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In absence of D. Hardie (Chair) meeting chaired by C. LoScerbo (Vice-Chair).

AGENDA

  1. Introductions
  2. Finance
  3. RCMP Update
  4. Car Co-Op Presentation
  5. Personal Statements/SECA Positions
  6. Princess Royal Sale
  7. Great Neighborhood Competition – SECA Nomination
  8. Constitution
  9. Traffic Light
  10. Festival of Banners
  11. SECA Heritage Picnic
  12. Other business:
    • Empire Days Parade

1. Introductions: Attendees named themselves.Guests in attendance were Dave Shear (RCMP), Ian Gartshore (CarShare), Meldy Wilton (Empire Days).

2. Finance: S. Laroque, Treasurer, reports:

$4,871.11 in the Picnic account and

$2,399.76 in the General Account after our General Insurance payment,

Event Insurance in the amount of $592.00 remains to be deducted.

3. RCMP update: Constable Dave Shear updated us regarding Policing activity in the Community. RCMP attended the Nob Hill association meeting and notes our common concern with the increase in drug/prostitution activity and litter around the 7/11 and assures us that RCMP is working on strategies to deal with the situation. He indicated that the 7/11 is co-operating with clean-up and has been requested to report suspicious activity on their site.
Patrols continue to monitor derelict properties and request neighbors to continue to report nuisance activity. They have a particular focus on the 2 houses next to the Balmoral. A quick resolution of the tenant issue at the nuisance property on Finlayson is imminent.

Discussion: The meeting was reminded that 7/11 gave assurances that their business would be supervised and nuisance activity monitored and reported when re-zoning was applied for. It was also mentioned that Randy Churchill updated Douglas about the new initiative to employ section 74 sub 2 of the community charter. Properties at #3, #5 and #13 Gillespie are now scheduled for demolition. The long-standing derelict property on Strickland Street is the next objective of Council action. He emphasized that SECAs’ ongoing dialogue with Council on the problem had a positive impact. The positive response of Council on this and other issues reinforces the validity of consistent, reasoned dialogue between the City and neighbourhood Associations such as SECA.  Attention was called to the revised Neighborhood Safety Brochure which outlines proper procedure for reporting nuisances to the Police. Response to questions regarding the old General Store, we were informed that demolition orders are in process.

4. CarShare Presentation: Ian Gartshore of Nanaimo CarShare Co-Operative attended to outline the program. He outlined approximate costs to individual, corporate and casual users. He described the province-wide networking in progress and the success of the program in Vancouver. He emphasized the economic and ecological benefits of the program which provides alternatives to car ownership when public transport, bike or walking can accommodate most usual transportation needs. He described the convenient on-line booking system and the ability to utilize the system in other centres such as Vancouver.

Discussion: Clarification on how the system works was provided. We were reminded that a condition of the potential development on Victoria Rd. Is the provision of a CarShare space at the site. C. LoScerbo volunteered to put information regarding the program on the SECA Blog.

5. Personal Opinion/SECA Positions: Membership was reminded of the importance of clearly indicating that personal statements in Media interviews, on Social Media and to the General Public are Not official SECA positions.

Discussion: The positive reputation SECA enjoys both with the City and the General Public is based on our considered and consensual approach to issues that affect our Community.

6. Princess Royal Sale: Discussion was held in regard to the listing for sale of the Princess Royal site and its potential effect on SECA and the Community. It was pointed out that loss of this space may not be imminent as costs associated with re-purposing old schools often resulted in property remaining listed for extended periods. The need for Community space in the South End was expressed. It was pointed out that in the OCP, Community Centres in strategic areas were a focus and it was suggested that the City might consider acquiring the property for Community use as several groups, including SECA currently utilize it.

Further Discussion: Reference to the OCP prompted discussion around the relationship between the Official Community Plan (OCP) for Nanaimo and the various Neighborhood Community Plans. C. LoScerbo clarified that the OCP is intended to give an overall direction for Development in Nanaimo but that this direction is subject to the specific needs/desires of individual neighborhoods. The intention has been that Neighborhood Plans should have precedence over the OCP when zoning issues, etc. are being considered. The language of the OCP and Neighborhood plans currently upholds this convention. C. Sholberg and F. Patje of the City suggest that, to preserve the sovereignty of all the Neighborhood Plans currently in place, SECA should consider lending formal support to the residents in the Chase River catchment area who are protesting rezoning of property on Victoria Road based on the language of their Neighborhood Plan. If this language is overturned by City, the same language in other Neighborhood Plans would then be potentially disregarded and the validity of Neighborhood Plans in general put in question. C. Sholberg of City Planning will be attending the next Executive Meeting to discuss this and other issues of concern. Membership will be updated and the issue placed on the May General Meeting Agenda.

