GACA Board Meeting – October 6t, 2020

Minutes, Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting – Tuesday, October 6th – 6:30 p.m.
Held Via Conference Call

Present:

  • Annalisa Salonius
  • Carrie Bolton
  • Cathy
  • David Perkins
  • 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 at 6:03 p.m., with approval of the agenda.

2. Approval of the September 8th, 2020 Minutes

  • The minutes were approved with the following to the end of item 7.5 on the minutes: Annalisa uses public transit and has spoken with many transit users in our area, and recommends that we push for the addition of a R2 stop (R2 is the replacement bus for the closed O train line which runs every 10 minutes) at Carling and Cambridge. The R2 is currently running by Carling and Bronson practically empty much of the day. This way, residents in our area would have a second way to get to Carleton and to the LRT.

3. Business Arising from the Minutes of the September 6th.

3.1

  • Civic Events Funding Joanne spoke with the Civic Events Funding Group, who discouraged the holding of a Halloween event. The social distancing protocol and the required hygiene required practices would make it too difficult for our small group to manage. The city also wanted us to pre-register children for time slots. We felt this was not inclusive enough and was too rigid.

4. General Update – Sue

4.1

  • Fall Clean-up – We had our fall clean-up; thanks to everyone who came out. The turnout was half from the board and half from the community. We picked up 12 bags of garbage. We have learned that the city will not be picking up leaf litter at future clean-ups. Our last spring clean-up there were approximately 30 bags of leaves. The leaves are wet, and the bags are very heavy, so bringing them to our homes for pick-up is not an option. We will need to follow-up to see if arrangements can be made for leaf pick-up at the park.

4.2

  • Pollinator Garden – Sue has not heard from the Adopt-a-Park program about the agreements required for the pollinator garden (license of occupation, amendment to the Adopt-a-Park contract, etc.). The good news is that the locates were completed, and there are no issues with water or gas lines. The Community Environmental Projects Grant Program has told us that even though we have until next June to complete the work, the money needs to be transferred to GACA this year. As such, we need to get some things in place soon, such as insurance, signature of the contribution agreement, etc. Given how late we are in the year, it may not be feasible to get the planters built in the fall. We are still hoping it will take place in October, but it is looking less likely. We’re concerned about waiting for the spring, in case we are in lockdown again.

4.3 NRCAN

  • We’ve heard from someone working in the Booth St Complex that the Government’s latest plan is to keep the NRCan buildings on Booth street operational for another 10 years. This is problematic for parking in our area, which is already extremely limited. The Canada Lands Corporation (CLC) has blocked off the parking areas at 299 Carling already. Parking is not as serious now due to COVID, but once employees go back to work, it will be. We’ve heard, however, that NRCAN is looking at leasing a parking lot near an LRT station to provide parking for Booth St Complex employees.

4.4 Development

  • 770/774 Bronson – There is a new development proposed at 770/774 Bronson; it is slightly outside of our community boundaries but is a concern. The owner is the Katasa Group, the same company that has been charged with negligence in the Herron nursing home in Quebec. They are also the developer of the senior’s home going up at 275 Carling. Part of the 770/774 development will be student rental apartments. They are proposing a tall and large L shaped building which will be located on the south corner of Bronson and Carling, stretching from Bronson to Cambridge. As this is in the pre-application phase and the information isn’t publicly available, a few members of GACA are working with Dow’s Lake Association and the Glebe Community Association to provide comment and feedback. GACA will continue to work with its community association partners and the councillor’s office.
  • 299 Carling – CLC, some Lakelander residents, and GACA held a zoom call to discuss the development. Lakelander residents expressed concern with the move of the park area. Because the City did not accept park space encumbered by the rocky outcropping, instead of being on Bell St, the park will now be on Lebreton, beside Hasenack Place. Two of the largest towers proposed are now in line with the Lakelander, as well as closer to it. Some suggested that one taller tower may be better than two slightly shorter ones – ideally something like the icon tower at Carling and Preston, which is tall and thin, and blocks less light. They are requesting that uses which increase noise and traffic, but do not provide community amenities (such as nightclubs or amusement parks) not be permitted. They also want the site to be walkable. Sue is working with some interested people to pull together comments on behalf of GACA and encouraged all board members to submit comments as well. October 16th is the deadline.

