General Meeting – 28 November 2016


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


November 28, 2016

Hintonburg Community Centre

1064 Wellington Street West

K1Y 2Y3

Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Erwin Dreessen (notetaker), Amy Steele, Bruce Lindsay, David McNicoll, Juan Pedro Unger, John Almstedt

Regrets: Iola Price, Nicole DesRoches, Sol Shuster

The meeting commenced at 7:25 p.m.

1. Adoption of the Agenda

A modified agenda was agreed upon.

2. Administrative items

a. Minutes of October 24, 2016: Erwin moved, seconded by Bruce, to adopt the Minutes of October 24 as amended.

b. Membership report: Bruce provided an update on the active and non-active membership roster. It was agreed to reach out to CPAWS-OV for renewal of membership. He was encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to have a table at events and to seek volunteers to assist. Anyone becoming aware of an opportunity should contact Bruce.

3. New action items

a. OPA 173 appeal: The City has agreed to settle on the matter of inadequate Notice; there will be a consultation process about the City’s requirements now that Bill 73 is in force. (See also item 5.c below.) The hearing about the OPA being premature and about preservation of Woodlot S20 will go ahead on December 8. Action: Paul will draft a media release, to be issued around December 6.

b. Ottawa Mountain Bike Association: Paul spoke with the President of OMBA, specifically about the Forest Glen Park project in Orléans. He was assured that ecological considerations rank high in their project planning and heard that their experience is that defined trails reduce the extent of informal trails people make in natural areas. They will stay in touch about the Cumberland project. Action: Paul will contact Don Barrett who had written to us on November 6.

c. Aggregate Resources Act – Bill 39: Proposed amendments following the Blueprint for Change consultation in 2015 are on EBR#012-8443. Erwin conveyed Gravel Watch Ontario’s preliminary advice. We decided not to take further action.

d. Baseline-Woodroffe Stormwater Pond: This Schedule B Class Environmental Assessment flows out of the 2011 Westboro-Pinecrest Retrofit study in which John was much involved; there will be an information meeting early in the new year. Erwin has asked the City’s project leader if the proposal in any way impinges on the Poets’ Pathway which passes by there. Action: Erwin will follow up with Poets’ Pathway Committee if necessary.

f. Feedmill Creek Stream Rehabilitation: The City is holding an on-line Open House about this Schedule B Class Environmental Asssessment until December 9. Action: John will provide comments, pointing out that the nearby car lot and shopping mall provide excellent opportunities for lot-level stormwater management, yet this is not considered.

4. Reports on previous action items

a. KNL – Overall Benefit Permit: The permit has been issued and will be posted when received. There were 422 comments on EBR#012-6270 last February. Action: Erwin will update the web page on this matter.

b. KNL – Kizell Drain: Faith Blacquière and Erwin spoke at the Agricultural and Rural Affairs meeting of November 24. Contrary to their advice that the Drain should be abandoned to allow more comprehensive planning, an Engineer was appointed under section 78 of the Drainage Act to identify needed repairs, presumably independent of KNL’s desire to divert 150 ha of Shirley’s Brook Watershed into Kizell.

c. Sangeet Place CLE: Also approved at ARAC on November 24 was a second phase of the country lot estate subdivision at 471 Sangeet Place near the Jock River. This file goes back to before 2005 and has seen much controversy, including an Alliance intervention. It is exempt from the current prohibition on CLEs.

d. Urban Forest Management Plan: Paul attended stakeholder meetings on November 8 and 22 to provide feedback on the draft Plan. He worked with the Tree Ottawa-led task force to formulate comments. A coalition of inner-city community associations also made substantial submissions. A revised draft is expected in Q1 of 2017. Action: Paul will create a web page on the UFMP project.

e. Planning Committee of November 22 – OPA 2016: This OPA aims to fulfill the OMB’s requirement to complete the LEAR review and Employment Lands study and update the population, household (housing) and employment projections to 2036. Paul spoke in support of the projections, noting that they include improvements in accord with his suggestions at the hearing for OPA 76. Many individual situations were to be resolved before this OPA rises to Council on December 14. The documents do not explain why the mixed-use Enterprise Area designation failed to attract proposals. Bottom line: There is no immediate need to expand the urban boundary. Action: Erwin will update the web pages after December 14.

f. OMB reform: Erwin’s presentation at the FCA meeting of November 7 was well received. He has worked with an FCA task force to help prepare their response. As for our own, a few refinements were discussed and one item remained to be finalized. Action: Erwin will circulate the final text and submit upon approval, then update the web page and encourage GA List subscribers to send in comments.

g. Green Plan Framework: Paul has engaged some students to work out further details of the framework he presented at last month’s meeting.

h. Ottawa Hospital site selection: The NCC’s recommendation of a Tunney’s Pasture site, issued on November 24, is the win-win solution the Coalition to Protect the Central Experimental Farm was looking for. Action: Erwin is continually updating the web page on this issue.

i. EBR review: We have not heard from Ian Whyte or Ken Buchan. As the deadline is now past, no further action will be taken.

j. Ontario Wetland Conservation Strategy: We wrote in to support the excellent submission from Ontario NatureAction: Erwin will update the web page.

k. GA20/Canada150 event: Our grant proposal was not approved. Holding an event at Champlain Park / Remic Rapids will nonetheless continue to be explored. John mentioned another opportunity, to connect Kanata and Arnprior along the Ottawa River.

l. Healthy Transportation Coalition: No-one was able to attend the November 8 visioning meeting.

m. GA List subscriber survey: The survey was distributed on November 23.

n. Volunteer projects: One of the two students working on best practices in public engagement is delaying her report until the new year; the other will deliver some results soon. The student working on the land acquisition has mysteriously disappeared. Action: Erwin to inquire with the University of Ottawa.

5. Upcoming

a. Federal EA review: David attended the November 8 workshop. Action: He will prepare input before the December 18 deadline.

b. New Significant Woodlands policy: A final version of the proposal will be discussed at Planning Committee on December 13 and would then be considered at Council on the 14th. The report is not yet available, so we’ll have to determine our position by email. Action: All, when the report becomes available on December 6.

c. Implementing Bill 73: FCA wrote to Council protesting the City’s plans for a Planning Advisory Committee as now required by Bill 73. At Council on November 9, on a motion by Councillor Harder seconded by Councillor Leiper, this part of the mid-term review recommendations was deferred. Erwin suggested that there is now an opportunity to engage with the City on several aspects of implementing the new requirements related to the public’s role in planning matters. See also item 3.a above. He is in touch with Gary Sealey on this.

6. Information items

Information items on Eastern Ontario Green Plan and NCENN meetings were deferred.

The meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

The next meeting will be on December 19, 2016 at 7:15 p.m. at the Hintonburg CC.