S.A.R.A. Executive Emergency Meeting Minutes – November 25, 2003
Present: Ritvars Bregzis, George Dubauskas, Marianne Fenner, Louis Gris, Peter Keefe, ,Ron Braun, Nick Singh, Merle Hudson, Frances Labelle
Regrets: Bill Haines, Vicki Vancas, John Meijer, Sybil Wilkinson, Bill Roberts
Call to Order and Declaration of Conflicts of Interest:
The meeting began at 7:43 p.m. at the Swansea Town Hall. No conflicts of interest were declared.
Nick Singh provided the following summary of what occurred at the public meeting on November 19th:
Approximately 50 people attended the meeting. Representatives from REON explained that they were requesting additional storeys to be added to one of the towers because of cost over-runs due to a greater-than-anticipated cost of cleaning up the site. During the following question and answer period, people voiced their concerns, to which the REON representatives responded. Concerns expressed by the community included:
§ traffic congestion
§ sight lines
§ pressure on public services
§ the setting of a precedent for future development in the area
§ lack of certainty that this is the last concession that the developer will request (the developer would not agree to an undertaking to not approach the community for more changes in future)
At the end of the evening a vote took place, and opposition to the requested variance was nearly unanimous.
Because of the outcome of the vote at the public meeting, the SARA Executive discussed whether SARA should challenge the variance at the OMB and, if so, whether this would be better carried out as a participant or as a party. (Participant status allows presentations or statements only; party status allows for questioning and cross-examination of witnesses.) The opinion was expressed that the proposed variance has implications for more than just the residents of South Swansea. Development in the area affects the sight lines from High Park, which is a destination for people from all over the city. It was also pointed out that this might set a precedent that might influence the course of development in other parts of Toronto. Upon a motion by Nick Singh, seconded by Merle Hudson, and unanimously carried, it was agreed that SARA will challenge the current REON application at the Ontario Municipal Board as a party to the proceedings.
Concern was expressed that SARA's action could be interpreted as relieving the City of its responsibility to appear before the OMB to defend the original Committee of Adjustment decision. Upon a motion by Frances Labelle, seconded by Peter Keefe, and unanimously carried, Louis Gris was authorized to send a letter to Councillor Saundercook (with a copy to Mayor Miller) asking that the City defend the Committee of Adjustment decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.
After further discussion, a motion was made by George Dubauskas, and seconded by Ron Braun, that a maximum of $2,500 be allocated from current SARA funds to support SARA's status as a party at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing, and that fundraising be undertaken to replace the amount of money
used for this purpose. The motion was unanimously carried.
The following ideas were presented as possibilities for raising funds:
§ recruit new SARA members
§ notification in our newsletter, on our website and through World 19
§ liaison with Ripley Area Residents' Group (RARG)
§ liaison with Southport condo. associations, Humber Bay Shores condo. association
The next regular Executive meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9th at 7:30 p.m.
Upon a motion by Marianne Fenner, seconded by Ritvars Bregzis, and carried, the meeting adjourned at 9:08 p.m.