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DRAFT - Minutes of the 2015 AGM

DRAFT - Minutes of the 2015 AGM

October 3rd, 2015

The Lincoln Heights-Parkway Community Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held starting at 2:00 p.m. on October 3, 2015 at the Ron Kolbus Centre, Ottawa, Ontario.

ATTENDANCE

In total, an estimated 16 residents of the Lincoln Heights-Parkway community were in attendance at the AGM, including the following members of the current Executive Committee:

  • Julia Goodman (President)
  • Jennifer Baldwin (Director)
  • Kelly Folz (Membership Coordinator)
  • Tara Garcia (Secretary)
  • Suzanne Gauthier (Director)
  • Julie Matthews (Treasurer)
  • Mike Thompson (Director)

1. WELCOMING WORDS

Julia welcomed residents to the meeting and reminded attendees that the Lincoln Heights-Parkway Community Association was established in 2009 and has a strong, engaged Executive Committee who represents the community on City-related issues. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held once per year to discuss community issues and obtain guidance from residents on those issues. Residents then introduced themselves. Julia announced that Mark Taylor would arrive later in the afternoon and the order of agenda items would be adjusted accordingly.

2. ADOPTION OF AGENDA

Julia reviewed the proposed agenda for the meeting and one change was suggested to provide an opportunity for residents to raise other items. A motion to adopt the agenda with the addition of an ‘other matters’ agenda item was made by Ethel Snider and seconded by Chuck Letourneau. All were in favour.

3. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES OF NOVEMBER 23, 2013 AGM

The minutes of the November 1, 2014 Annual General Meeting were approved as presented. The motion to accept was made by Julie Matthews and seconded by Kelly Folz.

4. UPDATES AND DISCUSSIONS ON KEY PRIORITY ISSUES

4.1 LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT EXPANSION

Mike provided attendees with an update related to the light rail transit (LRT) expansion that will impact the community. The following points were highlighted:

  • Work on the western section of the LRT is slated to begin in 2018 and be completed by 2023.
  • The Lincoln Fields transit station will be transformed into an LRT station and will be positioned at Carling Avenue
  • It is not clear when within the 2018 - 2023 timeframe the work at Lincoln Fields will take place as this depends on the contractors
  • The City website is very interactive and includes detailed LRT plans for those interested in more information
  • The proposed LRT stops closest to the community are the Lincoln Fields and New Orchard stations.
  • Pedestrian access to the new station is proposed to be from Carling Avenue so accessibility will be worse for Lincoln Heights residents than is the current situation;
    • This concern has been raised with the City planner who indicated other options will be considered
    • It was noted that the community has been assured for many years that transit access would be improved, not worsened
    • Reason for centralized access at Carling Avenue is that it will be like a subway system where once an individual enters the system, it is a closed, controlled system
    • Residents noted that in other cities (e.g. Toronto, Montreal, Europe, etc.) there are multiple entrances to transit systems so this is not a reasonable argument
  • Safety issues exist with the current situation, in particular the Carling overpass where pedestrians cross where cars are coming off parkway; these issues would need to be addressed as part of the new station.
  • It was noted that if it is being suggested that residents use the OC Transpo bus #16, more frequent service would be required.

Councillor Mark Taylor shared his perspective regarding the LRT when he arrived later in the meeting with the following points being relevant:

  • The LRT will transform the city of Ottawa as the experience will be much better than buses.
  • While it is not clear when the Lincoln Fields work will be done, it will likely be early on (2018/2019) as it is one of the more complex areas.
  • It is expected there will be significant construction for about a year and then some clean up during the second construction season.
  • The LRT will come up from the Parkway at Cleary Ave, then go underneath Richmond Road and then stays underground until the bridge over the Parkway where it will punch out from the side of the escarpment and move into the current transitway lanes.
  • The only visible evidence of the LRT on Richmond Road will be the New Orchard station; that station will have stairs, escalators and two elevators operating independently to bring passengers down to the LRT.
  • Instead of boring a tunnel as is being done for the section downtown, Richmond Road will be dug up as it will be closer to the surface and will be more cost effective
  • Sewers, hydro, etc will all be replaced at the same time as the train box is being installed.
  • Once work is done, Richmond Road will be a 'complete street' similar to the recently finished Churchill Street; complete streets are designed for all users - cars, bikes, pedestrians - and include installation of trees, bushes, street furniture, etc.
  • At the same time, the current widening and narrowing of Richmond Rd will be addressed but it is not anticipated that it will have two lanes in both directions as the City does not want to turn it into primary conduit.
  • The Richmond Road 'complete street' will likely start somewhere before Westboro and finish at Croydon.
  • It was noted by residents that it makes sense to extend it to Poulin as the strip from Croydon to Poulin is very unattractive and Mark indicated this would likely be done later on unless there are cost savings that will allow it as part of the LRT work.
  • Planners have agreed to build Lincoln Heights community concerns regarding access to the new station into the plan.
  • In response to a question regarding washrooms in LRT stations, it was indicated that they will be built into primary stations in this phase of the LRT expansion; some adjustments are being built into the downtown phase but it is harder to changes as it is already under construction

