Spring 2019 Update

2019 Landscaping Kickoff

Spring is here. FINALLY! With that being said our landscaping maintenance contractor is planning on starting during the first week of April cleaning up the gravel from the medians at the entrances to Gleneagles. Based on the costs savings achieved last year and the work performed, we’ve retained the same landscaping contractor – TJK Property Maintenance. We’ve changed to a local irrigation firm – Champagne Irrigation – after some hiccups last year with the previous irrigation contractor.

Gravel Pit

GECA received a heads-up from Town staff this past week that can be summarized as “after a relatively quiet winter, gravel pit operations are expected to ramp-up with increases in activity and noise. Green Drop is planning to begin full operations in May, but they will be working throughout April.” I would also suggest that its safe to assume that when there is a wind from the south we can expect some increased dust as well.

All concerns regarding the Gravel Pit should be directed to the Town – Drew Hyndman Senior Development Services via telephone at 403-851-2563 or email  at Drew.Hyndman@cochrane.ca 

Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 22 at the Links of Gleneagles. We’re asking for volunteers to help sign people in and anyone wishing to help out should let myself or Shelly Wood know (info@geca.ca). Please mark the date on your calendar!

Board of Director Vacancies

As of today there are currently 2 vacancies on the Board of Directors. I am reaching out to a couple of individuals that offered to help last year when we had a full board, but anyone that is interested in serving on the Board of Directors – please feel free to send me an email! We especially need to have someone that is willing to take on the role of Secretary for 2019/20 .

As well I need to let everyone know that I will not be able to serve another term as President as we’re leaving Gleneagles this July (but we’re staying in Cochrane!). This is a great community and we will miss it!

If you’re interested in volunteering, please let myself know or email info@geca.ca.

Jones Estate

The developer of the Jones Estate has asked the court to review the handling of application & decision making process to determine if the town erred “legally” in following its processes and policies under the MGA Act. To summarize the current situation – there is no “formal opportunity” for the residents, the boards, or the GECA to participate. The first date for this review by the court  is currently scheduled for early June. We’ll let people once more public information becomes available!

Happy New Year January 2019

After reading the update from January of last year, I was dismayed to see that the serving president & secretary at that time would be stepping down with no one “stepping up” to take on the reins. After several weeks of consideration and lots of discussion with my spouse, I put my name forward, and voila’ several months later here we are. And what an interesting few months it’s been! 

Here’s a brief review of 2018!

Jones Estate

First off out of the gate after AGM last spring was the Jones Estate (again). I have to extend my thanks & appreciation to all of the residents that volunteered their expertise and many hours of effort over 5-6 months which resulted in our current elected Town Council rejecting the Proponents proposal. 

However, that being said Council on November 26 instructed Town Administration “to explore land use, density and regulatory options for the Jones Estates in order to address opportunities for future development that recognize the unique development constraints of this property.”  Town staff has since contacted GECA requesting a meeting for staff to begin to understand what would to be “acceptable to Gleneagles”. These meetings should be happening in Q1 in 2019, and thankfully the same group of volunteers is amenable to stepping up again.

The feedback that I’ve been getting from residents during my open houses in Gleneagles is that they are happy that council ruled the way they did, and they are very thankful with many folks taking the extra time to express their gratitude for all of the volunteers and their many hours of efforts!

Gravel Pit

As everyone on the lower level of of Gleneagles View realized in the late summer, the Gravel pit operations on the south side of the river relocated from their previous location down to the bottom of the river valley. With the terrain acting like an auditorium this has led to increased noice levels for many homeowners. In some cases increased dust levels have also been noticed. The unfortunate reality is that this area was zoned for these operations before the Town annexed the lands. We urge residents to contact the town with noise and/or dust complaints, especially if the pit is operating outside of its approved hours of operations. Another option for those homeowners that are affected by increased noise and/or dust is to challenge your property taxes. This is coming up soon and the more homeowners that speak-up, the greater the chances are for a successful challenge.

2018 Budget vs Actuals

For the first time since 2015 it looks like we’ll finish the year above water, this is good news and is primarily a result of changing out our Landscaping & Irrigation contractor. The numbers are currently being finalized, and it will be good to not to have draw down on our reserves this year! GECA cannot continue to operate the way it has been and the changes made last year which drove these results are a positive first step. 

Other encouraging signs include that it looks like there are only a few homes haven’t paid their 2018 fees. As well, there were a number of examples where we were also able to collect on past due accounts from previous years – which is great news! We have to thank our volunteers for their tenacity & diligence on this. Unfortunately if the last few homes don’t remit their 2018 fees, we may have to send these accounts for collection.

