SWANSEA AREA RATEPAYER’S ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF MEETING, MONDAY, Sept 26, 2005
Present: Louis Gris, Nicholas Singh, Chris Korda, Bill Roberts, Frances Labelle, Sybil Wilkinson, Bonnie Shulman, Bill Jermyn, George Dubauskas, David Fleming, Pat Reavy
Regrets: Merle Hudson, John Meijer, Ed Gaigalas
1. CALL TO ORDER AND DECLARATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm, with no conflicts of interest.
2. AGENDA AMENDMENTS & APPROVAL:
The Agenda for Sept. 26, 2005, was approved as amended upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Labelle, and carried.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Minutes of June 21, 2005 were approved upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Nick Singh, and carried.
4. EXECUTIVE REPORTS
Louis Gris reported that there are two new memberships.
He will give cheques totalling $118.00 to the treasurer.
Louis Gris reported that notice of the Fundraiser play was in the current Newsletter, and that almost all executive members have been given tickets to sell. Louis will ask The Villager Newspaper to include notice of the Fundraiser play in the “Community Events” listing.
c) Treasurer’s Report:
The report was accepted upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Pat Reavy, and carried.
Louis Gris reported expenses of $121.23 for the Newsletter, postage and photocopies.
The expense report was approved, upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and carried.
5. CURRENT MATTERS
a) New Members: Louis Gris welcomed a new member: Bill Jermyn.
He welcomed the return of Bonnie Shulman. All members introduced themselves.
b) Newsletter: The August/05 Newsletter was distributed with notice of the Fundraiser -- Agatha Christie’s “The Unexpected Guest” at the Villlage Playhouse Theatre Nov 17th. Tickets: $16.00.
d) SARA Meeting with Councillor Saundercook: No news. The minutes have not yet been received.
Louis Gris will phone Councillor Saundercook’s office, to enquire when SARA will receive them.
e) Adopt a Block:
Bill Roberts asked that a memo be sent to ask John Meijer (contact person) to follow-up with The City.
Louis Gris will provide a list of all SARA members, who will be asked to participate. Concerns for safety of participants were expressed. Bill Roberts reported that these would be addressed in the City
materials, and that we would educate those persons who sign up to volunteer.
(Refer to Minutes of June 21/05 for more details.)
f) Massage Parlours:
Bill Roberts attended the Planning and Transportation meeting on June 27/05 at 2 pm at City Hall. He reported that the City will stop issuing licenses to those not trained and prepared to do holistic body work, and will separate the legitimate business from adult parlours and bawdy rub houses.
The meeting held by Councillor Saundercook on September 21st , the 3rd to date relating to the reconstruction of The Queensway and the proposal to close the two southerly ramps off the South Kingsway was discussed in detail. Concern was expressed that nothing new was presented at the meeting except that now the city was looking at doing an environmental assessment which had been previously discounted. The community’s opposition to the closing of the ramps remains consistent in the face of no overwhelming reasons for the closing being presented by the City.
It was agreed upon motion by Pat Reavy, seconded by Bonnie Shulman and carried, that Frances Labelle would write to Councillor Saundercook, voicing SARA’s concerns, with regard to the City’s proposals.
(Refer to Minutes of June 21/05 for more details.)
h) Hydro Poles:
No news. Louis Gris will send a letter to the City Clerk, asking when this matter will come forward.
Pat Reavy distributed her letter which was prepared in consultation with Nick Singh and Louis Gris as approved on June 21/05. This letter, “Improving the Planning Process: Comments” was sent to Councillor John Filion.
(Refer to Minutes of June 21/05 for more details.)
(j) Storage for SARA at the Town Hall: Records from many years of SARA business have been stored in what is now a full storage unit. The need is to sort and either keep or archive the records; otherwise they tend to disappear over time. Chris Korda will inquire regarding the City archival process. Louis Gris received a box containing records and the official SARA seal from former SARA secretary, Marianne Fenner.
Motion that Chris Korda should send a note and complimentary Fundraiser ticket to Marianne, thanking her for her work in organizing and delivering the records was moved by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and carried.
Motion that Louis Gris ask George Dubauskas to determine which records in Town Hall storage unit should be kept as current material (those under 5 years and some 5 to 10 years old) and which should be archived (those over 10 years old), was moved by Bill Roberts, seconded by Sybil Wilkinson and carried.
6. VISION STUDIES
a) Bloor West Urban Design Study:
Nick Singh summarized the development of the “Vision Study”, now called “The Urban Design Study”, which began with Councillor Bill Saundercook, as a vision for the Bloor West Street strip. The Office for Urbanism (representing “development”) and SARA (representing “preservation”) worked on the document that gives some measure of protection against poor planning and indiscriminate building, currently at play for the Humber Odeon site. Councillor Saundercook has put the document forward to the City for adoption.
b) Humbergate Study: There is nothing new to report on this matter, but it will be watched for developments.
