GACA Board Meeting – March 19, 2014

Present:  Lisa Furrie, Iain Wood, Ron Poirier, Maeve McMahon, David Perkins, Chris McCann, Brenda Quinlan, Mary McIninch

The meeting was called to order at 6:40pm.


Iain welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Approval of the agenda

A number of items were added to the agenda, as follows: LED lighting program, community clean-up and block party, and a GCA Parks Committee update.

Chris put forward a motion to accept the agenda; Mary seconded the motion.

Approval of the previous meeting’s minutes

Ron put forward a motion to accept the agenda; Maeve seconded the motion.

Business arising from previous minutes

Iain sent an email to his contact at Glebe Collegiate about possibly getting students involved in painting murals in the neighbourhood in an effort to curtail graffiti. He copied the principal of the high school on the email and is awaiting a response. Iain suggested that he will speak to the owner of the Forno Antico restaurant to see if they regret painting over their mural. If they were interested in getting a new mural painted, GACA could look for sponsorship to purchase the paint.

Iain also mentioned youth outreach to his contact at Glebe Collegiate to see if there would be interest amongst students in joining the board as a youth representative. Mary added that it would be good to get a university student as a representative. Maeve said that the student population in the neighbourhood tends to be more transient. She said that we might identify some interested parties if we put an advertisement up at Abbas.

Action: Ron will email his neighbour who has two school-age children to see if either of them would be interested in sitting on the board as a youth representative.

Lisa and David said that neighbourhood statistics are available at the Census Dissemination Area level from Statistics Canada. Those data are currently used by MLS in their neighbourhood profiles. It would be interesting to have a neighbourhood profile and to compare our data with those from other surrounding areas. That information might help to strengthen our position when we are arguing for the need for more green space, etc. Those data could also support our membership efforts, Iain said. Mary agreed that it would be great to put a demographic profile on the GACA website.

New business

Name change for Dalhousie South Park

Maeve said that she brought this issue up at the last meeting because the name of the park is confusing to people. Brenda suggested calling the park that “Glebe Annex Community Park.” She said it might be a good idea to get in touch with the city to make sure that they aren’t printing up the new sign (with the addition of the fact that GACA has officially adopted the park) in case we are able to change its name.

Action: Brenda will email Sylvia to see if she can contact the city. Iain will bring this forward to the next meeting so that we can brainstorm possible names.

Redevelopment of Bronson

There was an article in the Glebe Report about the proposed redevelopment of Bronson Avenue and the fact that the proposal does not make for a complete street. Iain has called the city to see how GACA could have input into the redevelopment discussion.

Action: Iain will circulate an email to the Board when he hears back from the city.

Mary mentioned that the intersection at Powell and Bronson is a terrible one. There have been many accidents there. It would be wonderful if GACA could have some input into how to make that intersection safer.

Mary suggested that Peggy might be able to get some statistics about accidents at the intersection.

Action: Iain will follow up on this issue and report back to the board.

NRCan development

David reported that he and Maeve had attended an open house hosted by the Preston-Carling Community Association. While there, he was able to speak to city staff about possible developments on the NRCan property. He was told that the current Community Design Plan allows for 19-storey buildings along Rochester Street. He added that he was told that there have been some very low-level discussions between the federal government and city staff about this land. Hopefully GACA will be able to insert itself early into the process (ideally when the land goes to Canada Lands for sale) to make sure that there are provisions in the plan to preserve adequate green space. Iain said it would also be an opportunity to ask for a community centre.

GCA Parks Committee update

Mary said that the GCA Parks Committee has adopted two motions: one to prioritize Dalhousie South Park and the other to request additional funding for life-cycle renewal. The current allotment for life-cycle renewal (which includes tennis courts, pools, etc.) is $1.3 million. Over the next three years, the projected deficit for this renewal work is $81 million. The Chair of the GCA Parks Committee thought it would be beneficial to bring this to the attention of the media. Mary suggested that Sylvia could act as a spokesperson on this issue for GACA.

Action: Mary will draft a letter to the Mayor requesting additional funding and will circulate it to the board for feedback.

Mary said the Parks Committee suggested that someone call 311 to request a fix for seats of the play equipment.

Mary said that the budget for renewing Dalhousie South Park is $210,000; the person she met with earlier in the year said that the work could be done for $25,000.

The city is also looking for locations for new skating rinks, Mary said. She will let the Parks Committee know that Dalhousie South Park is a potential location for a new rink.

Mary added that the Parks Committee has also drafted a motion requesting that Canada Post not use the parks and green spaces to house community mailboxes. Additional discussion about this issue will be on the agenda for the next Parks Committee meeting.

LED lighting program

Possible locations for new LED lights might be found in the safety audit report, Iain said. It will be good to be involved in this project, Iain said, because it will raise GACA’s profile with the city.

Community clean-up and block party

Darlene had circulated a list of possible dates for the community clean-up. The board agreed that 3 May would be the best date.

Iain said that there had been an email from Morris about the possibility of holding a block party in the park. It would be good to hold this party in the summer and to possibly show an outdoor movie.

Action: The board will discuss the possibility of holding a block party at the next meeting.

Mary said the party would be a good opportunity to solicit feedback from the community about what they would like to see in the park. Lisa added that GACA could also develop an online survey about the park redevelopment.

Municipal election

A recent OMB decision was very critical of how the city has handled development. This is an opportunity for GACA to reiterate its concerns about the city’s process, Iain said. This is something that could be raised at the next FCA meeting.

Iain added that the election provides a good opportunity to reach out to potential future members of the Planning Committee about our concerns (even if they are not from our area).  One way to get the message out would be to go to every public meeting and ask questions, as follows: “I don’t live in your area, but your decisions on the Planning Committee have had a negative effect on our area.” The issue is also about how people are appointed to the Planning Committee; there are currently no dissenting voices on the committee. Lisa suggested reaching out to neighbouring areas with similar concerns and presenting a united front on this issue. Mary added that GACA could host a networking event around the election.

There was also discussion about whether or not FCA could facilitate this type of discussion. The FCA shouldn’t be threatened by the fact that a group of neighbourhoods in the core are presenting a united voice, Mary said.

Action: Iain will draft a position statement for GACA re development in the community and circulate it to the board for feedback.

There has been an email request for a GACA representative to help organize all-candidates meetings in the area. Sylvia said she will act as the GACA representative unless anyone else wants to take on this role.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.