September 10, 2014
St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Church
Call to Order
Bert Rupert, President, called the meeting to order at 7 p.m. Board members present: Bert Rupert, Steve Wilson, Marjorie Shaver-Jones, Brad White, Mike Sims
Approval of the Agenda
No additions to agenda. Approved.
Moved: Gerry Clark
Seconded Tony Larsen.
Approval of Minutes from AGM 2013
Marjorie Shaver-Jones read a précis of the 2013 minutes, which are posted on the CPCA web site.
Moved: Bob Liberty
Seconded: Jeff McLean
President’s Report (Bert Rupert)
Bert introduced the members of the Board of Directors. He stated that it has been has been a fairly quiet year, and thanked the Board members for their support. Biggest issues are: Maitland Avenue truck traffic – the Board did meet with traffic engineers but they responded in a negative manner. Rick Chiarelli intervened, and the result was some improvement in the form of numbers that count down so that at least drivers know when the light will change so it makes a left turn a little safer. Trucks continue to illegally drive on Maitland Avenue. He asked that people take note of the truck traffic. He suggested that issuing tickets might help to deter trucks from driving on Maitland Avenue.
Bert stated that he is now stepping down as president of CPCA but will continue as a board member. His focus for the next year will continue to be the various problems of Maitland Avenue.
Seconded: Sophie Ryback
Treasurer’s Report (Brad White)
Balance as per Treasurer’s report of July 25, 2014: $6,737.47. Approximate balance as of September 10, 2014: $6,600.00. Expenses included the banners and a door-to-door campaign to get new members.
Moved: Don Medaglia
Seconded: Derek Threinen
CPCA Website and Communications (Mike Sims)
Mike spoke about the new communications strategy and the importance of communicating efficiently and in a cost-effective manner to residents. He mentioned the new banners that have been put up in various locations within the community, and several residents responded in the affirmative that they have noticed the banners. He then spoke in detail about the website and encouraged people to look at the site for information about what is happening in our neighbourhood. Mike gave information about how to sign up as a subscriber to the website so that you get added to the email database. Once this happens, people who have signed up can get updates sent from the site. Eventually, this will enable them to post information about services or other community news.
Toni Larson volunteered to print interesting articles from the site and distribute them to her neighbours. Mike spoke of Neighbourhood Watch being an issue of interest.
He stated that we have 200 paid members.
Colleen Corrigan asked if the newly formed Belair Community Association might affect CPCA membership. There was also a question about advertising the AGM in the Ottawa West News. Mike mentioned that two students were hired last year to go door-to-door and get email addresses.
See attached report (link to Mike’s report which should open as a new page)
Merivale Road Redevelopment (Carol Ruddy, City of Ottawa Planning and Growth Management)
The Merivale study deals with zoning, building height and density ratings. In 2013, Council updated the Official Plan. Council decided that the maximum building heights for arterial main streets is now being changed to 9 stories (30 meters). Currently, it is 6 stories (25 meters) allowed closer to the street, but 3 stories is the maximum height adjacent to residences. There is a tapering down near residential areas. There was an expansion of the urban boundary in 2009, and in 2014 it was decided that no expansion was needed. Merivale Road is one of the most permissive zones in the city with a wide range of types of buildings. New zone proposals should make it safer for pedestrians by having new buildings closer to the street.
Councillors are working towards getting Merivale Road onto a workplan. She spoke about improving the street profile, making it safer for pedestrians and improving traffic flow. Crumbling sidewalks, dangerous turning lanes and other issues would be addressed by the workplan. The area of Merivale that is designated as an arterial main street, which is the focus of the redevelopment, is Merivale Road from Baseline through to Hunt Club. Proposal is to rezone the buildings close to Meadowlands?
Colleen asked if the part from Baseline going north (Clyde) will be included in the study. Carol said that this would have to be added to what Council has already agreed to look at, but it is something that may be considered in a future, subject to Council approving additional budget. She explained that residents should contact the City to bring the importance of the many issues of concern to the attention of its officials.
Colleen asked if the change in height impacts the setback. Carol explained the gradual changes in setback that are connected to the height of buildings. Council’s objective is to increase intensification to make space for a growing population. The city acknowledges the challenge of growth in a sustainable way that also creates a liveble space. A resident asked about community consultation on this issue. Marjorie said that councillors Egli & Chiarelli did invite community associations to participate in discussions, which she has been doing on a regular basis. She assured residents that they will continue to represent residents’ concerns at these meetings. She said she believes that we are being listened to, and encouraged residents to contact her with their ideas which she will convey to the committee
Community Policing (Susan Wright, Ottawa Police Constable)
Susan spoke about her background and said that she is still learning about her new assignment as a community policing officer. She asked that CPCA make sure that her contact information is available on the CPCA website. She encouraged residents to telephone or file reports about concerns via the website.
