General Meeting – September 24, 2018


Greenspace Watch

General Meeting


September 24, 2018

Hintonburg Community Centre

1064 Wellington Street West

K1Y 2Y3

Members present: Paul Johanis (chair), Erwin Dreessen, Jason Kania, J.P. Unger, Nicole Desroches

Guests: Amanda Allnutt

Regrets: David McNicoll, Jake Harris

The meeting commenced at: 7:20pm

  1. Adoption of the agenda

The proposed agenda was agreed upon. It was also agreed to bring forward items from the August 20th meeting agenda, as there was no quorum for that meeting.

  1. Administrative items

a. Minutes of the June 25, 2018 and July 23, 2018 meetings (for approval)

Erwin moved, seconded by Jason, to adopt the minutes of June 25 as presented. Erwin moved, seconded by JP, to adopt the minutes of July 23 as presented. Agreed.

b. Membership/Board report

A number of membership renewals were received in the past few months. The introduction of etransfer of funds as a payment option has expedited renewals and payment.

c. Treasurer’s report

Paul reported on the receipt of membership dues during the month. He also presented a request received from Free the Falls for a contribution towards funding a Speaker’s Panel to be held on October 27 2018, 2:00 to 5:00 P.M, at the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Rd. Erwin moved, seconded by Jason, that a donation of $200 be made for this purpose. Carried.

d. Webmaster’s report

Paul reported that GA member Van Nguyen has started to work on some of the changes to the website that we had previously discussed. Jason reported that he’ll have to do some work to make our ISP address secure (“https://”), otherwise Google searches will be soon be degraded.

 e. Volunteer report

Paul indicated that the volunteer who had agreed to work on our GIS project has withdrawn. We will seek another candidate through Volunteer Ottawa.

f. Geodata report 

Nothing to report.

 g. Association reports

Paul reported on a grant application we made in partnership with Ecology Ottawa to the Climate Action Fund for a Youth Climate Change Ambassador program. Our participation had been approved by the Board by email the week prior in order to meet the submission deadline.

  1. Policy instruments

a. 2018 Municipal Election Strategy

Amanda reported on the status of the Municipal Election Survey and presented different options for reporting on the results. It was agreed to put out the results in line with the proposed outputs during the week of October 8 and to seek out media channels to report on them.

Action: Paul and Amanda to prepare the survey reports and release them the week of October 8.

b. Ecology Ottawa mayoral debate, September 26

Paul reported on the format and content of the mayoral debate that we are co-hosting with Ecology Ottawa and 6 other environmental organizations. All preparations seem to be coming together and a well-organized debate with 8 candidates (although the current mayor is a no-show) looks like it will draw a good audience.

 c. Candidates’ Debate on Climate Action – Rideau Vanier, October 8

In response to a request from CAFES, we are also helping with the organization of a councillor candidates’ debate in the Rideau Vanier ward on October 8, 7:30 to 9:30, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa Hall, 400 McArthur Rd.

d. Significant Woodland Guidelines – draft

City staff have provided a first draft of guidelines for implementing the Significant Woodland Policy. These reflect the discussions over the last year of a working group of stakeholders, which included the GA. Protection of peri-urban woodlots will be included in the review of the urban trees by-laws. Paul has reviewed and submitted comments by the September 21 deadline set by the City.

Action: Paul will circulate the draft report.

 e. OPA 150 settlement meeting with City of Ottawa, September 18

Erwin reported on a meeting with City officials on September 18 dealing with the settlement of the GA’s appeal of OPA 173, which approved the Community Design Plan and urban designation of the Kanata North Urban Expansion Area (Area 1 in OPA 76 terms). His report to the GA list and other networks can be found here.

  1. Threats

 a. Rural greenspace

i. Nothing to report

b. Major urban greenspace

i. Soundstage development on part of former Greenbelt Research Farm

Erwin reported on the open house he attended concerning a private sector proposal being considered by the NCC to convert some unused structures and open spaces on the former Greenbelt Research Farm, at the corner of Hunt Club Rd. and Woodroffe Ave., into a film and sound production hub. The upshot is that we are not opposed in principle but would like to clarify the terms of the compensatory measures being proposed to counterbalance the non-restoration of this area to greenspace. See his report here.

Action: Paul to write to the NCC about the compensation measures.

ii. Areas 2 OPA, Planning Committee approval, September 11

Paul reported on this item having been approved at Planning Committee. We did not make representations as we estimated that a number of changes were made to the proposal by the proponent as the result of public input, including our own, at a series of open houses over the last two years. We still feel this area should never have been identified for urban expansion in OPA76.

 iii. Wesley Clover rezoning application, Planning Committee, September 25

Paul reported on the rezoning proposal brought forward by Wesley Clover Parks to add specific permitted uses to the EP zoning applied to the former municipal campground section and to the RU zoning applied to the equestrian park section of this property, situated on Corkstown Rd west of Moodie Drive, in the Greenbelt. These uses are already approved and operational on the property and this part of the application is more of a housekeeping change. However, even though we are reassured that no structures will be erected or permitted as a result of this zoning clarification , we are very concerned about the scale of the operations being proposed, in particular outdoor music performances intended to attract 25,000+ spectators. Our submission to Planning Committee is here.

c. Other greenspace

i. Committee of Adjustment appeal, 21 Withrow

Paul and Erwin gave a report on their participation as parties at the LPAT hearing of the appeal filed by the proponent of a 14 unit housing development on a two acre greenspace and heritage property at 21 Withrow in City View. The Committee of Adjustment had denied the proponent’s application to split off four units from this plan of subdivision in order to undertake its development ahead of Planning Committee’s consideration of the plans for the full property. Members of the local community association, the Poet’ Pathway and the Greenspace Alliance argued that the CoA was correct in denying the application. We believe we had a good hearing and that there is some hope that the appeal will be denied.

The Meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.