General Meeting – 27 March 2012

Greenspace Watch

Meeting of March 27, 2012

RA Fieldhouse


Members present: Amy Kempster (chair), Erwin Dreessen (note taker), Jason Kania
Guest: Heather Hamilton
Regrets: Elina Elnione, Sol Shuster, Alicia Reckzin, James O’Grady

The meeting commenced at 7:25 p.m.


The agenda as circulated by Amy was accepted with the addition of six items.


Erwin moved and Jason seconded to accept the Minutes of February 28 as circulated.

Business arising from the Minutes

– 471 Sangeet Place: Amy has sent off our response.
– GHG resolution: Amy will send letters shortly, adding a plea for a change to the Development Charges Act to do away with the 10% deduction for transit costs. She will circulate a draft and also copy Ecology Ottawa.
– Cell towers: Erwin sent a letter to Council on March 14 and posted it to the List.

Treasurer’s report

Nothing to report. Erwin moved, seconded by Jason, to renew our membership with FCA. Erwin paid $30.00 in cash to Amy, who promised a receipt.

Update on OMB hearings (OPA 76)

– Country Lot Estates: The hearing on Cavanagh’s Leave to Appeal the moratorium now scheduled for May 22. Our letter to the Court and City and Cavanagh’s lawyers saying we decline participation is ready to be sent out (Amy).

– Flewellyn: No news about resolution of Cavanagh’s continuing dispute with the City concerning final wording. Absence of a final order following the decision in principle of July 21, 2012 is holding up important amendments that are not disputed, including the definition of “natural heritage system” components and flood plain policy. Post-meeting note: Cavanagh will seek clarification from Member Jackson at a hearing on April 13, 2012 in the Keefer Room. Cavanagh seeks to clarify three points.

– Urban Boundary: The Phase 2A Decision has not yet been released. No news about the City’s expected initiative to request clarification of the Phase 1 Decision. Post-meeting note: On 28 March, City Council adopted a motion empowering legal Services to seek confirmation that the 850 ha of urban land decided in Phase 1 include 163 ha in the Fernbank area.

Urban Natural Features report

Jason has not received further comments on his earlier draft but has received comments from David McNicoll. He will send a copy of his draft to Heather.

Amy noted that the Baseline report from Choosing Our Future contains nothing useful with regard to natural areas. There is no monitoring.

Choosing Our Future reports

Heather reported that the staff group responsible for this project at City Hall was disbanded immediately after release of the reports as part of the overall reorganization at City Hall. Anna Hercz is retiring. There have been reports of political interference in the final reports.

Horizon 2067 and Greenbelt Master Plan review

No report.

Ecology Ottawa

Amy, Sol and Erwin met with Ecology Ottawa on March 8. A report was posted to the List two days later. We have common ground in resisting urban sprawl and support Ecology Ottawa’s initiative to develop a Community Network in up to 100 neighbourhoods.

South March Highlands

A public meeting on March 26 was well attended, including by several Alliance supporters. Further KNL development (Phases 9, 7 and 8) is on hold until the City has completed its Phase 2 investigation of watercourses downstream of the proposed development (Shirley’s Brook and Watts Creek). A Conservation Plan for the Blanding’s Turtles population is being developed but remains incomplete without monitoring and enforcement. Erwin plans to send some comments to staff, including the concern that the design standard for sewer work is not keeping up with the impact of climate change.

Beechwood Cemetery view protection

A well-attended public meeting was held on March 19. Roger Boult and Grete Hale are meeting with the Mayor’s office on March 30. Heather suggested involving Tommy Douglas’ daughter, Shirley Douglas, and the Built Heritage Advisory Committee.

Fisheries Act amendments

Jason reported that opposition to removal of section 35 protecting fish habitat is growing throughout the country.

Park and Pathways Development Manual

Council tomorrow will approve this manual. It is intended as a guide for developers to create parks and pathways in new subdivisions and is an indication of the City’s definitions and standards. The 206-page 14 MB Manual can be found at . Erwin sent an extract dealing with pathways to the Poets’ Pathway Committee.

Annual General Meeting

– Date proposed is Tuesday, May 29, at the Champlain Park Fieldhouse. (Amy to confirm.)
– Erwin re-committed to starting a draft of an Annual Report.
– Various commitments were made to contact potential additional Directors.
– Iola Price and Erwin will prepare proposals in conformity with the new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Heather alerted us to the distinction between “members” and “supporters,” and the possible implications to the organization of both.

Elina’s video

Jason agreed to take a look at Elina’s collection of interviews recorded at Amy’s Christmas Party (“Why is the Greenspace Alliance Important to you?”) and provide some feedback.

Web site and Listserv

Erwin and Jason met on March 3 and discussed a 2-page list of possible tasks to improve various aspects of the web site and the list service. Jason and Ron Rancourt will confer about suspected vulnerability of web sites on the Bluephyre server. Jason will set out some options, their cost and pros and cons.

3i Summit

Tucker House and various sponsors, including the City of Ottawa, are holding a Summit on “Sustainability: Collaboration for Action” on May 4 and 5 at the Dow’s Lake Pavillion. Register on-line at Two-day registration is $75 and includes two lunches and the Sustainability Soirée. Passes for the Soirée only may be purchased for $25. For more information visit or contact Laura Leet at, 613-656-7800.

Planning Summit

Word started leaking out in the last few days about the Mayor’s Planning Summit on April 26.
Post-meeting note: The invitation was received and posted to the List on April 2. The summit will be held from 9 to 3 at the CE Centre on Uplands Drive. Register on-line at [no longer online] . Seating is limited.

Heather informed that OFGAC is working on a summary report of the issues arising from development application reviews it has done since the passing of the Urban Tree Conservation Bylaw in 2009.

Nature Summit

The Biodiversity Institute has applied for funding for organizing a grass-roots Summit about the State of Nature in Ottawa. The Summit would take place in April/May 2013. Amy suggested involving the CAFES group and the FCA.

The meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

Next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at the Colonnade Restaurant (corner of Metcalfe and Gilmour) at 7:15 p.m.