General Meeting – 26 March 2003

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Meeting of March 26, 2003, 7:30 p.m., Honeywell Room, City Hall


Attending: Barbara Barr (minute taker), Al Crosby, Erwin Dreessen, Mary Hegan, Theresa Jobateh, Amy Kempster, Michael Mack, David McNicoll, Bill Royds, Chris Szpak

Guests: Lara Van Loon (guest speaker), Francine Portenier

Regrets: Sara Gagné, Juan Pedro Unger

Documents Available: Revised Agenda; Minutes of meeting of February 26, 2003; draft letter to Marcel Beaudry regarding new road to McKenzie King Estate (Amy); draft Official Plan amendment regarding woodland cover (Al)

The mail file was circulated.

1. Approval of Agenda
The agenda was revised to add Woodland Cover Target in Official Plan as item 7a, to include a report on four development applications under item 11a, to add Tabling Events as item 11b, and to replace Sawmill Creek Subwatershed Study Update with Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study as item 12. The revised agenda was accepted by consent Miscellaneous announcements were included informally.

2. Approval of Minutes of Feb. 26, 2003 meeting
Barbara moved and Bill seconded that the minutes of the meeting of February 26, 2003 be approved. Carried. Note: The Minutes of Nov. 20, 2002, have not yet been amended and approved.

3. Business arising out of Minutes

Item 4a – J.P. finished press release about Official Plan and circulated it.

Item 4c -Incorporation is Item 10 on Agenda for this meeting.

Item 4d – Sara circulated draft Leitrim article to Friends of Leitrim Wetlands for comment.

Item 5a – Barbara sent $100.00 donation to Aylmer Land Trust c/o Evergreen. Trees have already been cut. Status of donation now unknown. Bill to follow-up on status of donation.

Item 5b – Bill updated brochure with new e-mail address, etc. and set up e-mail so that membership applications will be sent to Sara. Letterhead has not yet been changed. Barbara to e-mail letterhead to Bill. Bill to update letterhead.

Item 5c – No report on preparations for Ottawa-Outaouais Social Forum scheduled for May 2-4. Note: Action on Ottawa-Outaouais Social Forum needed.

Item 5d – Barbara reported that the first meeting of the Public Advisory Committee for the Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study is scheduled for April 9.

Item 6. Amy attended the first meeting of the coalition to save Gatineau Park, but is unable to attend the second meeting on March 27. Bill to attend Gatineau Park meeting on March 27.

Item 7. Barbara presented submissions on site plan for 5875 Jeanne D’Arc Blvd. and on 2002 Delegated Authority Applications at Planning Committee on Feb. 27.

4. Membership and Treasurer’s Report, including bank signing authorities
Barbara read a detailed motion concerning bank signing authorities. The motion was seconded by Erwin and carried. A copy of the motion document will be kept by the Treasurer. The signing authorities are Barbara Barr, Amy Kempster, Bill Royds, and Chris Szpak. Two signatures are needed on any cheque. Signature cards were signed at the meeting and witnessed by Erwin.

Barbara to deliver document, signature cards, and photocopies of driver’s licences to savings office by March 31.

5. Guest Speaker- Riverkeeper – Some Preliminary Thoughts on the
– Problems of the Ottawa River – Lara Van Loon
Lara Van Loon is the first Riverkeeper of the Ottawa River. She has been on the job for about two months and is currently funded for two years. She gave an overview of the Riverkeeper project. The Plan is to start in the National Capital area and to patrol both ways on the river. The Board is now well organized. There is a hotline. Funds are needed to purchase a boat. Some goals are to produce a state of the river report and to protect the river from further harm. Lara provided a handout of the Ottawa Riverkeeper’s web page, which reads “A healthy, ecologically sustainable Ottawa River available for all communities.” The website is The “River Hotline” is (613) 864-7442.

Some upcoming events include the annual local Ottawa River clean-up on May 3, a visit to the Greens Creek sewage treatment plant on May 9; a fundraising Waterwalker Festival on May 16; and celebration of National Rivers Day on June 8, when there will be various events and activities to celebrate the Ottawa River.

A suggestion was made that the Greenspace Alliance become a member of Ottawa Riverkeeper and vice versa.

New/Action Items

6. NCC open house and SEA report
A draft “Strategic Environmental Assessment Capital Agenda 21” was available at the NCC’s “Capital Agenda 21” public open house on Feb. 12. Amy and Barbara prepared comment on the SEA and circulated it to the Board. It was submitted to the NCC (dated March 14, 2003) under Amy’s signature as Co-Chair.

7. Revised Official Plan and 7a. Woodland Cover Target
The March draft of the Official Plan will be considered by Planning and Development Committee beginning March 31. Items mentioned in discussion that the Greenspace Alliance should support included maintaining the current urban boundary; prohibition of rural estate lots; Special Study Area for lands near the proposed Terry Fox Drive extension in Kanata; and preservation designations for the Merivale/Woodroffe Corridor. The Plan needs a good and consistent definition for greenspace, one which includes grasslands. More terms should be included in the Glossary. Amy noted that the NOSS (Natural and Open Spaces Study) names used in Document 16 (in P&DC Agenda 49) are not descriptive. Concern was expressed about Major Recreational Pathways in the Schedule. The Submission should be made “under protest” because of the lack of time to consider the draft. Amy to get date and time to speak before Planning Committee.

