S.A.R.A. Executive Meeting Minutes – March 16, 2004


Present:   Ritvars Bregzis, George Dubauskas, Merle Hudson,  Frances Labelle, John Meijer, Bill Roberts, Nick Singh Sybil Wilkinson


Absent:     Ron Braun, Marianne Fenner, Louis Gris,  Bill Haines, Peter Keefe, Vicki Vancas


Guests:     Lydia Bell

                  Bob Chippel

Pat Reavy


Call to Order and Declaration of Conflicts of Interest:

The meeting began at 7:30 p.m. at the Swansea Town Hall.  There were no declared conflicts of interest.


Executive Appointments:

It was agreed that given the closeness of  the AGM that the appointments of the 1st and 2nd Vice-Presidents would be referred to the Nominating Committee.  Moved by Nick Singh, seconded by Ritvars Bregzis and carried


Approval of Agenda:

                        The agenda was approved as amended upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by John Meijer and carried.


Approval of Minutes:           

Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by John Meijer,  the minutes of  February 17, 2004 were received and approved as amended to reverse the reports recorded under 4 a) and 4 b).


Upon motion by Ritvars Bregzis, and seconded by John Meijer the minutes of March 4, 2004 were received and approved.


1.         Membership Report:

John Meijer on behalf of Louis Gris  reported that as of today  8 new memberships had been received  (1 single and 7 family) since the February meeting, as well as a donation. Monies were turned over to the Treasurer.  The Membership report was approved upon a motion by John Meijer, seconded by Bill Roberts and carried.


2.         Treasurer’s Report:

John Meijer presented the Treasurer’s Report as of March 16th , 2004:

Upon motion made by John Meijer, seconded by Nick Singh  and unanimously carried, the Treasurer’s report was accepted.  Payment of expenses for the 3 Windermere OMB hearings were approved for Ron Braun and Frances Labelle upon motion by John Meijer, seconded by Bill Roberts and carried.


John Meijer reported that he felt the appropriate minimum amount to be maintained in the chequing account was $500.  Upon motion by John Meijer, seconded by Bill Roberts and carried the Treasurer’s recommendation was approved.





3.         Fundraising:


a)      Fundraiser/Theatre Night - John Meijer, on behalf of Louis Gris reported that to date there is a net profit from the March 4th Fundraiser/Theatre Night.


b)      General Membership Drive and Fundraising -  it was agreed that work needs to be done in this area.  It was suggested that a fundraising newsletter be prepared so that when SARA is actively involved in specific issues in a specific area of Swansea the area can easily be targeted.  It was also noted that lapsed members should be canvassed to rejoin. The cost of a membership was also discussed and it was generally agreed that some increase was appropriate and should be considered further.


Pat Reavy expressed concern that SARA should be seen to be doing more, noting her experience that she did not get feedback on the issues she had raised with respect to 258 Windermere Ave and felt that she should not have had to take the initiative.  In response it was pointed out that SARA’s role as a voluntary group was not to replace citizen involvement but rather to support that involvement when issues are brought to its attention.


4.         Land Use Matters:


a)      2525 Bloor Street West  - Lydia Bell from 14 Brule Crescent spoke to the Committee of Adjustment hearing scheduled for March 23rd on this property.  She expressed the concerns of local residents on the doubling of the density permission, the potential problems with how the driveways work and a reduction in landscaped area.  She requested SARA’s assistance in dealing with this matter.


It was agreed that the best course of action to be taken was to request the Committee of Adjustment to defer the matter to provide an opportunity for the applicant and the residents to meet and discuss the plans.  It was also agreed that Councillor Saundercook should be asked to write to the Committee requesting an adjournment. Therefore, upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by John Meijer and unanimously carried, Frances Labelle was authorized to write to the Committee of Adjustment and Councillor Saundercook requesting the matter be deferred for the above noted reasons.


b)      1947-1997 Bloor St. W. – Context Development -  in the absence of Peter Keefe no update was available.


c)      Windermere by the Lake:– Bill Roberts reported that the OMB had approved an additional 5 storeys be added to the high rise tower at 3 Windermere.  Bill noted that because of timing SARA had been unable to retain a planner to represent us and this was part of the reason for not achieving anything.


Frances Labelle reported that Councillor Saundercook had effectively undermined the Community by allowing the motion for the City to attend the hearing to be held down.  In return for doing this the applicant had agreed to increase the S.37 contribution from $35,000 to $60,000 and would consider providing funds for a transportation study of the area.  Frances noted that the value of such a study was questionable since the developers in the area produced reports saying there was no problem and noted that the area transportation problems were well known and that studies were irrelevant when no funds were available to implement recommendations.