Speeding

An ongoing issue over the last several years has been speeding. With the warm weather speeding seems to be on the rise again. Your Board of Directors and myself are considering establishing a committee to work with the Town, Bylaw Enforcement, the RCMP as well as hopefully the traffic planners & the Roads division from the Town of Cochrane. While GECA cannot and will not take part in any type enforcement, we can help spread the word and educate ourselves, our residents as well as our guests. 

GECA 2.0

Residents have asked for “more” from their community association. In discussion with the board, GECA is open to supporting any event, activity, etc as long as two basic criteria are fulfilled – 1) there must be volunteer leaders to drive/run the activity and 2) it must be self funding.  Example – our landscape contractor last year mentioned that he’d be willing to sponsor either donate the hotdogs (or the funds) for some type of “kids in the park” or “meet your neighbours” day. 

So far this year we had a number of volunteers stepped forward to organize a community wide garage sale in September, and now there’s a book club for Gleneagles residents as well.  What would you like?

2019 GECA FEES & BUDGET

It’s that time again…GECA fees for 2019 are now due and we would appreciate payment by no later than April 30th.  Reminder that you can pay on our website via the PayPal link.  The good news is that we not proposing a fee increase for 2019, and the fees will remain the same at $125 (incl GST).

In other 2019 budget news

  • Garbage Removal has been transferred to the town, which should result in a savings of several hundred of dollars per year.
  • Our insurance policy is currently under review. Upon an initial review we immediately realized a savings of over $400/year. The review is ongoing and we will  pick this up again in the new year to see if any additional savings could be realized 
  • GECA Scope Change 2019 – GECA is currently engaged in discussions with the Town Parks department to refine our scope to only the five common & key areas which highlight Gleneagles for visitors and prospective buyers. These areas are the highway entrance at Highway 1A and Gleneagles Drive, as well as the boulevard entrances to Gleneagles Landing, East & West. Initial indications suggest that we may able to reduce our landscaping costs by up to 2/3 once this is adopted. 

Myself and the Board of Directors wish everyone the best in 2019! Slow down & enjoy it!

Thank You

Ron Douglas

587-586-7485

We welcome any and all of your suggestions or comments at president@geca.ca or info@geca.ca 

Jones Estate Update – Please Come out & show your support Nov 13 @ 6pm

Nov 10, 2018

The Jones Estate is almost done – or is it?

This upcoming Tuesday November 13 at 6pm, Town Council once again meets on the Jones Estate with the original intent as put forward by Councillor Wilson of putting this issue to rest once and for all.

Concernedly, Administration is now introducing new concepts into the proceedings that have not been raised previously including;

    1. Later in the process the applicant can ask for the current proposed solution of the one dwelling approval to be changed when they apply for the development or subdivision permit
    2. The applicant is able (apparently) able to appeal two different bodies, including the Subdivision Development and Appeal Board (SDAB) or the Municipal Government Board (MGB)

This has the potential eliminating any further input “with no additional input or approvals from Council.” All this comes out with only a single full business day for our Town Councillors and and our community to respond.

Once again, we are asking the residents of Gleneagles to get up off that couch and show your support by showing up at the Council meeting Tuesday evening. Now more than ever we need each others support.

The complete Agenda for Tuesday and bylaw revisions can be found here.

https://cochraneab.civicweb.net/Portal/MeetingInformation.aspx?Org=Cal&Id=314

Please share this with your friends and neighbours and friends in Gleneagles.

Thank You,

Ron Douglas

President – Gleneagles Community Association

president@GECA.ca

GECA Early November 2018 Update

Parks

In our continuing efforts to manage our expenditures it’s been decided to have removed 5 GECA maintained garbage cans in & around the Gleneagles Landing green spaces as well as one island on Gleneagles View. The cans around Gleneagles landing will be replaced by a single bin of a style that the Town is currently using and the town will be responsible for emptying and maintaining the bin going forward. This change should be occurring within the next 4-6 weeks which allows the Town time to obtain and install the new bin before removing all of the old ones.

The benefits of this include:

  • elimination of costs for having to retain a contractor to empty and maintain the bins,
  • avoidance of any conflicts and the ongoing discussion around the Town’s zero waste management strategy,
  • the replacement bin will repositioned for dog walkers and the associated pet waste,
  • the replacement bin will have a lid for controlling odours,
  • duplication of costs between your GECA fees and your municipal taxes for maintaining the bins is also eliminated.

In other conversations with the Town Parks department some of the discussions currently underway include: Grinding the stumps on Gleneagles View in the traffic calming island and replacing with grasses or shrubbery, adopt-a-park options, self watering flower islands/pots to reduce future irrigation costs, as well as potentially returning some of the maintenance of other green space areas back to the Town (subject to community approval).