7. Great Neighborhood Competition- SECA Nomination: C. Sholberg and Gary Noble met with Douglas and Chris this week to suggest that SECA field an entry to this competition. They both feel that our strong, proactive Neighborhood Association has made the South End Neighborhood a viable contender. Nominations are accepted in May until August (final competition details are not yet released for this year). Last years successful “Great Places, Streets and Neighbourhoods” are outlined in “Plan Canada” magazine (handed around). If anyone is interested in getting involved with the submission process, connect with any exec member.

8. SECA Constitution: Kathryn Hazel updated us on revisions to the SECA Constitution generated by herself and Kathy Tjorhelm. They focussed on clarifying language and updating procedures. The preliminary draft has been sent to the Executive for initial review. Versions will be presented to the General Membership for suggestions/final approval.

9. Traffic Light: A letter from P. Portsmouth was presented and read to the Meeting. She sent copies of this letter to the City and to the Department of Highways. She calls attention to a video she has which documents a meeting of Council in 2007 in which then Mayor Korpin and Council promised a light at that intersection as a condition of re-zoning for the site of the Kingdom Hall. She calls for a delegation to Council to protest further proposed re-zoning, which would create greatly increased traffic, until the traffic problems caused by the initial re-zoning have been ameliorated by the promised traffic light.

Discussion: The re-prioritization of Traffic Light installations by the City and Dept. Of Highways has been brought before the membership previously. Examples were given of accidents at this intersection and concerns were again expressed about routing increased traffic through an un-improved intersection. In view of Councils previous commitment to a light, the idea of a petition and delegation to Council was generally supported. Moved by S. Laroque that a delegation be formed to attend Council and remind them of the 2007 commitment to improve the intersection with a traffic light. Seconded by L. Gambone. Carried unanimously. In support of the delegation it was suggested that other parties affected could be informed and their support sought. Coastland and the Taxi Companies as well as the drivers in their employ were mentioned in particular. D. Routley and D. Hardie were to contact them. S. Laroque volunteered to make calls also, if requested.

10. Festival of Banners: J. Carruthers presented information on the procedure to create a banner for the Festival of Banners. Banner designs created by South End residents will be hung along the South End stretch of Nicol Street. Currently, 3 banner designs have been submitted. More are encouraged. Banners must be completed by the end of April.

11. SECA Heritage Picnic: S. Laroque updated the membership on preparations for this year’s Picnic. She reminded us of the added Special Event Insurance cost. Volunteers were requested to assist in canvassing for donations. A volunteer is also needed to handle event scheduling and organization at the function.

12. Empire Days Parade: Member Meldy Wilton presented an invitation to the South End Community to participate in this year’s Empire Day Parade. She outlined the social and community benefits of the parade and its attendant events. She emphasized that the event is also known as the May Day Parade within the Community and that the name by which it is known does not negate it’s positive value to the Community.

Discussion: Most discussion centred around the political ramifications of participation. In particular, concern that support of an “Empire Day” event would be disrespectful to the First Nations cultures, historically ill- served by the “Empire” of the day. It was put forward that participation in a “May Day” celebration would be more acceptable. Ms. Wilton stated that a name change has been proposed, but founding members, still making up the majority of their Board, are resistant to a change. It was determined to place this item on the Agenda for the next Executive Meeting for a recommendation/report at the May General Meeting.

9pm – Adjourned

Good day,

Please forgive this intrusion, I am shamelessly promoting a very interesting project that Social Planning is doing with the Multicultural Society and Vancouver Island University; a series of guest speakers from around the world talking about their country of origin.  Starting next Wednesday and for every Wednesday night in April at the Grand Hotel on Rutherford road – 7:00 – 8:30 pm.  The event is free and if you come you will hear fascinating stories about places like Russia, Palestine, Haiti and others.

See this poster for the event with more details: 2014 Multicultural Speaker Series
Hope to see you there

Regards

John Horn
Social Planner
City of Nanaimo
250-755-4491

 

Prinecess Royal to be Sold

 

News that the former Princess Royal Elementary school site is to be sold off for private development signalled a sad ending for a public asset that was once a vital part of the South End community. If ever there was a school that could challenge the Fraser Institute’s perspective on educational success, Princess Royal Elementary was one.

 

Plenty of children excelled academically at Princess Royal, but for many more this school was fundamental in providing a safe and stable environment where they could learn much more than just the “three R’s.”

