General Meeting – 16 September 2004

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Minutes of meeting of September 16, 2004

Champlain Park Field House, 7:30 p.m.

Members attending:  Chris Szpak (Vice-chair, chair of meeting), Barbara Barr (minute­ taker), William Grant, Amy Kempster, Janice Seline, Juan Pedro Unger

Guest: Barbara Robertson

Regrets:  Francine Portenier, Bill Royds

Documents available: Agenda; Minutes of meeting of August 26, 2004; “Re-focusing the organization – draft proposal” (Juan Pedro); and “5309 Bank Street – Status, concerns and possibilities” (for viewing)


  1. Approval of the Agenda In practice, the draft Agenda was amended to allow Juan Pedro to speak, before Agenda approval, on an item which is included in these Minutes as item 4c) “Future of Greenspace Alliance/Recruiting New Members”. The draft Agenda was further amended by adding h) “Provincial Policy Reform” and i) “OFGAC (Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee)” under item 5, and by adding “National Capital Commission” under item 7. MOTION: Amy moved and Janice seconded approval of the Agenda, as amended. Carried.
  2. Approval of the Minutes of August 26, 2004 MOTION: Amy moved and Barbara seconded approval of the Minutes of the meeting of August 26, Carried.
  3. Treasurer’s and Membership Report MOTION: Barbara moved and Janice seconded that the Greenspace Alliance accept the membership applications of Gordon Henderson, Jackie Chow, Keith McLean, Peter van Boeschoten, Peter Prins, Ron Tolmie, and Mik Svilans Carried.  MOTION: Barbara moved and Amy seconded that the Greenspace Alliance reimburse Juan Pedro $81.02 for printing costs for the brief about 5309 Bank Street. Carried.  Barbara reported $2,729.88 in the treasury, with outstanding expenses for room rentals at City Hall and for reimbursing J.P. for photocopying for the Wildlife Festival. Our share of the proceeds from the 2004 Run/Walk is not yet known.
  4. Business Arising out of the Minutes

a) Reimbursement for cost of Appeal Amy has not yet raised the issue of paying for the cost (total $250.00) of the appeals of the amendments to Kanata’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law (300-355 Goulbourn Forced Road) with the Kanata Amy has offered to personally pay for the appeals, if necessary. Also see item 5b.

Amy to inquire about funding appeals.

b) Item 4 of July meeting – proposed wording to resolve one part of Greenspace Alliance’s appeal of Ottawa’s Official Plan (concerning exception-related development rights and holding zones on lands owned by the National Capital Commission in O. Policy Draft wording suggested by Amy in the Agenda: “For the purposes of this policy, if the uses proposed are included in the listed exceptions of the zoning, the lifting of the holding zone will not be considered a zoning by-law amendment.”  The troublesome sentence in the Official Plan reads, “The lifting of a holding zone provision on an area where a public special study has been conducted will be done by City Council in a public process but will not be considered a zoning by-law amendment, for the purposes of this policy.”  Amy explained the issue, which was followed by discussion, and attempted resolution. MOTION: Amy moved and Barbara seconded that the following wording be submitted to the City regarding settling our appeal of Official Plan Policy “For the purposes of this policy, if the uses proposed are included in the listed exceptions of the zoning, the lifting of a holding zone provision on an area where a special study has been conducted will be done by City Council in a public process, but will not be considered a zoning by-law amendment.” Carried.

Amy to submit proposed wording to Lesley Paterson at City.

c) Future of Greenspace Alliance/Recruiting New Members Juan Pedro had prepared a two-page document, “Re-focusing the organization – draft proposal”, to summarize some proposed changes and actions to achieve key goals of increasing the membership, increasing the profile of the organization, raising public awareness of issues and concerns, and promoting and facilitating action by individuals and groups other than the Alliance and its Ideas were organized into five categories: 1. Carry out public events of general interest, which can attract supporters and sponsors; 2. Ways to publicize the organization and suggest support; 3. Ensure new members and supporters feel there is value for their money; 4. Facilitate support and membership; and 5. Meeting arrangements and content. J.P. briefly explained the major ideas and solicited additional ideas from members.  There was some discussion of the needs to set priorities, to create an annual work plan in order to have more structured objectives for the year, and to take an annual measure of progress toward objectives.  Development of a “how-to” package for individuals and groups facing proposed destruction of greenspace for the first time was mentioned.

