Regional Councillor, Wendy Stewart, reported on the following: Regional budget 1997. Documents will be tabled on Tue 7 Jan at 1:30pm. Draft estimates will be considered at the following committee meetings: 9am 21 Jan - Corp. Services & Economic Development; 9am 22 Jan OC Transpo; 1pm 28 Jan - Planning & Env.; 9am 5 Feb - Transportation; 9am 6 Feb Community Services; 9am 26 Feb - Council (final budget decisions). Proposal to raise speed limit on Riverside Dr to 80k. Transportation review results available. Public meeting to be scheduled. Residential construction for 4160 Riverside Dr (SW of Hunt Club Rd.). Proposed subdivision application does not meet Regional Official Plan (OP) because application did not clearly specify how proposed construction (near airport) would bring noise levels within houses to an acceptable level. Proposed schedule for developing Regional Official Plan is: 6 Feb - Draft OP and Env. Assessment document released, council briefed, EA notification given; 10 Feb - 31 Mar - Brief local associations and residents; 25 Apr - deadline for comments; 20, 21, 22 May - Formal public meeting; 2, 3, 4 Jun - RMOC committees consider the draft OP; July - Council adops OP and approves Master Plans. Documents available on request. OC Transpo strike. OCT meets 8 Jan to review ridership. Rates will not be raised this year. Heron/Walkley lands. Application to allow 800 housing units to be built on what was considered green space to be considered by Regional Planning and Env. Committee on 14 Jan. This requires an amendment (No. 21) to the City Official Plan. Region recommends approval of this amendment. Residents with objections should attend 14 Jan meeting, or contact Wendy. Raising the speed limit on Hunt Club Rd. to 70-80km (see below). Central Experimental Farm (see below). Call Wendy's office for more information.
City Ward 0T8 Councillor, Karin Howard: Reselling of Ottawa Board of Education lands (currently enjoyed by residents as green space). Andris Jansen to attend next meeting of HCCO on Mon 3 Feb. Organization meeting of Ward Council to be held in Feb. May help reform local government into two layers: a big city model supported by community councils provided with delegated funds and responsibilities. Interested people please contact Karin. The Howard Report for 1996 is available. Additional statistics are still coming in (see below). Experimental Farm (see below). Hunt Club Road speed limits (see below). 3750 Bowesville Rd. - cash in lieu of parking application (see below). For city-related issues, call Karin's office.
Raising the speed limit on Hunt Club Road: Several residents object to raised limit. Their concerns were: For them, especially older residents, Hunt Club Road is still a community road. Lights are too short to allow them to cross, and cars speed up to try and make the lights. (Region says that it is working on adjusting the light frequency.) Some residents support raising limit from 50k, but not as high as 70k. Noise barriers are not high enough to shut out noise of transport trucks. A number of trucks cart airplane fuel from reservoirs near Merivale to airport: Accidents involving such trucks moving at higher speeds would be more serious than if they were forced to drive more slowly. Perhaps such trucks could turn south at Bowesville, rather than at Uplands. Concern about what will happen to traffic once South Keys Mall is in full operation. Visibility for eastbound cars turning north at McCarthy is not ideal (two accidents in the last two weeks). Regional transportation people made following points: Current speed limits are same as before road was widened and extended. Speed limits cannot be changed easily. They are established by bylaw; therefore the bylaw must be changed. Decision was to keep current speed limits until after road was modernized and then, after a transportation study, recommend limit changes as felt appropriate. Road renovation cost $100M and is fulfilling the desired objectives: To reduce traffic on local residential roads and other area roads that have less capability: Baseline Road, Knoxdale Road (residents much relieved), and even the Queensway. Hunt Club Bridge reduces traffic through Manotick. Link traffic between H417 and H416. Connection to H416 north to be opened in Summer 97. Better longer-range visibility allows cars to move faster with more confidence. Studies show that: Cars travel at speed drivers feel comfortable with regardless of the actual speed limit. Drivers do not automatically try to drive 10-20k above any speed limit. Roads with speed limits that correspond to the speed that 85% of the drivers are comfortable with have the fewest accidents. Accidents are caused because of the relatively few drivers who slow down in order to keep under the speed limit because then more people are trying to go faster than they are. Region insists that safety is their prime concern, above traffic flow - in other words, raising the speed limit is a safety issue, not an attempt to increase traffic flow. Current speed limit changes are too frequent. Region has accepted City recommendations re speed limit. Community suggestions that had the greatest chance of being implemented were: Minimize number of places along road the speed limit changes. Raise limit from 50k, but perhaps not as high as 70k. Extend the current boundary for the 70k limit west to golf course (just west of Hunt Club Place). Provide some police enforcement. Landscape the road to give incoming drivers the feeling that they are in a residential area (Region objects to this because it goes counter to their desire to give the opposite feeling). Photoradar. Region pointed out that all revenue from speeding tickets goes to Province. Region, however, pays the cost of policing road and issuing tickets. Because everyone speeds all the time, Region does not have sufficient resources to police the road. Oldest portion of Hunt Club Road, under and around the Airport Parkway overpass, will be upgraded at same time as exit/entry intersections are constructed at that location. Transportation Committee will meet on 15 Jan at RMOC to decide on raised limit, and public is welcome to make presentations. Call Wendy's office for more information.
