ARAC, 5514 Manotick Main Street Update & Community Events

After a couple of lighter agendas, the May the Fourth be with you meeting of Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee has a few more items on it. As usual, the meeting is held at 10:00 am at Ben Franklin Place. Agenda items include the following:

  • Commemorative Naming Proposal: Ronald Warren Ball Diamond (Osgoode)
  • Housekeeping Amendment to Coach House Policies
  • Official Plan Amendment: 2715, 2777 Tenth Line Road, 810 Wall Road, 2390, 2484, 2656 Trim Road
  • Zoning By-Law Amendments: 6202 Nick Adams Road, 3400 & 3468 Old Montreal Road, 1156 – 1170 March Road, 3746 Larry Robinson Road, 6840 Rideau Valley Drive South, 557 & 577 Jinkinson Road
  • Partial Abandonment of Staidler Municipal Drain
  • Omnibus Zoning Amendments

The item on Coach Houses is just some minor changes to the policy. I continue to work with staff on addressing the main issues relating to the requirements for a hydrogeological study and Site Plan Control. Similarly, the Omnibus report includes minor changes to certain properties and by-laws, including a property in Richmond that was incorrectly rezoned during the 2010 Richmond Community Design Plan process.

The Official Plan Amendment for Tenth Line Road, Wall Road and Trim Road is an application to re-designate agricultural lands to general rural. The recommendation is to refuse the application. The Zoning By-Law Amendments on Larry Robinson Road and Rideau Valley Drive South are to prohibit residential uses following approval of surplus farm severances. The Zoning By-Law Amendment for 557 & 577 Jinkinson Road is to permit Rural General Industrial uses on portions of the properties that are setback from the natural heritage features on the properties. A large portion of this property is already zoned Rural General Industrial.

The abandonment of a portion of the Staidler Municipal Drain includes a section north of Mackey Road and includes the Brooks Branch. A request for abandonment must be made by owners representing no less than 75% of the area assessed for benefit under the by-law for the drain. That has been met in this request. This item was originally on the March agenda but was deferred.

The full agenda with reports is available at Ottawa.ca. Every month, our office also sends out an e-Newsletter with the agenda and link to the reports, among other information. You can sign up for these at rideaugoulbourn.ca. Our next one will be sent out this Friday, April 28th.

5514 Manotick Main Street Update

Two weeks ago, I provided an update on the property that used to be home to the Falls House. As many have likely seen, there is a new retail/office building proposed for the site. Since last year, a group of community leaders has been assisting me in working with the owner of the property. Just last week, this same group had the opportunity to sit down and discuss the proposed design with the owner and the architect.

At the meeting, the architect presented some revisions to the design which responded to some of the comments we have been hearing from the community. Those present felt more improvements could be made to help soften the look of the building and make it more of a feature in the village, knowing the importance of this site. As a result, the owner and architect have agreed to look at further revisions. This work has already commenced and we will be updated as soon as possible.

Please stay tuned to this column for further updates. More information on the background and current application for 5514 Manotick Main Street are available at rideaugoulbourn.ca/fallshouse.

Community Dancing in Manotick

On Friday, April 28th, from 7:00pm to 9:30pm, come on out to the Manotick United Church and enjoy a fun, interactive session of dance, laughter & music. Join the Ever Hopeful Stringband and caller Pippa Hall for a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening of community dancing, including circles, squares and contras. Each dance is taught and the whole family is invited. The evening begins with simple dances, followed by dances that build on skills as the evening progresses. Admission is $10; $5 for those aged 12-18; participants under 12 are free. There is also a family maximum admission of $20. For information, please call 613-692-4576 or visit http://dance.manotick.net.

Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic

Join me on July 7th for the Scott Moffatt Golf4Youth Classic Presented by Caivan Communities at the Canadian Golf & Country Club. It promises to be a fun day for the whole family with all proceeds going directly to the Youth of Manotick Association (YOMA) and the Richmond Youth Centre (RYC). I would love for you to participate!

We are also acquiring sponsorships and silent auction donations. If you are a local business and want to be involved in this event, please contact me and we’ll find an exciting way to get you involved.

