HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS!
Health, happiness, peace and prosperity, to all of you throughout 2006!
The beginning of the year seems like a good time for an interim reporton the Carlington Community Association and an outline of our plans forthe coming year.
Property tax assessments have risen by more than 20% in Carlington, someas much as 40% or even more. While we know that this reflects realestate prices generally, many residents question the fairness of themethodology being used for tax assessments. This could well be anissue in the next provincial election.
Truck traffic on Kirkwood has been the subject of complaint for sometime. Why can't trucks be routed onto Maitland? We also worry thatincreasing traffic on Merivale and Fisher will spin off onto our quietside streets. Speeding and running red lights on Merivale causeproblems too.
We observe that work on roads, sidewalks, etc. is sometimes notperformed to standard and must be re-done at taxpayers' expense. Itappears that City managers are not held fully accountable for theperformance of their responsibilities. We perceive this as a problemwith the corporate culture in City management.
Security is an issue in every community. Following the shockingswarming attack on Merivale Road last fall, Councillor McRae called apublic meeting on security. The police officers present assured usthat the attack appeared to be an isolated incident and that the crimerate in our community is not excessive compared to other parts ofOttawa. I would like to take this opportunity to thank CouncillorMcRae for her prompt action in calling this meeting which did much toallay public concern.
The use of pesticides is a matter of concern in a residential area likeours. A show of hands at recent meetings indicated that our activemembers supported the proposed ban on pesticides and we weredisappointed when the ban was not approved by City Council.
Rezoning requests are rare but any that might lead to erosion ofresidential nature of Carlington is sure to encounter stiffopposition. The area was originally developed to provide modest andaffordable family housing and has served this purpose very well for somesixty years. We would like to keep it that way.
Councillor Maria McRae or one of her assistants regularly attends ourmeetings to keep us up to date on matters that affect our area, tolisten to our concernsm to answer questions, and to provide help andencouragement to our association. We appreciate this very much.
We are collaborating with the Alexander Community Centre on a WinterCarnival to take place on Saturday, February 4. The highlight of thisoccasion will be sleigh rides. In the spring we are planning to have acommunity-wide Garage Sale and Plant Sale. The Annual General Meetingwill also be in May. Our summer event will be a potluck picnic.There are no definite plans yet for a fall even but, as the time formunicipal elections approaches, we may want to hold an all-candidatesmeeting. Stay tuned for details and dates.
Several community members (including at least two professionalarchivist/historians) are interested in producing a history ofCarlington, based on extensive archives and interviews with long-termresidents. This is obviously a big job but we hope that eventually weshall be in a position to approach the City for publication funds.
The little "veteran houses" built sixty years ago according to threebasic plans predominate in a large part of Carlington. Most of thehouses have been renovated, some quite extensively. We would like tocompile plans and photographs or drawings of the more interestingchanges. Once this is done (perhaps as a student project), we mighthold a "Renovation Fair" or perhaps develop a special "Veteran HouseWeb-Site" with links to similar communities across the country. Thereare many possibilities.
We are re-designing our web-site along new lines, with links to otherweb-sites of importance to our community. The design work should becompleted this summer. Meanwhile a committee will be struck to developcontent and determine management methods.
Our by-laws will be reviewed this winter so that proposed revisions canbe voted on at our Annual General Meeting in May.
COLLABORATION WITH OTHER COMMUNITY GROUPS
In the last six months, we have established good relations with theAlexander Community Centre, the Carlington Community Resource Centre,the Bellevue Manor Interchange Committee, and the Friends of the Farm.We have joined the Federation of Citizens' Associations which puts us incontact with other community groups. We have volunteered toparticipate in the Community Advisory Committee for the CentralExperimental Farm. These contacts are valuable to our understanding ofthe community where we live and the wider context in which it islocated.
Regular meetings are at seven o'clock on the second Tuesdays of eachmonth in the Alexander Community Centre and are usually over around nineo'clock. Agenda items are grouped under "Information', "Issues","Activities" and "Administrative Matters". Sometimes we have a guestspeaker. For example, we recently had an interesting presentation onnew plans for the Central Experimental Farm. In January, RileyBrockington will give us an up-date on the School Board developments.
Forthcoming regular meetings will be on January 10, February 14, March14 and April 11. The Annual General Meeting will be in May, date to bedetermined.
In recent years, the Carlington Community Association has not had alarge membership compared to similar associations in some other parts ofOttawa. But I think you will agree we have an interesting programwhich we hope will attract a wider membership, particularly from thoseareas of Carlington which have not been much represented in the past.Please pass this report on to friends and neighbours in the area whomight be interested in joining us.
Membership ($10 per year for individuals, $20 for households) shows thatyou care about our community and support the aims of the association.It gives you a vote at general meetings, a voice on issues and anopportunity to help on plans, projects and activities. It's a fine wayto get to know neighbours, to understand your community, and to havesome fun.
In closing, I would like to say thank you to all of you who have comeout to meetings, helped with ideas, projects and activities, orencouraged and supported the Carlington Community Association in anyway. In particular, I would like to thank the members of our Board -Jerry, Linda, Sue, Glenn and Frances. They are a great team! I amsure they join me in wishing everyone a very happy and prosperousyear. Let's make it a great one for Carlington!
