President’s Report Spring 2011
As has been reported elsewhere in the Herald, the Midway issue has been taking a lot of our time and energy lately. We now have an online petition that you can sign at http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43385.html. This issue has raised a lot of strong feelings among community members: people are very concerned that such a business will negatively affect their quality of life. The problem, as anyone who lives on Kaladar Avenue can tell you, is that we have a residential area and a light industrial zone situated directly across the street from each other. This has been a constant source of annoyance for people on Kaladar, but the presence of a business such as Midway would raise the annoyance to intolerable levels. We are encouraging the City and, as much as possible, the owners of the land, to consider re-zoning the area to residential, ending the problem once and for all. Even if the land is re-zoned it would take a long time before change occurs. The government can’t re-zone land from an existing use. However, the industrial buildings on Kaladar are mostly quite old and the vacancy rate seems to be fairly high so I’m optimistic that eventually it will become residential homes that would be much more compatible with our neighbourhood.
The city has started a Bank Street Community Design Plan in order to gather input on the rebuilding of Bank Street from the Rideau River to Walkley Road. We are involved in this ongoing study and will keep you informed regarding opportunities for public input and the conclusions of the Plan when it is finally developed. We have been pushing the idea of eventually re-zoning the industrial area on Kaladar with the consultants who are developing this plan. You can learn more by going to www.ottawa.ca and searching for “Bank Street CDP”.
We are working on a proposal for expanded community space at Heron Park which would see the addition of a large multipurpose room that could be used for recreational activities large meetings, etc. With the existing field house, this would give us a real community centre we could be proud of. It would be very helpful if you have ideas about what we need in a community centre or what activities should be happening there to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Our new councillor, David Chernushenko, has established a ward council composed of the presidents of the four community associations in Capital Ward: ourselves, Old Ottawa South, Old Ottawa East, and the Glebe. We will be meeting with him at regular intervals throughout the year in order to share our concerns.
The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived in Ottawa and that means a lot of our ash trees are eventually going to die. There is not much that can be done about it other than removing the affected trees and replacing them with a diverse range of species so that the tree canopy will be less affected by a tree-specific pest in future. In the meantime there is a ban on removing firewood from the city of Ottawa to slow the spread of the ash borer. The city is expanding its tree replacement program and you can get replacement trees delivered at no charge. You can inquire about the program at the www.ottawa.ca or by calling the 311 information number.