DCA Minutes, Jan 6, 2010

Dalhousie Community Association Meeting

January 6, 2010

Present: Michael Hatfield, Doug Gabelmann, Phil Robinson, Charles Akben-Marchand, Eric Darwin, David Seaborn, Archie Campbell, Maija Kagis, Zsofia Orosz

Guests: Laura Bergen (councillor's office); from The Door: Malik Ayass, ED, Debbie Barton, Board member

The minutes from December
The minutes were approved as presented - Charles, seconded by Doug.

The Door
The Door is a youth drop-in centre that has been operating upstairs in the Dalhousie Community Centre for almost 16 years. Its open for youth 12-18 years and offers recreational, social, educational programs, Monday to Thursday 4-9PM – see attached documents for program details. Members provide a lot of input for the programming. There are many new Canadians among the members in particularly Karen, a growing community in Ottawa that sees The Door as a focal point for the youth. Thus English as a 2nd language is offered. They are working closely with local schools and other service providers such as Rochester Heights, Boys and Girls Club, with whom they set up quarterly meetings to compare information, coordinate action. The Door is the only youth service provider in the area. They have a successful dinner (plus snack and dessert) program that they are determined to maintain despite the end of targeted funding – donations from the foodbank and local bakeries helps. Organizing “Girls only nights” encourages and has increased female participation. Monthly 45 min. workshops focus on lifeskills: body image, cultural sensitivity, piercing and tattooing, drinking and driving, gangs, let's talk science, pink triangle, safe travelling.

The Door's Board is committed to do outreach in the community, with different organizations to explore potential joint work. The Door is a part of the neighbourhood fabric, members participated in spring clean up and garden maintenance, they are concerned about the Dominican land sale (sent letter to support City's purchase) as they see the garden as connected to the building and which might secure the long-term future of the building in City hands. Main funding (annual budget is around 100K) comes from federal clawback of national child care benefits, as well as applying to foundations.

Following the discussion, DCA board members were shown around The Door situated on the 3rd floor.

No report was presented. The Traffic Committee discussed LRT corridors (Carling and parkway) today.

Planning issues
The first meeting of the Somerset Street reconstruction will be on January 12, room 36 here,7-9. The DCA consensus was that the Chinese BIA theme should be continued all the way to the triangular park near West Wellington St. Regarding parking needs of Plant vs biking lane vs safety for school children the consensus was that we should take advantage of this opportunity to turn the street into a more pedestrian friendly environment before further development comes to the area, for example Domicile site. It was not confirmed who would represent the PPRA.

Claridge/LeBreton Flats: Request for height increase (no elevations are available) and allowance to build closer to the aqueduct on the Flats, Phase III development: this is presented by the city as a minor correction of a technical error whereby the zoning plan and subdivision plan do not match. The DCA is opposed to these requests as a variety of building heights is desired to avoid canyon-like results. Eric to write.

Drive-through businesses: DCA is to write in support of OP plan amendment to prohibit drive-through businesses on traditional main streets. David to write.

Housing/City parking lot at Cambridge and Somerset: this item was put on the agenda to explore interest among board members to work on plans to develop this site into housing. This would require a lot of negotiations with different stakeholders (City, BIA, CCOC, etc) The City might be amenable to sell or lease the lot for $1. The idea would be to get plans ready for a future opportunity that might come up for funding. Eric to contact the City housing department. The site on the Somerset front is zone for 6 storeys but towards the residential section it is transitional, max 3-4 storeys. Another site that might be interesting to explore is next to the OCH housing on Gladstone, towards Preston.

Environment and recreation
The skating rink should be running on Monday in Plouffe Park.

Permanent no-parking signs for N side of Albert: currently temporary parking signs are set up for Bluesfest. This requires cooperation and effort to make sure it is set up and enforced each year. Eric to send a note to request permanent signs to protect the greenspace. City staff considers sign set up and maintenance costly.

Snow removal: sidewalks have been well cleared this season, snow removal started late as snow came late. The Bayview snowdump is phased out this year.

The Buzz: deadlines are now on Mondays, a space is kept for the DCA report (David to write), delivery is on the 14th.  Charles is scanning the first 4 seasons of The Buzz and will post them on the website.

The DCA AGM will be in May, Eric to find out available dates. Ideas on topic and who to invite are welcome.

There was no councillor's report.