August newsletter

University Matters
The new student residence (Ontario Hall) on Sarnia Road is open. Some questions and concerns have been raised about lighting and jaywalking already. Please report any difficulties to the following:

  • Traffic flows/design: City Transportation Planning, Maged Elmadhoon, M.Eng., P.Eng., Manager, Transportation Planning, City of London, 519-661-2500 x 4934, melmadho@london.ca or Mark Ridley, Senior Technologist, x 4736, mridley@london.ca
  • Street lighting: Shane Maguire, Division Manager of Roadway Lighting & Traffic Control, 519-661-2500 x 8488, SMaguire@london.ca (Shane advises that there are no plans to upgrade the lighting on Sarnia Road at this time but he’ll keep it in mind for future work.) For calls about street light or traffic light outages, call 519 661-2641
  • Jaywalking/speeding: London Police Services, 519-661-5670
  • Jaywalking: Glenn Matthews, Housing Mediation Officer, Western University, glenn@housing.uwo.ca or 519-661-3787. Glenn is also the contact if you are having trouble with tenants who are renting a house in your area.

Brescia’s new residence and dining facility has its opening ceremony during the morning of September 6th. Brescia reminds everyone in the neighbourhood that its new Dining Pavilion is being designed with a view to inviting the community in, and to providing spaces to gather and connect, whether that be over a coffee or lunch.

Rental Housing

If you do see any new “for rent” signs spring up, please let Sandy Levin know and he can send the information along to the city to determine if the rental property has been licensed.

Sherwood Forest School Site
The school board will declare the site surplus on September 10th. It will then be made available to public bodies listed in Regulation 444/98. Each body will have 90 days to submit an offer. If no offers are received, the school board is free to sell it to anyone.

The following passed 10-4 at City Council this week. Opposed were Councillors Polhill, Swan, Armstrong, and Henderson. Councillor M. Brown had a conflict of interest because he works for the School Board and will not be voting on this matter.

Recommendation: That the Civic Administration BE DIRECTED to review and report back to the Corporate Services Cte on Sept 24, 2013, on the following matters related to the surplus school property known as Sherwood Forest Public School
a) the potential acquisition of the subject property, on the basis that:
i) there is a municipal need for community green space for the adjacent neighbourhood; and
ii) the City of London’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Strengthening Neighbourhoods identifies a need for amenities in the neighbourhood; and
b) the potential severance and disposition of any portion of the subject property that might be declared surplus to the City of London’s needs and disposed of in accordance with the City of London’s Sale and Other Disposition of Land Policy, should Council decide to proceed with the acquisition of the subject property.

In short, the city will not be buying the site and then reselling it for a community use, but Council has asked for more information on severing the site and possibly retaining some park space. No dollar amount has been determined, nor is there money in the city budget for 2014 for this at this point. Councillor Branscombe shared with us that they did have some discussions with school board staff and it appears that the school board disposal process (after the public bodies have passed on the site) is a guide and not a mandated process by the Province. How the school board will proceed with interested parties will be up to the Trustees.

Traffic on Lawson Road
A speed and volume study was completed in June and here are the results:

  • Eastbound- 800 vehicles per day, average speed 45 km/hr., 85th percentile 54 km/hr.
  • Westbound- 700 vehicles per day, average speed 38 km/hr., 85th percentile 57 km/hr.

These results indicate Lawson is functioning as a normal secondary collector. Under the new policy this street would not qualify for traffic calming; front line mitigating measures would be used to address neighbourhood traffic concerns. The methods would include tools such as driver feedback boards (PEEP installed on street earlier this year), targeted police enforcement (specific neighbours who drive fast through the area), sign installation and pavement marking modifications.

School Trustee Appointment

Thames Valley District School Board trustees will be accepting applications to fill the trustee vacancy on the Board following the recent election of Trustee Peggy Sattler as MPP for London West. Ms. Sattler was one of two trustees who represented our area of the city. Applicants will be asked to complete an application form accompanied by a resume and proof of qualification. Interested candidates may obtain an application on the Board’s website at http://www.tvdsb.on.ca or in hard copy at the Thames Valley District School Board offices, 1250 Dundas Street.

