly desired animation of the historic Rideau Canal in urban Ottawa,
Therefore be it resolved that the GCA open a dialogue with the appropriate City of Ottawa and/or Federal officials to examine the possibility of creating a seasonal kayak/canoe launching platform on the federally-owned Patterson Creek near the heritage restroom at the corner of Patterson Creek and the Queen Elizabeth Parkway or at the City-owned Patterson Creek Lagoon bordered by Clemow Ave., O’Connor St. and Glebe Ave.
This motion was supported with no question.
Sam Harris/Sharon Chartier Carried
Motion 3 -Lansdowne Park Committee (Ken Slemko)
Motion 3a – Support to the Lansdowne Farmer Market
As negotiations between the City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Farmers Market are on-going; and,
Since the Glebe Community Association supports an arrangement that will help the Farmers Market prosper;
Be it so moved that:
The following letter be sent to the Mayor and copied to City Councillors and Dan Chenier, General Manager, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services by the President, GCA, urging such an arrangement: (the letter is at Annex A)
There was no material question on the letter
(Ken Slemko/Carolyn Mackenzie Carried
Motion 3b – New residents at Lansdowne (Ken Slemko)
Since most of residents and businesses moving to Lansdowne Park are now in place; and,
Because welcoming the new residents into the Glebe community is a worthwhile undertaking to be led by the Glebe Community Association;
Be it so moved, that:
i) A special Committee, including members of the Lansdowne Park Committee and other interested GCA Committees, be established to arrange an event at Lansdowne Park to welcome new residents and businesses at Lansdowne Park to the Glebe Community;
ii) That the Committee work with other community stakeholders, including the Glebe BIA, local businesses, condominium associations, GNAG, OSEG, and the City of Ottawa in arranging and contributing to this event; and,
iii) That the Glebe GCA allocate up to $1000 as provided in the current Budget to the Special Committee for expenses related to the event.
After discussion about the composition of the committee, planned activities and the plan for expenses, it was felt that the Lansdowne Committee did not need a motion at this time to continue to work on this project.
Motion 4 – Traffic (Matthew Meagher)
WHEREAS Safety, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists, on the Bank Street Bridge and the approaches and intersections on either side of it has long been a concern for residents in Old Ottawa South and the Glebe; and
WHEREAS These problems have been exacerbated by the increased activity now taking place daily at Lansdowne including increased traffic volumes (of all forms); and
WHEREAS Piecemeal efforts to address these issues in the past two years such as revising the posted speed limit to 40km/hr and the experimental use of large green sharrows for cyclists have been welcome but mostly ineffective; and
WHEREAS Respondents to a Lansdowne Impact Survey conducted by OSCA and GCA in October 2015 highlighted these safety concerns as one of the primary pedestrian, cyclist and traffic issues which need to be addressed by the City of Ottawa
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT
In response to continuing concerns about safety, the Glebe Community Association and the Old Ottawa South Community Association strongly recommend that the City of Ottawa formally recognize the safety issues on Bank Street between Holmwood and Aylmer and that it take action in a comprehensive manner to explore and implement measures that will reduce vehicle speeds and improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers particularly on the bridge and at nearby intersections.
This motion was adopted with no question
(Brian Mitchell (for Matthew Meagher)/Sharon Chartier) Carried
The report attached to the agenda was also discussed and the President added a motion to adopt the report:
Be it moved that:
The Traffic Committee report on the Impact of Lansdowne Traffic on the Glebe Community dated February 2016 be adopted by the GCA and presented to the transportation Committee City of Ottawa in March 2016.
(Ken Slemko/Carolyn Mackenzie) Carried
1- Heritage Committee
The letter to be sent to the City of Ottawa (attached to the agenda) was discussed with the following main points:
– Avoid pushing on the point of setback from the property line and the height of the building as these two features are within what is permitted in the zoning bylaws for that area;
– Focus on the damages to be sustained by the elm tree if the building is built to close to the tree root system;
– Perhaps more clarity on what the GCA is asking;
– Discuss the impact on the environment (heritage aspect, surrounding parks)
– It was agreed that the letter should be signed by the President, the Chair of Heritage Committee and the Chair of Environment Committee
Note that this report was circulated during the month as an e-motion and it was passed.
