GREENSPACE ALLIANCE OF CANADA’S CAPITAL
September 26, 2016
Hintonburg Community Centre
1064 Wellington Street West
Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Nicole DesRoches, Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), Amy Steele, Bruce Lindsay, Sol Shuster, David McNicoll, Ian Whyte, John Almstedt
Regrets: Jason Kania, Juan Pedro Unger
The meeting commenced at 7:13 p.m.
1. Adoption of the Agenda
A modified agenda was agreed upon.
2. Administrative items
a. Minutes of August 22, 2016: Erwin moved, seconded by Bruce, to adopt the Minutes as circulated. Agreed.
b. Membership report: Bruce moved, seconded by Erwin, that Susan Young be accepted as a member. Agreed. We now have a “Welcome New Member” letter (attached).
c. Treasurer’s report: Ian moved, seconded by Amy, to add Paul to the list of persons authorized to sign Greenspace Watch cheques. Agreed.
Erwin moved, seconded by Sol, to compensate Bruce for various promotion expenditures for a total of $171.92.
Bruce moved, seconded by Sol, to acquire a 30×60″ banner for approximately $100.00. Agreed.
3. Action items
a. KNL lands: On October 6, ARAC will consider an Engineer’s report on the Kizell Drain and diversion of Shirley’s Brook. Erwin will attend. On September 13, Planning Committee approved a Front-Ending Agreement for re-alignment of Goulbourn Forced Road; as a result of pressure from Faith Blacquière and the NCC, specification of the size of the culvert was deleted from the Agreement so as not to prejudice the ultimate stormwater management solution for KNL. An agreement on the SWM solution remains elusive; Erwin’s request to staff (Lee Ann Snedden) to receive a debrief on the state of the discussion has yet to be responded to. We also continue to await the Minister’s decision on KNL’s application for an “overall benefit” permit under the Endangered Species Act.
Amy suggested to inquire whether the floodplain for the Kizell Drain had now been established. Paul suggested that the 1970’s “60/40” agreement should continue to be respected.
b. Ottawa Hospital site selection: A report on the NCC’s public meeting of September 22 is on the web site. The survey allows comments on the criteria and on the 12 sites. To be noted: Sites 3, 4 and 5 are in the Greenbelt; locating a hospital there would be counter to explicit policies in the November 2013 Greenbelt Master Plan.
c. OPA 173: Our appeal of the Official Plan Amendment that turned the Kanata North expansion area into General Urban has been filed, along with a Part II Order request under the Environmental Assessment Act to disallow the location of stormwater Pond #3 in the adjacent rural area. The grounds for the OPA appeal are: (1) The conditions of Official Plan Policy 3.11.2 have not been met; (2) The notification requirements prescribed under Bill 73 have not been fulfilled; and (3) The determination that woodlot S20 is not a significant woodland under the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement is not substantiated.
d. GA20/Canada 150 event: A grant application for $5,000 has been submitted for an event on May 27 that would launch the Shoreline Neighbours project. A meeting is planned for October 6 to seek the support of the Champlain Park Community Association.
e. Airport Widening Environmental Study Report: The final report is now up for public review, until October 11. Action: David will perform some due diligence, with the expectation that the Alliance can repeat its earlier comments: 1- the widening should wait until the impact of the O-Train extension has been ascertained; 2- support for the wildlife crossings across Lester Road.
f. Ontario Wetland Conservation Strategy: We commented earlier on this, in a first round. This is the second round of the review process; deadline is November 16, 2016. Action: Nicole will look into the discussion paper (EBR 012-7675) and prepare comments.
4. Upcoming events
a. City information session about employment lands and population projections – September 29: Both Paul and Erwin will attend.
b. Park People: Paul is to meet with Natalie Brown on October 6. She is with a Toronto-based non-profit group that provides tools to community groups for improvement of local parks and public spaces.
c. University of Ottawa Volunteer Day – October 13: Bruce and either Paul or Erwin will attend.
d. Water rate restructure report: The staff report is to be released on September 27 and is headed for Environment Committee on October 18.
e. Healthy Transportation Coalition visioning session: A final date (Nov 8-10) has not been determined.
f. Federal environmental assessment process review: Information was posted to the GA List on September 13, including reference to the work by West Coast Environmental law. The Panel is in Ottawa on November 8, when there is also a workshop. Action: Paul, Nicole and David will pursue this.
5. Reports on outstanding issues
a. EBR review: Action: Ian and Ken Buchan remain committed to suggest comments. Deadline is November 8.
b. Public engagement project (with FCA): Two students are engaged for the Fall term to identify best practices in Canadian municipalities regarding land use issues. Erwin and Bob Brocklebank had a first meeting with them on September 21. Nicole suggested that Gatineau has some good practices to offer.
c. Membership application for Volunteer Ottawa: VO’s web site birth pains are now past and our membership is in effect. Erwin and Bruce are to meet with VO on September 28 about finding us a recording secretary.
d. OMB decisions project: Robert Marinov has delivered an excellent report. It substantiates our suggestion that the OMB should function more as an appeal body than like a trial court. In trial-like hearings it tends to be persuaded by developers’ expert evidence rather than guided by law and policy.
e. Conservation Authorities Act review: The facilitator’s report on the workshops that were held across the Province is now available. Action: Erwin will update the web page.
6. Information items
a. Poets’ Pathway: The PP Committee is currently facing several challenges: The Woodroffe-Merivale Corridor could be destroyed by either an LRT maintenance yard or a hospital; Kilmorie remains under threat; the Lincoln Fields/Pinecrest Creek area is another site under review for a hospital.
b. Remer lands: Josh Kardish wrote in, appreciating our intention to not appeal the zoning amendment and looking forward to working with the Alliance in the process of clearing the other Conditions of the draft Plan of Subdivision. He undertook to provide feedback on our comments filed with staff on September 6.
c. Meeting with CRDO: Juan Pedro, Bruce and Iola Price met with Thierry Harris on September 8 at Erwin’s house. Thierry has a video production firm and also undertakes volunteer projects. We discussed what it will take to effect change at the municipal level. The idea of a core group devoted to communications was discussed.
d. Significant Woodlands policy: Paul and Erwin attended a meeting on the proposed new policy. Action: Erwin will post Nick Stow’s slides to the web site. Discussion to be taken up next meeting.
e. Eastern Ontario Green Plan: A second meeting was held on August 29. The next meeting is set for October 17.
f. FCA meeting – September 15: Main topic was a discussion of the outcome of the Executive’s strategy meeting. Action: Bruce will distribute the working document. All Board members will respond to the FCA survey distributed by Erwin earlier.
g. OFNC-Conservation Committee meeting – September 15: Paul and Ian attended. Ian committed to writing a paper on cats.
h. NCC Urbanism Lab – September 20: Guests were officials of the Washington, DC National Capital Planning Commission. In response to a question by Erwin it was learned that the public there is able to address the Commission at its monthly meetings and that the reports it considers are available well in advance. Action: Further to earlier correspondence with the NCC on transparency, Paul will write to suggest they emulate the NCPC.
i. Tree Day – September 21: Erwin posted a report on the web site.
j. NCENN meeting – September 23: Discussion of what the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s “Green people” had to say was deferred to next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 9:03 p.m.
The next meeting will be on October 24, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. at the Hintonburg CC.