1) Board Members Decide to Work the Phones
EFCL board members have decided to call each of the leagues in their district to remind them of two important sessions that are just around the corner.
The first is our Volunteer Recruitment and Screening Workshop, Thursday, March 28 at the EFCL Office. This session will focus on ways to recruit new volunteers, as well as methods to screen potential volunteers. Light dinner at 5:30 p.m., meeting at 6:00 p.m. RSVP to Andrea.Sage@efcl.org
The second is our Volunteer Recognition Event, which is set for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Myer Horowitz Theatre at the U/A. Leagues are encouraged to send all of their key volunteers. Attendees will be treated to a speech by motivational speaker Laurel Vespi, a series of short videos on Community League activities and a social mixer. Leagues are encouraged to send photos of their events to Valerie.Pachal@efcl.org. Please RSVP to Kris.Morra@efcl.org.
2) EFCL To Review Civic Engagement Strategy
The EFCL has decided to review the manner in which the federation and its member leagues get involved in civic issues. The goal is to find ways to do a better job of responding to civic issues and complement the city’s public engagement process.
A committee has been struck to oversee this exercise. Board members David Dodge, David Gibbens, Christine Bremner and Masood Makarechian have volunteered to sit on it and the federation’s planning committee has been asked to provide two members as well.
The federation is already holding meetings with senior city staff on this issue. The results of this exercise will become incorporated into the federation’s 2014-2018 business plan, which a consultant will be hired to prepare.
3) Federation Protests STEP Grant Cut
The EFCL has decided to protest the elimination of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and ask the province to restart it or put a similar program in its place.
The federation believes the 40-year-old program was anything but broken. In fact, we think it was working very well.
It was providing meaningful employment for students and allowed many non-profit groups to provide programs that would not have otherwise happened.
One such program is the “Green Shack” summer camp program that community leagues have been running with the assistance of the City of Edmonton. Community leagues used STEP funds to hire camp leaders at approximately 180 locations across Edmonton last year. The program gave thousands of Edmonton children an opportunity to learn skills, play sports, make friends and have some fun. Leagues are now scrambling to find ways to finance this program without the provincial dollars.
4) Living Local Arts and Heritage Program Made Easy
The EFCL, along with its partner agencies Edmonton Arts Council and Edmonton Heritage Council, have come up with some new rules to make it easier for community leagues to access the Living Local Arts and Heritage Fund program.
Instead of submitting a grant application, leagues will be asked to provide a letter of intent, outlining the nature of their project. Program staff will then work with the league to flesh out the initiative and help it meet key program criteria (i.e use of a local artist in recognizing the historical character of the neighborhood). Once the criteria is met, the project will be funded and work can proceed.
Leagues will still be asked to put up one third of the funds on projects worth up to a maximum of $30,000.
5) Public Consultation Set for 100th Anniversary Project
The EFCL will be presenting its plans for upgrading the stream in Hawrelak Park and developing a community league plaza at a public information session on Wednesday, April 24. Scheduled to run from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Victoria Golf Course Club House, the Open House is being organized by the City of Edmonton for the public to see and comment on various changes planned for the park. This would include changes to the main lake to accommodate triathlon events and other park upgrades the city has in mind.
The EFCL is continuing to flesh out its development plan, which received a boost when city council decided to develop a water play feature between it and a nearby playground. The project now has the potential to offer interesting elements to people of all ages.
6) Sun Shines on Solar and Energy Conservtion Program
Work is proceeding nicely on the EFCL’s solar energy program. Energy and carbon audits have now been completed on all seven halls (Ritchie, Riverdale, West Jasper/Sherwood, Rossdale, Alberta Avenue, North Glenora and Meadowlark) and each participating league has been presented with a report that listed a series of suggested energy conservation measures for the league to consider, complete with estimated costs and payback period. A similar assessment of the EFCL’s office building is currently underway.
Each league in the program and the EFCL is eligible to apply for provincial grant money to help offset the cost of upgrades.
In April, the Solar Energy Society will be installing solar energy systems on the roof of each hall, along with energy monitoring equipment including a display monitor that the league or EFCL can also use as an electronic message board.
The EFCL plans to make a presentation on this program to league delegates attending the federation’s Annual General Meeting, which is set for May 29 at Duggan Community League.
7) EFCL Checks Into Bike Routes
The EFCL will be meeting with city staff shortly to review the city’s bike plan and see how it can help with the public consultation effort.
The federation is hoping that plans can be developed that facilitate a network of safe, attractive routes that communities can help plan and design.