Jeanne Burgess President, Carlington Community Association
by Mark A. Lavinskas. President. Carlington Community Association.
Carlington's two local community associations will appear before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) next month to fight one more time for a third traffic entrance into the growing Central Park community.
The Carlington Community Association (CCA) and the Central Park Citizen's Group (CPCG) appeared at a pre-hearing meeting February 1 at city hall, as did representatives from the regional and city governments, and the developer, Ashcroft Homes. The OMB decided at that meeting that the issue should be heard before a full public hearing at Ottawa City Hall (in the Guigues Room) beginning March 20, and lasting for about one week. The public is encouraged to attend.
The CCA, which represents residents adjacent (north and northeast) to the Merivale Road development, and the CPCG, which represents the residents living in the development, oppose the subdivision application and the treatment of traffic access on the western side of the development. The groups want access points on the west side so that everyone shares the traffic burden. The application proposes to have access only onto Merivale Road and no access onto the other regional road at Clyde. On the other hand, the existing community to the west of the development (Copeland Park) obviously wants no traffic access from this development onto Clyde Avenue. This debate has progressed over the past three years. Residents should also be aware that in 1992 the OMB approved a subdivision plan that required an access be built at Clyde and Maitland. Ashcroft allowed that plan to lapse on March 31, 1999 and subsequently applied for the new plan now being considered.
Since then, the city and region have seen fit to propose that all traffic from the development (2000 vehicles per hour) be dumped onto Merivale Road, with no plan on how to handle the spillage into the Carlington community. The region has included conditions to examine the issue of additional accesses on the west side, when and if the developer ever purchases a parcel of land owned by the federal government through Industry Canada. This land is now vacant, and any sale will be handled by Public Works. This parcel of land sits at the intersection of Clyde and Maitland.
Ashcroft's president, David Choo has asked the Carlington Community Association to endorse the existing plan in an attempt to avoid the delays associated with an OMB hearing. He has also suggested that without our support, he may withdraw his agreement with the city/region over the conservation easement in the development. His lawyer has offered options that are unacceptable to both the CCA and the CPCG.
Local gov't criticized
Certain city politicians and members of their senior staff have maintained that a third access for Central Park is unnecessary, a conclusion that was drawn as far back as the Fall of 1998, well before any traffic studies had been conducted. At the time, then city councillor Karin Howard arranged a meeting with Ted Robinson (the city's planning commissioner) and myself so that I could confront him on this issue. Initially, Mr. Robinson insisted that neither the city nor the region was considering a western access point onto Clyde Avenue. He explained to Karin Howard, myself and CPCG representative Matthew Darwin that the OMB decision in 1992 resolved nothing, and that an access onto Clyde was out of the question.
After questioning him on how he arrived at this conclusion without any traffic study data, he changed his tune and suggested that a third access from Clyde would be reviewed. In light of his statement to us, and his apparent disregard for the initial 1992 OMB-approved plan, I would call into question the integrity of the city planning commissioner to properly act on behalf of the citizenry of Ottawa. It is also evident to both the CCA and the CPCG that the planning process at the region and especially at the city level is ineffective and unfair for the average resident.
The city and regional councillors representing the Carlington and Central Park communities are Jim Bickford at the city (244-5365) and Wendy Stewart at the region (560-1223). They have both done an excellent job in attempting to defend our interests, but have fallen short of the mark. We need the support of all the residents in our community. Please call upon your city and regional councillor, mayor Jim Watson and regional chair Bob Chiarelli to put the fairness back in planning. And if possible, please attend the OMB hearing starting Monday March 20th at Ottawa City Hall.
The Carlington Community Association Report from the Carlington Summit
This is only an excerpt from the complete article.
Ashcroft Wants Large Commercial Store Opposite Farm
by Mark Lavinskas.
Late last year, the property known as the "Clyde-Merivale Lands" was sold by the region to developer, Ashcroft Homes. During our most recent meeting, city councillor Karin Howard reported Ashcroft had submitted a request to have a portion of the property re-zoned. This request would directly affect the construction of a large commercial grocery store along Merivale Road across from the farm.
During an informal briefing by Ashcroft in March of this year, the CCA and Mrs. Howard believed that the area was being largely developed for residential use. We do not want the Merivale commercial strip extended to the area facing the farm. We feel it will contribute toward further erosion of this valuable and threatened green space. There is strong legal opposition by a large grocery store chain to halt the construction of a rival store at its doorstep. However, this does not prevent any other type of commercial giant from moving in to the same location.
What overall affect this will have on the Experimental Farm is unknown. Will the farm-land that borders Merivale Road now be subject for review so that further commercial expansion can be allowed along that strip? The Ashcroft re-zoning proposal is currently under review with the City of Ottawa planners. Ashcroft has advised Karin Howard's office that the are planning a public meeting to discuss this issue. Please stay tuned folks.
Carlington Woods Environmentally Sensitive
A motion was passed by the CCA directors to have Carlington Woods declared an environmentally sensitive area. The CCA requested Karin Howard present this motion at the next city council. Many individuals are unaware of the damage that has been caused thus far by bike and pedestrian traffic through this area.