4.2 RICHMOND ROAD STREETSCAPE

Julia noted that Richmond Road is the entrance to our neighbourhood and that some are concerned about a perceived degradation of the appearance of the street and businesses that have recently opened. In particular it was noted there was some reaction to the email sent out regarding Walmart leaving Lincoln Fields shopping centre and possibly being replaced by Giant Tiger. The following points were noted in relation to the Richmond Road ‘streetscape’:

  • A concern was raised regarding possible condominium towers where Parkway House is currently located
  • Residents noted that, as a community, there is likely little that can be done to influence which businesses open in the area as these are business decisions; however there may be an opportunity to influence the look of the street
  • The City is investing in other parts of Richmond Rd (e.g. Hintonburg) and there may be a way to influence the City to do the same in this neighbourhood.
  • It was noted, however, that the Hintonburg revitalization is based on older buildings being reinvigorated whereas here it would be new builds
  • Traffic and density were raised as potential concerns if the neighbourhood were more like Westboro and Hintonburg.
  • There may be an opportunity to influence area businesses to improve the appearance on Richmond Road e.g. Biagio's could have flower pots, Ford dealership could move cars back from the road, etc.

Councillor Mark Taylor shared his perspective regarding the appearance of Richmond Road with the following key points being noted

  • There is no Business Improvemnet Association in Bay ward.
  • The 'complete street' as discussed previously will improve the appearance of the Road and will include trees, flower pots, benches, public art, etc.
  • Once the 'complete street' is done and the look of the street is improved, the nature of the businesses who want to open in the area changes
  • Westboro-type shops are already starting to move west to take advantage of less expensive real estate
  • What happens with Lincoln Fields now and as part of the LRT station renewal is up to the owners (a real estate investment trust) and Riocan, who operates the centre.
  • Mark has spoken with Riocan twice so far regarding the opportunities the LRT expansion presents for Lincoln Fields.
  • Residents noted opportunities exist to build the Centre into the transit station or a covered walkway connecting the two.
  • The lease for the current Walmart space belongs to Walmart so they will either sublet it or break the lease when they leave.

4.3 TRAFFIC CALMING

Julia began the discussion by noting that the issue of traffic calming has been discussed before and that it is largely in relation to Regina Street. Suzanne summarized the issues and the following points were noted during the discussion:

  • Regina Street is very narrow and the situation is worse with the number of cars parked along it; issues are pronounced during the winter.
  • The City conducted a traffic study and found there is no history of collisions and that 85% of recorded speeds were from 42-48 kilometres per hour during the 48 hour period recorded; as a result, the street did not meet the criteria for traffic calming measures under the province.
  • Residents noted there is some racing on Regina from one end to Parkway House and back
  • Residents of community housing do have permits to park on the street as each unit only has one parking space within the designated lots.
  • Residents indicated they are receiving parking tickets when parked on Regina Street for short lengths of time.
  • Regina Street has essentially become a three lane road, one lane for driving in each direction and one lane for parking.