Applications will be accepted by the Chairperson of the Board as indicated on the application up until 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Following an interview process, a recommendation for appointment will be taken to the Board for approval. The successful applicant will complete the Boards’ current four-year term that expires on November 30, 2014. For More Information:
Joyce Bennett, Chair Thames Valley District School Board 1250 Dundas Street E. London N6A 5L1 519-452-2000 ext. 20219 j.bennett@tvdsb.on.ca

Councillor Compensation Survey

A Citizen Task Force is working on a recommendation to city council on the compensation for the Mayor and Council members beginning with the Council elected in the fall of next year. The Task Force has developed a survey that will shortly appear on the city’s web site (London.ca). You are encouraged to complete the survey. Hard copies will also be available at library branches.

From Neighbourhood Watch
Several phone calls have been reported where a recorded female voice says:

“Thanks for being a loyal Shoppers Drug Mart customer. You have won a free vacation from Shoppers Drug Mart. All you have to do is press number 1 on your phone to arrange to get it.”

Shoppers Drug Mart informed Police that they have received a number of complaints about these calls.
IMPORTANT:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart DOES NOT have a free vacation contest going on and this is indeed a scam.
  • If you do press 1 then you will be asked for your credit card information.
  • If you receive a call like this, Police suggest that you call Shoppers customer service to let them know, as it may assist them in an investigation.

TD Waterhouse Stadium Events
-Mon Sep 2 – Mustang Football vs Carleton 7pm
-Sat Sep 14 – Mustang Football vs Ottawa 1pm
-Sun Sep 15 – Beefeater Football 1pm
-Mon Sep 16 – United Way Football (1 game @ 9:30am)
-Tues Sep 17 – United Way Football (2 games @ 9:30am & 12pm)
-Wed Sep 18 – United Way Football (2 games @ 9:30am & 12pm)
-Fri Sep 20 – United Way Football (2 games @ 9:30am & 12pm)
-Tues Sep 24 – United Way Football (1 game @ 10:30am)
-Wed Sep 25 – United Way Football (1 game @ 10:30am)
-Thur Sep 26 – United Way Football (1 game @ 10:30am)
-Sat Sep 28 – Homecoming Football vs Queens 1pm
-Sat Sept 28 – Beefeater Football 8pm
– Sat Oct 19 – Mustang Football vs York 1pm
– Sat Oct 26, Nov 2, & 9 – Mustang Football Playoffs – tba 1pm
– Sat Nov 16 – Thames Valley High School Football 10am-10pm

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New UWO Residence

The University has awarded a contract for the construction of the new residence adjacent to Althouse. A crane will be set up on site early in the new year. There is additional information at http://www.residenceatwestern.ca/newresidence/

A site plan is shown with an access out to Sarnia Road. The City has said that such access would only be through the existing driveway to the red brick buildings if there is agreement with the adjacent property owner, London Property Corp.

Questions about the project can be addressed to Susan Grindrod, 519-661-3549 or grindrod@housing.uwo.ca

July 2011 Updates

Seniors Community Association invitation

Adults 55 and older in our neighbourhood are invited to discussion groups hosted by the Seniors Community Association and to learn about the Connecting London Seniors project. All are welcome to attend at the Sherwood Forest Library on either Thursday, July 28th at 10 a.m. or Wednesday, Aug. 3rd at 1:30 p.m. Space is limited, so you must register in advance by contacting Jean Knight, 519-963-4567.

Jean Knight – Project Coordinator
Seniors Community Association
Office: 519.963.4567
Cell: 519.615.9366
http://www.scalondon.ca

Update on widening of Sarnia Road from Wonderland to Sleightholme

Although this project has been pushed off to 2019 by the city for financial reasons, the city council decided it best to complete the Environmental Assessment. The Ratepayers have yet to receive notification as to when the final report will be filed on the public record as required under Provincial legislation. Usually, we receive a letter from the city. Notice is also given in the Living in the City section of the city’s web site. My guess is it will be the fall at the earliest before any information is available.

Medway Valley Heritage Forest Conservation Master Plan Update

The city budget for this year included funds for an update of the Medway Valley Conservation Master Plan. No notice has been received as to when this project will commence. When it starts, it is anticipated to take at least 12 to 18 months to complete. It is suppose to include all parts of the Valley, including the parts north of Fanshawe Park Road.

New student residences at UWO and Brescia College

UWO will start building the new residence on the south west side of Sarnia and Western Road starting this fall. Brescia College has been in contact with the city about its plans for a new residence at Brescia Lane and Ramsey Road, but have not yet filed for formal site plan approval or a change in zoning which would be required to change the use of the land south of Ramsey. There is a web page with some information and contact information as well at http://www.brescia.uwo.ca/about/new_residence/index.html

Tennis Courts

Thanks to the diligence of a resident, the City will be taking the following actions as soon as possible.

