GACA Board Meeting – February 19, 2014

Present:  Lisa Furrie, Iain Wood, Ron Poirier, Maeve McMahon, David Perkins, Melanie Cave, Peggy Kampouris

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


Iain welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Approval of the agenda

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

Approval of the previous meeting’s minutes

Melanie put forward a motion to accept the agenda; David seconded the motion.

Business arising from previous minutes

Action: The request for Mary to access the report related to the last inspection of Dalhousie South Park will be brought forward to the March 2014 Board meeting.

Peggy said it will be important to discuss how best to discourage people from marring building in the neighbourhood with graffiti. This discussion should happen at the Board level, as well as with affected neighbourhood businesses (e.g., Vac Shack). There is a city-sponsored program called “Paint It Up” that funds public art as a way to discourage graffiti.

Action: Peggy will investigate the “Paint It Up” program and see if there is an opportunity to GACA to submit a proposal.

Action: Iain will approach Glebe Collegiate to see if there are students in the art department who might be interested in painting murals on area businesses.

Action: Iain and Peggy will discuss graffiti management and the item will be discussed at the March 2014 Board meeting.

Updating the group on the status of the WISE report, Peggy said she had emailed the organization to see about the status of the final report. She has not heard back from them. In terms of next steps, WISE will share the final report with Councillor Chernushenko and the police. The Councillor has asked to have a few days to review the report before it is released more widely. Lisa suggested writing an article for the Glebe Report about the report’s findings once it is ready for wider distribution.

Ron said that he signed up as a street monitor for McLean Street; however, he is not sure that the reporting function on the web site is working properly. Peggy said the traffic study that was conducted a number of years ago contains width measurements for every street in the neighbourhood. Once we have access to those measurements, it might be worthwhile to send a letter to the Councillor about the current width of the street. The street is so narrow that a garbage truck had to go on a lawn to get around a parked car on the street; this is particularly problematic when one thinks about access for emergency vehicles.

Iain said that he has contacted the city about the possibility of having a skating rink at Dalhousie South Park. There are funds available for this winter; however, it is a bit late in the year to move forward on this right now. He said there are a few options as to how the rink would operate: the city could coordinate the clearing of the rink or a neighbourhood coordinator could get neighbourhood people to do the clearing. Additionally, it will cost $30,000 to get a water source into the park and more funds would be necessary to move the lights from their current position. This is something that we should work toward, Iain said, as part of the overall refurbishment of the park.

David suggested that it might be worthwhile to consult more broadly with the neighbourhood to see what people would like in the park. On that front, Iain said it is necessary to look at neighbourhood demographics and how those demographics are changing. Those data could also be used to strengthen are argument around park refurbishment.

Action: Lisa will investigate the small area data available from Statistics Canada. David will investigate the data available from realtors.

These data could be put into a neighbourhood demographic profile, Lisa said. This also ties into our discussion around the municipal election, Iain said.

New business

Adopt a park

Iain received a note from Sylvia saying that the process is underway for GACA to formally adopt the Dalhousie South Park.

The group discussed what exactly it means to adopt the park in terms of liability and what sort of say GACA could have in the future about changes to the park (planters, etc.).

Municipal election

Action: Iain is drafting a statement for GACA re the neighbourhood’s position on a variety of issues. This statement will be distributed to Board members for comment before it is sent to candidates and other community associations. The statement can also be posted on GACA’s web site.

Iain said that it is important for GACA to move forward on this instead of waiting for direction from the FCA. Having a position paper in place will enable us to approach candidates in a strategic way.

Lisa suggested that it would be good to consult with the neighbourhood to see what their key election issues are. Those issues could be raised at candidates’ meeting and the responses posted on the GACA web site, Iain said.

Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Service letter

Sue sent Iain a letter from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Service asking people not to pull down squirrel nests.

Action: Iain will forward this letter to Lisa for distribution to the Association membership.

Student housing letter

Iain said that most members of the FCA had signed a letter to the city regarding student housing, specifically modifying existing housing into student accommodations. Maeve said she had stopped by CUSA to see if they had a position on this issue; however, they had not developed one yet.

Maeve added that it would be good to have student representation on the Board. The need for student involvement is something that the Board should investigate further, Iain said. Maeve suggested that it might be possible to tap into the high school volunteering requirement.

Action: Iain will discuss this issue with a Glebe Collegiate teacher who he knows.

Iain said that it is important the city has a plan regarding off-campus student accommodations. The current ad hoc way that things are handled means that, in many cases, students are being exploited by landlords.

Other items for discussion

Peggy said the house next to hers at 319 Powell Avenue has applied to sever the lot and develop part of it. Her concern is that the new house planned for the lot will be built right up to the property line. Peggy will keep the Board informed about development on this site.

David said that Sue will look into plans for developing the NRCan property. The hope is that GACA could exert influence on the various levels of government involved with the hope of ensuring that the site is developed in a way that is truly beneficial to the surrounding neighbourhood.

David informed the group and he and Peggy would be attending the upcoming Preston-Carling Community Design Planning workshop.

Maeve wondered if it would be possible to change the name of the Dalhousie South Park to make it less confusing.

Action: Iain will put this item on the agenda for the March Board meeting.

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

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