      Frances Labelle reported that Ron Braun, Bill Roberts and herself had met with the new planners for this area in Etobicoke to discuss the Committee of Adjustment application in the works for 6 Windermere that involves seven changes to blocks A and B.  Frances noted that the discussions were useful and that the planners agreed the variances requested were too broad.  She noted that she had been provided with the name of the City’s traffic engineer who would be evaluating the report and undertook to speak with him to ascertain the City’s position and if necessary, canvass members to see who is available to meet with the traffic engineer.


d)      Southport Plaza Redevelopment – Frances Labelle noted that changes had again been made to the site plan for this development and that she would be asking our traffic consultant to review them.  Bill Roberts noted that the deadline for the City’s review of the new site plans has been extended from March 12th  to April 21st.


e)      1900 Lake Shore Blvd. W. (former Meow Club site) – Frances Labelle noted that nothing has yet been heard from Councillor Saundercook concerning RARG’s request that he ensure that when the site plans for this development, are reviewed the City not compromise its standards for traffic flow and pedestrian safety as it had done for34 Southport Street  development.

Frances reported that Councillor Saundercook  has been in touch with the developer and that they have also agreed to provide funds for his transportation study.  She noted that as the Councillor has not gotten back to RARG his actions raise serious issues with transparency and do not encourage confidence the requests will be met. 


f)        Committee of Adjustment  -  Nick Singh reported that 47 Mayfield will be back to the Committee of Adjustment on March 23rd for the third time.  The plans have not been altered to alleviate the planning matters raised by SARA and the neighbours.  The neighbours still object and will be at the Committee in opposition.  Upon motion by Nick Singh, seconded by Bill Roberts and carried it was agreed that SARA would write to the Committee of Adjustment in support of the concerns of the neighbours.


g)      Municipal Shelters – Bill Roberts reported that no decision has been received yet and that CORRA has complained to the Attorney General on the conduct of the hearing and the inappropriate use of legal aid funds to intervene in an OMB hearing by a tenant group.


h)      Gardiner Lakeshore Task Force – Bill Roberts reported that the future of the committee is unknown as the decision to continue or disband it is still with the Mayor.


i)        Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan   Bill Roberts reported that the Swansea Part II plan has been agreed to with Urban Design and passed by City Council.  Bill noted that the hearing process will begin on April 14th.  Upon motion by Sybil Wilkinson, seconded by Nick Singh and carried Bill Roberts was authorized to act on behalf of SARA/SARG if necessary in matters relating to the Part II plan.


j)        Fred Victor Centre/Joyco Station – nothing new to report this item will continue to be monitored.


j)    Humber Cinema – Frances Labelle noted that the preliminary report that had been deferred at the last community council, so that Councillor Saundercook would have time to meet with the developer, is expected to be considered at the April 7th Community Council meeting. Upon motion by Nick Singh seconded by Merle Hudson Frances Labelle was authorized to write to the Community Council requesting a specific area of notification as discussed at the meeting and to provide a list of local groups that should be notified as well as to ask that the project not be allowed to go forward without an Avenue Study carried out in accordance with the mechanisms under the Official Plan and that the Avenue Study include  the whole of Bloor West Village.  John Meijer reported that he had received a query concerning a project of Councillor Saundercook regarding a new vision for Bloor Street.  John noted that Alex Ling of the BWV BIA had contacted him with regard to community involvement in the vision (study).  Bill Roberts noted that an official avenues study would look at this sort of thing and that it was more appropriate that any study done should be an official and done by the City.


5.         Liquor Licenses:

a)      Billy Bob/The Fan – nothing to report.

b)      Dark Horse – Nick Singh briefly reviewed the issues relating to the soundproof barriers required for the patio.  Nick noted he had provided Councillor Saundercook with information on the issues related to this establishment.  He reported that Saundercook had spoken to the owner and the owner had said

he had a letter from David Miller that okayed the fence he had erected.  The owner had agreed to provide Saundercook with a copy of the letter which was to be forwarded to Nick. Nick has not yet received a copy of the letter.


6.         Humber River:

a)      Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail – No report.


b)  Humber Bay Treatment Facility: - No report.  Continue to monitor.