J.P. to continue to take lead on this issue.  Board members to read over document and send comment and additional ideas to J.P.  J.P. to try to locate suitable free, or very inexpensive, meeting site.

d) Other In addition to the above, the Action column of the August minutes was reviewed.  Those items not yet undertaken or not yet completed, items which require new action, or items which are not covered elsewhere in these Minutes are listed. Membership exchange proposal with Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa Barbara conveyed the decision to Meg Sears via e-mail on Sept. 16th.   Review period of Development Charges – community involvement Amy contacted Jennifer Phillips regarding community involvement.  A meeting is planned.  Amy will represent the FCA at the meeting.      1179 Dozois Road – EIS assessment Not yet undertaken. Notification of Development Applications Not yet undertaken.     Use of Champlain Park Field House for Alliance meetings Amy requested the third Thursday for Alliance meetings. 5309 Bank St. setting up meetings with Councillors  5309 Bank St. petitioning Federal/Provincial Ministers about protecting the habitat of the two nationally endangered species. A press release and further publicity (such as through WildCanada. net) need to be prepared  Queensway widening

Erwin to represent Greenspace Alliance. Barbara & Janice to analyze. Erwin to contact John Moser’s dept. to ensure our areas of interest are known.   Amy waiting for answer. J.P. to follow up with Legendre and Feltmate and to contact Deans. Erwin to contact Bloess. Erwin to work with Iola Price on letter to Ministers.    J.P. to prepare further publicity. Amy to prepare submission from G.A.

5. Updates/Reports

a) 5309 Bank Street Juan Pedro reported that the Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments, to change the land use and zoning to permit quarrying, are now scheduled for Planning and Environment Committee on 12th. He had 15 copies printed of the revised brief to be used in meetings with Councillors.  J.P. and Barbara had a successful meeting with Councillor Cullen.  Councillor Holmes cancelled the meeting scheduled for Sept. 16th but will meet with a delegation later.  Barbara reported that she had shown Stephen Finnamore, Director of Real Property Asset Management, the photo of the bulldozed damage, asked him to look into it, and followed up the same day (Aug. 27th) with an e-mail.  He recently told her that he has asked someone to check up on it, and will get back to us when he has any information.

Barbara to contact J.P. about his continuing to arrange meetings with Councillors.

b) Kanata Lakes North (KNL) Amy met with the Kanata appellants on Sep. 9th concerning the appeals of Kanata’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law (300-355 Goulbourn Forced Road). Canderel and an individual named Sullivan also have appealed.  The Kanata appellants are beginning to organize and have among their group a traffic expert who has testified at Ontario Municipal Board hearings previously, and a forester who is surveying for Black Cherry and Butternut trees.  Fund-raising and hiring a lawyer are being considered.  The Plan of Subdivision does not yet have final approval. The group next meets on Sept. 23rd.

Amy to attend meeting.

c) Leitrim An additional Community Design Plan meeting, occasioned by a proposed relocation of the stormwater pond, is scheduled for 23rd.  Barbara reported that on August 6th, a delegation from the Friends of Leitrim, consisting of Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada; Meg Sears, Philip Martin, Albert  Dugal, and Sol Shuster had met with Dr. Robert Cushman, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, and others from his group.  The purpose of the meeting was to convey concerns about the leaching landfill and to seek action on the part of the City of Ottawa.  No action was promised.  On Sept. 8th, a delegation consisting of M. Sears; P. Martin; A. Dugal; S. Shuster; and Daniel Green, toxicologist with the Sierra Club, met with Charles Goulet, District Engineer in the Ministry of Environment’s Ottawa Office, to express similar concerns, particularly concerning the adequacy of the Area-Wide Risk Assessment (AWRA) done for Transport Canada.  Like most risk assessments, it shows no risk.  The MOE currently is considering the AWRA and is accepting comments.  Several individuals in the Friends have submitted comment.