7. LAND USE ITEMS
a) Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan:
Bill Roberts reported that negotiations are continuing with the City on settling the appeals of the official plan, and while the Swansea Part II Plan has been approved by the City, it will not be enacted until the full plan has been approved by the OMB.
b) Humber Cinema
Councillor Saundercook called a meeting for Sept. 20, 2005. Panel members were the councillor, the developer and two reps from the Office for Urbanism. Prior to this meeting, the BWVRA had prepared a detailed report, including alternate designs for the site, had delivered this to the developer and asked that his response be made before the set meeting date. No response was given, either prior to or during the meeting. The result: more consultation by developer and owner will yield information, to be
e-mailed to principal attendees (BWVRA and SARA reps and City reps). There will be another meeting, before which needed a response to the Urban is Design Study, vis-à-vis the proposed building.
Humber Cinema (cont.)
Nick Singh summarized for SARA members by stating that the size and appearance of the proposed building will be precedent setting. Although the alternative design preferred by the BWVRA is eight storeys (and this number, only with certain conditions, the limit being five), the City designer/planner seems to favour ten storeys.
At the public meeting, the City official had called this a “landmark building”.
Bill Roberts stated at the SARA meeting that the correct definition of “landmark” has to do with an existing building having heritage design and that the proposed building ought to be called a “gateway building”, which in accordance with the Guidelines means one with an important point of focus, but not necessarily a tall building.
Reflecting on the results of the Sept. 20/05 meeting, SARA members made the following points:
* A reply should be drafted [to the City] regarding the City planners’ use of the word “landmark” as it applies to the proposed building.
* The ugliness of the current Humber Odeon site (or of any run-down building) favours the developers who generally want citizens to think that no matter what kind of new building is proposed, anything is better than what it will replace.
* Re: The “precedent” factor for Bloor West Village: If a large building is allowed, then the next-door Arbor Building could easily become 15 or 20 storeys (an example, being the Crossways West at 30-40 storeys), and the former Meow site. The Bloor West Village has infrastructure problems, which cannot stand such large developments. Although the Mayor says that City services will come later, they generally are not. The Context project is an example of a five-storey frontage, with a drop off at back.
* The Humber Odeon site could go to eight storeys, but according to the Urban Design Study, only if certain conditions are met, including parking and setbacks. According to the BWVRA, their ten-storey alternate design is a fall back.
* The next meeting, with councillor, owner, developer and BWVRA will be attended by Nick Singh and possibly Bill Roberts.
June 21/05: The Urban Design Study is available on the website www.world19.com
Louis Gris reported that the construction that is going on is not in accord with the OMB order.
Therefore, it was agreed upon motion by Frances Labelle, seconded by Nick Singh and carried that a letter be sent to Mr. Laughlin, deputy chief building official, asking why the Building Department is allowing construction to proceed in clear violation of the OMB decision, with cc to the City Solicitor.
d) 169 South Kingsway: The house has been scaled down considerably. None of the variances are excessive. The third application is to go before the COA Sept. 29/05.
e) Two new items are #85 South Kingsway and #14 Ellis Gardens.
Both are supported by immediate neighbours.
f) 14 Ellis Gardens: Neighbours are in support. Therefore, there is no comment from SARA.
8. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
a) Community Police Liaison Committee: Bonnie Shulman agreed to act as SARA’s rep;
Frances Labelle will ask SARA’s former rep to e-mail Bonnie any pertinent details she may have.
b) High Park Community Advisory Council: Nothing to report
c) Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park: Nothing to report
d) Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Library: Nothing to report
e) Swansea Public School: Nothing to report
f) Swansea Town Hall Board of Management:
SARA continues to look for a representative to sit on the Board of Management.
g) J.T. Bonham Residences:
Ed Gaigalas has yet to advise SARA who is currently on the roster as SARA’s representative.
h) CORRA: Bill Roberts noted the OP negotiations continue, as reported earlier.
9. ITEMS BEING MONITORED
a) Windermere by the Lake: Nothing new to report
b) Southport Plaza: Georgian Homes has put the project on the market, and whatever happens, a commercial component will be required.
d) Context Development: No news
e) Dark Horse (liquor license): No news. They are diligent in serving no liquor on the patio after 10 PM.
f) Expose (liquor license):
Louis Gris told Nick Singh there is a sign “for sale – Pool Hall Beer”. Nick reported that the liquor license application was initially turned down, but now the City says Expose has a license. He needs a copy of said decision. George Dubauskas said the chairperson promised everyone a copy, but that he has not received one. George will phone about this and will follow up with a letter.
g) Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail: This item is closed for now, to be revisited next spring.
h) Humber Bay Treatment Plant: Ron Braun has been monitoring. The City is informing citizens.
i) Petro Canada Stn – 8 S Kingsway: Ron Braun is monitoring. F Labelle will ask him for any news.
10. NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
11. ADJOURNED: 9:55 PM