Jones Estate

It’s almost over. Maybe. At a recent Council meeting Town Council instructed staff to rewrite Bylaw 25/2018 to allow only a single residence on the Jones Estate lands. Once that comes back to council for 2nd and 3rd reading this issue should not come up again. The reality is that we will have to be vigilant and diligent until this is passed. The developer’s proponent that brought the latest proposal forward has issued a strict “no comment” to the media regarding the matter. A “Tip of the Hat” needs to go to Councillor Patrick Wilson for proposing the idea and Councillor Alex Reed for withdrawing his motion which enabled the current approach to move forward.

As always, if anyone has any questions or ideas, please feel free to email me at president@geca.ca or my work email at rondouglas@royallepage.ca .

Ron Douglas

President

Gleneagles Community Association

October 2018 – Jones Estate Bylaw Council Meeting October 22

It’s now confirmed that this upcoming Monday October 22 our elected town council is debating and giving 2nd and 3rd reading to the bylaw that will start the process of allowing the Jones Estate to be developed – if it passes.

The meeting starts at 6pm. If you can, please attend and demonstrate to our councillors your continued support for our neighbours and our community.

Please get the word out and make to the time to attend this upcoming Monday evening! It is extremely important for everyone on Council to see for themselves the people they represent!

Thank you
Ron Douglas – President
Gleneagles Community Association

October 2018 – Jones Estate – Council Vote delayed 2 Wks

We were informed this afternoon by Town Administration that the 2nd & 3rd Reading for Bylaw 25/2018 will not be proceeding next Tuesday October 9th, 2018 as originally proposed.
 
Administration has now identified Monday, October 22nd, 2018 as the next available date for the formal consideration of this bylaw – but this date doesn’t appear to be confirmed.
 
Stay Tuned
Ron Douglas
President- Gleneagles Community Association

September 2018 Updates

Recent Garage Sale

The Gleneagles Community Wide Garage sale happened on September 8 with just over a dozen homes participating. I know that we received a lot of feedback from shoppers about how much they loved this idea, appreciated being able to walk between several sales, and all loved our neighbourhood. It was also a great chance to meet some neighbours. We’d like to thank all of the volunteers and hosts for making this event the success that it was, and hope that we can do it again next year!

GECA 2.0

What do you want our community to be? If you have any thoughts or ideas, please let us know. With legacy challenges continuing around cost increases, delinquent accounts, and funding cuts GECA needs to evolve soon,  if not in 2019. We watch the Facebook page (Gleneagles Community Block Watch) or feel free to email me directly at president@geca.ca with your thoughts ideas & suggestions.

Jones Estate

If anyone read the Cochrane Eagle on September 13, there was an article that provided a good overview of the situation, as well as a summary of the presentations provided by a number of residents, condominium boards as well as Gleneagles Monday Sep 10. If you haven’t read it, we suggest you do so. A link to the article is here.

https://www.cochraneeagle.com/article/gleneagles-development-holds-record-public-hearing-vehement-resident-opposition-20180913

It has been confirmed that the 2nd reading and council debate will occur at the council meeting scheduled for Tuesday October 9, 2018. There are two possible outcomes from the 2nd reading; 1) it will be defeated and this ends this application; or 2) it can be approved at which time it will be scheduled for third reading. It is remotely possible that that this third reading can occur this same meeting ion October 9, 2018.

We are once again asking for everyone to attend this council meeting on October 9 to ensure that your elected representatives know where you (& Gleneagles) stand.

Grave Pit Operations Information Update – Gravel Pit Relocation (1)

Town staff has provided the following information with the intent of ensuring that everyone has access to the same information and has a clear understanding of what is taking place on the south side of the river.  A number of different activities are currently taking place, including the relocation of the gravel pit, the bridge construction and the development of a new community.

Staff from the town also visited the gravel pit operations during the week of Sep 10 and noted the following findings from their tour:

  • Gravel operation is working within the parameters of the Town’s Noise Bylaw
  • A water truck is regularly deployed to mitigate dust concerns from the operation
  • During the site tour, decibel levels were measured on site at several different locations, including adjacent to the crusher, and all met requirements of the Town’s Noise Bylaw
  • Operator also conducts regular noise test at the perimeter of the operation  
  • The operators are currently preparing their site to relocate their base of operations, moving from a location where James Walker Trail will be built next year (currently digging their wash ponds)
  • The base of operations will include the wash plant, office and weigh scale
  • Green Drop is committed to working with its neighbours to address any concerns with its operation
  • The Town will continue to actively monitor the relocation and operations of the gravel pit

At this time we have not been informed whether the Town will do any noise testing from Gleneagles. At this point GECA has received feedback from a number of residents about the increase in noise levels, and as well concerns have been stated about the dust. We would ask that members of the community contact the the town immediately if noise levels change, or they notice additional dust from the operations. As always, please feel free to keep GECA informed.

