SWANSEA AREA RATEPAYER’S ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF MEETING, Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Present: Nick Singh, Bill Roberts, Chris Korda, John Meijer, Merle Hudson, Frances Labelle
Ed Gaigalas, Pat Reavy, Kate Lawson and guest Mike Korda
Regrets: Louis Gris, Sybil Wilkinson
1. CALL TO ORDER AND DECLARATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:
The meeting was called to order by Nick Singh (temporary chair) at 7:30 pm, with no conflicts of interest.
2. AGENDA AMENDMENTS & APPROVAL:
Nick Singh in person added two items, as requested by Louis Gris by letter. They are the following: (Fundraising) Village Players Preview Night April 27/06 and (New Business) Safety Deposit Box.
Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Francis Labelle, and carried, the Agenda for March 21, 2006, as amended, was approved.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Upon the motion made by Ed Gaigalas, seconded by Bill Roberts, and carried,
the Minutes of February 28, 2006 were approved
4. EXECUTIVE REPORTS
Nick Singh read the report.
Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, it was decided that the method by which the Membership Report should be recorded in monthly minutes should be deferred to next meeting.
Louis Gris reported by letter that the Village Players has asked if SARA would like to promote the Preview night April 27/06.
Upon motion made by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and carried, it was decided that Ed Gaigalas will talk with Louis Gris and work to negotiate a mutually satisfactory agreement whereby SARA will sell tickets, keeping a percentage of the income, but will not commit to sponsoring the evening.
b) Newsletter: John Meijer will work on it. Meanwhile, there should be a mailing to inform members of the Fundraiser with Village Players April 27th (if this materializes) and of the AGM, with a call for new and more active SARA members.
Regarding the make up of next year’s executive, the nominating committee will investigate and report at the next meeting. Louis Gris reported in letter that he will soon submit his letter of resignation. Others present declared their intentions. Nick Singh will be president. Chris Korda will resign as secretary but will remain as director. Leaving members include Frances Labelle, Pat Reavy and Merle Hudson.
d) SARA Meeting with Councillor Saundercook: Nick Singh reported that after repeated efforts to contact the councillor, neither he nor his office has responded to requests for a copy of the minutes and for a meeting date. Therefore, this item is closed.
e) Adopt a Block: No news.
f) City Recycling Bins: No news.
g) Massage Parlours: No news.
h) South Kingsway Ramps Redesign Meeting:
Frances Labelle reported that she e-mailed Councillor Saundercook on March 5th, advising him of missing “merge” signs on the ramps and asking him for comments on her letter of October 3, 2005. There has been no response to either letter.
Bill Roberts reported that George Dubauskas attended the public meeting on March 2, 2006, relating to the new City of Toronto Act.
There will be a meeting at the Etobicoke/York Civic Centre on April 4th at 6 PM, where the Etobicoke/York Community Council will consider the Report of the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel – “The City We Want – The Government We Need”. To speak to the Council, register by 4:00 PM, April 3rd. The Panel’s Recommendations can be viewed at www.toronto.ca/governingtoronto.
Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and carried, it was decided that Nick Singh will speak at the meeting on behalf of SARA/SARGE in support and in opposition to certain items in the above report, to include the following recommendations:
That the term of City Council continue to be three years.
That the standing committees continue to be responsible for electing their own chairs.
That the community councils continue to be responsible for electing their own chairs.
That City Council as a whole continue to be responsible for appointing the City Manager and other senior staff.
That the City retain ward-based representation for city councillors.
That City Council substantially increase the powers and responsibilities of community councils to make decisions on matters within their geographic boundaries. City Council could override local decisions by a majority vote of all members.
That the chairs of community councils and standing committees sit on the Executive Committee.
That the Executive Committee be responsible for, among other things, the development of policy, but that it not retain an exclusive grip on this function and that it have no formal powers over Council.
That the chairs of the community councils and standing committees be rotated every twelve months after their initial election.
That a special advisory body not be created exclusively for the Mayor.
j) Storage for SARA at the Town Hall:
Nick Singh reported that the contract was mailed to the City of Toronto Archives, but that there has been no response. Nick will follow up.
k) East Side of Walkway from Willard Ave to Willard Gardens:
Nick Singh reported that there has been no response from Councillor Saundercook.
l) Alcohol and Gaming Meeting: Queens Pasta:
Nick Singh reported that a hearing has been held, but no decision yet received.
m) Municipal All Candidates Meeting:
Ed Gaigalas will book a room at the Town Hall for a date just following the close of nominations. He will also book an overflow room with television, for parents.
n) OMB Reform:
Bill Roberts reported that the Act is biased against city ratepayers in that 1) the only evidence the OMB will consider is evidence presented at a city council meeting; 2) ratepayers cannot speak; 3) if a condo developer’s plans include a second suite, then there cannot be an appeal of location and sale.