Al circulated a draft proposed amendment for woodland protection in O.P. Section 4.7 and indicated that Councillor Jacques Legendre was willing to introduce such a motion. The purpose of the motion is to establish a minimum 30% woodland cover target. There was consensus that the Greenspace Alliance will support such a motion. Al to follow up with Councillor Legendre.

A committee consisting of Chris, Amy, Barbara, and Mike was formed to examine the March draft of the O.P. and prepare a submission. Committee to meet at Chris’s Apt. at 2:00 p.m. on March 30 to discuss draft O.P.

8. May NCC meeting
The NCC invited community organizations to submit a brief by April 7 to participate in a May 7 meeting at which organizations can make short presentations to the NCC’s Board. Some e-mail discussion among Greenspace Alliance members had taken place concerning whether to participate this year, and if so, what to present. The Poets’ Pathway (last year’s topic) Committee did not think it would be useful for them to participate at this time. Although Gatineau Park development issues would be a possible and current topic, the consensus was not to participate this year.

9. Gatineau Park – draft letter re. MacKenzie King road and other matters

Amy circulated a draft letter to NCC Chair Marcel Beaudry, expressing unhappiness with, and requesting the NCC to reconsider the project to add a new road to access the McKenzie King estate. It was agreed by consensus to send the letter. It is to be sent by regular mail and to go out under Bill’s signature as Co-Chair. Bill to send letter to Mr. Beaudry.

Announcement: Amy announced that the Ottawa Valley Chapter of CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) is holding a public meeting about Gatineau Park on April 2 at 7:15 p.m. at the Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Announcement: Amy announced that Greenprint is trying to put together an EcoFair for the end of May.

10. Incorporation
Chris obtained both federal and provincial information kits about incorporation and had prepared a summary showing the differences. The cost to incorporate is $200.00 federally and $155.00 in Ontario plus $15.00 for a name search. An appointed auditor will be needed, but the auditor does not have to be a professional. Federal incorporation includes some reporting requirements. Bill moved and Mike seconded that the Greenspace Alliance seek federal incorporation as a non-profit organization. Carried. Chris to follow up.

11a. City notifications – how to handle them; report on development applications
Erwin reported that he had requested the City to stop sending Committee of Adjustment applications and applications for Site Plan approval in order to stem the recent inundation of development applications for review. Someone needs to discuss the issue with the City’s contact person to try to get only applications of interest, such as those involving wetlands, woods, creeks, NCC’s deferral lands, and parks. Ideally, if there were appropriate volunteers, the Greenspace Alliance could assign people to be responsible for reviewing development applications in various geographical areas of the City. A suggestion was made that community associations could be contacted for volunteers. Another suggestion was that the Alliance should pursue the idea of having the City list development applications on the City’s website. Amy to contact City person managing reviewer list to try to get applications of interest.

Barbara reported on four previously received applications. (1) Comment, drafted by Barbara, was submitted, under Amy’s signature and dated March 14, 2003, opposing the Official Plan Amendment Proposal for 5479 Richmond Road which would expand the current urban boundary. (2) Comment, drafted by Barbara, was submitted, under Amy’s signature and dated March 17, 2003, opposing the proposed development of wetland and forest at 6043 Hazeldean Road in Stittsville (proposal is to amend Official Plan to change land use designation from Business Park to General Urban Area). (3) Connie Molyneaux visited the 2790 Baseline Rd. – 1362 Guthrie St. site in Nepean and reported to Barbara that the existing recreation areas had already been destroyed and that there was a park nearby. In her opinion, there was no point in commenting on the proposed site plan for townhouses. The Greenspace Alliance did not submit comment. (4) Joyce Wright reported to Barbara that the local community association was dealing with matters concerning the proposed zoning by-law at 599 Smyth Road to create an exception which would allow a new parking lot to occupy a Leisure Linkage Zone (L2). The Greenspace Alliance did not submit comment, but we should continue to follow this application. Barbara to follow zoning proposal for 599 Smyth Rd.

Erwin had screened the applications received and selected several of possible interest. Francine took one dealing with a proposed development in Navan. Barbara took the rest. They are: (1) Site Plan Control Proposal for 3187 Albion Rd. South (Findlay Creek Village subdivision at Leitrim); (2) Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendment Proposal for Kanata North Business Park; (3) Plan of Subdivision Proposal for 427 Laurier Ave. West; and (4) Site Plan Control Proposal for 5810 Jeanne D’Arc Blvd. We also received a notice of Planning and Development Committee meeting for March 27 concerning Proposed Official Plan Amendments for Urban and Village Expansion Requests. The staff recommendation is to refuse five different applications. Francine to follow-up on Navan application.
Barbara to follow-up on other applications.

11b. Tabling Events
Wildlife Festival. We are signed up for the Wildlife Festival at Carlingwood Mall. This will be our second appearance at this event. Juan Pedro to continue to lead on this.
EcoForum. The consensus was not to participate in the EcoForum at Billings Bridge on April 24.
Run-Walk for Clean Air. Amy reported that it is desirable that the Greenspace Alliance have a second volunteer to attend organizational meetings for the June 1 Run/Walk fund-raising event. Even though we have provided workers on event day in the past, the funds raised may be split differently in the future if there is not greater participation during the organizational period. The next meeting is on April 8. Amy to try to find another volunteer.

Updates/Brief Reports

12. Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study
Barbara reported that the first meeting of the Public Advisory Committee will be held on April 9. The organizers want the name of an alternate representative. Bill volunteered. Barbara to give Bill’s name to organizers.

13. Adjournment
Mike moved that the meeting be adjourned. Carried.

Next Meeting: April 23 in the Billings Room at City Hall.