DCA Minutes Dec 2, 2009

DCA Meeting and Christmas Dinner

December 2, 2009
Location: Vietnamese Palace

Present: Charles Akben-Marchand, Michael Hatfield, Ida Henderson, Eric Darwin, Craig S. Haynes, Doug Gableman, Ann Cavlovic, David Seaborn, Jessica Sellars, Maija Kagis, Zsofia Orosz

Guests: Diane Holmes, Laura Bergen, Lori Mellor, Grace Xim, Max Ross, Ron Clarke, Carol Sissons

Somerset Street reconstruction

Max Ross of the City (Infrastructure services) and Ron Clarke of Delcan presented the process for the upcoming reconstruction (roads, sewers, water) of Somerset. This is the continuation of the reconstruction started on Wellington from Island Park, stage 3 will be in 2010 Spadina-Preston, stage 4, Preston-Booth in 2011.

For the proposed planning and consultation process see attached document.

A number of issues were highlighted by DCA members during the review of the street plan present. These included expansion of pavement on over the O-Train, bike lane marking, inclusion in the East-West bike study, improving the hidden street intersection (Breezhill), safety at wide driveway to 1010 Somerset, the need to maintain safe walking access for school children during construction, flat roof buildings will be inspected for unofficial connection to sewers and some costs of reconnection to be defrayed by the City, tree preservation and additional planting is a priority; too narrow sidewalk at NW corner with Preston and the possibility of a three-lane configuration; bulbouts where the fourth lane on Somerset West of Preston turns into a dedicated parking lane; appropriate blending of design features: options can include continuation of decorative design from Wellington, from Somerset Chinatown and from Preston Street. Since this is a traditional mainstreet, high quality decorative elements will be used.

DCA representatives at the ongoing design consultation: Jessica, David, Eric, Ida, Charles and Sophie.

Planning issues

The Cornerstone proposal for Booth Street apartment building was approved by the Committee of Adjustment, subject to a revised site plan application. The DCA will write to request better landscaping around the parking lot (shrubs, extra tree on Eccles, improved fence). It is not clear whether the 2 large spruce trees can be saved on Booth Street during construction.

Demolition requests by Bank of Nova Scotia of a house in reasonable condition on Arlington, with no immediate plans to build – DCA will send in opposition.

2 minor variances (David left the room): 1) porch demolition to make way for new 2 storey enclosed porch on Gilmour/Percy; 2) request for fewer parking lots than required for the 2nd tower on the Flats. Eric will circulate photos for comments and will send in letters if needed by the end of the week.

Community news

CCOC has bought a 40 unit apartment building in the neighbourhood (address withheld, tenants are not notified yet). Roof and window replacement is planned, the building to offer permanently affordable units. This item is going to committee tomorrow as federal and provincial funds are used for the purchase, it is expected to be approved.

PPRA – it was pointed out that the Somerset Street upgrade community advisory should have a representative from the PPRA.

Somerset Street BIA – the meeting yesterday was very lively, lots of energy in the room as a wide diversity of people were brought together (merchants, Carleton students from area study, community representatives).

The DCA and Hintonburg CA nominated the PPRA for a provincial community award, the nomination letter is already sent in.

Media – with the more extended use of the web (blog), the DCA's visibility has increased, Eric has been contacted for leads by a range of media outlets throughout the city.