Councillor Mark Taylor shared his perspective regarding the issues along Regina Street with the following key points being noted:

  • A Temporary Traffic Calming Measures Program has been initiated by Council so that Councillors have a budget to implement calming measures in their wards including road painting, local signage, mid road flex stakes and speedboards.
    • Road painting, as has been done the past two years in the Wood Park neighbourhood, triggers drivers to slow down as it reminds people it is a residential area.
    • Another option is to paint the road with other information such as the speed limit on the road or messages such as 'slow down', 'watch for children'; this tends to work well in the summer.
    • There are some areas where chevrons have been painted in the middle of the road and bikes can ride in the middle of the road.
    • Signage can also be used such as 'slow down for children' signs, which tend to be effective when placed on bottom of lawns and moved around previously; Mark brought a number of them to the meeting for the community to use.
    • Mid road flex stakes, which were discussed during the 2014 AGM are another option; it was noted that the speed on them can be lower than that posted.
    • Speed boards which show the speed of the car passing can be put up permanently to collect data or can be blacked out while still capturing speeds.
  • With respect to parking issues along Regina Street, Councillor Taylor will ask the City to measure the street and see if they would recommend any changes from an operational perspective.
    • Parking will be restricted if there would be operational issues e.g. fire truck not able to fit down the street
    • The only other way to have this changed would be to petition residents to obtain at least 60% in favour of changing.
    • There could also potentially be restrictions placed to ban parking between certain hours or in the winter.
    • It was noted that even allowing parking on a shorter section of the street would be helpful so cars can allow others to pass.
    • Residents indicated interest in speaking with the City when they are doing the review to explain the issues.
    • It was noted that allowing parking on the street can be a natural traffic calming measure.
    • There could be the possibility of placing mid road flex stakes if parking were banned as there would then be more room on the street.
    • Sidewalk on north side is in terrible shape, south side is in better shape
  • Residents should call 311 if they see a car(s) parked in no parking zones as bylaw will only act if complaints are made.

4.4 COMMUNITY MAILBOXES

Tara provided an update to residents regarding potential timing and the process that Canada Post follows in converting neighbourhoods from door-to-door mail delivery to community mailboxes. The following points were noted:

  • Conversion timing remains unclear but Canada Post has indicated the Lincoln Heights neighbourhood will not be converted until beyond the Spring 2016 timeframe.
  • Residents will receive an information package and survey well in advance of the conversion, allowing for input to locations and preferences, etc.
  • Residents who will be directly impacted by proposed mailbox locations will have the opportunity to speak with Canada Post directly at their doors.
  • Accommodations will be made to ensure mailbox accessibility for those with disabilities.
  • Mailbox locations in neighbourhoods already converted vary and include smaller boxes on the sides of corner lots and boxes at the entrances to parks, etc.
  • Concerns were noted by residents in relation to the potential locations for the mailboxes in the community including the aesthetics of the neighbourhood as well as potential traffic issues around the boxes.
  • The boxes cannot be placed on private property such as at Lincoln Fields mall as Canada Post would have to pay to use the property.
  • It was suggested it might be preferable to have a consolidated mailbox at the entrance to the park as opposed to small boxes throughout the neighbourhood.

Councillor Mark Taylor indicated the following in relation to the conversion to community mailboxes:

  • Consultation with the City is limited to logistical issues such as gas lines, future plans, etc. and the City has no veto power with respect to locations chosen by Canada Post
  • He has not heard of any particular issues in neighbourhoods that have already been converted with the exception of some residents in Crystal Bay who are not pleased with the mailbox locations.

Action Item – The Executive will consider this issue and determine how the community position can be developed and then used to influence future mailbox locations.

5. OTHER MATTERS

It was noted that following last year's AGM discussion regarding the plowing of the pathways between the community and the transit station, the pathways were cleared once in the Fall of 2014. However, they were not cleared for the rest of the winter.

Mark Taylor indicated that Jodi will contact Public Works will be contacted regarding this issue. It was noted that it is complicated by the fact that some stretches are NCC property while others are City property but Jodi will look into this and get a commitment to have it cleared.

6. SUMMARY OF ACTIVITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR 2014

6.1 NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Julia indicated that the community currently does not qualify for Neighbourhood Watch signage as 50% of residents are required to sign up and this has not been achieved. She indicated that the community is currently in need of a NW Coordinator to assist with this effort and that once she steps down from her role as President of the LHPCA she would be interested in filling this role.

6.1 LINEAR PARK ALONG SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD PARKWAY

Julia indicated the NCC is planning to improve the linear park along the Parkway from Lebreton to Britannia in order to maximize its use. There is information available on the NCC website which she is willing to point residents to as it is hard to find on the site. To date, some proposals have been put forward and consultation has taken place. Included in the proposals for the immediate area include the completion of the trails around Mud Lake, a boardwalk to the East and potentially moving portions of the Parkway to make the green space more accessible. Proposals will be presented to the NCC Board in 2016.

