Possibility to close a portion of Pontiac: consultation Tuesday
As many residents are likely aware, things are full-speed-ahead to make the Sir John A. Macdonald ski trail permanent this year. I signed off a couple of weeks ago on a donation from my office budget to Dovercourt to make that a reality. One of the intriguing possibilities to enhance that trail would be to close a portion of Pontiac as a road between Carleton and Cowley to connect Champlain Park to the NCC parkland permanently. It would extend the greenspace and provide uninterrupted ski access to the field house. There are likely traffic considerations we would need to work through, and possibly
others. I'd like to invite residents to a meeting on Tuesday night (September 27) at the Champlain Park field house at 7:30 where the Champlain Park Community Association and I would like to get your feedback. It's important to note we haven't proposed this to the City yet; it's an idea and we need to consult. But, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
404 Eden update
I met recently with the developers of 404 Eden and passed along my opposition to their project. While I was open-minded to it when first proposed, the feedback I've recieved since their first meeting with residents has been very negative. The key consideration for me that I'm hearing from residents is the need to hold the line on the Traditional Mainstreet zoning and not to introduce a much higher density past the line in the sand that has been set in the secondary plan for the area. The developer is keen to meet with residents one more time before proceeding, and we are holding some mid-week
dates in the second week of October for some possible meeting times.
October 5 Committee of Adjustment hearings
It's another heavily Kitchissippi-packed CoA agenda on October 5
- 461 Dawson (proposed two-storey semi with variances)
- 349 Roosevelt (subdivision for the semi currently under construction)
- 319 McRae (severance of the residential from commercial)
- 154 Nora (a conveyance of part of the property to abutting property)
- 576 Byron (subdivision and two three-storey units with variances)
- 495 Churchill/496 Highcroft (very contentious eight units in four semis)
- 1140 Wellington (resumed hearing on 13-storey Tamarack development behind Bethany Hope)
- 484 Brierwood (accessory carport)
Ontario Municipal Board reform letter
On Thursday, I was pleased with my colleagues Councillors Brockington, Chernushenko, Fleury, McKenney and Nussbaum to write to Ministers Mauro and Naqvi about the need to reform the Ontario Muncipal Board. Cities the size of Ottawa with their sophisticated planning resources should be left to interpret their own Official Plans. If the Province considers in the course of its review that the Board should be retained, there must be a much better way for communities to have a meaningful voice in its decisions. Read our letter here. We're expecting a discussion paper from the Province soon as part of the reform consultation.
Traffic analysis round 3
As I've done at the intersections of Byron/Island Park Drive and Harmer/Wellington, I recently filmed the problematic intersection of Carruthers/Rosemount/Wellington in an effort to demonstrate to the City the need for improvements. That video is now available in 60-second chunks, and we're asking people to watch a clip and let us know what they see. As I write, 26 people have done 189 counts; thanks to those who have helped out already! The analysis thus far is available here.
Prince of Wales bridge
There was significant press last week about the Prince of Wales bridge and the gates that went up (and that were then damaged). I've posted my perspective on that issue here.
Dovercourt wins major City funding
I was thrilled recently with the announcement that Dovercourt Recreation Centre will be the recipient of $500,000 from the City's Community Partnership Major Capital program. With just $915,000 available this year, this is a major vote of confidence in the importance of Dovercourt in our community. With Trillium, City and private sponsorships now in place, I'll have further info on next steps as John Rapp and his team get closer and closer to their second phase planned expansion.
Pop-up at Maker House
My next pop-up office hours are at Maker House (987 Wellington Street West) from 2-5 on Tuesday, September 27. I haven't had evening or weekend pop-up hours in a while, and will ask my staff to schedule some of those soon. If you'll be pressed to make these hours this week, I've got some time before the Champlain Park consultation - drop me a line and I can stick around for a bit.
McKellar Park fall fair
Mark your calendars for the 11th McKellar Park Fall Festival happening on Sunday, September 25 from 10:30 am - 2:30 pm. The event will offer activities for everyone in our community from kids’ rides and games to musical entertainment and delicious food. Come along and join in the fun in McKellar Park, 539 Wavell Avenue. See all the details here!
