Looking for information related to the proposed commercial/residential development at the corner of Bridge and Northfield? Here is the City Link: http://city.waterloo.on.ca/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=2792

At a Meeting with neighbours on December 29th the following notes were taken by a citizen:
 

Deer Run Neighbourhood Meeting Notes – December 29th Meeting at 633 Deer Run Drive

Attended the meeting:

  • Diane Freeman our City Councillor
  • Cameron Rapp,  City of Waterloo
  • 28 Neighbours from Deer Run
  • Regrets:  Other Neighbours would have liked to attend but could not due to timing conflicts 

Overview of the Planning Process and where the City is in the process

The developer approached the City with a plan. The city is required to provide two public meetings, the first of which took place on December 13th. At this point our City Councillors have not formed an opinion. The next meeting will take place in January. This will be a formal meeting at which time the developer and the community can present their positions. This meeting will set the stage for a decision.

 

What are the potential positions that could be put forth at a Formal Meeting in January?

We discussed a number of potential positions

  • The loss of ‘neighbourhood’ with noise, light, air pollutions, loss of privacy, security concerns.
  • Drainage concerns with grade and inadequately maintained drainage runoff.
  • The poor aesthetics of square, unimaginative, industrial and commercial buildings and parking lot.
  • Whether there is a real necessity/requirement/market for another grocery store in the community.
  • Opportunity for an attractive, ‘green’ development that enhances the neighbourhood.
  • Suggestions for an appropriate commercial/residential buffer, mitigating the noise, light, air pollution etc risks.
  • The gaps in the Marketing Study with suppliers such as National Grocers, Walmart, Price Chopper and perhaps others.  The impact to the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market and to existing grocers.
  • The already high levels of vehicle traffic in the intersection, the safety issues of traffic jams, the impact on the broader community as alternative routes are used, including the recently re-engineered Davenport Road. (Historically traffic issues have not been a strong argument.)
  • Concerns for children/grandchildren in neighbourhood with respect to Deer Run Park; proximity to excess pedestrian and vehicular traffic
  • Concerns for safety of children walking to and from Lester B. Pearson P.S. and St. Luke Separate School

 

What is the City Planner role in the process?

The Planner assigned to this project is Trevor Hawkins.  He will review the Developer’s proposal and all the input from the community and then make a go/no go decision.

 

What is Council's role in the process?

The 7 Waterloo City Councillors will review the Developer’s Proposal and all the input from the community and then vote.  The Mayor will vote only if a deciding vote is required.

 

How can citizens prepare for the Formal Meeting?

  • Review the Market Study called ‘Retail and Marketing Report’. We know the neighbourhood best and are in the best position to identify gaps in the plan.
  • Several voices tend to be more effective.  Better to have a number of neighbours contribute rather, with a variety of positions.  (We can organize this for maximum impact.)
    • Citizens can prepare a written summary of a ‘position’.
    • Citizens can present their position at the next meeting.

 

Preference for another meeting with the City Planner

We agreed we would like another neighbourhood meeting to take place before the Formal Meeting in January.  Diane Freeman agreed to organize the meeting. It will most likely take place on either Wednesday January 12th or 19th, possibly at RIM Park.  Diane will use the email addresses she currently has to advise us of time and location. Details will also be posted on the Facebook Group page.

 
August 14, 2010
By Terry Pender, Record staff

WATERLOO — Coun. Diane Freeman is working with a small group that could bring about big changes for cycling in Ontario.

She is attending the annual convention next week in Windsor for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario where the Bicycle Friendly Community Program will be launched.

“The real benefit to municipalities is about sharing best practices,” Freeman said.

A small group from Waterloo is working with the Ontario Share the Road Coalition to bring the American program to Ontario.

For years the League of American Bicyclists has invited cities to complete a detailed, 28-page application about cycling in their communities. Cities are awarded bronze, silver, gold and platinum ranks.

Now, with the help of a University of Waterloo professor, an urban planner with the City of Waterloo and Freeman, the program is set to go in Ontario, Eleanor McMahon of the Share the Road Coalition, said.

“We will be at AMO launching the program and inviting municipalities to, starting in September, apply to the program to begin to rank themselves against other municipalities and see how bicycle friendly they are,” McMahon said.

