Minute differences in the Minutes

Today at Council an attempt was made to correct a staff error in relation to the minutes from April 24th. On that meeting's agenda was a motion to approve the Carling/Preston design plan, with a few exceptions. Notably, part 3(a) deferred the "mews" (aka: road) that is proposed for the eastern edge of the O-Train corridor. Here's the motion - I've bolded the important part:

That Council approve the principles, directions and conditions as detailed in the Discussion section of this report and attached Documents 1 through 10 to:

1. Guide the completion of the Community Design Plan process for Preston-Carling District in the Carling-Bayview Mixed-Use Centre including the Secondary Plan work;

2. Serve as a framework for the review of development applications within the Preston-Carling District until the completion of the above-noted Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan work; and

3. That the following directions set out in this report be deferred for further detailed investigations as part of the process to finalize the Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan:
a) The proposed Greenway Mews concept, which will allow for medium profile residential development with a series of north-south private mews east of the O-Train; and
b) The proposed potential Full Mobility Bridges across the O-Train corridor at Hickory and Young.

It was then amended by three other motions, but only one of them is important here. Councillor Bloess moved a motion with the intent to delete the 'mews' idea entirely. However, all it actually does is delete the mews from the documents that are associated with the agenda item. It didn't amend the agenda item itself (it makes no reference to 3(a) above).

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the proposed north-south road (mews) running from Adeline to Beech Street be removed from Documents 1 through 8 in the report; and that all other land use elements remain as conceptually shown.

Bloess' motion passed, and here is where staff made an error. In the minutes staff deleted 3(a) even though there was no direction from Council to do so. Here's the amended motion Apr/24 that Council passed (the new points 4 and 5 are omitted just for clarity):

That Council approve the principles, directions and conditions as detailed in the Discussion section of this report and attached Documents 1 through 10 to:

1. Guide the completion of the Community Design Plan process for Preston-Carling District in the Carling-Bayview Mixed-Use Centre including the Secondary Plan work;

2. Serve as a framework for the review of development applications within the Preston-Carling District until the completion of the above-noted Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan work; and

3. That the following direction set out in this report be deferred for further detailed investigations as part of the process to finalize the Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan:
a) The proposed potential Full Mobility Bridges across the O-Train corridor at Hickory and Young.
uh-oh, where'd the original 3(a) go?

4. That the following changes...

5. That the Strategic Directions report be...

6. That the proposed north-south road (mews) running from Adeline to Beech Street be removed from Documents 1 through 8 in the report; and that all other land use elements remain as conceptually shown.

The way things work at the city (and Hume spoke about this while debating today's attempt to rectify the staff error), staff take their direction from the written motions and the finalized minutes, not the intent of any motions.

I missed the start of today's debacle, but my understanding is someone moved a motion to restore the original "3(a)" clause since it shouldn't have been removed (no matter what Bloess' intent was). After a lot of debate, the "fix it" motion failed.

The "correct" outcome from April 24 would be for the mews to be "deleted from all documents" and also "deferred". That sounds odd, its like saying you're going to put off eating an empty bowl of cereal. Either way, no Froot Loops for you!

Where does the "wrong" outcome leave the mews idea? It's both "deleted from the documents" and "no longer deferred by 3(a)". Since it's deleted from the documents who cares? Staff can't act on something that's been deleted?

In the end the entire decision from today has been put up for reconsideration, so it'll likely be sorted out at the next Council meeting.

I will say I think part of the reason today's "fix-it" motion failed was because it's the third time in as many meetings something substantive has been walked onto the agenda. Noise bylaws for Lansdowne caused a big fuss. The 2% budget cap got bad press. And now this motion, even though it was proper to do, I think pushed a few councillors over the line.

FYI: 523 days until election day.