General Meeting – 28 April 2004

Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital

Minutes of meeting of April 28, 2004

Billings Room, Ottawa City Hall

Members attending:  Bill Royds (Chair), Barbara Barr (minute-taker), William Grant, Theresa Jobateh, Amy Kempster, Paul Koch, Janice Seline, Juan Pedro Unger

Guests:  Lesley Paterson (guest speaker), Magala Goemans, Francine Portenier, Ron Tolmie

Regrets:  Chris Szpak

Documents available:  Agenda; Minutes of meeting of March 24, 2004

1.  Call to OrderChair B. Royds called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m.

2.  Approval of Agenda

The Agenda was amended to add “k. Other” under Business Arising from Minutes. The amended Agenda was approved by consensus.

3.  Presentation on Official Plan Appeal, Lesley Paterson, City of Ottawa

Lesley informed the members that the pre-hearing for the O.P. appeals will begin on June 22nd, with five days reserved for it.  The hearings likely will not take place until 2005.  The pre-hearing will involve setting dates for the hearings, determining who will be parties, settling procedural issues, and exploring options for mediating issues.  The City is in the process of trying to resolve issues before the pre-hearing.

Lesley then went through the Greenspace Alliance’s appeal item by item, making comments.

(1)    Noted that we had reserved the right to appeal any portions of the O.P. which may be affected by the Greenspace Master Plan.

(2)    Appeal of Section 2.4.5 Policy 3 likely can be resolved.  Amy will submit some proposed wording regarding holding zones on National Capital Commission (NCC) property to City staff.

(3)    No expansion of the Urban Boundary will occur without a subwatershed plan in place for the area of expansion.  Perhaps the appeal of Section 2.4.5 Policy 5 can be accommodated by adding some additional wording to the O.P. policies concerning subwatershed planning to clarify that the identification of natural features will be a part of such studies.

(4)  The appeal of Section 3.11 may be resolved, depending upon the proposals for the Special Study Area in Kanata.  The staff recommendation concerning the Special Study Area will be to make the Urban Boundary coincident with the expansion of Terry Fox Drive.  The Natural Area will be outside the Urban Boundary.  Consultant Dan Brunton is re-examining the area.  The proposal for the lands will be going to Planning Committee in July, with a public meeting in Kanata before then.

Amy to draft wording.

(5)    Appeal of Sections 3.2. Policy 1; 3.2. Policy 2; 3.2. Policy 3, and 3.3. Policy 1, concerning minor adjustments to boundaries without amending the O.P., may be resolved by clarification in the O.P. that any such changes will always involve a zoning change, so there will be a public process in every case.

(6)    The staff recommendation was for no country lot subdivisions at this time.  Council decided differently.  The Greenspace Alliance indicated to Lesley that we are open to mediation of our appeal of Sections 3.7.2 (policies 6 and 7) and Section, with our position being the elimination of country lot subdivisions in Rural Natural Features only.(7)   With respect to the appeal of Section 4.7.4.Policy 1, Lesley’s advice was that the wording “significant portions of” is a quote directly from the Provincial Policy Statement and that definitions are in that document. It would be unwise to stray from the wording in the Statement. It seems likely that we will drop our appeal of this item.

Lesley will bring a report to the June meeting of the Greenspace Alliance.  She also will write a memo advising senior planning staff of some of our concerns, which appear to be related more to internal procedures and the way the intent of the O.P. is being carried out rather than to a need to change the O.P. itself.

4. Approval of Minutes of March 24, 2004

The Minutes of the meeting of March 24th were amended to change “. . . naturalist and reporter for the ‘Ottawa Valley News'” to “. . . botanist” in the last sentence of Item 7a, and to change the title of Item 7f to “Kanata KNL Proposal”.

Motion:  Barbara moved approval of the Minutes of the meeting of March 24, 2004, as amended.  Carried.

5. Treasurer’s Report

Motion:  Amy moved and Bill G. seconded that the Greenspace Alliance reimburse Barbara $7.94 for photocopying expenses incurred at the Wildlife Festival.  J.P. has outstanding expenses from the Festival.

Carried forward from Feb. Mtg.: Barbara to follow up on invoice from Ottawa U.
6. Membership Report

Barbara moved and Amy seconded that the Greenspace Alliance accept the membership applications of Divya Goel, Meg Sears, Friends of the Carp River, and Paul Koch. Carried.

We have received a suggestion that the Coalition for a Healthy Ottawa and the Greenspace Alliance exchange memberships.

Deferred to next meeting.

7.  Business Arising from Minutes

a. Official Plan Appeal Progress (see item 3)

b.  Run/Walk for Clean Air

The Run/Walk is Sunday, June 6th.  The next meeting of the organizing committee is May 4th.  Amy explained some of the activities of the organizing committee.  The event will be more family-oriented this year, with entertainment.  Organizations will have information booths (no rain shelter; may need to provide own table).  The profits will be less this year because of the additional cost of an ad.  Amy reiterated that she will not continue as the Greenspace Alliance’s representative next year.  Magala volunteered to attend the next meeting of the committee.

Amy and Magala to attend meeting on May 4th.

J.P. to organize information exhibit for June 6th.

c. Wildlife Festival Report

J.P. reported that the Wildlife Festival event went smoothly.

