London Urban League Notes

Written by: Mike Rice

 

London Urban League

The AGM is set for Thursday, September 24, 2015 and will be held at Kensington Village. A new association has been formed around Riverside Dr and Forward Ave. They have received a Sparks grant and have many concerns.

Hamilton Rd. had a country dinner and silent auction.

St Julian Park had talks on the history of Hamilton Rd. There was a “town hall” meeting with councilors and city staff. Many issues were discussed. They also received a sparks grant to assist with a newsletter.

Bishop Hellmuth and ACO; they had a “geranium” walk. The ACO are to help with strategic planning.

There are some issues with absentee landlords in the Oxford St. and Wellington St. areas. They wish to demolish some buildings, but the bylaw enforcement officer was out and hopes some action will take place.

Old East Village tried a garden part, with assistance from a sparks grant. It took place from June 7 to 13.

Old South had a “Gathering on the Green”, on June 6. The normal school renovation appears to be a go with completion in late 2016.

The “Women in Politics” had a fund raising campaign which raised $1,000.

There was an affordable housing seminar at the Central Library.

They were looking for more groups for “Bike Fest’.

The City of London received an application for a medical / dental facility near an elementary school.

Petersville / Blackfriars; there was an OMB hearing on May 19, 2015. The person who appealed the city bylaws has dropped the appeal. The association does not know how much the legal fees will be.

The City of London has an economic road map online in the form of a survey. There will be five themes with specific applicable economic themes. They hope to create measureable items; specifics of the plan will come up in October 2015.

 

 

London Urban League Meeting Minutes - April 30, 2015

London Urban League

By: Mike Rice

The first presentation was from the green energy co-op. They are focused on rain – water gardens in the Glen Cairn area.

The second presentation focused on Urban regeneration from planning service. Two basic questions were asked; i) what is it? and ii) How do we keep in touch?

What is urban regeneration?

·         Research learning from the British experience

·         Rebirth or renewal of urban areas and settlements

·         Mission managing change, conversation, leverage, connection, communication

How can we manage change?

·         Urban regeneration

·         Urban main street

·         Creation and implementation

How to preserve heritage?

·         Heritage stewardship

·         Downtown planning

·         Economic benefits

How we connect?

·         Build relationships

·         Liaise with neighborhoods and business areas

·         Liaise with development proponents

How we fit into the process?

·         City lands and dispositions

·         Secondary plans

·         Heritage conservation districts

Planning and Development Process

·         Inquiry

·         Internal review

·         Consultation

·         Issue resolution

Recent Projects

·         Normal school

·         Blackfriars / Petersville Conservation District

·         Wortley Villiage Old South

·         Old Victoria lands

·         Upcoming, St George – Grovesnor, McCormicks, Soho, Music and Entertainment District, Lorne Ave

·         Request for community improvement plans for Hamilton Rd., and Lambeth

Speaking the Same Language

·         Community ßà neighborhood, effective communication

·         City building terms

·         Community – neighborhood – form – intensity – use – fit

·         The above are good examples of terms that are misunderstood and used. If you are unsure, contact staff at 519 – 661 – 4980, or visit City Hall planning.

Improvements of Public Engagements

·         Communicate in plain language

·         Make public notices more effective

·         Improve format and expand media options

·         Intended outcome of improving public engagement is to make the process more accessible

Six Methods of Improvement;

1) Improve planning and environmental reports

 

2. a) Expand notification radius of 120m by regular mail. Ontario regulations state 120m  radius is appropriate. Notification is to be done by regular mail as shown on the last assessment rolls. If the radius is increased by 25m, then the number of households increases 31 to 36.

·         Legal concerns; where do you draw the line? Expand the radius when there are extraordinary circumstances.

2. b) Expand the regular mail to include tenants. The owner / landlord is deemed to be the person shown on the last revised assessment

3) Improvement to land use change signage

·         Generic, no information website

·         Best practices

·         Use of illustrations

·         Summary of proposal

·         Specific code of information

·         QR code

4) Improve web presence

·         Web to consolidate application information

·         URL  identification linked to public notice as well as signage

·         Destination of QR code

·         Ability to react quickly and maintain current information

5) Plain language for public notices

·         Reduce jargon and simplify technical language

·         Provincial regulations are the barrier

 

6) New community engagement protocols

·         Non-statutory meetings designated as community information meetings are common

·         Hosted by community groups and or business improvement associations

·         Allows for the ability to hear the concerns of community and provide a venue for clarification and share factual information

 

Neighborhood Reports

·         Soho; list of events

·         Westminster; sparks grant. Get the word out about Nature London

·         St. George / Grovesnor

·         Pending; heritage designation

·         Woodfield; new high rise at Wolfe and Wellington

·         Lambeth; AGM on May 5, 2015, concerns about a southwest recreation centre.