GACA Board Meeting – June 8, 2022

Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting – Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 7:00 p.m.
Present:  Annalisa Salonius, Avery Steinberg, Carrie Bolton, 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

The agenda was approved

3. Minutes from the May Meeting

The minutes were approved.

4. Business Arising from our last meeting

There was no business arising from the last meeting.

5. GACA Board and Executive Positions

Everyone holding executive positions expressed interest in keeping their positions for the upcoming year. The executive for this year’s board will remain: Sue Stefko, President; Laurent Carbonneau, Vice President; Scott Templeton, Treasurer; and Joanne Benoit, Secretary. Carrie Bolton, Gabrielle Dallaporta, Robert Logie, David Perkins, Marni Crossley, and Annalisa Salonius will stay on as board members.  Avery will continue to attend meetings but not officially join the board. If anyone is interested in working on a project that they are not currently on, please reach out to Sue. There will also be requests for volunteers on a case-per-case basis.

6. Katasa: 275 Building Appeal Letter

Sue edited the letter GACA submitted previously to the Committee of Adjustment. This one speaks more directly to the non-compliance of the proposal regarding the ‘four tests’ used to evaluate minor variances. She also made the tone a little softer than her first draft in response to the discussion at the last GACA board meeting.  It was commented that it was important to hold the line on the 17th floor, especially considering possible precedence set, since Katasa will be building across the street. The letter was supported as written. Members were encouraged to submit their own comments if interested.

7. 273 – 281 Bell Street South

Laurent drafted a letter for GACA’s submission to city planners. The proposal is a 49-unit building, 6 stories high, with 7 parking spots.  The plan is to not have natural gas but use a heat pump system for the building’s power source. The draft letter points out some positive aspects, particularly regarding environmental features, but also lists some areas for improvement, such as improving the attractiveness of the cladding. Parking is also a concern, as there are only 7 parking spots proposed and there should by regulation be 24. The builders are hoping to reduce costs, avoid blasting and a long construction period by not introducing a below grade parking garage. Most of the board’s discussion centered around parking, considering the shortage of street parking in the neighbourhood and the lack of convenient transit, but also the need for affordable housing. The city can deny street parking permits to new builds, which could make parking more of an issue. Laurent made a motion to amend the letter to remove references to the addition of parking spaces. The motion was carried.

8. Walkability to Preston Street from the Glebe Annex

Carrie noted the construction site between Rochester and Booth Street between Norman and Gladstone has resulted in no ability to walk to Preston without a major detour. Carrie proposed that GACA work to obtain a pedestrian throughway – even being able to walk from Orangeville to Preston Square would be a big improvement. Laurent, Carrie and Sue will discuss and see what they can propose.

9. Councillor Update – Jon

9.1   Lansdowne 2.0

This deal went to council today. No one wanted to kill this deal, but they did want a public consultation. Council approved the next step in in OSEG’s development project. Some changes were made, including doing a proper transportation study. The councillor also wants a consultation on building heights. The new official plan (OP) is not in place yet, as the province has not approved it yet. The new OP makes Lansdowne a special district which creates special rules as to what they can do with park space. There was a concern that this project was being pushed through so that OSEG would not be required to abide by the new rules. However, city staff promised that OSEG will need to abide by the new rules even though the OP not formally in place yet.

9.2 Traffic Calming

Staff has been looking into get some speed bumps in the area. They have some options for Cambridge and Bell. Jon will circulate details when they have more information. Nothing will be done without consultation.

9.2 Bike Ride and BBQ

Councillor Menard will be holding a community bike ride and BBQ on June 11th. Everyone is meeting at 11 a.m. at Sylvia Holden Park and biking to Windsor Park. People can also go just for the BBQ.  This is not a political event, just a community one.

9.3 Questions to Jon

It was asked if the potholes on Powell at Bronson could be addressed – Jon will report it to Public Works. A member asked if the bike lanes will be introduced again on Carling this summer. Jon said that is the plan; they were delayed due to the tulip festival. It was commented that both Carling and Bronson are on the list as being among the 10 worst streets in Ontario. Hopefully this will factor in to prioritizing required work to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It was asked if the new housing at Lansdowne will include affordable housing.  There was concern that rent was based on the average Glebe rent.  Jon responded that the basis for how they determined affordable in this proposal was based on Ottawa average rents, but they used the average Glebe rent as a comparison, to show they the rents would be reasonable for the area. This is not truly affordable housing; the councillor’s office still hopes there will be an opportunity to address this.

10.0 Summer Community Event

Joanne proposed to hold a GACA summer BBQ.  We may not have the capacity to hold a big party, but we do have some money. It agreed that we would hold an event in August, with a tentative date of August 13th. Joanne will reach out for volunteers. A budget was approved for $500.00.

11.0   General Update:  Bronson Redesign

Sue noted it may be simpler to support what the Glebe has put forward rather than put in our own submission. There is limited time to get feedback to the councillor’s office. Jon confirmed there has been some delay, and they will not be reviewing comments for some time. The GACA Bronson group will discuss issues. Gabrielle joined the Bronson group.

12.0    Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 8:44 p.m.

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