DCA Minutes (draft) April 7, 2010

DCA minutes (draft)  7 April 2010

Present: Craig Haines, Eric Darwin, Ida Henderson, Michael Hatfield, Zsofia Orosz, Jessica Scallen, David Seaborn, Eric Bates, Charles Abken-Marchand

Guests: Lisa Iman, Diane Holmes

Minutes of March 3
Adopted as distributed; motion by Micheal, seconded by Jessica

Chinatown arch
Services redirection is already started, for example Hydro is working on overhead wiring and gas lines are being relocated. April 22 is official opening ceremony. The DCA decided it cannot afford to be a listed donor for the structure.

Somerset reconstruction
The public open house had a big turnout, many comments were submitted, mostly positive. The next meeting to assess the changes based on comments made at the open house will be held April 8th.

Bronson reconstruction
The engineers were very car and suburb oriented, didn't seem to be aware that most of it is traditional main street as per official plan and a scenic route. They want to widen the roadway so would have to take land off the gardens, encroaching on intersections. Robinson is the consultant firm. Our reps thought they were 100% car focused and ignoring the neighbourhood realities and possibilities. David, Eric D and Erik B to propose a walk around with both consultants (Robert Cotham) and city project manager for both Bronson and Preston. Tentatively another meeting is planned for May 6.

Cycling along O-Train corridor
CCC to send support note to 2 councilors and Vivi Chi. Detailed engineering study is ongoing, with the expectation that the underpass and path will be constructed in 2011.

Champagne Hickory rezoning
Eric wrote in objecting to the height requested and to support the new pedestrian bridge over the train cut at Hickory which is also supported by the developer. Parking provision – it is fuzzy if he can by himself offer less parking, or if it has to be required by the City to offer less parking, because it is close to a transit corridor. Developer is suggesting he'd offer 1 parking space per unit rather than 1.2.

Other Planning Projects
The planner responsible for the Claridge application on the Flats said that it the choice of the developer as to how much parking is provided for projects close to transit stations, while in other cases the policy has been interpreted so that the developer is held by the City to these standards. The first section of the new Claridge building at 200 Lett Street on the Flats is occupied, they are building the 2nd wing and tower of it right now. The new application going to the City is for a third structure, comprising a 6 storey building, townhouses and an increase to 8 storeys for a smaller apartment unit. The DCA will oppose the application for increased height as the original plans aimed for mixed height buildings and we do not want the flats to turn into a collection of high rises with sterile spaces between. It is better for the buildings to step down in height as they approach the aquaduct, not that they get higher.

Domicile development site on Somerset
Domicle owns a large site on Somerset West. He has extremely tentative plans for the site. Based on our discussion of the concept, we recommend Domicile organize a stakeholder meeting to provide input on what is more likely to be acceptable to the community. We want a development that the community will be proud of.

Committee of Adjustment applications
(David left the meeting)

145 Elm Street– An innovative infill proposal is being made for the west end of Elm Street, with unusual lot arrangements and intense infill. The neighbours in the back are happy with the proposal, we have not heard of any opposition elsewhere. The project will appear to be two single family homes from the street side, when there actually will be four houses on the lot. The DCA wondered whether this is a precedent setting or not. There are already several similar arrangements in the neighbourhood, though most of these are older buildings.

The PPRA asked the DCA to support a Rochester Heights swim program application for city funding, which Eric did via two letters.

DCA clean up
Date is set for May 1 with May 2nd for rain day. Meet at 10am, at the Dal community centre. The Chinatown streets are much cleaner this year, as a result of the new street cleaning program the CBIA is operating. However, the two pedestrian staircases descending to Primrose and Empress will need a lot of help again. The event lasts about two hours.

Parking lots 
By city law, no car in a off-street lot can be closer than 0.5 m to sidewalk. There are several new car park lots appearing along Preston and Somerset. For all these, Eric to follow up with 311 and our parking bylaw enforcement contact. The City has already acted on illegal parking on Bay and Laurier where a condo tower has removed landscaping planters and painted parking spaces onto the paved sidewalk/boulevard space.

AGM is next Tuesday
Flyers were distributed. Minutes from last year will be required for the meeting. For static displays on the walls, there will be a Somerset Street map showing the new landscaping, posters of the Cornerstone project at Booth/Eccles, a poster board of the Chinatown Arch. The AGM will start at 7, with the first 30 minutes for mingling and viewing the posters. At 7:30 there will be a presentation on Ottawa neighbourhood study, then from 8:00 DCA's reports and election of directors. Carol Sissons will run the election.

Our association’s 2010 dues for Federation of Citizen's Associations is now due. A motion to make the payment was moved by Archie, seconded by Charles.

Councillor's report
Council passed a motion in 2008 to start looking at the possibility of studying segregated bike lanes in the downtown core. Today's motion by Diane Holmes was accepted. It is to set up a community advisory group on where the lanes should go, and expanded the scope of the area to include the whole city.Good local involvement is needed. It is critical to avoid a bad experience as it could set back this approach for years in the whole city.

Other business
Ida went to an Open House on wastewater management plans for the Ottawa River, decisions have to be by September whether it is a set of large cisterns or a set of tunnels, some of which would be under our community.