  • Trim Apple Trees that drop fruit onto the court surfaces
  • Power-wash all areas of the courts.
  • Replace torn nets.
  • Repair cracks in the surface with a new fiberglass compound.
  • Safe-proof the protrusions on the outsides of the steel tennis posts.

Neighbourhood Questions regarding the New Brescia Residence

Brescia University College has provided some q&a regarding its plans for construction of a new residence. This is a follow-up and response to the neighborhood meeting that was held on March 10, 2011.

Bike path

Q. A number of people currently bike through Brescia to work at UWO. The idea of a bike path that goes around the campus was not well received for a few reasons. One is that it is an indirect path and bike riders, like drivers, will take the path of least resistance. A round about way is less likely to be used. Also, like the staff member who was concerned about the out of the way location of the potential “north side” parking lot, the bike path will also be out of the way which makes it less likely to be used later at night. The other concern is that it seems that bike riders would share the new driveway with delivery trucks in the morning. This may not be the case but I and others at the information session were trying to explain where the bike path started, without the benefit of any visuals. You might consider stopping some bike riders in the fall to invite them to a focus group to get their thoughts. Ramsay Road is a well used bike way in the AM rush hour between September and winter and again in the spring.

A. Responsibility to maintain a bike path for neighbourhood use goes beyond Brescia’s mandate but we will do our best to do so to be good neighbours. However, having a focus group to provide additional input would provide real challenges to us from a timing perspective in regards to completing the design. We did pay careful attention to neighbourhood input at our meeting on May 9th. Although the north route is more out of the way, it would certainly be safer from a grading perspective than what is happening now. We are also looking at the possibility of relocating a bike path around Mother St. James, but I think that this might actually be farther, more costly, and a steeper grade. There will only be five or six trucks per day that would be using the same space.

Location of new buildings/parking lot

Q. Due to the loss of trees/green area as well as the massing of buildings along Ramsay Road, residents asked Brescia to consider retaining the existing parking lot and putting the new residence further to the north. This could avoid the need for a rezoning. Another site plan suggestion was putting the dining pavilion on the far west side of the campus and the residence more to the east. This would reduce the distance from the loading area as well as avoiding the massing of a large building on a narrow street. Another suggestion was enlarging the lower parking lot and making the new, larger lot on the east side of Brescia Lane exclusively for those with mobility difficulties. This recognizes the need for a more level site for parking and continuing the buffering between Brescia and the homes on the south side of Ramsay Road.

A. We have gone through careful deliberation about the placement of the buildings for the new residence and dining complex. Of highest concern, in our decision making, has been the cohesiveness of the campus and access for students, the main users of the building and dining hall complex. There isn’t enough space to put the residence further north (due to grades, services, and cost) and we could not have developed the courtyards that we currently have in the present scheme. The dining pavilion is located centrally to provide access to all students/ staff. Placing it further west would isolate it and really just replicate the issue that we have now with our dining room situated in the basement and not very accessible. We are enlarging the lower lot, and the lot to the east of Brescia Lane has been maximized with regard to flat area available. Also, the building will be well set back from Ramsay Road, reducing the impact of massing of the building.

Access to new driveway/loading area

Q. Given how narrow Ramsay Road is, some residents thought it would be difficult for the city to agree to restricting turns in and out of the new driveway as food and beverage delivery trucks may have problems getting in and out of the driveway, particularly in winter, if turn movements are restricted. This also raised the question about how trucks would get out of the driveway – would they be backing up? This would increase the concern that the bike riders have about sharing the road in that location.

A. Trucks will not be backing out of the driveway. Rather they will back into the loading dock and drive out onto Ramsay in the forward direction. We can handle all turning radii on site, so that a left only onto Ramsay is possible.

Trees

Q. One of the people at the meeting went to count the trees on the south side of Ramsay where there are 15 trees. He asked, as Brescia promised two trees would be planted for every one cut, where will the 30 or so replacement trees be planted?

Who at Brescia is in charge of tagging trees with silver tags. Some of the trees are being questioned. They may or may not all be Brescia trees.

A. The landscape architect identified the trees to be tagged so that we could be sure that we identified significant trees. Trees that are not Brescia trees should not be tagged but it is possible that some might have been inadvertently tagged. We will not, however, be removing any trees that do not belong to us. It is too early to identify exactly where new trees will be planted.