John McKay was part of an exceptional school team that had evolved and adapted over the years to meet the varied needs of the children who attended there. Beyond his teaching role, John was always helping out in the community and whenever I saw him, he was invariably surrounded by a crowd of devoted children, eyes wide and lit up, and clamouring for the kind of care and attention that he gave in such abundance.

 

Unfortunately the numbers just didn’t add up for Princess Royal. It was a small school with less than 70 students in 2004 and though this was part of what made the school so effective it was also what made it vulnerable to the economic equation of the day. As a community, we weren’t so well organized back then, and I wonder if we could have pushed to explore other options, in particular educational partnerships with the First Nation’s community, as a way of keeping the school open.

 

Though no longer a school, the building has continued to play an important part in the life of the neighbourhood. The Princess Royal Family Centre, funded by Island Health, provides a range of excellent services to the community, including the provision of meeting space for our association and use of the kitchen facilities for our annual Miners Heritage Picnic.

 

I bumped into John McKay at our last picnic. He was enjoying the day with his grand- children, connecting with past students and friends in the neighbourhood, and I’m sure rekindling a host of old memories from his days at Princess Royal Elementary.

 

Douglas Hardie is a member of the South End Community Association and can be reached at dhseca@gmail.com

 

AGENDA:

  1. Introductions
  2. Financial Report/Membership
  3. Samaritan House/City Right of Way
  4. Derelict Houses/RCMP Public Safety Report
  5. Tree Planting/Neighbourhood beautification
  6. Recycling facility – Old Victoria Rd.
  7. Traffic Lights
  8. Sidewalk petition

1. Introductions: Attendees named themselves. Two interest groups attended. Ronelle Bosman and Jack Anderson on behalf of Samaritan House, and Residents of Victoria Rd., regarding the proposed Recycling facility in that neighbourhood.

2. Financial Report/Membership: Attendees were reminded of the $5 voting membership fee and the ‘first Wednesday at 7pm’ General Meetings. Mention was made of the possible need to relocate the meeting site if the facility is sold, but our current location will be used for the time being.

Current Account Balances:

$4,871.73 – Picnic Account
$3,014.74 – General Account

Our Insurers have made changes to coverage. They will cover General Liability as usual, with the exception of the Miner’s Day Picnic Event. They have determined that separate coverage must be issued for this event at a cost of $259.00 which will be deducted from the Picnic Account. Total Insurance cost for the year will be $1,300.00 for General Liability plus $259.00 for the extra coverage, making a total of $1,559.00.

3. Samaritan House: Jack Anderson, Agent for the Island Crisis Society, and Ronelle Bosman presented an overview of the goals and operation of Samaritan House and the Therapeutic Housing Facility. They outlined their current application to the City for re-zoning of 2 adjacent properties as ‘Community Service’ to accommodate an expansion of their Facility to allow more housing/skills programming for troubled women.

  • They requested SECA approval for use of the currently vacant City Right of Way on the opposite side of the alley backing their facility to accommodate 3-4 parking spaces.
  • They indicated that they would improve the lot and assume responsibility for general upkeep of that area.
  • They requested input/suggestions regarding what the Community would like to see done at the site and indicated their desire to work in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan.
  • In their discussions with the City about the site, the City gave permission with the Provisos that City access to water mains/sewer lines under the area be maintained, and that SECA approve.

In general discussion the following points were made:

  • Any plan for the lot should eliminate blackberries, wild shrubbery and hidden areas where drug activity and other dangers could occur.
  • Suggestions were made for a Sculpture or Sensory Garden, Fruit/Nut trees, and a minimal landscape for ease of upkeep.

Community suggestions are needed within 3-4 weeks to accomodate their time frame with the City. Chair, D. Hardie, indicated that the proposal would be placed on the Agenda of the next Executive Meeting. He requested that any present wishing to have suggestions considered inform him as soon as possible.

4. Derelict Houses: D. Hardie reported that he is still awaiting word from Randy Churchill of the City on demolition/remediation of derelict properties on Gillespie, Strickland and Haliburton. As Council’s attention was drawn to problem properties at the last Council meeting, he suggests that now may be an opportune time to make a representation to Council urging them to adopt clear policies regarding such properties. G. Fuller, Member of City Safety Board, outlined the difficulties surrounding issuance of demolition orders to property owners. Some derelict properties await resolution of insurance issues, others are for sale, with demolition as a condition of purchase. While Community Charter sections cover some situations, he indicated that legal issues are an impediment to action by the City.

RCMP – Derelict Properties/Public Safety: Constable Dave LaBerge spoke to the derelict property issue, informing that demolition of the old store on Haliburton is imminent unless the owner launches another appeal. Regarding other derelict properties, he indicated that the Community Charter limits action to properties that present a safety hazard to the public and that standards of maintenance are not specified in the Charter.