4.5 Traffic Issue

  • Despite a number of attempts to reach out to various people within the City, things have stalled. We’re hoping to restart the conversation. Sue met with Councillor Menard and Jon to discuss the Bronson Carling intersection in particular, in preparation for their meeting with the City on the issue. Jon will provide more details about the meeting in his update. Jon noted that these discussions were precipitated by a bad accident, where a car flipped over, landing on an area where pedestrians regularly walk.

5. Treasurer’s Report – Maja

  • Maja provided the financial statement ending May 30th, 2020. Generally, this would be presented at our AGM which will not be held this year. Our closing balance as of May 30th, 2020 was $3,657.10.
  • As previously noted, our bank account has changed and there will no longer be a monthly fee of $3.75.
  • When Maja took over as treasurer there was an error made with the bank and the account did not allow for GACA cheques to be cashed. We were unaware for some time that this resulted in NSF cheques. Sue covered some of these personally, and paid cash for memberships to the Glebe Community Association when our cheque bounced. Outstanding is a reimbursement cheque to Sue. Also, there are outstanding cheques to the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) and CKCU for their participation in last year’s park party. They were unaware the cheques had not gone through, and there have been attempts by GACA to get this straightened out.
  • Please refer to the Financial Statement, labeled as Appendix A to these minutes for full details.

6. Councillor’s Office Update – Jon

6.1 Bronson/Carling Development 770/774 Bronson

  • Some of the concerns relate to height as well as transportation, given so much development in the vicinity and the already high traffic volumes. The Councillor’s office will hold another meeting with City staff and community associations, so they know the background and the zoning history, and are prepared when the proposal does come in. They hope to influence what gets approved, but at the very least they will be looking for community benefit funds. While these funds are often used for parks and greenspace, in this case it may make sense to use them to improve the intersection.

6.2 Carling and Bronson Intersection

  • Jon and Councillor Menard met with Sue on this after a bad collision at this intersection. It is not safe for pedestrians or cyclists, even though this a busy pedestrian crossing. The Councillor’s office is looking at ways to make it safer. The Councillor’s office has asked City staff to look into adjusting traffic light timing to allow more time for pedestrians to cross the intersection before the flow of traffic starts. When traffic turns left, drivers do not seem to expect pedestrians. This is a short-term solution. A long-term solution will occur when Carling is redesigned, although this is at least 5 years away. In the meantime, the City isn’t willing to entertain any structural changes. GACA board members suggested other possible solutions, such as signage on the east side, warning of a pedestrian crossing.

6.3 The 2020/21 budget

  • The city’s Finance and Economic Development Committee (FEDCo) released the draft budget. The City is planning a cap on property tax increases and an increase to the police budget, although no increase for public health. Given we are in a pandemic, the councillor is not happy with this and, and would like to see funds diverted from the police budget into mental health or other support services. The police budget will be released on November 3rd, with the budget going to City Council in early December. Councillor Menard will be participating in two public consultations – for south-central wards on October 22nd, and urban wards on October 27th.

6.4 COVID update

  • Current case numbers have dropped to 63. The city has changed the way bookings and testing are done. The Councillor is pushing for more testing locations – Brewer park is not really that central. The city is asking people to limit the number of people of their household being tested. The city will be more diligent in policing mask use. Ottawa is in the second wave and wants to ensure the rules are followed. Robert commented that COVID cases have spiked drastically since April. The city still has a big role to play. We do not know how bad this second wave is going to be.

7. Adjournment

  • The meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.