Town contact

Drew Hyndman
Senior Manager, Development Services
Direct: 403-851-2563  

Town of Cochrane
101 Ranchehouse Rd, 
Cochrane, AB, Canada  T4C 2K8
Drew.Hyndman@cochrane.ca   

 

Bears & Apples – It’s that time of year to be bear smart!

Fish and Wildlife and the Town of Cochrane is asking residents to remove any bear attractants in the yards such as bird feeders, berries and fruit.  The bear that was hanging out on the island on Gleneagles Close last weekend (Sep 3) has 4 apple trees on it.  Another (or the same?) bear was also caught  on camera this morning (Sep 6) in the park behind Gleneagles Terrace, and there are fruit trees in this park as well as many people’s back yards.

Fish and Wildlife recommends that attractants are removed (i.e. bird feeders), fruit trees are picked and any fruit on the ground is removed as well.

Domestic fruit trees are not a natural source of food for bears. They are acknowledged as a major bear attractant, and bring bears into our community. Please do not enable the bears by not tending to your fruit trees.  Attracting bears to your yard can also result in opportunistic bears obtaining other human foods such as garbage and pet food.

Thank You

And here we go again…

The developer of the Jones Estate is once again hosting a public open house, at the Cochrane Ranchehouse in the Hall of Vision on Wednesday September 5th, 2018 from 5:00 – 9:00 PM. Project team members from Quantam will be on hand to answer questions that you may have about the different aspects of their application. Gleneagles (&Cochrane) residents are invited to attend and check out what is being proposed. 

Please know that at his late date, Quantam is not in a position to incorporate any feedback that might be provided by residents, nor address any new concerns that are raised. In effect, this is a presentation, not a dialogue.

Based on the feedback from the membership received at our last AGM, GECA’s position remains unchanged and is opposed to Quantam’s proposal. An inquiry has been sent to see if any information has changed in their proposal since the July 9, 2018 Council meeting. This being said there still remains a very small window to submit your concerns after this Open House but before noon on Thursday September 6 to the Planning Department as well as our Elected Councillors and Mayor.

In order to ensure that your comments are received and registered in time for the September 10 Council Meeting, please submit your comments by noon on Thursday September 6 to;

nicole.tomes@cochrane.ca

jaylene.knight@cochrane.ca

Summer 2018 Update

Gleneagles Community Association – Update Summer 2018

GECA 2.0

Many Gleneagles Homeowners both at the AGM and via various forums have expressed a desire for “more” from GECA. We’d like to understand what the means. Please submit your ideas and thoughts to president@geca.ca where we’ll start to think about and consider options that would work for everyone in our community.

In the short term, GECA (without changing bylaws or increasing fees) can support community events in Gleneagles as long as two criteria are met. The first being that the event is self funding and the second being that there are volunteers to run it.

GARAGE SALE – The first example of this is that on Saturday September 8, 2018 – there will be a Gleneagles wide community Garage Sale. Clean out your storage rooms, closets and even your garages and come sit a spell. Don’t have anything to sell? Then why not take a wander and pick something up, or just say hi & introduce yourself to your neighbours!

Delinquent Accounts

As of July 25, 2018  – 77 (about 8%) of Gleneagles homeowners have yet to pay their 2018 HOA fees. GECA like everyone else these days is feeling the financial pressures and we encourage everyone to contact info@geca.ca if you haven’t yet paid your fees and to make arrangements to do so. GECA has alternatives to collect the fees, but these alternatives are time consuming, cumbersome and costly. Thank You.

Irrigation

GECA is taking a proactive stance in 2018 when it comes to water consumption (and its associated costs) for our green spaces. Leaks have been repaired, and reviews are ongoing with our new irrigation contractor to identify further leaks, and ensure that green spaces are getting an appropriate amount of water without over watering. Town Water bills are a significant portion of GECA’s annual budget and every liter saved translates to a direct savings for us.

If you see a park or green space getting too much or too little water, please let us know!

Proposed Jones Estate Development – Bylaw 25/2018

The proposed bylaw for the development of the Jones Estate lands passed 1st reading by Town Council on Monday July 9. Councillor Alex Reed was the only Councillor that voted against the First Reading.

Since this time it has been confirmed by Town staff have confirmed that previous submissions on this matter will not be accepted or considered for the second and third reading, and that only new submissions will be considered.

Accordingly, all old submissions must be re-submitted by Sep 6th as well as any new submissions as the public debate is currently scheduled for Monday September 10.

ASK: We’re asking all residents living in Gleneagles the area to send comments on to our Town Councillors before Sep 6. If you submit written comments, you may also have the opportunity to speak-up publicly during the council meeting on Sep 10, 2018.

Submissions should be balanced  between emotional, technical as well as social (i.e. comparing the proposal to Cochrane’s Strategic/Sustainability Plan).

An informal working group is ensuring that all of the condominium board’s as well the GECA submission is coordinated, collaborative and aligned.