Manotick Town Hall Meeting and Other November Updates from Rideau-Goulbourn

To begin this week, I would like to offer my condolences to the family of Mitch Owens on behalf of the residents of Rideau-Goulbourn and the City of Ottawa. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Owens but I’m sure many reading this column knew him from his time representing the City of Gloucester as Councillor, Deputy Reeve and Mayor from 1966 until 1991.  It takes a special person to serve 25 years in public office, not to mention the countless other jobs that Mr. Owens had in his 95 years. He will be missed.

Manotick Town Hall Meeting

Last week, we had a great turnout at the Mid-Term Town Hall meeting. I’d very much like to thank everyone for taking the time to attend. While most of our meetings end before 9 p.m., many attendees stayed closer to 10 p.m. and some after. We discussed many items but the one that garnered the most attention was David Bartlett Park. The next steps in our discussion about shared uses of the park will include the formation of a working group. This was a suggestion made during the meeting and one that I am happy to implement. I look forward to continuing this conversation with all interested parties. By the discussion at the meeting, that’s a lot of interested parties.

Richmond Forcemain Improvements

In my November 1st Stittsville News column, I announced that the contract for the Richmond Forcemain improvements and upgrades had been awarded to Robert Excavating and that work would commence imminently. Three weeks removed from that time, nearby residents will have noticed that the contractor has mobilized and construction has begun.

Users of the lagoon trail system will have already noticed an impact as the trail and parkland behind homes along Dallaire Crescent has been closed. Further, the parking lot off of Eagleson, near Barnsdale Road, has also been closed. We have been working on any concerns that have been brought forward as a result of project startup. Streets in the construction zone will be monitored daily for construction debris as required.

The Project Manager on this file, Danny Palermo, has been providing me with weekly updates on construction. I will be relaying that information to nearby residents via email. If you would like to receive such updates, please send me an email and let me know.

Remembrance Park

In recent weeks, the successful bidder on the Remembrance Park project, DB Contracting, began mobilizing on the site of the future Remembrance Park. Between now and the winter shutdown, the contractor will be working on site preparation and the installation of the hard infrastructure, such as the garden walls and the armour stone walls. In April, the work will reconvene in earnest with the target opening of the park slated for July 1st, 2017.

This park will be a great addition to the village and specifically, the cenotaph. This project couldn’t have been done without the work of the community and the initial acquisition of the property by my predecessor, Glenn Brooks. The now-defunct Manotick Mill Quarter Community Development Corporation saw the transfer of this property from the Corporation’s oversight to the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. The efforts of the Remembrance Park Organizing Committee have led us to this point and the community is grateful for their work.

New Year’s Eve Celebrations at City Hall

Countdown to the New Year and kick off the Ottawa 2017 festivities during an energizing and momentum-building event! Join the fun on December 31st, 2016, for this early-evening, family-friendly celebration that will include the lighting of a spectacular cauldron at Ottawa City Hall. The sparking of this special landmark will cue hundreds of Ottawa-area students to form a human chain, connecting young people from diverse backgrounds and weaving a line of youthful optimism through downtown Ottawa streets.

The evening will be crowned by a musical show and fireworks on Parliament Hill. The Ottawa 2017 Bureau is working closely with the school Boards and indigenous community to recruit the participating students. For more info on the spectacular Ottawa 2017 programming and to learn how to get involved, visit the http://www.ottawa2017.ca/! Check the online calendar often as we keep adding new events!

Mixing it up

The West Ottawa Ladies Chorus (WOLC) is presenting a Kaleidoscope of colourful tones to celebrate the season of winter and Christmas. A Christmas Kaleidoscope will delight the audience and please everyone's taste in music. The chorus works diligently to blend soprano, second soprano and first and second alto to a seamless sound. Under the direction of Robert Dueck, the WOLC strives for the highest standards from the top ranges to the lowest notes. Blending notes, like colours creates patterns of sound – a kaleidoscope.