Upon motion by Francis Labelle, seconded by Pat Reavy and carried, it was decided that SARA/SARG should prepare a deputation regarding the limitations of appeal, the fairness of evidentiary rules as these apply at the OMB and the way in which local appeal tribunals will function (if they allow appeal tribunals to replace the COA).
o) Governing Toronto Advisory Panel: See Item 5i.
p) Front Yard Parking:
Bill Roberts stated that this is a “harmonization document”, designed for downtown residential properties (having shallow front yards), not for suburban properties with much larger front yards and driveways running from the road to a garage at the back.
6. VISION STUDIES
a) Bloor West Urban Design Study: No response from Councillor Saundercook.
b) Humbergate Study: No news.
7. LAND USE ITEMS
a) Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan: March 27, 2006 – going forward for approval
b) Humber Cinema:
Louis Gris reported in letter that a large public notice has been posted at the theatre to inform the public about a proposed amendment to the Zoning By-law. Via e-mail, Councillor Saundercook has informed residents who attended community meetings of the date of the next meeting of the Etobicoke/York Community Council (April 4th, 7:00 PM), at which time the council will be considering the application. SARA is surprised that the councillor did not provide, as promised, an informal public meeting, in advance of the community council meeting, on this matter. SARA opposes the current application, as it does not meet the criteria set by the Bloor West Village Urban Design Study.
c) 85 South Kingsway:
Louis Gris reported in letter that the COA approved the application with conditions outlined by the neighbour and by SARA. Bill Roberts added that one of the conditions is that the house be built with substantial compliance with the plans. This item is thereby closed.
d) 52 Ellis Park Road
Louis Gris reported in letter that the OMB hearing is set for April 26th, 10:00 AM.
Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and carried, it was decided that if possible, SARA would attend in support of the size of the deck as approved by the COA, but not larger.
e) 36 Worthington Crescent: Louis Gris reported in letter that the COA approved the application, after correcting the GFA figures. Re-mailing of public notice was not done as was requested in SARA letter.
This item is closed.
f) 19 Hazelbrae: Louis Gris reported in letter that there was no SARA letter sent. One neighbour contacted at the time of distributing notices was in favour of the application. This item is closed.
g) 203 Riverside Drive:
Louis Gris reported in letter that the application was approved by the COA, in spite of SARA letter of concerns. This item is closed, unless there is an appeal.
h) Change of Address for mail addressed to SARA from Etobicoke/York Committee of Adjustment:
John Meijer will send a letter, on SARA letterhead, requesting that mail be addressed to his home, as he will be replacing Louis Gris as a member of the Committee on Land Use.
8. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
a) Community Police Liaison Committee:
Kate Lawson tabled the minutes of the meeting held March 7, 2006 which she attended. She summarized by stating that our area is generally safe, the biggest problem being break-and-enter. Police are asking for input regarding community issues. The meetings are being rotated in different area locations.
Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Merle Hudson and carried, it was agreed that SARA host a meeting at the Town Hall.
b) High Park Community Advisory Council: Merle Hudson reported the next meeting March 22nd.
c) Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park:
Merle Hudson will become a permanent member of this group, resigning from the SARA executive, but sending reports to SARA from the group.
d) Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Library: No news.
e) Swansea Public School: Nothing until June
f) Swansea Town Hall Board of Management:
Bill Roberts reported that temporary fencing is up and work on the grounds is in progress.
g) J.T. Bonham Residences: Ed Gaigalas to report.
h) CORRA: See Item 5i.
9. ITEMS BEING MONITORED
a) Windermere by the Lake:
Frances Labelle reported that she sent a letter, received a reply, and sent another letter, stating many SARA concerns, the main concerns which are as follows.
* There has not been full disclosure, for example, accurate GFA and above-ground parking.
* There have been continuous changes to plans, for example, change from the approved plan for two slab buildings to the plan for three point towers.
* There needs be an open meeting with SARA and the community.
Frances will write another letter, continuing to press for complete answers.
b) Southport Plaza: No news
d) Dark Horse (liquor license): Nick Singh reported no response yet.
e) Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail: Monitor till Spring.
f) Humber Bay Treatment Plant and g) Petro Canada Station – 8 South Kingsway:
Frances Labelle spoke to Ron, who has the public meeting materials.
10. NEW BUSINESS:
a) Peggy Nash, newly elected MP for Parkdale/High Park:
Ed Gaigalas will follow up with an invitation to attend SARA meetings.
b) Bicycle Lanes (Works Committee guidelines): John Meijer will follow up.
c) Signage (new By-law): To be deferred. George Dubauskas is to report.
d) Bank of Nova Scotia, Safety Deposit Box:
John Meijer reported that the bank manager had mailed repeated notices of payment due for annual fees, with no reply. Eventually, the notice letter reached SARA, past the date by which the bank had determined to drill open the box, if no reply was forthcoming. John visited the bank to pay the arrears, but discovered that the bank is asking for $125.00 as drilling charge. SARA’s decision is deferred to its April meeting.
10. NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11. ADJOURNED: 9:40 PM
Upon motion by Chris Korda, seconded by Pat Reavy and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.