Mid-August News

Car Theft and Break-Ins

There have been two recent incidents in the Wychwood and Longbow Road area. Just a reminder-if you leave your car outside overnight, your best defence is being sure to lock your doors.

Sarnia and Western Road Intersection

Discussions continue between the University and the City regarding the BRT route through campus. Until that matter is settled, there will be no meetings on possible changes to traffic flows at that intersection. Stay tuned.

Sherwood Forest School Site Development

The process by which the City will offer for sale the part of the site zoned for new housing, as outlined at the community AGM in May, is continuing. Stay tuned for news when it is available.

Medway Valley Environmentally Signifcant Area (ESA) Master Plan (for the section of the ESA south of Fanshawe)

The slides presented at the last meeting of the Local Advisory Committee (LAC) are now available. Professor Greg Thorn is our community representative and Sandy Levin is representing our local Adopt an ESA group. If you have questions, please feel free to contact either of us at rgthorn@uwo.ca or s.levin@sympatico.ca

We were surprised to see that the bulk of the latest meeting was focused on bridge crossings, including one in our area (Location D, slide 34 of 37). This is contrary to what the community was told at the May AGM.

It was pointed out at the LAC meeting.that a crossing of the Medway in our area at location D would not look like the small footbridge across Rollingwood Creek, but more like one of the bridges across the Medway north of Fanshawe Park Road. These are larger bridges required because the Creek floods, and the bridges need to be structurally sound and above the water at flood stage: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35429803@N07/4531851307/

Greg and Sandy were also concerned that it appears that the wishes of a minority of respondents to the City’s survey and open house are being given greater weight. There is also a concern regarding an academic study (see slide 20) which is being used as a justification for a bridge in our area. It was pointed out at the LAC meeting that the study does not mention bridges or other structures.

The draft Master Plan will be presented to the City’s Environmental and Ecological Planning Advisory Committee on August 24th at City Hall, 2nd floor around 5 pm. These are public meetings and you are welcome to attend. Although there is no scheduled public input at this meeting, the Chair is normally very open to allowing the public to speak and ask questions. A copy of the draft will be out ahead of the meeting and I will send it to our community mailing list and post it to the web site.

City staff plan to present the final draft to a committee of City Council for adoption in October.

Update

City staff had some concerns regarding the above posting on the Conservation Master Plan process. They have provided the following:

  • The LAC meeting did not “focus” on crossings – the majority of the LAC slides posted on the OPSF website are not about crossings.
  • The consultants noted at the LAC that the review and compilation of comments was not done quantitatively or statistically – it was never framed as a voting exercise.
  • Community members were encouraged to provide feedback on “Ideas, Issues, Opportunities, and Observations”.
  • The feedback received during the engagement process from the public and the LAC to date were used to identify items for consideration in the Draft CMP and reviewed with the Guidelines for Management Zones and Trails in ESAs. This matches with slides 15 and 20.
  • The slides from the OPSF May AGM correctly identified and it remains true that “The City has no proposals for trail improvements and we are seeking input from the public to be considered through the process.”
  • The public’s ideas, issues, opportunities, and observations have been received and the public’s ideas (not the “City’s” ideas) are being reviewed with the Guidelines for Management Zones and Trails in ESAs as noted on slide 20 and above.
  • The summarized citation on slide 20 is directly from the approved Guidelines for Management Zones and Trails, 2016 document and process we are following.
  • The Guidelines were updated based on the previous Trail Standards, which also included this sentence and reference. Both the Standards and Guidelines were reviewed by various committees and groups and approved by Council.
  • These Guidelines will be used to review ideas from the public including crossings. The summarized citation from the Guidelines on Slide 20 is not being used as “justification for a bridge” noting slides 15 and 20 describe that process, however, it does identify that, “Bridges also protect sensitive riparian areas from vegetation damage and soil erosion on steep slopes.”

End of July News

Secondary Dwelling Units

At this week’s city Council meeting, the Council decided to permit secondary dwelling units as of right in all areas of the City including the Near Campus area that we are part of. The vote was 8-4 with Councillors Squire and Turner speaking on maintaining the limitation. Councillors Hubert and Morgan also voted to maintain the limitation. Councillors Usher and Zaifman were absent, and Councillor Hopkins had a conflict of interest and could not vote.
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Secondary Dwelling Units

At Monday’s Council committee meeting, the Committee overturned the staff recommendation and voted to permitted secondary dwelling units as of right in the entire city. The vote was 4-1 (Mayor Brown, and Councillors Helmer, Park, and Cassidy in favour of overturning). Only Councillor Turner supported the staff recommendation to not allow them as of right in the Near Campus areas including our own. Councillor Squire spoke in favour of the staff recommendation, but he is not a member of the Committee. Councillor Hopkins had a conflict of interest in this matter and could not speak or vote.

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June Neighborhood Update

Community Garage Sale – Saturday, June 17th from 8 am!

Go through closets, cupboards and drawers with the thought “if we were moving what would we NOT take with us?” and sell off yesterday’s treasures.
Pricing your items gives folks a start point to haggle, however be warned that if your prices are too high people will be turned off. Experience is not to bother pricing all items, just some of the bigger ones for which you want a reasonable price.

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BBQ, AGM and more

BBQ and AGM – Thursday, May 25

Hope to see you this coming Thursday, May 25th at Orchard Park Public School for our 3rd annual BBQ as well as our community Annual General Meeting. The BBQ starts at 6 pm, the meeting at 7:30 pm. Come for both if you can.
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