GACA Board Meeting – January 12, 2022

Minutes – Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting – Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Held Via Zoom
  • Avery Steinberg
  • Carrie Bolton
  • Cathy
  • David Perkins
  • Gabrielle Dallaporta
  • Joanne Benoit
  • Laurent Carbonneau
  • Marni Crossley
  • Robert Logie
  • Scott Templeton
  • Sue Stefko
  • Jonathan McLeod, (Assistant, Office of Shawn Menard, Councillor, Capital Ward)

1. Call to Order

The meeting commenced at 7:04 p.m.

2. Approval of the Agenda and the December 8th Minutes

The agenda and minutes were approved.

3. Business Arising from our last meeting

December 8th, 2022 – No business arising from the last meeting.

4. Healthy Streets

Robert discussed the Healthy Street letter that he revised for GACA to send to the City of Ottawa. The letter calls for the adoption of a Healthy Streets approach with clear indicators for measuring street health. The number of things being asked for was reduced from the letter we initially received.  We are asking to prioritize public health in municipal planning, and to commit to measuring outcomes through a framework such as Healthy Streets.  There was support for submitting this letter, with the addition of asking for confirmation of receipt of the letter. The letter was approved for submission.

5. 275 Carling

Sue provided background on the 275 Carling development.  This project is the reason that the GACA was created. Initially a 20-storey building was proposed on that lot by Taggart. The community was opposed to this building’s height, fought it, and negotiated with Taggart and the City for many years with little progress. GACA appealed the zoning decision to the OMB/LPAT, and got the height reduced to 16 stories. Much of GACA’s work in the early years was on this project. People who live within 60 metres of 275 Carling recently received a notification of Katasa’s request for two variances.  The variance of concern is the proposed changes to the equipment room (boilers, pumps, etc.). This is an area of approximately 2,000 square feet on the top floor. They want to convert this area into amenity space, which would really make it a 17th floor. The new plan is to have a bar/eating area, bathrooms, etc. The equipment room will be moved to the basement. The actual impact is probably not that great to the community, given the rooftop patio is probably the noisier area, and that is already permitted. However, because of the history, and all the work to get the building to 16 stories, we feel that there should only be 16 floors of living space. Sue would like to write in opposition to the proposed variance. Comments are due in two weeks. A suggestion was made that we put this information on this on the GACA website, including who to contact if you have concerns. There was consensus to oppose this proposed variance.

6. GACA AGM – Sue

We are most likely looking at another virtual meeting – 90 minutes like last year. Last year the main topic was transportation. The councillor also usually presents. Katasa as a presenter is an obvious choice, but they cancelled last year and may do again this year if called upon. We could ask CLC talk to us, but there may not be much new to discuss. A general update on everything going on was suggested, but Sue covers this in her comments. We will re-look at the topic of our next AGM in February.

7. Councillor’s Office Update – Jon

7.1 – 275 Carling Variances

Jon agrees with Sue on her update.  It is sort of the situation where it is not the request itself that is an issue, but a large part of the issue is not being upfront during the planning process.

7.2 – Noise at 275 Carling

Jon may have found a city regulation that could help ease the noise problems.  Unfortunately, it is a regulation that the city would need to make changes to. He does not think that it could be put forward and approved within 12 weeks, which is when they are expected to complete blasting. The councillor’s office is still working to try to reduce the noise, but it’s difficult, given it falls within the allowable guidelines.

7.3 – 289 Carling JHS

The JHS has provided recent updates. Construction is moving along well. They will be asking for another street closure at Bell and Carling.

7.4 – Queensway Bridge Work

There is a problem with the retaining noise barrier wall near Orangeville. This is resulting in a delay in the work.

7.5 – 774 Bronson (Katasa)

There is no update on this development from Katasa. The councillor’s office is still talking to them and trying to get Katasa to provide some green space – and/or cash in lieu of parkland funds.

7.6 – Civic Hospital

There are several topic-specific public consultations taking place. Last night was on transportation and access. There seems to be a belief on the hospital side that everyone will drive. The hospital is regrouping and meeting with other groups, to see if they may be able to get a compromise.

7.7 – Bronson Avenue

Questions were raised previously as to what it means that Bronson is categorized as a transit priority corridor. It does not mean that there is any priority transit planned for the street. What it does mean is that whenever a street in this category is redesigned, there must be consideration for improvements made to transit in the redesign. This is potentially a bad fit for Bronson – if you work on a street but don’t redesign it, you do not have to make it better for transit. Also, if you wanted to make enhancements to sidewalks, the transportation planners could say that does not improve transit, so you can’t do it – and just stay with the status quo. It is disappointing. The soonest they would start work on Bronson is 2024.

8. General Update – Sue

8.1 – 289 Carling

The JHS will start doing more interior work in the next few weeks. The module pieces will be coming in February and then there will be outdoor work occurring again. They have not put in the official request yet for the road closure as they do not know when they will be receiving the modules.

8. 2 – Traffic Update

Sue received an email at the end of day today. Councillor Menard has asked MTO to do a safety audit for the Bronson offramp. We will see if they say yes, but at least the safety issue is still being considered.

8.3 – Civic Hospital

The hospital has been increasing public consultations. There will be sessions on mobility, trees, etc. Scott reported that in yesterday’s consultation there was a lot of dissatisfaction on mobility issues, particularly concerns on access for those who are physical challenged. There were also concerns about the bike paths as currently planned. It sounded like the planning representative was willing to discuss these with the developers. Hopefully there will be another meeting on this topic, as there was not enough time to get through all the questions. There are a lot of transportation issues that need to be addressed.

8.4 – City of Ottawa

Transportation Master Plan – The city consultation is underway now. There are surveys on their website. Comments are open until the 18th of February.

8.5 – 275 Carling

A number of people have been complaining about the work being done on Saturdays, particularly from people who live on Clemow. Some very good letters were written with excellent points. The weekend work is within regulations, however. It also means the work will be moved along more quickly and hopefully completed by the spring. We feel badly about the inconveniences caused by the weekend work, but there is not anything that GACA can really do, as there is little basis for us to fight this on. Some noted that they would like to see the job move quickly as soon as possible, even if that means weekend work.

9.  Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.