General Meeting – 27 June 2013


Greenspace Watch
General Meeting

June 27, 2013

Hintonburg Community Centre

1064 Wellington Street West

K1Y 2Y3


Members present: Erwin Dreessen (chair and note taker), Amy Kempster, Jason Kania, Lorne Peterson, Nicole DesRoches, Sol Shuster.

Guest: Klaus Beltzner

Regrets: Elina Elnione, Juan Pedro Unger.

The meeting commenced at 7:25 p.m.

Minutes of 23 May 2013

Lorne moved, seconded by Jason, to approve the Minutes of the General Meeting of May 23 as circulated. Agreed.

Jason moved, seconded by Lorne, to approve the draft AGM Minutes of May 23 for publication. Agreed.

Meeting dates July 2013 – June 2014

Meeting dates were agreed to as follows, always at the Hintonburg Centre, Basement Boardroom: 25 July 2013, 22 August, 19 September, 23 October (W), 28 November, 18 December (W), January 30, 2014, 27 February, 27 March, 23 April (W), 29 May, 26 June. “(W)” indicates a Wednesday; all other dates are Thursdays. Wednesday meetings start at 7:30, others at 7:15 p.m.

Treasurer’s report

Jason moved, seconded by Amy, to approve payment of $372.57 to Erwin for expenses related to the June 8 Panel Discussion event. Agreed.

Erwin reported that Janice Seline had brought him the proceeds of the Plant Sale, net of the portion going to the Poets’ Pathway Committee. The money has been deposited in our bank account.

Membership report

Amy moved, seconded by Jason, to approve the memberships of Paul Merriam and Klaus Belzner. Agreed.

Ottawa Official Plan review

Natural Linkages: Simon Callsen is editing the video presentations. All slides and summaries are now up on the web site. Editing the Q&As is next. Looking forward, subject to more detailed examination of what was tabled last Tuesday, it was felt that the modifications to Schedules L1, L2 and L3 should be supported but that this does not meet the standards set in OMNR’s Natural Heritage Reference Manual.

Country Lot Estates: Judy Makin will lead assemblage of evidence of practices in other Ontario municipalities that have prohibited CLEs. “Document 10” (2003) remains a useful reference for the arguments. Retrieval of the text on a board at last winter’s Open House was suggested.

Significant woodlands: Amy and Bettina Henkelman will provide argument based on the Natural Heritage Reference Manual that a “water feature” is not a necessary attribute for a woodland to be significant and be part of the Natural Heritage System (NHS).

Transportation Master Plan: No documentation will be available until September or early October. Klaus agreed that other citizen groups should have the lead in commenting on the TMP — positions we could support. Klaus provided a summary of highlights of transportation matters in the proposal tabled last Tuesday.
Key points: the modal split targets appear very aggressive and the numbers cited appear incoherent; carpooling appears to be counted as a sustainable mode but there are no data on this; the text appears to suggest that the City will decide when a comprehensive review is to take place, at which time additional urban land could be considered.

Aggregates review: Amy and Erwin met with Robin van de Lande; Ken McRae is also helping on this. Certain points in the draft report were clarified. Last Tuesday’s proposals will now have to be examined in detail. A quick review revealed that, under “Rural Implications,” the staff report states: “New areas of mineral aggregate resources have been identified and the policies have been be revised. This almost doubles the amount of rural land that will be set aside for aggregate extraction.”

Schedules L: We may be able to convince staff to include source and vintage of data, and adopt different colours for the various components of the NHS.

Support for the position of other groups: Amy and Klaus undertook to draft a letter in support of Ecology Ottawa’s campaign for Complete Streets.

Gatineau’s Plan directeur

Nicole will enquire with Gatineau’s City Hall what the deadline is for comment on the “Plan directeur” — the first one since amalgamation. She noted that 40% of Gatineau is agricultural land.

Wildlife Strategy

It is now confirmed that the Strategy will be on the agenda of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs agenda on July 4. With the exception of stating that communication skills are an important requirement for the new position of Wildlife Biologist, none of our suggestions were accepted. It was agreed that we should urge Councillors to support further meaningful consultation with the people implicated most, namely urban dwellers.
Action: We’ll likely be able to follow the lead of Donna DuBreuil (Sol/Erwin).

Cardinal Creek Village Concept Plan

Taggart/Tamarack’s proposal was before Planning Committee on July 25. In reply to an inquiry by Erwin, a senior planner confirmed that, contrary to statements in the staff report, the Official Plan Amendment (OPA) does not include text changes. He also assured us that, regarding appeal options for this “integrated” environmental assessment process, the Notice will not make the same mistake as it did in the Fernbank case.

The former President of the Cumberland Community Association continues to have concerns about the assumptions in the Transportation Plan (4 lanes on Highway 174) and the alleged availability of views of the Ottawa River from the proposed Community Park.

Erwin expressed concern that a large number of changes to the Concept Plan, the Transportation Plan and the Services Plan are set out as conditions (“Document 6”) before Council would approve the By-law bringing the OPA into force, and that this renders the process and outcome opaque to anyone but the Planning Department and the proponent. Still, it was decided not to take further action.

(Post-meeting note: The Disposition of June 25 is now available. Committee made four amendments to Document 6 and added an undertaking by Taggart in an email, dated the day of the meeting, to initiate a design guidelines process for the mixed-use area north of Old Montreal Road; Taggart seeks draft approval but will not apply for zoning or site plan approval until these guidelines are finalized.)

NCC Urban Lands Master Plan

Sol and Nicole undertook to contact the NCC about the process. Erwin noted that there was Decision item on this at today’s meeting of the NCC’s Board of Directors.

Brief reports

NCENN Funder Forum (May 31): Amy reported that eight funders attended and that the discussion turned mostly on specific small projects by charities. For our purposes, only Trillium and TD Bank could be of interest.

FCA AGM (June 3): Erwin reported that last year’s Executive will continue, except that James O’Grady stepped down as Vice-President – Communications.

SMH-CRC AGM (June 4): Erwin reported that the main thrust of the group will be the formation of a land trust for the Highlands.

NCENN monthly meeting (June 17): Erwin reported that the feature presentation was on a new “Ottawa Eco-talent Network” that is intended to bring the research needs of a community to a mentor who will guide the work of students at Carleton University. The network, in preparation for a year, is likely to focus on engineering-type issues, not on policy or legal matters.

Ottawa Riverkeeper (June 18): Their gala raised $130,000! They recently received a $490,000 commitment from the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation [document no longer online] for a 3-year partnership. In the margins, Erwin spoke with Meredith Brown who offered advice on capacity grants from Mountain Equipment Coop. Members encouraged Erwin pursue this option further, perhaps with an eye on obtaining assistance for web site content.


The meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.


The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 25 at the Hintonburg Community Centre starting at 7:15 p.m.