Motion: Amy moved and Barbara seconded that the Greenspace Alliance thank Juan Pedro for organizing the Greenspace Alliance’s participation in the Wildlife Festival and for the display he provided.  Carried.

d. Newsletter

Deferred to the next meeting.

Item deferred.

e. NCC Urban Lands Study (Southern Corridor Petition)

Bill R. reported that about 200 people attended the April 6th meeting of the Hunt Club Community Organization to discuss the Southern Corridor. A petition, organized by Patrick Richter, currently has about 5,000 signatures. He intends to present it at the OMB hearing concerning the National Capital Commission’s appeal of Ottawa’s Official Plan.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is holding a workshop about funding for environmental initiatives at the R.A. Centre on April 30th.  This foundation is a possible funding source for Poets’ Pathway initiatives.

Bill R. to attend workshop.
f. 5309 Bank Street Rezoning

Bill R. reported that a meeting in the community will be held on May 10th concerning Tomlinson’s application for a licence under the Aggregate Resources Act.  Some neighbours are concerned about the current quarrying activities.  The Provincial Policy Statement provides as strong protection for aggregate resources as it does for the natural environment.  Limestone is not rare in the area.  A nationally endangered plant species occurs on the site.

1216 Old Prescott Road

Rather than contacting Nancy Doubleday at Carleton concerning the possibility of having a student project which would analyze, in detail, the adequacy of Environmental Impact Statements (see Feb. minutes, Item 7e), Bill spoke with Cynthia Levesque and David Miller at the City concerning the inadequacy of the Statements.

Bill and J.P. to draft and circulate letter about freezing development on the site.

Not pursued.

g. Kanata KNL Proposal

Ron gave an update on the current proposals and problems.  Amy provided a map of Plan “H”, the developer’s most recent proposal.   The staff recommendation will go to Planning and Environment Committee on May 11th.  Shirley’s Brook will be moved and called a “natural feature” with a 25- acre buffer around it.  The Conservation Authority wants buffers on the edge of Kizell Pond.  The City is not paying strict attention to the legal agreement concerning the 40% of land for conservation purposes.  Many community groups have agreed on a Plan “Y”, but in that plan perhaps too much of the 40% land is being devoted to recreational activities such as sports fields.

Amy to draft submission for Planning Committee.
h. Kanata Special Study Area Proposals

Amy noted that the Urban Boundary should follow the Natural Area boundary.

i. Urban Natural Areas Study Status Report

Barbara and Amy reported that the three open houses to update the public on the Study had been held.  Maps had been updated.  Areas not studied by the consultants in 2003 will not be visited in 2004.

j.  Meeting with NCC Board of Directors

At the Feb. meeting of the Greenspace Alliance a motion was passed that the Greenspace Alliance apply to participate in this event.  Subsequently, the Chair decided that participation was not practical.

k. Other

149 Constance Creek Drive

Bill did not draft the letter to the Minister of Natural Resources (see Feb. minutes, Item 6f).

6631 Fernbank Road

Barbara did not prepare the submission to the City’s planner (see Feb. minutes, Item 7c).

Carried forward from Feb. Mtg.: Bill to draft letter.

Barbara to draft submission, if not too late.

8.  New Business
a.  Plan of Subdivision 1179 Dozois Road

A recent e-mail from Planner Cathlyn Kaufman indicates that the City is going to accept less than a full Environmental Impact Statement for the development of this property , which is partly in a Rural Natural Feature, when the former Region’s O.P. requires a full statement.  Councillor Doug Thompson should be made aware of the inadequate procedures.

Barbara to draft request to lift approval authority delegated to staff.
b.  Montfort Woods Rezoning to ES Comments

Al Crosby has provided draft comments for submission to the planner by May 5th.  Bill R. made a few minor changes.  Barbara has a few minor changes to suggest.

Barbara to e­ mail changes to Bill.
c.  Development Charges

Amy reported that the staff report on Development Charges will be presented to Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee on May 4th. Public Consultation on the staff recommendations will follow.  (The public meeting is scheduled for May 18th at Corporate Services Committee).  Amy submitted comment to staff about the Development Charges Background Report and attached detailed comment from Erwin, which focused on ways to improve and clarify the Report.  One large issue will be the number of development charge areas.  Staff propose only four.

Amy and Erwin to continue to follow this issue and draft submission for May 18th.
d.  Development Review Process

Barbara reported by e-mail (April 16th) that a report (“On Time Review Initiative”) about changes to the Development Review Process had been tabled at Planning and Environment Committee on April 13th. The method of public consultation had not yet been decided although the recommendations are to be back to Planning Committee by June 8th.  Some of the proposed changes, if adopted, likely will result in less opportunity to resolve community issues.

Members present briefly discussed the difficulties of having enough people to adequately review development proposals and the difficulty of receiving appropriate development proposals from City staff.  Better collaboration among the Environmental Advisory Committee, the Ottawa Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee, and the Greenspace Alliance might reduce overlap and create efficiencies.
e.  Alta Vista Corridor

Quentin Bristow provided an e-mailed update to the Alliance.  The consultants’ update on the study, with the finding that a four-lane highway with a lane in each direction for high occupancy vehicles, is the preferred alternative will be presented to Transportation Committee on May 19th.  The Alliance should decide whether to make a submission to the Committee.

If action is to be taken, a submission must be ready before May 19th.
9.  Short Reports


10.  Adjournment

Barbara moved adjournment at approximately 10:25 p.m.