Architectural Conservation Awards
The City is accepting nominations for its annual Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards. There are several categories, and the deadline for applications is October 7. There are further details here.
Family Services Ottawa Music on a Mission
I'm delighted this year to be a patron of Family Services Ottawa's Music on a Mission fundraiser, to be held this year on October 28. Straight up, this music trivia evening is one of the most fun nights of the year in Ottawa. I was reminded this summer how important FSO's work is in the neighbourhood when personal or community crises happen. Please consider putting together a team. All the details are here.
Hintonburg Happening arts grants
We've been told by the Hintonburg Happening that there are two arts grants available for the 2017 fest. The first is a $3,000 grant for a permanent installation and the second is for $1,000 for a piece to be held/displayed/performed during the event next year. Submissions are due October 1. If you've seen the magnificent bird houses crafted by Daniel Martelock and Craig O'Brien to look like various Hintonburg stores outside the shops, those are the result of last year's grants.
Email submissions to email@example.com.
At City Hall
It's a City Council week at City Hall, though the meeting will be less contentious than some. For many Kitchissippi residents, the key item on the agenda will be consideration of the Carlington mountain bike park. That went to the Community and Protective Services committee on September 15, and passed with only Councillor Egli dissenting. A full bike park would only proceed in phases, and the Committee's recommendation to Council is that only phase 1 be approved now, with an evaluation
required in Q4 2018. Having satisfied myself that consultations with the community were meaningful and that the issue got a thorough hearing at Committee, I will likely vote in favour of the Committee recommendation.
Also on the agenda at Council will be receipt of a report outlining the City's approach to dispensing millions in new social/supportive housing money - funds flowing from the federal and provincial governments to improve how we address the country's housing crisis. I'm generally pleased with staff's approach, which is an extension of how we've prioritized previous funding rounds. I was grateful for Councillor Nussbaum's willingness to explore on my behalf with staff at Committee the availability of operational dollars to match the new capital funds. Basically, the new funds will
be used to house priority vulnerable groups. We know that housing people with addictions or mental health issues without supports is likely to fail. Many of the housing groups that would be expected to win funding from this envelope through the City's RFP process depend in part on City operational funding to provide those supports. The assurance we have from staff is that they will be able to adequately fund those continuing grants. I'll trust that that is the case. However, we need to continue to be watchful on that front through the upcoming budget process.
Speaking of the budget, I'd ask people to hold October 11 as a date for budget consultations that I'll be co-hosting with some of my colleagues. That won't be a traditional consultation, but one that is focused on some key issues. I'll have more details out this week.
Also on the agenda this week is Planning Committee. None of the individual approvals are in our ward. But, one of the items is staff's response to direction arising from the Mizrahi debate to look at our use of the terms "gateway" and "landmark". I'll try to put out a piece with my perspective. This morning, though, I'll just say that while I appreciate staff's commitment to a more rigorous use of those terms moving forward, I am disappointed that it won't be
retroactive. At Committee, I'm hoping to explore with staff how they can apply their proposed approach to approvals that will come up under existing secondary plans.
Besides these legislative meetings, I'll be meeting on the Junos, cash-in-lieu of parkland consultations, attending the Citizens for Safe Cycling AGM, looking at the 190 Richmond proposal with my consultants, meeting senior staff on the budget, meeting with residents on the 285 Loretta CoA hearing, meeting with social service advocates, and continuing discussions on the Byward and Parkdale Market new governance structure.
Not online yet, but two meetings will be of note during the week of October 3. I have to confess that I misunderstood the Council policy on conferences: whenever we travel on the taxpayer dime for a conference, we have to report on our trip to Council - not just when we're representing the City. Some recent headlines alerted me to that policy. As I noted to residents, in May I travelled to the Music Cities summit. As usual when I travel professionally, I took copious notes. My report on that trip should be on the FEDCO agenda when it next meets. At the same FEDCO meeting, I'm expecting a
report on the proposed expansion of the Westboro Village BIA area. That meeting will consider delivering notices of intent to expand the area to businesses in the area. I'll have more details in a subsequent newsletter.
Onward and upward!