7.         Neighbourhood Issues:


a)      Petro Canada Station – 8 South Kingsway – No report. Ron Braun is to report on his follow-up on the left turn signage improvements. Continue to monitor.


b)      Community Council – Nothing to report.


c)      Traffic calming  Merle Hudson noted that they are finally going to paint a yellow line down the center of Runnymede Rd.  Frances Labelle reported that the same is to be done on Ripley Ave.


d)      Second Suites - Merle Hudson reported she had followed up with Councillor Balkissoon's office for information and was advised that the issue will be going to a Planning and Transportation Committee meeting.  Upon motion by Nick Singh, seconded by Bill Roberts and carried  Merle was authorized to write asking that SARA be advised when the issue is to be considered.


e)      258 Windermere – Pat Reavy noted that she had been advised by the Deputy Chief Building Official that it is expected a response to her enquiries and SARA’s will be sent out by the end of the week. Frances Labelle noted that she will follow up if a response is not received by the end of the week.


f)        Swansea Mews – Sybil Wilkinson noted that there will be a meeting tomorrow night and that she will report on the results at the next meeting.


g)      337 Windermere Ave – it was reported that the alterations to this house were approved by the Committee of Adjustment.  Bill Roberts reviewed the issues involved and the importance of having SARG appeal the Committee of Adjustments decision.  It was also noted that one of the neighbours also planned to file an appeal.  Upon motion by Nick Singh, seconded by John Meijer,and carried Nick Singh was authorized to write to the OMB appealing the decision of the Committee of Adjustment.


h)      17 Lavinia – Bill Roberts reported that the Committee of Adjustment had agreed with the SARA and the neighbours and turned down this application to sever the lot into two undersized lots and to build a pair of semis.  The neighbours have agreed to monitor the matter in case the owner appeals the decision to the OMB and to alert SARA if that is the case.


i)        47 St. Olaves – Bill Roberts reported that there had been no new developments in this matter.


8.         Other Organizations:

a)      Community Police Liaison Committee –Merle Hudson noted that the last meeting was on March 2nd.  She had been asked to provide the statistics on gun calls in 11 Division and did so noting there were 69 calls in 2002, and 114 in 2003.


b)      High Park Community Advisory Council – Merle Hudson noted the council was meeting tomorrow night and she would provide a report at the next meeting.


c)       Swansea Historical Society – Sybil Wilkinson noted that the last meeting was on the history of the TTC.


d)      Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Swansea Memorial Library – George Dubauskas reported that the budget committee meeting had deferred consideration of the Library budget and that he would follow-up on when it will go forward.


e)      Swansea Public School  a report on the plaque is expected to be made at the next meeting.


f)        Swansea Town Hall Board of Management – Bill Roberts noted that the Swansea Town Hall Board of Management has positions open and asked people to look for candidates.  Bill advised the Town Hall is  waiting for excavation permits to be able to proceed with the new addition.  Bill also noted that the garage sale is on March 28th and the Home show on May 2nd.  John Meijer noted that he has posted a home show notice on SARA’s website.


g)      Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park – Merle Hudson noted that there was nothing new to report.


h)      Confederation of Resident & Ratepayer Associations (CORRA) – Bill Roberts reported that CORRA continues to deal with issues relating to the Part I Plan and will be at the OMB on April 14th for the commencement of the Official Plan hearings.


i)        World 19 – nothing new to report.


j)        City Communications – Ritvars Bregzis reported that the committee has been meeting and that progress is being made on the finalization of the submission to the mayor.





9.         Other Business:


a)      Website – it was agreed that the posting of letters on the website will be decided by the Executive on a case by case basis.


b)      Annual General Meeting – George Dubauskis reported that a letter has been sent to Gerard Kennedy and we are awaiting his reply.


c)      Southport Postal Outlet – Sybil Wilkinson reported that she had written to Sam Bulte M.P. to ascertain what will happen to the postal outlet in South Swansea once the Shoppers moves out of the Southport Plaza on March 25th ,  but she has not received a reply.


10.       New Business:


a)      Swansea Mews – Sybil Wilkinson reported on the lack of sports facilities in Swansea Mews and noted that there will be a meeting on March 29th to look at possible solutions.


b)      Councillor Saundercook – the meeting discussed the recent activities of the Councillor that have resulted in having a negative impact on Swansea and his apparent lack of understanding of the role of a ratepayers group. Upon motion by Nick Singh, seconded by John Meijer and carried,  it was agreed that the Councillor be invited to  a special meeting to be convened before the next meeting of SARA to obtain his views on SARA’s position on Community affairs.  Nick Singh was accordingly authorized to establish a date with the Councillor and to notify the rest of the executive.


11.       Next Meeting/Adjournment:


The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 20th, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.  Upon a motion by Ritvars Bregzis  seconded by Nick Singh, and carried, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 p.m.