2- Environment Committee
The third point on the e-motion that was circulated (e-motions circulated during the month are listed below) was discussed. Since there is a disparity of opinions on that point, it was decided that the Environment Committee and the Heritage Committee would hold a joint educational meeting where members and residents could get more educated about the options available to increase the energy efficiency of older houses and the ensuing benefits.
• There was no other business
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m. (Christine McAllister/Rochelle Handelman). Carried
E- MOTIONS DURING THE MONTH
Environment Committee (Carol MacLeod /Angela Keller Herzog)
Motion 1 – Climate change
Whereas our councillor, David Chernushenko has tabled a multi-part motion for the February 16, City of Ottawa Environment Committee meeting. More info here.
Whereas the motion, if approved, would:
• set a GHG reduction goal of 80% from 1990 levels by 2050 for the City of Ottawa to match the provincial one
• see Ottawa’s mayor to join the Compact of Mayors, an international network that TO, Burlington, Oakville, Kitchener, London, Durham and Thunder Bay have already joined
• direct David Chernushenko to work out an implementation plan to achieve the reduction target with the city’s interdepartmental working group on climate action and external stakeholders
• have city staff assess the feasibility of developing and implementing minimum energy performance standards for new residential and commercial buildings
• change the committee name to include climate protection
This will come before the February 16 Environment Committee meeting and if passed go to full city council.
MOTION: Be It Resolved That GCA support the passage of the Feb 16 Chernushenko motion by sending a letter to the Mayor and sending a delegation to the February 16th meeting of the Environment Committee.
This motion was passed
Motion 2 – Urban Trees
In November 2015, in concert with other urban core community associations (Centretown, Ottawa East, Ottawa South and Dalhousie), the Glebe Community Association provided a set of inputs to the Phase 1 Consultations on development of the Ottawa Urban Forest Management Plan. In this submission we requested that a round of public consultations be included at mid-point. We noted that the absence of public engagement opportunities between the November 2015 kick-off session and almost one year later in Fall 2016 when the “final” draft UFMP is unveiled is not acceptable.
Following up on this request for a more effective process of consultation, we propose the following follow up action:
MOTION: Be It Resolved That the GCA send a letter to our Councillor, CC to all members of the Environment Committee and the Mayor, that
a) welcomes the decision to develop an Urban Forest Management Plan for Ottawa
b) requests that the city staff,
i) should make available to the public the draft plan (scheduled to be produced by the consultants by Spring 2016)
ii) should organize an interim consultation window where the public has opportunity for submission of input.
This motion was passed
Motion 3- Feasibility study about energy labelling program on housing stock
MOTION: Be it resolved that the motion on “Climate Change” also relates to the existing housing stock in established neighbourhoods such as the Glebe, and that therefore the GCA recommends that the City engages in assessing the feasibility of developing and implementing a home energy labelling program for existing residential buildings that are offered for sale, lease or sublease.
This motion was deferred for further discussion
Heritage Committee (Johanna Persohn)
Motion 4: Construction project at 667 Bank Street
Whereas the city has received a request under the Ontario Heritage Act for New Construction in the Clemow Estate East Heritage Conservation District and has 90 days to respond to the applicant.
Whereas City Heritage Planning Staff require input by Friday February 19th so that it can be included in their report to the Built Heritage Advisory Committee on March 10
Whereas there are concerns related to this proposal from Heritage, Planning, Parks and Environment angle
That the GCA submit the attached letter to the City for consideration in their staff report (Annex A).
This motion was passed even though it was further discussed at the February meeting.