Neighbourhood Watch: Susan spoke about the fact that many neighbourhood watches were inactive. She is hoping to rejuvenate ones that are inactive. She spoke of the positive aspects of Neighbourhood Watch. Communication is key to making Neighbourhood Watch programs a success. Residents benefit from alerts, crime reports, etc, that are sent out. Susan spoke about how to get a program started and what is involved. She mentioned that reporting incidents to police is very important. Susan brought a handbook and pamphlets that residents can take home. One resident asked advice on how to approach people about joining a Neighbourhood Watch program. She assured people that she responds quickly to any calls she receives.
Susan stated that the more details that residents provide when they are reporting an incident, the better it is for the police. It’s a good idea to ask for a response from police about the incident they filed a report about. That way, it will be assigned to an officer and follow-up will be given.
One resident stated that he has spoken to two police officers who were unaware that Maitland is not a trucking route. He suggested that education on this issue would be a good idea. Susan made a couple of suggestions on how to deal with concerns regarding the actions taken by the officers, such as contacting the staff sergeant, etc.
College Ward Update (Councillor Rick Chiarelli)
Rick responded to a number of questions:
The new Belair Community Association was recently established. They started by inviting people from the City to give them details on what is involved in a community association, what are the rules, etc. Their first concern was to define their boundaries. The president of the Belair Community Association Peter Carman, attended this CPCA AGM. Rick offered his congratulations to this new group.
Baseline Road Rapid Transit: first part of consultations on bus rapid transit issue has taken place. There will be 2 bus lanes on Baseline where the median is right now. Cars will no longer be slowed down by buses, and pedestrians will cross at a signalized location. This format for traffic is proven to be safe and efficient. People will have until January 2015 to comment on this proposed solution. Road will not have to be widened, except for possibly in a few places. Boundaries are from Prince of Wales to the Bayshore Transit station. Bike lanes will be at a different level (about a foot higher) along Baseline. Snow removal has been discussed, sidewalk ploughs will be used for the median. Colleen asked if the idea of heating under the street has been considered (like in Copenhagen). Rick said that the volume of snow and ice in Ottawa is greater so may not be feasible but Rick said he would ask his staff to investigate this topic.
LRT Bus Tunnel: current Baseline Transit station has a massive underground tunnel where an underground station could be established. Funding from the federal government was sought by Rick and John Baird. Mr. Baird managed to get federal government funding and with the province and city contributing, there was enough funding to continue construction. The tunnel will soon come out at Tallwood and will continue to Woodroffe corridor. It will become the new transit hub for the west and south of Ottawa. It will eventually be used for buses and trains.
Maitland Avenue Traffic concerns: Rick mentioned that problems on Baseline carry over to Maitland Avenue. A meeting is planned for October 2014 to come up with a strategic plan on how to deal with truck traffic on Maitland. Having a plan in place will include enforcement and penalties.
Police are also going to be vigilant about problems with increased motorcycle traffic. Several residents complimented the city on how quickly and efficiently the re-paving of Baseline took place this summer. A resident asked about the possibility of speed changes and on street parking for Maitland. Rick said that parking may slow down speeders, but would likely cause accidents so it wasn’t really a feasible options. Another person asked about possible changes to the dangerous left turn from Maitland onto Carling. A resident brought up the problems of lawns being torn up because of sewer repairs.
Election of Officers – CPCA’s 2014-2015 Board of Directors (Bert Rupert)
Current Board Members: Brad White, Steve Wilson, Marjorie Shaver-Jones, Mike Sims, Bert Rupert and David Hunter, Steve Livingston and Rob Edwards will stand for re-election.
New Board Members: Jennifer Bougie, Jeff McLean.
All members were re-elected by residents attending the AGM. New volunteers were welcomed.
Board positions to be determined at upcoming executive meeting.
Other CPCA Issues/Business
Merivale Triangle update: the developer (Thompson) has a problem with a couple of properties whose owners are asking a large amount for these properties. This means that development will be delayed.
Maitland Avenue – more concerns were expressed by residents, including both pedestrian safety and driver problems. Marjorie says that it is the volume of complaints that get the attention of the City and the police. One resident stated that the Community Association is supposed to act as one voice representing the community. Marjorie responded that the Association can point out problems and issues to the City, but because of differences of opinions within the community, it is better for individuals to register their concerns directly with the City.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.