For more details or to register, visit www.golf4youth.ca. Hopefully we can make this a successful event that will benefit our youth and families all across Rideau-Goulbourn.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. For information on Rideau-Goulbourn issues, please visit RideauGoulbourn.ca.

Dickinson Square Update and Upcoming Town Halls

Our Rideau-Goulbourn Mid-Term Town Hall Series continues on Tuesday, November 15th with our Manotick meeting. As usual, we will cover a number of city-wide issues that have been making the news over the last 20 months. We’ll also focus on local issues. At our Manotick meeting, I will be focusing on a variety of issues but will specifically discuss David Bartlett Park and the Falls House.

Over the past couple of months, I have been having conversations with various community groups regarding the use of David Bartlett Park as well as the parking issues. I have been floating plans for a parking lot expansion as well as the notion of creating an on-leash area on the south end of the park abutting the Bravar Drive properties. While nothing is imminent, we’ll continue this conversation on the 15th.

For the Falls House, I will be discussing the background, the future and showing the virtual tour of the building that was filmed prior to demolition. In addition, we’ll provide updates on other goings on in and around Manotick, including some of the agricultural issues with MPAC and LEAR. These meetings are always general in nature and any topic is up for discussion. The meeting will be at the Manotick Arena beginning at 7:00pm.

After the Manotick Town Hall, we’ll be hosting a meeting at the Kars RA Centre on Wednesday, November 23 at 7:00 pm. The following, and second last meeting, will be in Richmond at the Agricultural Dining Hall on November 30th. This meeting will be a bit different as there will also be a public meeting on the Shea Road development application at 6:00 pm with our town hall to follow. As usual, we will cover a number of city-wide issues that have been making the news over the last 20 months. We’ll also focus on local issues, such as development and infrastructure projects.

Dickinson Square Update

Another topic that we’ll touch on next week is Dickinson Square. Last week, the Finance & Economic Development Committee approved my report that recommended the retention of the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House in City ownership. As many of you know, these properties were purchased alongside four other Dickinson Square properties and placed under the care of the Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation. Following the retention of the Holloway Property and the sale of the Weaver House, the Ayres Building and the Clapp Property, the MMQCDC was left with just the Carriage Shed and Dickinson House.

The approved report means that these two buildings will remain in the City’s ownership and that the MMQCDC will be dissolved. The next steps will see the City enter into long term agreements with Watson’s Mill and the Rideau Township Historical Society to occupy the buildings.  While we still have some work to do, I just want to take a moment and thank Margot Belanger and Gerald Reasbeck, who have been members of the MMQCDC with me since 2010. I would also like to thank the member groups of Dickinson Square Heritage Management Inc., who have helped advise me throughout the Dickinson Square process. Last, but not least, I’d like to thank former Councillor Glenn Brooks, who helped guide the acquisition of the Dickinson Square properties through Council.

Richmond Library PD Day Program

The Richmond library has a really exciting PD Day program planned for Friday November 18th from 2:00-4:00pm (drop-in). It’s a PD DAY Pop up Makerspace and Lego Block Party.  We will have the pop up 3D printer at the branch!  Children are invited to: 

Get Creative! Test your building ability with our Lego® challenges and participate in our Lego® scavenger hunt! Join in on our community colouring project or explore our makey-makeys and LED-throwies. Check out our 3D printer demonstration to see what you can build at our Imagine Space.

North Gower Library Turns 125!

The North Gower branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) is celebrating its 125th anniversary on Monday, November 14th in style. To mark 125 years of service, the branch is inviting Library customers and the community to dress up in the style of their favourite decade, or to pull from the tickle trunk, to represent the one-and-a-quarter centuries of library services, learning and community connections.

Join your neighbours on November 14th from 7:00pm to 8:30pm to enjoy interactive activities, entertainment, a photo opportunity with Queen Elizabeth in 2D, and refreshments by Dolly Doll Bakery. OPL Board Chair Tim Tierney will join the event to say a few words from 7:30pm – 7:45pm.

