President’s Report Spring 2013

This year’s Winter Carnival was very well attended, with around 100 participants, and was a great success.  Kudos to all involved in organizing and providing the food: Colin MacLean, Rosella Mac Neil, Roselyn Mescher, Donna Silver, Randy Paladeau, and the Wednesday Night Program folks.  Special thanks for the high attendance go out to Roselyn for hand delivering many flyers and to Rosella, Anne and Kate Kelm, and Anne Mac Neil for making the new signs.  It was a great day in Heron Park.

We have an exciting upcoming event: Quiz Night at O’Brien’s Pub!  This will occur on Sunday, April 14 at 7pm.  If you want to enjoy a meal as well you should consider coming a bit early so you won’t be distracted from the quiz action. Teams of 3-6 people compete in a trivia competition for prizes and, more importantly, bragging rights as the Trivia Masters of Heron Park!  The Board of Directors of the Heron Park Community Association has challenged the other Community Associations in Capital Ward and Councillor Chernushenko’s office to bring teams to compete against us.  It is extremely generous of the other community associations to participate as well as extremely sporting to go up against our own skilled contingent!  This is a fundraiser for a new community centre in Heron Park.  Tickets are $15 each and are available by emailing heronparkca@gmail.com or calling me at 613 526-2680.  I have enjoyed similar events with our quizmaster, Gordon Smith of SuperQuiz, before.  He is very entertaining and it promises to be a really fun night.

Have you been wondering what the little square building is behind the Field House in Heron Park that was installed in January?  It is a bunker (which I have christened “Archie”) and will be used to store chlorine for the wading pool in the summer and our snowblower for the rink in the winter.  This will make it much more convenient for our rink maintenance squadrons to keep the skating surfaces clear of snow and means the Field House will be safer and more usable for other events while the pool is open.  In view of all the benefits he brings, please join me in welcoming Archie to our community.

By the time you read this the skating season will have wound down for another year.  This is the first year the Heron Park Community Association has managed the Kaladar Rink as well as the Heron one.  It has been a pretty good season, although extremely challenging to get the base ice completed because of the heavy snow mixed with freezing rain back in December.  We broke two snowblowers trying to deal with it, and that’s why the skating area wasn’t as large as we would have liked.  Because of the new location of the rink boards, we are unfortunately no longer able to make an oval around it, but next year if the weather cooperates we hope to have a much larger secondary skating surface.

In January, Rosella MacNeill and I presented the case against the development at 1055 Secord before an Ontario Municipal Board adjudicator.  This was a trial-like process where each side presented evidence, questioned, and cross examined witnesses.  The builders hired a well-known and very expensive lawyer and a planner to present their case.  We, on the other hand, could not afford to do so, so it was a daunting task, and we were not successful.  Frankly, the cards are pretty much stacked in favour of developers at the OMB, so we didn’t stand much chance anyway.  However, we cost them a great deal of time and money, and showed that we are not to be trifled with when future cases arise.

The primary reason why we lost is the way that Ottawa’s Official Plan trumps whatever the existing zoning says, and that brings me to the next point.  The City of Ottawa is now reviewing and updating its Official Plan.  They are required to do this by provincial law, and it’s a good opportunity to try to fix the problems that have cropped up in the existing one.  The primary one, in my view, is that “intensification” is taken to mean by the development industry as “I can ignore the zoning law and build whatever I want”, and most of the time, they’re right.  To take part, you can go to this URL to learn more and to fill out the online survey: tinyurl.com/aprj5w5.

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Posted on April 1, 2013, in Heron Park News, President's Report. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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