Minutes of the Meeting of the Glebe Annex Community Association – Wednesday 6 February 2013

Welcome and Introductions

Chair, Doug Milne, called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.

Sylvia Milne welcomed everyone to the first official meeting of the newly formed, as-yet-to-be-named Community Association. “After tonight,” Sylvia said, we will have an official, collective voice at City Hall.”

She called upon a few participants to introduce themselves and to speak briefly about why they got involved with the Community Association.

Sue Stefko said her initial involvement in community activities came via a study about park space. She said she hoped she could find other people who are interested in improving the limited park space available in the area. She added that it will be important to ensure that there is park space included in any plans to redevelop the Booth Street complex.

Peggy Kampouris told the group about the Dalhousie South traffic study that was completed a number of years ago. She said that it was difficult to contribute fully to that study without an official Community Association. Increased development in our area will result in increased traffic issues.

Mary McIninch said she has no objections to infill or intensification per se; however, she does have objections to poor plans and style.

Iain Wood told the group that he had drafted a constitution for the Community Association. Going forward, decisions will have to be made regarding a number of issues, including membership fees (he proposed a $10 voluntary membership fee for the first year) and the scheduling of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).

David Perkins said that, like Peggy, he feels that traffic is a big issue in the area. He said he will be spearheading the development of an Association website.

Both Chris McCann and Brenda Quinlan said they were concerned about the proposed development in the community and the potential impact on traffic and parking. Brenda added that she was pleased that the Association had been formed because it offered a way for neighbours to meet and work together.

Lisa Furrie said she is raising a young daughter in the area and wants to do everything she can to make it as livable and safe as possible. The Association will give the community a strong voice in deciding how our neighbourhood changes going forward.

Councillor David Chernushenko

David Chernushenko told the group that they had surpassed his most optimistic expectations regarding both the quantity and quality of the people assembled and their interest and commitment. Ultimately, he said, this type of Association is about finding out how neighbours can work together to find common ground to improve their community. He said that the Association’s focus should be on determining a vision of where the community wants to go in the future, not just on intervening to stop proposals. The latter can be easily dismissed as a NIMBY attitude.

“This is a moment of big changes in the city,” Councillor Chernushenko said, with the launch of the proposed plan for the city (“Livable Ottawa 2031”). He told the group that this document underscores a shift in thinking on the part of the city, one that acknowledges that city growth is not about sprawling outwards, but rather about filling in gaps and building up. That is not necessarily a bad thing if the city develops and enforces rules to ensure that there are benefits (e.g. green space, improved transportation) accrued from the intensification.

Turning his attention to Bronson Avenue, Councillor Chernushenko stated that while Bronson will have to continue to carry a large volume of traffic, it does not have to do this as a high-speed and sterile corridor. Bronson should ultimately become an avenue where people would want to walk and establish businesses.

Councillor Chernushenko told the group that he would not be supporting the Taggart development proposal at the upcoming planning committee meeting. He read the statement that he will make at the meeting. His is only one voice, he said. Strength will come from working together. He said that he looks forward to working with the Community Association on this and many other issues.

Member of Provincial Parliament for Ottawa Centre, Yasir Naqvi

MPP Yasir Naqvi said that he works closely with Councillor Chernushenko’s office on behalf of the area. While the province is a bit removed from the day-to-day issues at the city level, there are ways that he can work with Associations to make a difference at the community level. He said that he and his office are at the Association’s disposal to offer information and other resources.

Naming the Community Association

Sue Stefko went through the list of potential names for the Community Association. These were the names that initially came to mind, she said. They are as follows:

  • Dalhousie South: this was the traditional name for our neighbourhood when it was still part of the Dalhousie Ward
  • Glebe Annex: an invention of real estate agents, this is the name that is most commonly used when referring to our neighbourhood
  • Glebe West: similar to Glebe Annex
  • The Annex: this refers to the fact that we are near to many neighbourhoods but that we are unique

A participant suggested Carling/Bronson Community Association as another possible name.

Ballots were distributed and collected at the end of the meeting. Once the ballots were counted, the Association became known as the Glebe Annex Community Association.

Electing Association Board Members

Doug Milne told the group that, ideally, there would be between 12 and 15 people on the Community Association Board. Sylvia Milne added that there would be 4 people on the Executive; the others would be sub-committee chairs and/or street representatives.

The following individuals volunteered to be part of the Community Association Board of Directors:

  • Sylvia Milne
  • Peggy Kampouris
  • Chris McCann
  • Brenda Quinlan
  • Sue Stefko
  • Mary McIninch
  • Lisa Furrie
  • David Perkins
  • Iain Wood
  • Helen Smith
  • Susan Harris
  • Darlene Charron
  • Gina Clark
  • Melanie Cave
  • Therese Crandall

A motion was put forward that these individuals would make up the first Board of Directors for the Community Association. This motion was seconded and carried.

Update on Proposed Development

Robert Bell told the group about the work that he has done regarding development issues in the Dow’s Lake area. He mentioned that he has worked closely with Councillor Chernushenko and added that the Councillor is very strong and unafraid to say what he believes to be right. Bell’s initial work was with the Samcon development proposal. Once a compromise was found for that development, the Taggart development was proposed for the corner of Carling and Bronson. He said that initial meetings with Taggart representatives were frustrating. Their proposal is for an 18-storey building and 4-storey townhomes. The site is zoned for 9 and 4 storeys. Robert said that he does not know what recommendation the city will put forward at the upcoming Planning Committee meeting; however, he was heartened by the Committee Chair’s initial negative reaction to the plan. The city’s recommendation regarding this development proposal will be available one week prior to the Planning Committee meeting (26 February). Robert proposed that the Association Board of Directors meet once the recommendation is released to come up with a plan for how best to respond at the Planning Committee meeting.

Responding to a question about how Taggart can propose a development that is so far removed from the official zoning for the site, Robert said that developers are free to propose anything they want. However, it is up to the city to consider those proposals within the existing rules. He added that the zoning for this particular property is current.

To be most effective at the Planning Committee meeting, Robert suggested that different individuals speak about their objections to the proposal from a number of different perspectives.

He added that if the city were to accept the development proposal, the community could request an independent review of the proposal. The city would pay for this review.

Wrap-up

Sylvia thanked everyone for attending the meeting and for their continued interest in the Community Association.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 pm.