GACA Board Meeting – January 5, 2021

Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting – Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 7:00 p.m.
Held Via Conference Call

Carrie Bolton
David Perkins
Gabrielle Dallaporta
Joanne Benoit
Maja Rakocevic
Sue Stefko
Annalisa Salonius
Jonathan McLeod (Assistant, Office of Shawn Menard, City Councillor, Capital Ward)

  • Annalisa Salonius
  • Carrie Bolton
  • Cathy
  • David Perkins
  • Gabrielle Dallaporta
  • Joanne Benoit
  • Maja Rakocevic
  • Robert Logie
  • Sue Stefko
  • Jonathan McLeod (Assistant, Office of Shawn Menard, Councillor, Capital Ward)

1. Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda

The meeting was called to order with the approval of the agenda at 7:03 p.m.

2. Approval of November 3, 2020 Minutes

The motion to approve the minutes was made by Sue, seconded by Carrie, and carried.

3. Business Arising from the Minutes November 3rd

There was no business arising from the meeting of November 3rd.

4. General Update – Sue

4.1 – 289 Carling

John Howard Society (JHS) – construction started at the beginning of December. As per the approved site plan, there will be one outdoor terrace for clients at the top of the third-floor podium, facing Bell Street South, as well as a terrace for staff on the east side, facing the Lakelander. Construction is expected to be completed by December 2021, should all go according to plan. They are permitted to encroach on the sidewalk on the east side of Bell Street South for construction. Some of the workers are also parking on the west side of the street, which reduces available street parking.

4.2 – 7 Maclean

There is still no site plan approval for this build. There is some activity on site, such as salvaging materials from the home, which does not require a building permit. They cannot get a permit to demolish the house without a building permit.

4.3 Clemow Ave. petitions

There are two active traffic petitions being circulated related to Clemow.  The first is to disallow entry onto Clemow from Bronson; we are currently several votes short. Still short on votes – but closer – is a second petition to change the existing parking from the north side of Clemow to the south side. The deadline for home- owners or property managers to sign the petitions is January 13th.

4.4 Pollinator garden

Money from this grant is now in the GACA bank account. There are still several steps that need to be completed, such as a license of occupation, councillor approval, and city park personnel approval of the location. It has been a long process – the grant was approved last summer.

4.5 “I Contribute” Program

A Carleton University Computer science student reached out to GACA.  He is creating an app. to connect students with volunteer opportunities that match their interests. They want to expand the program to include community associations. They asked if we want to work with them, and if we have any opportunities that we could post on their site.  Sue suggested perhaps community events, pollinator garden maintenance, and spring/fall cleanups.  There is a small liability issue, as they are not insured.  It doesn’t matter for things like community clean-ups, as the city provides coverage for that. However, most of our activities are low-risk. It was suggested that maybe they could help with communication, social media and may have some good ideas on how to improve our communication with Carleton students who live in the neighbourhood. There was support for working on this initiative.

5. Discussion on Incorporating GACA – Joanne/Robert

  • At our last meeting Robert suggested that we investigate incorporating GACA, after all board members were required to sign a contribution agreement with the city for the pollinator garden. This would give extra liability protection to board members.
  • GACA qualifies to incorporate as a nonprofit organization, defined as an organization to support or improve the community.  We could incorporate either provincially or federally – federally would allow us to conduct business across the country.  Provincial incorporation likely meets our needs.  The Glebe Community Association is provincially incorporated, as well as other associations across Ontario, but not many in Ottawa.
  • Other positive aspects to incorporating are that it could increase our chances of getting government grants, and it makes us more established, with a stronger structure.
  • The Ontario Government is going to introduce a new not-for-profit incorporation act.  It is expected this year, although we don’t yet know the implications. If we apply now, we would go under the current Provincial Incorporation Act. The cost to apply is $155. The board must have a fixed number of directors. Is it not clear what is meant by this – currently there is no set number of GACA board members. We still need to investigate whether we would need to hire a lawyer, or if we could apply and do the required report ourselves annually. We would not require audits.
  • We still also need to investigate whether or not we could be included in it the Glebe Community Association’s incorporation.  As financial reports need to be filed annually and the two associations have separate board structures, it seems not likely.
  • Robert will draft a document for our next meeting, and Joanne will help research.