This season, the audience will experience colourful tunes from spiritual to jazz to rag to show tunes. Although the concert is a celebration of Christmas, it is also a celebration of winter and will appeal to all cultures. The WOLC is committed to giving back to the community and visits several senior's residences to take the gift of music to those who may not be able to attend a public performance.

A Christmas Kaleidoscope by the WOLC will be performed on Saturday, December 3rd at 7:00pm at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 20 Young Rd., Kanata and on Sunday December 4th at 2:30 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1817 Richardson Side Rd., Carp. Tickets will be available soon. For more details contact westottawaladieschorus@gmail.com.

Isle in the River Theatre Company

From November 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://itrtheatre.com/ or by calling 613-800-1165 or e-mailing tickets@itrtheatre.com.

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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.

Coach Houses and Land Evaluation and Area Review (LEAR)

To begin this week, I just wanted to correct a comment that I have made in recent weeks.  When providing background on the stormwater issue, I had said that Council made the decision to shift all stormwater costs to the water and sewer rate in April of 2001.  In fact, it was the Corporate Services and Economic Development Committee that dealt with the issue in April. They ended up deferring the matter to their July 3rd meeting and Council did not approve it until their July 11th meeting.

The report was titled “Financing Methods – Funding City Services” and included two key points that led us to the situation we are in today.  One was that the General Tax Levy “include all services formerly included in the general levies of the area municipalities except…stormwater management.” Further along in the same motion, the Committee recommended to Council that “the stormwater management and sanitary sewerage programs be totally funded from sewer surcharges.” This passed at Committee and again at Council.  Interestingly enough, Councillor Janet Stavinga actually voted against the matter at Committee.  We are only dealing with this matter today because the rest of Council did not follow her lead. If you would be interested in reading the minutes or the report for yourself, please contact my office.

For those of you who have attended one of our Mid-Term Town Hall meetings, you will know that we discuss the stormwater issue there.  Although this item has been discussed at Committee this past Tuesday, I will continue to focus on the matter at future town hall meetings. With meetings in North Gower and Munster having occurred earlier this week, our next Town Hall meeting will take place at the Christ Church in Ashton on Wednesday, November 1st followed by our rural Stittsville meeting at the Goulbourn Town Hall on Monday, November 7th.  Both meetings will begin at 7:00pm.

Coach Houses

The report on Coach Houses came before the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on Thursday, October 6th.  Some of the recommendations contained in the report stemmed from consultations in the urban area but the ensuing recommendation had a city-wide impact.  As a result, ARAC voted to alter a recommended decrease in accessory building heights because this was not a prevalent issue in the rural area.  Further, we discussed the minimum lot size for a coach house.  The recommendation calls for a minimum lot size of 2 acres on private services.  This is something that we are reviewing and, at the very least, members of ARAC will be pursuing a decrease in that minimum to 1 acre at the October 26th meeting of Council.

The main point, however, is that the City has developed a process that will permit the addition of coach houses in the rural area and across the city.  All that is left to work out are some fine details surrounding lot sizes and permitting.  I will keep you updated on the matter in future columns.

Land Evaluation and Area Review (LEAR)

In November, the updated report on LEAR will come to both the Planning Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.  As Chair of the LEAR Working Group, this is something we have been working on for the better part of four years.  The most interested parties in this endeavour would be landowners in or adjacent to lands already designated as Agricultural Resource Area on Schedule A of the City’s Official Plan.

The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton identified the existing Agricultural Resource Area in 1997 using a Land Evaluation and Area Review (LEAR) system. Key components of the LEAR system are soil capability for agriculture, land use and parcel size. New soils mapping and changes in land use and the size and nature of farms in the city over the last 20 years warrant re-examining and updating the existing LEAR system.  The Ontario Municipal Board has also directed the City to complete this update. 

The LEAR Working Group is finalizing the changes to the LEAR system. Recommendations on possible changes, if any, to the Agricultural Resource Area will be made and notice of changes will be sent to all affected land owners. A draft Official Plan Amendment will be advertised, circulated and presented to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs and Planning Committees in November 2016 and Council in December 2016/ January 2017.

