Meeting Minutes, April 1, 2009

 Present: Eric Darwin, Ida Henderson, Doug Gabelmann, Archie Campbell, David Seaborn, Phil Robinson, Emily Watkins, Michael Hatfield, Zsofia Orosz

Guest: Diane Holmes, Grace Xim (Chinatown BIA), C. Scaller, Jessica Sellars, John Stewart, Sean Darcy, Charles Akben-Marchand

Approval of agenda

Ad to agenda CAFES documents' approval.

Approval of minutes of March 4
Everyone received the comments from Charles - the minutes will be amended to indicate that the discussion about the anti-SCAN meeting was not offered as a detailed or official report of that meeting. A typo also has to be corrected in the councillor's report. Moved by David, seconded by Phil.

Parole Office

The possibility of the Ottawa Parole Office's move to 1010 Somerset was first raised in mid-March. There was a strong community outcry against the imperfect consultation process – the DCA sent in a letter. A public meeting on Monday, March 30 was attended by about 200 people. In light of the opposition to the location expressed by many in the community, the Minister of Public Safety instructed SCS to withdraw this location from the list of possibilities. The public consultation meeting for the second possible location on Industrial avenue planned for the same day was cancelled.

Diane and Councillor Hume are discussing the possibility of a motion to council that the parole office should only be located in the central business district (North of Gloucester).

It was decided that while the process was flawed, the DCA will offer to continue involvement of the selection process as appropriate as it is not opposed to having the parole office downtown, perhaps in a public access mall. Sophie to draft a letter to the Minister, MPP, MP, City, for Archie to sign.

Dominican garden

No news from the Dominicans, the head of Recreations and Culture who was involved with this project in the city, Aaron Burry has moved to be the head of social services. His replacement should be briefed in about 2 weeks.

Planning Committee

The 7 storey project at Rochester and Balsam has been abandoned, due to the planning department only supporting a 6 storey project which apparently took away the economic viability. Currently they are working with a 4 storey structure (townhouses or apartments), which will still require a 3.5-1m height extension of the current zoning. This would be a much more acceptable alternative, but no official details have been received yet.

It is not clear who demolished the former Mekong Grocery, the site has to be cleared of the rubble and graded. This will add one more to the many empty lots on Somerset between Booth and Preston.

Parking lot at Booth and Somerset is not official, the City should be called even daily on zoning violation. If there is any city right of way, trees could be planted. Trees could also go in on the site of the firemarshall ordered demolition on Cambridge.


The AGM will be on May 11, the topic will be green space in downtown. Archie has not heard back from Green Space Alliance, maybe the new person at the City responsible for Cycling Plan could be invited to speak. The May 6 regular DCA meeting will be still on. Ad in April Buzz for around $90 was moved by David, seconded by Ida.

Transit tunnel

Nothing to report.

Pedestrian plan

Wilf Copperd program manager implementing the Ottawa Cycling Plan approved last year and developing the pedestrian plan was laid off. As soon as it is clear who will take these activities on, a briefing meeting should be arranged.

Spring Cleaning

The first date is April 4, at 10AM in front of the community centre. Craig has maps, needle information, bags. Participants should bring their own gloves, though Ida has some to offer. Brownies are cleaning up Plouffle Park on April 14, Chinatown BIA on May 1, probably two days. The City has been doing an excellent job at street sweeping this year.

Tree planting on Albert

On both sides of the new multipurpose path on the North side of Albert, trees were planted between Bronson and Empress. Many more could be planted up to Bayview – the argument that this area will be redeveloped soon does not have to stop this seeing the slowness of the Lebreton Flats' redevelopment process. David to add this suggestion to the list of potential spots for trees to be sent to Diane.

