Posted by: HamptonIona | May 6, 2011

Upcoming Community Meeting re: Soeurs de la Visitation Convent and the OMB

There will be a community wide meeting on Thursday May 12 at 7:00 pm in the Lobby of the Hilson Public School to review the current status of the upcoming OMB appeal for the Soeurs de la Visitation Convent site development.  While the meeting will provide the community with an update on the status of the OMB appeal and the OMB negotiations, the main purpose of the meeting is to organize the community regarding these upcoming OMB activities.  The negotiations and mediation with Ashcroft and the City are expected to proceed over the next few weeks. A date of July 18 has been set for the actual OMB appeal. If all three appellants (Hampton Iona Community Group, Westboro Community Association and Sylvano Carrasco) can reach a successful negotiated outcome with Ashcroft and the City, we will not have to proceed to the actual OMB appeal. 

Nevertheless, we will require funds and assistance in order to succeed over the next few months.  This means that a successful negotiation/mediation could cost between $10,000 to $20,000 (for a planner and/or lawyer) while an actual OMB appeal could require significantly more money if we are to hire expert witnesses and a lawyer.  As the OMB only listens to expert testimony, it is critical to our case that we be able to hire expert witnesses.

The purpose of the meeting on May 12 is the following:

1) To provide an update to the community of current activities.

2) To discuss fundraising requirements and to establish a fundraising committee.

3) To identify those in the community who can provide expert assistance and testimony and to review documents submitted by the City and Ashcroft.  This includes architects, traffic engineers, planners and landscape designers and anyone with municipal law or tribunal experience.

4) To identify those in the community who can assist in the preparation of the OMB case.

5) To establish timelines for all of the above.

This meeting is open to anyone in the community who wants to find out more and/or wants to help.

If you are interested in donating money (and we welcome all donations) but are not able to attend the meeting, please let us know by return email.  Donations may also be made through PayPal online at this link.  Many in the community have said that they were prepared to pay a levy for 10 years to acquire parkland on the convent site.  Since the levy did not go through, we hope that you will consider contributing to our OMB activities. 

Byron Linear Park – On a further note, last November while the City approved almost everything that Ashcroft was seeking, the Planning Committee did agree that the southern access through the site would not go through the Byron Parkway.  The community spoke out loudly against the sacrifice of parkland for a private development and Council listened.  It has come to our attention that Councillor Hobbs is in favour of using the Byron Linear Park as the exit and is actively working with City officials to try to get the new Planning Committee to overturn the decision of last November not to access the site through our parkland.   It is important that we let our Councillor know our views on this. 

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