Awards Handed Out At International Traffic Safety Conference:
8) Nominations Sought For Community Traffic Safety Award
The City of Edmonton has created a Community Traffic Safety Award to recognize community members who have contributed to traffic safety initiatives in their community.
Nominations are open for any community member(s) who meet the following criteria:
- A demonstrated personal commitment to traffic safety in a non‐paid or volunteer capacity
- Accumulated history of involvement in traffic safety (minimum 3 years)
- Support for traffic safety initiatives that improve community quality of life
The Nomination of potential recipients can be made via email to Gerry Shimko, the Executive Director of the Office of Traffic Safety, at Gerry.Shimko@edmonton.ca by March 31, 2013. The nomination should include the name of the nominee, contact information, and a descriptive narrative outlining how the nominee(s) meet the above noted criteria.
Award winners will be recognized at the International Traffic Safety Conference, which is going to held from April 29- May 2, 2013 at the Shaw Conference Centre.
In conjunction with the Traffic Safety conference, the 2nd Annual Run Walk Ride 4 Traffic Safety (RWR4TS) will be held on Saturday April 27th. The goal of this event is to increase awareness of vulnerable road users and raise funds for an excellent cause, the Memorial and Traffic Safety Fund.
There will be a 5KM Walk, 5KM Run, 10KM Run and a 10KM fun bike ride. There will be prizes, free food, displays, music and fun activities for the kids making this a great day for the entire family!
Volunteers are need for the event. To register as a walker, runner, and cyclist or as a volunteer, please use the Running Room Website: http://www.events.runningroom.com/site/?raceId=8499.
9) EFCL and Leagues Prepare Joint Report on Low Density Zone Amendments
Following City Council’s decision in October, 2012 to delay consideration of amendments to low density zones, EFCL has been busy educating leagues and getting feedback from leagues on the proposed amendments. We held three workshops and presented the results to Executive Committee of Council on February 11, 2013. The workshops defined the concerns, but not the precise changes desired by leagues. Thus, on March 6th, EFCL coordinated a meeting of league representatives who wanted to develop joint recommendations to Council. We prepared a report to Council based on the feedback from the workshops and the March 6th meeting. The report will be distributed to City Council, Administration and to leagues prior to the public hearing on March 18. Leagues will be able to use the report to assist them in writing their own letter to Council if they wish. EFCL is also coordinating the speakers who will present the recommendations at the March 18th meeting.
Here are the key recommendations
- Define the location criteria for various types of housing in the Use Section of the Zoning Bylaw, in order to create certainty that the location criteria will not be varied.
- Change the Mature Neighborhood Overlay (MNO) Front Setback to be 1.5 m within the general context of the block face.
- Add a location regulation that would limit front garages to locations where the majority of the homes already have front garages.
- Instruct Administration to create front garage width and protrusion regulations.
- Clarify that a) MNO consultation shall not be waived, and b) affected parties have 21 days to respond to variances requested by the developer.
- a) Eliminate the minimum widths of 10.0m and 12.0m for Duplexes, and for Semi-detached that are arranged along the depth of the Site. Make minimum widths of Duplexes the same as minimum widths of Semi-detached Housing.
b) In the RF2 and RF4 zones, define duplex housing as a Permitted Use on specific locations recommended in the Infill Guidelines, rather than making duplex housing a Permitted Use everywhere.
- Send RF3 proposed amendments back to Administration to address multiple issues, as detailed in this report.
Suggested future work:
-Implement the following Residential Infill Guidelines
- Access to sunlight and privacy
- Well-designed outdoor amenity spaces
- Landscape plans indicating retention of mature trees (or tree canopy replacement), and
- Protection of a critical mass of single family housing in the core of mature neighborhoods.
-Monitor and reduce excessive variances to regulations.
-Develop public engagement plans for future text amendments.
10) EFCL Seeks New Board Members
The EFCL is in the process of setting up meetings in District D (West Edmonton), E (Jasper Place) and J (Capilano) in order to elect directors to the board. Districts D and J have been without a director for over two years and David Gibbens, EFCL vice-president and District E director is nearing the completion of his six-year term on the board.
11) EFCL Selects Names for Each of its Districts
In order to help with identification, the EFCL has selected the following names of each of its twelve districts.
District A: Castle Downs/Calder.
District B: Londonderry
District C: Clareview/Horse Hill
District D: West Edmonton
District E: Jasper Place
District F: Central
District G: The Avenue East
District H: Terwillegar/Riverbend
District I: Greater Strathcona
District J: Capilano
District K: Whitemud Creek East
District L: South East
Thanks to Allan for putting this report together.
If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line anytime.
President and Londonderry District B Rep.
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues (EFCL)