1- Motion 3a
City of Ottawa
I am writing on behalf of the Glebe Community Association (GCA) to express our strong support for the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (OFM) at Lansdowne. We would like to express our hope that the City and the Farmers’ Market reach an agreement that will help the Market to become an even more vibrant and successful feature of Lansdowne in the years ahead.
The Market is a key feature that draws the community to Lansdowne. In a recent survey of Glebe, Old Ottawa South and Old Ottawa East residents, the Market was the second most important feature cited for going to the Park. Over 1/3 of 1000 respondents said the Market was one of the features they had taken advantage of while visiting Lansdowne.
Last year, our Association heard from Andy Terauds, President of OFM, about the issues they faced in their first year. Among these was that the space provided was less than originally promised, specifically, the road between the Market and the Cineplex was not available.
Power outlets, tent anchors and water supply had been promised but were not there.
Parking is also a problem. We believe improvements that would make it easier (and less costly) to park would improve the situation. This may involve some concessions from OSEG, but we urge the City to press for an arrangement that would improve parking that does not further increase the already difficult parking situation on the streets near Lansdowne.
On one final issue, we sincerely hope that the City, OSEG and the Market can reach an agreement that will result in situations where other events (e.g., Beer Fest and/or Sports Events) so not force the early closure of the Market. This is not good for the merchants or their customers who arrive at the Park expecting to be able to shop and finding the market closed. This may be just a first year glitch but we hope that the City and OSEG will make every effort to ensure the market can operate during the scheduled times.
In closing, I do want to re-emphasize the importance of the Ottawa Farmers’ Market to our community and hope that you will make every effort in your negotiations with its representatives to make the accommodations needed for the its success.
Christine McAllister, President, Glebe Community Association
2- e-motion 4
Development Review, Urban Services
City of Ottawa
by e-mail (email@example.com)
Re: Application for New Construction at 667 Bank Street in the Clemow Estate East Heritage Conservation District
Dear Ms. Collins,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this proposal. The GCA welcomes potential development on this long vacant site, however this proposal has raised a number of concerns not only in regards to it location in the Clemow Estate East Heritage Conservation District but also its location adjacent to Central Park and the recently completed Children’s Exploration Garden. This relationship to the park seems to have been largely overlooked in the Cultural Impact Statement (hereafter referred to as the Statement). Furthermore, the GCA has been undergoing a large planning and consultation process in relation to Bank Street and as such we have not limited our comments to only the heritage aspects of the proposal. This letter will be in three parts. It will first address the heritage aspects as they relate to new construction in the district, then it will discuss the issues related to the park to the buildings north, and lastly it will provide additional comments on the zoning and planning issues.
First, The GCA would like to note that we were pleased to see the efforts made in the design to echo the traditional main street designs in the Glebe. The used of mixed materials is welcomed. The nod to the Edwardian style does fit in well with the neighbourhood. However the drawings suggest the balconies will be largely glass, we suggest that an improvement would be for these all be at least partially wrought iron or a similar material to reflect the similar balconies nearby on the Ambassador court building.
This building will be first new build in the district, it is also the first commercial building within the district. As you are also aware, the properties on the other three corners of Bank and Clemow are currently being considered for inclusion in the district study for Phase II of the Clemow Estates. What we build on this site will set clear precedence of how these other sites could be developed. The Study refers to this building as being a gateway to the district, this is correct, however there is the significant difference in setback difference between this building and the its residential neighbour do not align with that. While it is agreed this building is not a residential building and the existing district guidelines unfortunately do not discuss the attributes of a potential commercial new build, we cannot ignore that the significant setbacks on Clemow are part of what defines the character of the street. The setback allowed on Clemow for the new building must be significant enough and must be matched on the opposite corners. Significant setbacks here will prevent a tunnelling affect that could occur if this and future buildings are also built without significant setbacks as compared to their residential neighbours. We note also that the Statement does not include a perspective looking West along Clemow. As such we are not able to fully understand the impact this building could have on this transition area for the district. In future we will hopefully have one continuous district crossing Bank Street and it would be unfortunate to have this broken up at Bank Street with unsympathetic development that does not speak to its neighbour residential buildings.