Barbara to attend meeting.

d) Special Study Area Amy made a presentation on behalf of the Alliance at Planning & Environment Committee on Sept. 14th, arguing that all of the Study Area should be a Rural designation and that studies show that no more urban land is needed.  The staff recommendation, which followed recommendations in a report by Brunton, to make the northern part of the site Natural Environment Area and develop the southern part would not save the 40-acre Richardson Forest, which is in the southern part.  The staff recommendation was rejected by the Committee in favour of a land-use-designation­ change/gift-of-land-to-city deal worked out by Councillor Feltmate, executives of community associations, and landowners the day before the meeting.  The deal results in a gift to the City of 120 acres from a landowner; the development of the southern part of the Study Area, including Richardson Forest; and the net loss of Natural Environment lands.

e) 361 Monterey Drive Amy made a presentation on behalf of the Alliance at Planning & Environment Committee on Sept. 14th.  Saving trees and heritage trees were emphasized.   The majority of the Committee voted to develop the creekside urban woodlot.

f) Annual General Meeting The A.G.M. will be held on Oct. 21st in the Honeywell Room at City Hall. Ted Mosquin was not available as a speaker.  He suggested a person with the Rideau Waterway who is active in the organization for all Ontario land trusts. We do not yet have anyone to audit our financial records.  A nominating committee is needed.  Refreshments are needed.

Amy to arrange for speaker and make inquiries about auditor. Barbara to contact J. Dean re Chair and B. Royds re setting up Nominating Committee and Annual Report.  Barbara to bring refreshments.

g) Official Plan Appeals The Greenspace Alliance has received a Decision, dated 10, 2004, from the Ontario Municipal Board concerning the Pre-hearing Conference held on June 22 and 25. Additional Pre-hearing Conferences are scheduled for Oct. 20 (various appeals); Dec. 6 (“Retail”), Dec. 7 (“Urban Boundary”), Jan. 5, 2005 (“Community” and “Miscellaneous”), and Feb. 28 (“Transit” and “Greenspace Masterplan”). A proposed resolution for our Appeal of Policy is discussed in item 4a of these Minutes. Given the recent decisions by the City’s Planning and Environment Committee concerning the Special Study Area, we need to consider whether to withdraw our appeal concerning the Study Area.

Chris to arrange meeting of O.P. committee.

h) Provincial Policy Reform Chris, who took the lead on preparing the submission, reported that most of the comments had been formulated by Amy K. and Erwin Dreessen, with substantial help from material prepared by Stan.  Chris submitted the final comments to the Province.  Amy has received a report from the workshop she attended.

Amy to make workshop report available to others.

i) OFGAC (Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee) Bill G. reported about the OFGAC meeting held on Sept. 13th. The newly elected chair to replace Joanna Dean, who has moved, is former Vice-chair Iola Price.  Maria Bedard is the new Vice­ chair.  OFGAC will be holding a Fall Forum for the public on Oct. 2nd at City Hall.  A Citizens’ Advisory Group has been established to advise the City Forester and OFGAC about Marlborough Forest.  Two of the representatives are members of OFGAC.  A meeting will be held on Sept. 27th. OFGAC worked hard try to preserve more of the urban woods at 361 Monterey Dr.  The City has spent $100,000 to purchase more land in Torbolton Forest.  OFGAC is continuing to participate in the Community Design Plan for Riverside South.  The Committee will not be working on the issue of access roads through wetlands associated with the widening of Hwy. 7.  OFGAC’s next meeting is on Oct. 25th at the Carp Memorial Centre, 3739 Carp Rd.  The theme is the Carp Ridge.  A local resident is forming a Carp Ridge Society.

6. New Business

a) Wetlands Affected by Highway 7 Widening Barbara reported that a staff report which recommended not building any new access road to a widened 7 through a provincially significant wetland had been withdrawn the afternoon before it was scheduled to go to Transportation Committee. Apparently, more work will be done on the Environmental Assessment with respect to considering concerns of quarry operators. Barbara to monitor.

b) Forestry By-law The public meeting concerning the Good Forestry Practices By-law, which was scheduled for Planning and Environment Committee on 28th, has been cancelled.  A new date will be announced by the City.

c) Climate Change A City of Ottawa public meeting about climate change will be held the evening of 20th at Ben Franklin Place.

7. Other Business National Capital Commission (NCC) Amy reported attending a community meeting at which Councillor Little said he is working on getting the NCC to donate Rochester Field to the City.  Greenprint Amy reported that Greenprint is still active and is planning an ecofair Earth Day in the spring.

8. Adjournment MOTION:  Amy moved and Janice seconded adjournment of the meeting (at 10:15 p.m.).