Sir John Carling Building

This is the large office building on the N of the Experimental Farm near Carling/Preston that had been used by Agriculture Canada. Apparently a tender will be out for its demolition in the next few months. Some of the area around it is zoned for 14 storey and with the O-Train near this would be a higher density residental hub as indicated in the unfinished Carling-Bayview secondary plan. The suggestion that the DCA should advocate that this building should be not demolished but sold to a condo developer was not supported at this moment by the DCA. The reasons included the building's condition (pretty run down exterior and services, interior heights might not be conducive to modern condos, this is federal property so while they follow city requirements for permits etc, the City does not have a legal rights to dictate what happens to the building, this could be perceived as a first step towards selling the Farm for development), as well as the fact that this is not part of the DCA's catchment. At the same time, this is an award winning modernistic design from the 30s and the DCA does support the rehabilitation rather than demolition of structurally sound structures. For the moment, Eric and Archie will get in touch to find out more from Dows Lake CA (Cam Robertson) and Carlington CA (Michael Kostchuk).

Preston Street rehabilitation

4th open house was held on March 31. There will be no turn from Carling going east to Rochester as it was deemed unsafe by transport engineers. The BIA's Luigi signs will still go on, the hope is that Booth will be the preferred option for those crossing to Hull and Rochester for those looking for businesses on Preston. Primrose to Elm and Poplar to Willow should receive uniform retaining walls which are now missing from the plans – Eric to send comment to project team.

Deadline of submissions is April 8, publication April 17. Both Archie and David will be out of town on the distribution day.

CCC - Coalition of Community Associations

Last meeting on March 26. Marc Gobain presented on the history of King Edward Avenue – the King Edward Taskforce and the Lowertown Community Association might join the CCC. Ida to circulate the letter sent to NCC by the Island Park Community Association highlighting the need for high level examination of planning in the city.

Derek Reed of Action Sandy Hill is current head of CCC, he is trying to resurrect the idea of a tunnel between King Edward and Nicholas. There is no consensus on this in the CCC, it might not be wise to push for a 2nd tunnel in the city. If ASH, KETF, LCA supports this idea, it might get more traction.

The NCC has hired a consultant for the interprovincial transit study, they are assembling information and working on communications strategy. There is a steering group (includes CCC) meeting this week.

A letter from McKormic Rankin was circulated, invitation to an open house on the next phase of bridge replacement on the 417.

Community Safety

No report, they are only meeting every 2 months now.

PPRA - Plant Pool Recreation Assoc.

There is a dessert party planned for May 2nd, 2-4PM. It will be a joint effort with Cambridge Street School that is fundraising for a new playstructure.

New business

Chinatown BIA: May 1 Chinatown clean up; May 2, 2-5PM festival, kicking off 1 month of vernisage of 29 venues, 34 artists. This event and the dessert party could be tied nicely.

CCCA fundraiser at YukYuk's on April 2.

Lorne parking problems – many trucks block the entrance to the street as they offload in a no-parking zone. This could be dangerous for those exiting the street, as well as to the many kids who play on the street. Bylaw officers are not enforcing when people are sitting in their car and there has not been any reaction to phonecalls for 2 weeks. Sean to draft a note for Archie to send, there is also a need to sit down with the bylaw office to discuss the situation.

Councillor's report

 Federal infrastructure "ask" list includes Somerset Chinatown ($250K), Dante park ($600K), Ottawa housing. The final list will be a combination of projects selected by the province and the feds. One main selection criteria is the number of jobs a project would generate, advocates of projects should make a presentation to cte.

 parking management strategy – parking meters raise $9M annually, mostly downtown, but the funds are no longer tagged for parking issues. There is also going to be a move to park and display machines – existing parking meter stumps should be turned into bicycle stands.

 deamalgamation meeting on Monday – a referendum would be needed for deamalgamation, which would be difficult to push through council even. It is possible that the present 4 rural wards be merged into 2, moving closer to rep by pop. The 2 school trustees on the panel presented some interesting investment information resulting from the amalgamation of the schoolboard.

 Bluesfest noise mitigation information sheet was shared.

Pooley's bridge is still closed to pedestrians – Diane to look into why.