He also reported that the Landlords of the View Street and Finlayson nuisance properties were contacted and they are making changes.

He indicated that RCMP is aware of and is monitoring street activity around the 24hr. 7-11 site. They are also watching the 2 vacant properties on Haliburton adjacent to the Balmoral. He encourages the neighbourhood to file nuisance reports when appropriate.

5. Tree Planting: Ben & Michael Geselbracht of the not-for-profit Community Youth and Development Association made a presentation on the goals of the organization. They work with Youth to promote Community interaction, volunteerism, education in agricultural techniques and creating Urban Green Space/food production.

They cited their agricultural education, experience as growers and noted projects they have initiated and executed in Victoria. They suggested they might make a positive contribution to the Samaritan House lot project. D. Hardie restated SECAs’ commitment to the greening of the South End and invited them to attend the next Executive Meeting to discuss their possible contribution.

6. Recycling Centre/Traffic Lights: Valentina Cardinalli presented concerns of residents on Old Victoria Rd., regarding the proposed Recycling Facility in their neighbourhood.
Of concern:

  • Processing/Storage of Hazardous waste.
  • Vermin
  • No recycling of usable material to general public.
  • Increased truck and general traffic at already busy times.

The residents request SECA to write a Letter of Support against re-zoning and urging relocation of the project to an existing Industrial area. On behalf of SECA, D. Hardie points out that the facility doesn’t fall under our purview and we have no input outside of the Public Hearing on the issue.

Discussion addressed:

  • Traffic concerns. Installation of the promised Traffic Light at the intersection of Old Victoria Rd. Highway 1 and Haliburton St. is delayed due to an unresolved City/Provincial funding issue.
  • Frequency of accidents at the intersection is currently less than at other areas in the City and priority may be a concern.
  • Regarding funding the Traffic Light, a suggestion was made that the Church and Recycling Centre (if it is approved) could be levied for the cost, or a portion thereof, as they are major causes of the need for a light. SECA will continue to press the City for a resolution.
  • In regard to discussion around the Recycling Facility, it is pointed out that the proposed location falls under the Chase River Plan. The presentation made to us by Regional Recycling and the City representative at the last General Meeting was made for information-gathering/courtesy reasons. Boundary issues present on-going difficulty.

In response to questions concerning how the general public can be notified of SECAs’ initiatives and their progress, D. Hardie indicated that our Web Blog is updated regularly and can be accessed at will.

In response to the requests for written support by the Victoria Rd. Residents, D. Hardie indicated he could write a letter confirming that the residents had attended to express their concerns and that SECA had not approved or disapproved the project at the presentation.

7. Sidewalk – 700 Block Haliburton: Currently, the City will not address this issue until after 2017. Extra traffic caused by an approval for the Recycling Facility may cause them to reconsider. The issue will be discussed at the next Executive Meeting.

Other:

8. The status of the Robinson Gardens project was queried. No new information was available.

It’s Banner Time Again!

 

Remember the colourful  S. End banners done last year?  Well, designs are being accepted now for banners at the painting location in the North Town Center mall.  Designs for this year’s theme, EVOLVE,  need to be submitted on a four by eight piece of medium weight card stock.  It is acceptable to  draw the design on regular copy paper and then glue  it to the card stock.  All designs have to be coloured and outlined with a fine tipped black marker.  No letters or symbols should be included since the design will be seen back and front and lettering etc will appear backwards from one direction.  There is a ten dollar fee as well.   Once submitted, the design is projected onto the banner which is made of a  white sheeting material, transferred by being drawn with pencil onto the fabric by the coordinator of the project, stretched onto a frame and ready to paint.  Brushes are supplied but painters may want to bring some favourite  brushes  of their own as well.  Banners have to be painted on both sides and then the design has to be outlined with a thin black line, also on both sides.  The large banners take at least three or four days to complete depending on the complexity of the design.  This is an energizing opportunity to work with painters from a variety of age groups and experience levels.  The focused atmosphere in the banner painting location is supportive, creative and joyful. For more information and to see the flyer on banners go to www.nanaimoartgallery.com

 

March SECA Meeting

 

The next General Meeting of the South End Community Association will be on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at Princess Royal School  at 7:00 p.m.

Agenda Items include:

 Derelict Houses

 

SECA Constitution

 

Tree Planting

 

Sidewalk Petition

 

Resident Response to proposed Recycling Centre

 

Traffic Light Concerns

 

 Just a reminder that membership fees for 2014 ($5.00 per person) are due.  Guests are always welcome at General Meetings.

 

 Hope to see you there.

 

 

 

 

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