General Meeting – 20 September 2011

Greenspace Watch
Meeting of September 20, 2011
RA Fieldhouse


Members present : Amy Kempster (chair), Sol Shuster, Erwin Dreessen (note taker)

Guests : Elina Elnione, John Savage, Martin Callsen

Regrets : Jason Kania, Alicia Reckzin

The meeting commenced at 7:30 p.m.

An amended agenda was moved by Erwin and seconded by Sol. Agreed.

Update on Land Trust Initiative
John re-iterated the general motivation of his proposal for a national urban land trust. Amy suggested to contact the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club. (Erwin will provide John with the coordinates of Ken Young, chair of the OF-NC’s Conservation Committee.) Sol explained how this initiative fits in with attempts by the Greenbelt Coalition to expand the current Greenbelt.

John, with the assistance of Prue Thompson (SMH) and Erwin, now has about ten names of interested members of the community and will call a meeting soon.

Urban Boundary Hearing, Phase 2 (OPA 76)
Erwin explained the timeline for the City’s recommendation to the OMB regarding new urban lands (Planning Committee decision on September 27, Council decision on September 28 or October 12). Lobbying should be both offensive (certain parcels staff recommends for development should not become urban) and defensive (against developers who want certain parcels urbanized that staff proposes to leave out). The likely strong inclination of Council to not again (as they did in 2009) deviate from staff’s recommendation was noted. No firm plans for a lobbying or media campaign emerged.

There will be an OMB Pre-Hearing Conference on October 19 at which time groups or individuals can request to be a Party or a Participant in the Phase 2 hearing.

Treasurer’s Report
Erwin summarized donations and membership renewals received. He moved, seconded by Sol, re-imbursement for expenses related to re-incorporation, printing of pamphlets and bookmarks and sundry expenses totalling $358.62. Agreed.

Approval of Minutes
Erwin moved, seconded by Sol, to approve the Minutes of July 26, 2011 as distributed. Agreed.

Discussion of Names
Sol suggested to try using the name “Greenspace Watch” as our operating name for six months, to see if it would help recruit additional members. Erwin countered that developing a brand name following takes years, not months. He also noted that we have a domain name, “,” that is used for both our web site and e-mail service. No decision was made.

Updates on other OMB Appeals (OPA 76)
+The “Airport Lands and Employment” hearing was held on September 19 and concluded in 1 1/4 hour, because all appeals were withdrawn. The Greenspace Alliance’s appeal was settled, having achieved five points:

1. the City’s Official Plan was amended to include a commitment to hold consultations with the community and stakeholders before giving input to the Airport Authority on its concept land use plans;
2. in a letter by Planning and Development General Manager John Moser, the City has committed further to hold such consultations at both the terms of reference stage and the draft final report stage;
3. lands leased by the Airport Authority were more correctly described in the Official Plan;
4. the City committed to come forward before the end of the year with a clarification of the meaning of “organic soils” in the Official plan and/or the Slope Stability Guidelines; and
5. the Airport Authority has released its Wildlife Management Plan; it will soon be made available on the Greenspace Alliance web site.

While we can be pleased with this outcome, Erwin cautioned that a large potential loophole remains (section 3.10.1, Policy 3): Development proposals may be considered on a case-by-case basis in advance of these concept plans if site-specific issues are adequately addressed and the proposed uses are consistent with the Authority’s Land-Use Plan and the Greenbelt Master Plan.

+The hearing on Country Lot Estates will commence on October 24. It appears most appeals were withdrawn and the only issue remaining is Council’s decision to impose a moratorium.

City of Ottawa Budget 2012
A canvas among members of CAFES was noted, including a letter from Ecology Ottawa. The Alliance may raise the matter of a fund for the purchase of natural areas which is currently exhausted and has not seen budget allocations for the last few years.

Other Items
Reports on other items (site alteration, heritage trees and urban natural features) were deferred.

Adjournment and Next Meeting
The meeting adjourned at 10:07 p.m.

Next meeting is set for October 25 at the Champlain Park Fieldhouse, unless determined otherwise by the Chair.