If you have any questions on this review, please contact Bruce Finlay, Planner, at 613-580-2424, ext. 21850 or by e-mail at planning@ottawa.ca.

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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.

Falls House And More Updates from Rideau-Goulbourn

Our Mid-Term Town Hall series continues next week with meetings in North Gower and Munster. Residents are invited to come out to the Alfred Taylor Recreation Centre on Monday, October 17th and/or the Munster Community Centre on Wednesday, October 19th. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. The meetings are general in nature and will discuss various city-wide issues as well as local issues. The stormwater matter comes to Environment Committee on Tuesday, October 18th so the North Gower meeting would be good to attend if you wish to chat with me in person prior to any vote on the proposed stormwater fee.

5514 Manotick Main Street

As you have read in this column previously, the owner for the building known as the Falls House at the corner of Bridge Street and Manotick Main Street had applied for a demolition permit. The demolition permit was officially issued on September 26th. This week, you will likely begin to see some work around the property as the owner will be removing parts of the home that can be reused in any future development.

Over the last few weeks, I have been working with the owner on some last ditch efforts to salvage the home, including relocating it to the other vacant parcel across the road. Unfortunately, that effort proved fruitless. From the standpoint of documenting the property, I did another walk through on Thanksgiving Monday and took pictures and video of the interior. My office will get the video and the pictures on our website as soon as possible so that every resident can take a virtual walk through.

In the meantime, I continue to work with the property owner on design for the replacement office building. As of now, nothing is set in stone while we carry out these discussions. My work on this involves consultation with the same community leaders that first toured the property with me several months ago. Community organizations that are represented in this group include: the Manotick Village & Community Association; the Manotick Culture, Parks & Recreation Association; the Manotick Business Improvement Area; and the Rideau Township Historical Society. They have all been a tremendous resource for guidance as we move forward on this difficult file.

Manotick Arena Expansion

Over the last couple of years, the community has been working on a plan to expand the dressing rooms at the Manotick Arena. I always hear rumours out there so wanted to provide a brief update. The City has been finalizing floor plans for the four new dressing rooms in recent weeks in partnership with our local committee and the Osgoode-Rideau Minor Hockey Association. The second floor expansion plans were coordinated with Rural Ottawa South Support Services and the Youth Association of Manotick.

The finances are in place for this and once we get the design finalized, we'll move into the tendering phase. Construction is slated to begin in March or April. Should the dressing rooms not be completed by October, the City will take the necessary steps to find alternative rooms on a temporary basis. I do know that the Manotick Culture, Parks & Recreation Association plans to host a meeting with the community to showcase the final plans as soon as they are available. I will be working with them to co-host this meeting. Stay tuned to this column for updates.

Richmond Youth Centre Open House

The Richmond Village Association and the Richmond Youth Centre Volunteers are excited to announce the expansion of the youth centre to everyone between the ages of 8 and 11.  As a result, they want to invite everyone to stop by and check out their Open House on Friday, October 14th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This will be an opportunity to meet the facilitator and volunteers as well.

The Richmond Youth Centre’s new programming will begin on October 28th.  The program will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for ages 8-11 and from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for ages 12-16. The Youth Centre is located on the second floor of the Richmond Memorial Community Centre and is free to attend.

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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.

Budget 2013 Consultations Begin

Wednesday, October 24 marks the final Mid-Term Town Hall prior to the break for budget meetings. The City of Ottawa’s 2013 Budget will be tabled the same day as my Town Hall in North Gower. There will be public consultation on the budget in four different locations. The closest two will be at the Nepean Sportsplex on Monday, October 29th and at the John G. Mlacak Community Centre at 2500 Campeau Drive in Kanata on Wednesday, November 7th. Both consultations will feature local Councillors and the Mayor and will go from 7-9pm. Following these consultations, the budget will then pass through ten committees and boards of Council before full consideration of City Council on November 28. To comment on Budget 2013, e-mail budget2013@ottawa.ca, use the Twitter hashtag, #ottbudget, call 3-1-1 (613-580-2400), or fax 613-560-2126.

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