6.3 REGINA STREET TREE STUMP REMOVAL AND SIDEWALK ENHANCEMENT

Julia indicated she has been in touch with the City and the remaining tree stumps will be removed this fall or in the spring.

Action Item – A renewed request for a new sidewalk along Regina Street will be placed with the City.

6.4 BRITANNIA PARK IMPROVEMENT

Kelly provided an update on the improvements being considered for Britannia Park and the Ron Kolbus Centre. She indicated that the Centre will simply be updated and will continue to provide similar services to the same user groups as it does today. Signage will be improved so there is greater awareness of amenities and services available. Kelly indicated there may be some interest in another building being built closer to Carling Avenue and that there was a great deal of resistance from local residents to any changes to the core park and the Ron Kolbus Centre.

7. MEMBERSHIP

Kelly reported on the membership drive that was undertaken in February and March 2015 which helped the Association reach overall membership of 81 this year. It was noted that it was helpful to have a member of the Executive focused in this area and that the reminders and donations from Cora's also likely contributed to higher membership. The goal for 2016 will be 85 members.

8. PPROPOSED 2016 SOCIAL PROGRAM

Julia led a discussion of proposed social activities for the community in 2016 which will include the following:

  • Community rink
  • Winter Follies
  • Spring cleanup
  • Ploverpalooza
  • Plant exchange
  • Potluck picnic
  • Community hike in Mud Lake
  • AGM

Attendees were aligned with this set of activities for 2016. Of note, attendees were in favour of relocating the potluck picnic in the Fall to Lincoln Heights Park so that it is closer to home and will allow for a rain date if required.

9. TREASURER’S REPORT

Julie provided meeting attendees with an overview of the LHPCA financial situation for 2015 and the budget for 2016. Highlights are as follows:

  • The Association had $2,556 in its bank account at the beginning of 2015.
  • 81 membership fees were paid for the past year, higher than the budgeted amount.
  • Revenue also included donations of $115 with $50 of that from Farm Boy and Metro and the grant from the City to maintain rink which is offset by expenses.
  • Other expenses were slightly over budget largely due to purchase of coffee reservoir which will save money for events going forward.
  • Overall, there was a surplus of $188 in 2015 resulting in $2,744 being available for 2016.
  • The proposed budget for 2016 included the following:
    • Expected growth in membership to 85.
    • Expenses for various events through the year (Winter Follies, Street Party, Community Potluck and AGM) which total $290.
    • Banking charges of $25 and fee to the Federation of Community Associations of $30.
    • A surplus of $180 is projected for 2016, similar to 2015.

A motion to accept the proposed budget was made by Jennifer Baldwin, seconded by Mike Thompson and passed.

10. COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

City of Ottawa Councillor Mark Taylor joined the AGM to discuss issues of interest to residents. Mark thanked residents for taking the time to attend the meeting. Many of the topics discussed are previous agenda items and his perspective is noted in those sections of the minutes.

The one area not previously addressed relates to Parkway House. Councillor Taylor indicated that the City attended several meetings with the Parkway House Board about partnering in some way but the Board has not been receptive. There will likely not be any further communication until a planning application is received.

11. ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Parham Momtahan was asked to lead this discussion and noted the following regarding the current members of the Executive Committee:

  • Julia Goodman, Tara Garcia and Kelly Folz all have one year left in their terms and will be staying on in their current roles.
  • Annie Boucher, Jennifer Baldwin, Suzanne Gauthier, Julie Matthews and Mike Thompson have reached the end of their two year terms.

Parham indicated there are five open positions on the Executive Committee – Vice-President, Treasurer and three Director positions. He provided attendees with the nominees for open positions on the Executive Committee:

  • JR Fortin for Vice-President
  • Julie Matthews for Treasurer
  • Jennifer Baldwin for Director
  • Annie Boucher for Director
  • Mike Thompson for Director

Parham then opened the floor to any additional nominations; there were none. Attendees unanimously voted for slate as presented. It was noted there is strong continuity in the Executive and that after this next year, Julia will be stepping down from her role as President to the role of Past-President.

Door prizes of Biagio’s restaurant gift certificates were won by Chuck Letourneau and Nina Milner.

A motion was made by Mike Thompson to adjourn the meeting which was seconded by Julie Matthews. The meeting adjourned at 4:20pm.