Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Draft Minutes Feb 1 meeting

DCA Draft Minutes, 1 Feb 2012


Present: Charles Akben-Marchand (chair), Catherine Boucher, Don Smith, Eric Darwin (sec), Mike Powell, Stephanie Strudwick, David Seaborn, Ida Henderson, Don McMaster, Pat Snair, Archie Campbell. Guest: Laura Bergen from the Councillor’s office.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved with a minor change (moved by Catherine, seconded by Eric).

Report of Development Committee

Soho Italia at 500 Preston: major changes include moving the garage to the basement and a slight reduction in height. We remain concerned that it is not a landmark exterior despite its prominent location, that stepbacks are required as the building goes up, and that it’s still too damn high. A letter to planning committee will be sent.

347 Booth infill: we are delighted with this project and will support it in its current form.

Bridgehead on Anderson: city approved $1 in lieu of parking, as the proponent will be providing significant exterior enhancements and landscaping

Cambridge street apt issue: the CofA turned down the increased number of apartments. We were pleasantly surprised by this decision. We are unsure if there are now four or five legal apartments, but certainly not seven. The property owner can now renovate the building to accommodate the legal number of units permitted, or ask Council for permission to do something else.

• Update from CDP special meeting on City Centre Ave lands: Domicile and Equity are proposing a height gradient from South to North, whereas the draft plan calls for a North to South gradient. The DCA feels the east (low) to west (high) gradient is the key one. We will write to the CDP teams suggesting that the old railway building on site be saved/relocated; that shadow studies need to be provided, that there be a more adequate step down to the Spruce Street townhouses, and that we express concern that there may be too much retail in the plan. We also fear that once the south goes high, the developers will keep returning to get the other parcels just as high. There has to be a iron-clad mechanism for locking in the gradients so that later developers obey the plan. There should be no garage access off Somerset, and the spaces between the buildings to be more intimate and pedestrian scaled, perhaps by using building step-backs as they go up. The parking garages need to be unbundled from the condo units so they can be used day and night.

• Public meeting (we are co-sponsors) for Bayview-Carling CDP on 6 March, 7pm, at Tom Brown arena. Will show the CDP movie, probably Part 3 as that is most relevant. Councillor Holmes volunteered to provide copies of the flyer as required for our distribution.

Report of Transportation Committee

• Rescue Bronson: we won a victory in the battle over the lane widening, yet to come are battles over the landscaping, intersections, and Arlington crosswalk. There will be a PAC meeting soon, for which planning needs to be done (a pre-PAC) and the City is proposing an open house in March, but it appears they may not have “final” drawings available, ie no Somerset intersection, no Gladstone intersection, no Arlington intersection, no landscaping, no final lane widths, no turn radii at corners. In which case, what is to be accomplished at that meeting??

Albert Street – widening & bike lane proposal: to deal with increased bus traffic when the transitway closes for conversion to LRT, the City may propose to widen Albert between Bayview and Empress to six lanes. The outside lanes would then be redeveloped to separated bike lanes in 2018 once the LRT opens. There was considerable mistrust expressed, that once the traffic has six lanes it won’t go back to four. The City refuses to discuss the issues until the fourth quarter of 2012, at the earliest, by which time they probably expect to have a “fait accompli” that is too late to change.

Proposed east-west bike paths PAC: with so many proposed improvements to the BikeWest route, the aqueduct route, and Scott-Albert on-road lanes and SBL, we approached the city to set up a PAC on the cycling issue, building on the success and great working relationships developed with the O-Train corridor bike route (for completion in 2012). Alas, the city rejected community input pending their completion of the plans, which sort of goes against our wishes to work with the city to develop better cycling facilities. We tried.

Rochester and Booth traffic signal poles at Somerset: rather bizarrely, the city has installed these new poles right in middle of the sidewalks, where they already interfere with snow plowing and pedestrian movements. Councillor to follow-up.

Sec 37 Discussion. Under Sec 37 and the regular Development Charges levied on new developments, monies will become available for community uses. The DCA needs to have a handy priority list of things we want funded.

Including, where should money be spent? For example, should monies be spent anywhere in the city/anywhere in the ward/as close as possible to the subject site? Capital projects vs program spending: Do we want to identify specific projects that the city isn’t likely to provide on its own (note we don’t want to fund things that the city should be funding anyway) . After some discussion, it was agreed that CB would draft a position paper for circulation.

One time tree grant: we have $1500 to spend on trees in the ward, courtesy of the Councillor’s office budget, for which we thank her.  This would be enough to curb and plant one large street tree on an existing bulbout or side boulevard. Or we could use funds to buy numerous smaller trees (plant ourselves??) to put along the bike path between Somerset and Bayview. After some discussion, we decided to use the money for trees (preferably locusts) on the south side of Gladstone between Cambridge and LeBreton.

CSIS advisory : referring to previous correspondence circulated to board, about (non)-co-operation with CSIS. After a brief discussion, the Board decided to take no action as no motion was presented.

Park renovation plans: the Elm Street park (Chaudiere Park) revised plan has been released. We decided to work with local residents to refine the plans and see if we can we expand the park onto the existing street right of way. We need summer home for the perennials now planted there, the empty planters on Spruce west of Preston were suggested.

AGM: discussion centred around a date and speaker. Details TBA.



Other Business: dues payable to FCA was approved; and to place a Buzz advert for the CDP meeting.

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