Furthermore, there is little to mitigate the height difference between the proposed development and its neighbour to the East. The 4 storey “stepback” included in the design of the building does not confirm to 45 degree angle requirements making its impact greater as designed. Further to this, the building height is not in keeping with its neighbours and the character of the street. No other commercial building on Bank Street in the Glebe save those in the Landsdowne development are more than 4 stories. A reduction in height of this building to 4 stories with a step back on the East elevation to 2 or 3 stories would allow for a more appropriate transition to the neighbouring residential buildings and would be in keeping with the spirit of the Heritage District Guidelines. Additional comments about the zoning and height of this building are included at the end of this letter.
The core defining element of the Clemow Estate East District is Central Park. All the buildings in the district were included because of their view of this park. This new building will also have a view of the park. It will directly overlook the Children’s Exploration Garden which occupies the South East corner of this piece of Central Park. The Statement and the drawings for the new build fail to address this aspect. A northern elevation is only included in the report as almost an afterthought and little attention is paid to it. None of the drawings actually show the Exploration Garden itself. Thus it is difficult to fully assess the impact on the Garden the proposal would have. The park is a significant heritage asset, this building needs to address that better. The setbacks on the park side should be increased and other options to mitigate the transition must be added.
The Exploration Garden
The Exploration Garden’s centre piece is one of two remaining Dutch Elm Trees. These are the last holdouts from the extensive plantings that used to line and define all of Clemow. While the report notes that an arborist will need to be engaged, it fails to acknowledge that the development as planned will very likely result in root damage to the tree that could make it unviable. A significant amount of the trees canopy are in the of the proposed building. The current proposed .3 meter set back will not allow enough room for the tree.
In 2014 the City completed a three year, $120,000 investment into developing a pre-schoolers naturalized play area in the south-west corner of Central Park East, adjacent to the proposed site. This Exploration Garden design sits within the Clemow Estate East District and took great care to meet heritage guidelines and to protect the magnificent elm on its south side. Bamboo palisades were designed to minimize impact on tree roots, porous ground coverings let water penetrate to the roots, and construction was kept superficial to avoid damaging the root system.
The large elm is one of the two surviving elms that once characterized all Clemow Estates. It is healthy and has been treated. It is the centrepiece of the small section of Central Park East that sits at street level. It provides dappled shade, and depends on southern light which will be blocked by a five, or even four storey structure. As well, the elm reaches toward the south, with much of its majestic canopy over-arching the intended development site. These mature trees are important to the Glebe, and the prospect of truncating all its roots at 0.3 meters from the property line, leaving only 4 meters of root system on its south side could compromise its viability. The aesthetic impact of chopping the elm’s branches back to the property line is too important to be omitted from visual representation.
Creation of a 4 or 5 storey block that closely approaches the property line will have other impacts as well. Light and the sense of openness in the park will be reduced. Providing even the standard setback from the proposed development’s northern property line will be a significant incursion on this natural feature of the heritage district. The current proposed setback of 0.3 meters fails to respect the importance of Central Park East to the Clemow Estates East District.
With the current proposed setback, their options for construction and maintenance can only be assumed to require the closing of the park. Instead, a standard setback would help allow maintenance and repair work to proceed without shutting down the Exploration Garden. An easement into the park for construction, repair, or maintenance work such as window washing imposes an unacceptable burden on a small speciality park that offers a natural respite from the bustle of Bank Street. Baby strollers sit in the entrance area, the entry gate is within a foot of the property line, visitors sit on the bench along the south palisade to feed their children, and the under 5 crowd are the park’s most frequent users. Any easement access to the park would necessitate closing this child-centred City investment while the commercial work went on.