Completing the application form is at the heart of the program. It gives city councillors, urban planners and cycling advocates a lot to think about.

Does your community have a complete streets policy? A bicycle accommodation study? When was it adopted? How was it adopted? How is it implemented?

“It gets you thinking about things,” Freeman said of the application.

What is the name of your community’s bicycle program manager? Do you have a bicycle advisory committee?

“There are a lot of municipalities out there doing a lot of great things and this will be a platform for measuring how well they are doing it,” she said.

Making a city more bicycle friendly addresses many issues at the same time—obesity, reducing air pollution and easing traffic congestion, Freeman said.

How do you ensure there are end of trip facilities for cyclists? How many bike parking spaces are there in your community? What percentage of bridges and tunnels in your community are accessible to bicycles?

Questions like this make the information gathered by the coalition a valuable resource for cities that want to become more livable, walkable and more bicycle friendly, McMahon said.

“What this program does is really tell municipalities where they are on the spectrum, and gives them some knowledge and expertise about what they need to close the gaps,” she said.

Scott Nevin, the head of policy development for the City of Waterloo, helped create the Ontario version of this program.

“It is a great self reflection for municipalities to look at what maybe they should be doing and what others are doing,” he said.

“So I think that’s going to be a very effective tool to put cycling on the radar a little more clearly,” Nevin said.

Broadly speaking, communities are ranked based on five categories—engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, evaluation and planning.

“I think that whole application process is a really powerful tool to get people to look a little deeper at their own organization, their own community and how they support cycling or don’t,” Nevin said.

Tim Kenyon is an avid cyclist who is excited about the Bicycle Friendly Community Program coming to Ontario.

“I think this is great,” he said.

Kenyon, who chairs the City of Kitchener’s cycling advisory committee, thinks a city would learn a lot just from filling out the application form.

“The kind of feedback you would get from doing that is likely to be very useful,” he said.

 
Oktoberfest women of the year honoured 
October 09, 2009Freeman
By Valerie Hill, Record staff

WATERLOO REGION — Nine women were honoured last night for outstanding contributions to the community, at the 35th annual K-W Oktoberfest Rogers Women of the Year award banquet at St. George’s Hall in Waterloo.

Among the winners was Cheryl A. Ewing, recognized in the category of Arts and Culture. Ewing is a consultant specializing in audience and organizational development, having spent 36 years in cultural development and 17 years managing festivals. She also wrote Raising the Curtain, a guide for young audience presenters.

Donna Black, a personal trainer and business owner, was honoured in the area of Community Service for her extensive work supporting the MS Society, including personally raising $79,000.

Tamara Minns received the Entrepreneur Award. She owns Rarefunk, a unique consignment shop for Canadian art, used items and vintage clothing. Several of the artist pieces are made from recycled materials, making them both environmentally friendly and affordable.

Chloe Hamilton was recognized for Health and Wellness. She launched her company, Warm Embrace Elder Care, along with her mother. It provides care for housebound seniors as well as jobs for more mature women. Hamilton was winner of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation award in 2008.

Engineer Diane Freeman was given the Professional Award for her work in air quality. An associate with Conestoga Rovers, Freeman is also director and secretary of the Air and Waste Management Association, president of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and co-founder of the Butterfly Learning Centre, an innovative child care facility. Freeman also sits on Waterloo city council and is an ardent supporter of women in science.

Janet Dawson-Brock was recognized for years of work with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She started her volunteer career as a teenager. Her volunteer work has included Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lioness clubs, hospitals, dog guide programs and transplant awareness programs.

Swimming partners Jamie Doucet and Sarah Sine received the Sports & Recreation Award. The two completed a 52-kilometre relay swim across Lake Ontario in support of multiple sclerosis. Doucet’s father was diagnosed with MS in 2003. Sine’s mother and aunt also have the disease. Together, the young women raised $60,000.

Wren Laing won in the Young Adult category for her extensive volunteer work, including two months at a community resource centre in Kenya, supported by a Millennium Scholarship Foundation Centre project grant. She was president of a local program for individuals with intellectual disabilities and co-founded United Hands, a student volunteer organization.

 
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