Central Experimental Farm: Region and City representatives successfully stopped the dismantling of some buildings on the Farm. Carlington community residents wish to be consulted before such dismantling continues. Community fears hidden agenda to redevelop Farm. Community must get involved to ensure careful and intelligent changes are made. Some factors: Only 150 researchers left on Farm. Could move all research effort to Kempville with cost savings. Could put windmill on Farm, or add something else, to attract tourists. Serious plans to relocate Booth Barn to Perth. Farm area is in a microclimate, which is warmer than surrounding countryside. City wants Farm to be more visible by publishing its objectives, and meeting them. Farm is supported, and supports, the agricultural sector which controls our food and therefore has much influence. Certain aspects of the Farm are very useful just because they have been there for a while and are relied on by people and systems. For example, the Farm has a working weather station that is known and relied upon. Past statistics are valued for consistency. Give politicians a tour of the Farm, and extend tours to public in order to educate people. Wendy in process of setting up a public meeting and tours. Request an invitation if you wish to attend. Farm has a new name for research establishment as tenant, Eastern Grains and Oilseed Research Centre. Call Wendy or Karin for more information.
Additional statistics coming in as a result of community feedback to the Howard Report 1996: People solutions to deal with debt and reduced funding: Majority want 0% tax increase, reduction in services, increase in user fees. Minority want a limited tax increase. 11.8% would support a tax levy to reduce debt. Call Karin's office for more information.
3750 Bowesville Rd. - cash in lieu of parking application: Tudor banquet hall requires 11 more parking spaces to accommodate expansion. Owners want to pay cash in lieu of parking, and also to reduce current rate of $2600 per space to $1 per space. Owners have an agreement with Cognos to take advantage of Cognos parking during certain hours. HCCO decision was to recommend that owners be required to pay full price, but that the payment be deferred to time when parking agreement with Cognos ceases (and parking problem resurfaces). Discussion of cash-in-lieu policy ensued: Feeling was that City policy should encourage those applying for cash-in-lieu to continue to be responsible for parking problems caused by cash-in-lieu. One suggestion was to have ongoing yearly payments to encourage owners to continue to search for solutions. Call Fred McLennan for more information.
Hunt Club Neighborhood Plan: Funding approved. Southern boundary of plan area extended to include 4160 Riverside Dr. and airport lands. Call Jeff Hunter for more information.
Protecting disappearing woodlands and our green spaces: South Keys Shopping Centres Ltd. is proposing to cut down 5 acres of wooded land by the South Keys OC Transpo station in order to build the 12-theatre complex, some adjacent buildings, and a parking lot. City is to review the site plan on 22 Feb; public presentations are welcome at that time, but should be reserved through Diane in advance. Call Peter Vasdi for more information.
Funding additional community services: Desire for a local community swimming pool was raised. This lead to a lively discussion about priorities and funding. Several pools are available, though none within easy walking distance: Clifford Bowey, Sawmill Creek, Uplands Base, Nepean Sportsplex. Other priorities that were place higher than a local pool were: library, police, youth center, expanded SOGRAT facilities. Ideal place for such a pool and other facilities would be the HRCC: Original building plans called for 2 stories, but was reduced to 1. When this reduction was implemented, building standards were also reduced, with the result that the current 1-storey structure is not strong enough to support a 2nd floor. HCCO feels that much of the land around the RCC could be reconfigured and used differently - that there is land for expansion. Karin mentioned that City has additional capital funds available, but it is up to residents and interested people to put together a plan and proposal to prove to the city that such funds would be wisely invested: City needs feedback before next budget in Jan 98 in order to get such funding approved with that budget. Partnering (and sharing costs) with another organization, such as Kiwanis, is a definite plus. Provincial Dept. of Recreation could support such an effort. One suggestion was to reserve part of the funds allocated to the neighborhood plan to explore possibility. Call Karin's office for more information.
Discussed structuring the time available to Wendy and Karin to present their monthly report to HCCO: Karin was concerned that council reports may be taking up too much of HCCO's meeting time and suggested submitting a report and attending only every second meeting (in effect alternating HCCO representation with Wendy). Wendy preferred attending every meeting. Also, HCCO felt that the presence of councillors at every meeting helped HCCO fulfil its function of enabling communications between governing bodies and local residents. Karin then suggested allowing each councillor up to 15 min max uninterrupted time to present monthly report. Members voted yes to this idea. Key to making this process work would be to not interrupt councillors during this time. If points were raised that prompted discussion, these would be tabled for further discussion later.
Other issues: Local people find it hard to access library services of any kind.
Next HCCO meeting to be held Mon 3 Feb 97 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hunt Club Riverside Community Centre at the corner of Paul Anka and McCarthy. Anyone is welcome. Call Fred McLennan for more information.
To submit any comments via computer (to Bill Royds).