6. Next GACA AGM – Sue

  • Last year we did not hold an AGM, Sue suggested this year we should hold an AGM to meet our constitutional requirements.  We have moved our AGM date to May to align with our membership campaign. The latter half of May would be best. It will need to be a virtual meeting – Gabrielle will investigate technology options.  We can pick any date, given that we do not need to physically book a room. We need to ensure our councillor and guest speakers can be available on the date we choose, however. Sue would like to reach out to potential speakers soon; ideally we will confirm a date at our next meeting.
  • The AGM gives us the opportunity to update our members on what GACA has been working on and includes our financial report.
  • It was suggested that Ottawa traffic staff be one of the invited speakers, given traffic is a major line of effort for GACA.
  • Katasa will have two major projects in our area, one right in the Glebe Annex, and the other south of Carling, but still affecting our community.  We may also ask them.
  • We could invite Constable Lemieux, although she has also been a speaker at our last couple of AGMs. It was suggested we invite her to update us at one of our regular board meetings to build on our relationship.  Joanne will reach out to gauge her availability.
  • We could ask the Canada Lands Corporation, but we have had them at the last AGM.
  • If any other member has any other ideas for additional speakers, please reach out to Sue, or come prepared to discuss at the next board meeting.

7. Traffic Issues – Cathy

  • Cathy noted three main pedestrian concerns at the Bronson and 417 intersection:
    • a. Eastbound off ramp – the province should move the ‘watch for pedestrian’ sign to a more visible location.
    • b. Traffic light – the city should install a ‘stop line’ sign for northbound traffic with an arrow showing where the stop line is, as cars don’t always stop where they should.
    • c. Where the offramp intersects with Bronson, the province should reduce the turning radius to 5 meters to force cars to fully stop and more carefully navigate the turn.
  • There was much support regarding the need to reduce danger for pedestrians at this intersection. Drivers see the off ramp as an extension of the highway, making it dangerous for pedestrians.
  • However, the jurisdiction may complicate issues, as the off ramp belongs to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, and not the City.  Any structural work will likely have to wait until the intersection is redone as part of the Midtown Bridges project.
  • Jon will ask traffic staff to investigate these concerns and determine where the city or MTO has jurisdiction over these areas.  He mentioned that if not during the Midtown Bridges project, perhaps some of these changes can be made when Bronson is redesigned.  Jon will have additional traffic updates at our next meeting.

8. Councillor’s Office Update – Jon

8.1  COVID Update

Jon noted that the province has increased restrictions in Ottawa. We are seeing higher positive COVID numbers in Ottawa, with over 90 a day. The vaccine rollout is coming along in Ottawa, starting with health care workers and seniors’ residences. Pfizer has lifted some of the storage restrictions so they can now be more easily distributed to homes. We are not receiving Moderna vaccinations currently. If all goes well, Ottawa hopes to have 680,000 people – 70% of the population – vaccinated by July 21st. Hopefully with the new restrictions, we can get our numbers back down. The city is putting in new restrictions on outdoor skating rinks and cross-country ski trails. It is unclear how they will enforce these new rules.

8.2 Official Plan

The official plan is the city’s main planning document. It covers things like zoning, transportation, housing, employment, etc. – in essence, all aspects of what the city does. It is now being renewed. The city is asking for feedback – they put out 21 one-pagers on different topics like employment, culture and heritage, mobility. They are available online, and the city wants feedback by February 17th.  Jon will send a link to the board. Jon emphasized that this is an important document; its sets the future of the path of our city, and it is important that we get it right.  He added that the city has already decided to expand the urban boundary, which will have negative impacts our environment, city finances, our health, and green spaces. This has already been decided, but we need to make sure we are supporting a sustainable plan in the future.

8.3 Traffic Calming Measures

The councilor’s office is currently in the process of reviewing temporary traffic calming measures, including the efficacy of some past measures. They are working with city traffic staff. Jon asked GACA to send him any ideas to consider, such flex stakes or planters. The councillor’s office does have a limited budget, however. To give examples of costs, flex stakes cost $150.00, planters $750.00, and speed humps $50,000. Gateway signage is required when the city lowers the speed limit for an entire area. This can be expensive, as all the existing signage must be removed and replaced. It can cost a few thousand dollars. The councillor’s office would like to lower our speed limit to 30 km for pedestrian safety. If this were to be passed in early spring, it could be implemented by summer. Council has been supportive to date of these changes. Any board member with additional traffic calming suggestions, please pass on to Sue and Gabrielle.

9. Adjournment

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Sue at 8:48 p.m. and seconded by Gabrielle.

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