Overall, more information is needed and more consideration must be made to the north side of the building. An increased set back to allow access and other mitigations measure such as a green wall or a setback on this side to increase the light and allow additional room of the tree could be considered.
Zoning / Height
The GCA would like to note that we are aware that there is a strong preference both within the community, as well as from visitors to the Glebe, for maintaining a strong pedestrian scale in building height and massing. Specifically, a recent survey carried out through the ImagineGlebe initiative of the GCA (900 survey completions, 30% of whom identify as being non-Glebe residents), pointed to strong support for maintaining “neighbourhood character” and development that is highly sympathetic to the heritage of the neighbourhood.
With the understanding that this proposal will follow the “normal” route in terms of planning approvals for site plan application, we would like to take the opportunity to raise the following concerns at this time:
The proposed height is in excess of the height restriction given TM H(15) along Bank Street. The proposed setback does not appear to mitigate height impacts sufficiently.
There is little discussion or acknowledgement of zoning requirements for building setbacks and stepbacks which must be more appropriately considered.
With that in mind, we would like to highlight some sections in the document that merit review and further consideration. In some cases, our view is that the analysis presented is somewhat misleading.
Page 12, Figure 13, the implied concept of a gateway to Central Park, from an urban planning perspective, is not considered appropriate in this context and should be reconsidered.
Page 28, the “Discussion” states that recent and proposed development along Bank Street to the north and to the south is typically 5 and 6 stories in height. In fact, there are no existing buildings higher than 4 stories on Bank Street in the area zoned TM H(15).
Further, the GCA Planning Committee is unaware of any other proposals that have been brought forward proposing buildings of this height, so this analysis should be reviewed.
More specifically, the document contains a number of references to the recent purchase and development plans for the “LCBO site” across the street. The GCA is not aware that this property has been sold to a developer. More importantly, we are not aware of any proposals for buildings of 5 storeys or more on this site – and in any case, no such plans have been approved by the City of Ottawa.
Further, there is mention that this building would be in line with the massing and setbacks of other buildings on Bank Street, including 685 Bank Street. To be clear, 685 Bank Street is a 3 storey building facing Bank Street, that transitions to a one storey building to the rear of the building where is abuts the residential zone. In fact, the large majority of the building’s footprint is one storey in height.
Page 29, the “Discussion” states that the 5th storey has been set back to give the appearance that the building is 4 storeys in height. However, there is no mention of the actual setbacks on all four sides of the building so that this may easily be evaluated by the reader. From the drawings provided in the annex, it does not appear that the setback is in conformance with a 45 degree sight line so the actual degree to which the 5th storey is hidden from view should be reviewed.
The document advocates that there is a gentle transition in massing to the east. However, there is no mention of required building setbacks when abutting residential property (the building appears to be within roughly one foot of the rear property line). Nor is there any discussion of the building elevations relate (or not) to the required 45 degree sight line to mitigate height issues to the rear/east.
Further, the discussion states that “new development along this section of Bank Street is typically approaching 6 storeys in height”. This statement is not correct – there are not existing buildings that are higher than 4 storeys.
Also on Page 29, in the 2nd “Discussion” relating to ground floor ceiling heights, the document states that a ground floor height of 4.73 m is compatible with the streetscape. In reality, there are only two examples of higher ground floor ceiling heights in the TM zone on Bank Street in the Glebe (Royal Bank building at Bank/First, and Shoppers Drug Mart, Bank/1st). The document indicates that the ground floor retail will be for local/independent stores in keeping with existing stores nearby in the Glebe, which would indicate that predominant ceiling height along Bank Street should be considered for this location.
To summarize, the GCA requests that the above aspects be considered in your report and suggests that additional assessment and possibly an updated Cultural Heritage Impact
Statement is required in regards to the North and East sides of the building before this request is brought forward to the Built Heritage Sub Committee.
Chair, Heritage Committee
Glebe Community Association
cc. Councillor David Chernuschenko