The North Gower branch fosters community relationships in many ways, while acting as a catalyst for exploration and discovery. Its local flavour is cultivated by the active surrounding rural community of artists, families, farmers, local businesses and entrepreneurs. The branch has strong links to the artistic community and is the site of a monthly local art display. The recently refurbished branch features a large, colourful mural created by local artist Becky Marr-Johnson.

More information about North Gower’s 125th Anniversary is available on the OPL website. OPL’s North Gower branch is located at 6579 Fourth Line Rd, North Gower, ON K0A 2T0.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

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From November 18th to 20th and from the 25th to the 27th, ITR Theatre Company is presenting a Norm Foster Double-Double. This includes two one-act plays, My Narrator and The Death of Me, at each of the 6 performances at the Osgoode Community Centre. Tickets are available through http://www.itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com. Tickets for the dinner theatres on November 19 and 26 are selling out quickly.

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If you have any comments about anything other than No Tractor signs, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491. If you really do want to know more about No Tractor signs, Google “Scott Moffatt No Tractor”.  There is plenty of material out there.

Water, Sewer & Stormwater Rate Structure Review

As many of you may have noticed last week, the home at 5514 Manotick Main Street, known locally as the Falls House, was torn down. This was done so after much effort to avoid that exact scenario. Unfortunately, the home did not meet the criteria for heritage designation and the condition was deteriorating. Please visit rideaugoulbourn.ca/fallshouse for the full story on the property as well as next steps. On that page, you will also find panoramic pictures of each room in the house as well as a video tour of the home that I took a couple of weeks ago. This will give you the full picture of the home and all of the information that led us to this point.

Stormwater Charge

In recent weeks, I have spoken at length about the stormwater charge that was approved by the Environment Committee last week. It has been a difficult issue to deal with for everyone impacted. I predicted as much in May 2015 when the item first came to our attention and again when the public consultation kicked off in March of this year. My main focus the entire time has been the facts. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation out there on this subject. If you still have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact me. We also have information available on this website (click here) that provides all of the background.

There are, however, just a few points that I want to reiterate as they keep coming up in emails that I have been receiving and comments on various radio shows and whatnot. First, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you flush your toilet into a sewer system or a septic system. Stormwater is completely unrelated from sewerage services. They were in separate budgets prior to amalgamation and that never should have changed. As I mentioned last week, Council made that decision to put them together in 2001 and it was the wrong one.

I have also heard comments that this is a “tax grab” to increase revenues for the City. I completely understand that point because, for many of us in the rural area, we will begin to pay an extra charge on our tax bill. However, as I have also mentioned previously, those who are already paying for stormwater on their sewer bill will see a modest reduction in their bill.  Therefore, these two changes will offset each other. The City spends approximately $42M city-wide on stormwater maintenance and that budget will remain at that number. With the two offsetting numbers, there will be no increase in revenues as a result of the stormwater charge.

The final clarification I wanted to make is in response to comments that the revenue from this charge will just go toward urban projects that will not benefit the rural area. It will not. As mentioned above, the amount collected is just being shifted from water and sewer ratepayers to taxpayers. All fees collected in the rural area will go toward maintenance in the rural area.  In fact, the City spends $8M annually in the rural area and the new fee will collect $2M. None of your stormwater taxes will service anyone but rural residents.

I hope this helps provide further clarity. As always, I am available to chat about this further.  We also spend time at each of our town hall meetings discussing this very issue. Our Manotick meeting is on November 15th and our Kars meeting is on November 23rd.

Community Dancing in Manotick

If you are interested in a fun, interactive session of dance, laughter & music, come to the Manotick United Church on Friday, November 4th and join the Ever Hopeful Stringband and caller Pippa Hall for a family-friendly, alcohol-free evening of community dancing, including circles, squares and contras. Each dance is taught and the whole family is invited. The event runs from 7:00pm until 9:30pm and begins with simple dances, followed by dances that build on skills as the evening progresses. The cost to attend is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 12-18 and children under 12 are free.  There is, however, a family maximum charge of $20. For more information call 613-692-4576 or visit http://dance.manotick.net.

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If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please feel free to email me at Scott.Moffatt@ottawa.ca or contact me by phone at 613-580-2491.