Volume 20 Number 1 Newsletter of the Swansea Area Ratepayers' Association January 1994 TAXES Metro is trying to use Market Value Assessment (MVA) again disguised as Equalized Assessment. We have supported unit assessment in the past, based on lot and building size plus the number of kitchens, bathrooms and so forth, rather than market value. It is not clear what "rental value" means in the new report. SARA will take a position after we have studied the Fair Tax Commission's Report. HIGH PARK Jamie Bell continues to co-ordinate SARA's efforts in regard to the High Park Plan. Tony Kortenaar is dealing with traffic issues. It should be noted that the City is considering reducing through traffic. ELLIS AVENUE PROJECT SARA continues to monitor the proposal for the property facing Grenadier Pond. We wish to ensure that any impact will be minimal and will not endanger the Grenadier Pond wetlands. A SARA sub-committee is tracking this proposal. SWANSEA TOWN HALL As you are aware the Town Hall is now open. If you were not at the open house please drop by and see the facilities. Speak to Jamie Bell and he can advise of the rental rates for conferences, receptions, weddings and meetings. The Annual General Meeting for the Swansea Town Hall Community Centre will be held at 95 Lavinia Ave. on February 22nd at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. SWANSEA MEMORIAL LIBRARY The Royal Canadian Legion -- Branch 46 (Swansea) held a remembrance ceremony on the 11th of November, 1993 at the Town Hall. The Library was dedicated to those who died in the First World War. Next year will be its 75th anniversary. Let's work to make sure the Library continues! Use It Or Lose It The Library is now on probation. Unless it is used, it will be closed. You can arrange for any movie, book or any other library material to be delivered to the Swansea branch for nick-up. You can also order by computer modem at the branch, or from your home. LIBRARY HOURS: Monday: Tuesday: Wednesday: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed 1:00 p.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Closed 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Closed 8:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. GARDINER LAKESHORE TASKFORCE SARA supported a City Planning & Development Department request to add bicycle lanes and widen the sidewalk and greenery on Colborne Lodge Road south of the Queensway. The vehicular lane will be reduced to one lane each way with a widening where the lanes meet the Queensway and Lakeshore to allow left and right hand turns. Traffic is presently light on the roadway. Bill Roberts attended the December 1, 1993 Taskforce Meeting on behalf of SARA. The Taskforce supported the proposal and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust is also supporting the proposal. SOUTH KINGSWAY- HUMBER BRIDGES David Crombie has been asked to look into the issues raised by SARA in regard to the underwater north/south bicycle path on the Toronto (Swansea) side. SARA EXECUTIVE If you need help remember your executive is your neighbours. Your Executive consists of S. Wilkinson, President; G. Martinsons and D. Dunal, Vice-Presidents; S. Campbell, Secretary; J. Oreto, Treasurer; L. Gris, Membership; R. Bregzis, Past-President; J. Bell, L. Clay, E. Gaigalas, T. Kortenaar, T. Giniotis, B. Gordon, W. Haines, 0. Iwanyshyn, R. Graham, P. Meier, M. Pew, R. Thede, Wm. Roberts, and M. Robertson. Please note that Executive meetings are public and held normally on the third Tuesday of each month. There may be capacity limitations, so, if possible, contact the Executive before you come to a meeting. MEMBERSHIP Please remember that your membership is due now unless you have already renewed. The fees are $6.00 for individuals, $8.00 for family, and $10.00 for businesses per year. Please contact L. Gris at 766-2792 to renew. We have succeeded in holding back any fee increases for the last three years despite increasing costs. Membership inquiries may be sent to Swansea Area Ratepayers' Association c/o Swansea Town Hall, P. O. Box 103, 95 Lavinia Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6S 3H9. Please note that in advising the community about the rezoning and other matters, SARA spent considerable funds in getting notices out. Our membership is now over 220. We need to increase our membership and also need early renewals in order to replenish our funds should we have to go to the Ontario Municipal Board. If you can help it would be greatly appreciated. BLOOR STREET RESTAURANT BY-LAW SARA, through our corporate entity Swansea Area Ratepayers' Group (SARG), appeared and gave qualified support of the size limitations for restaurants along Bloor Street based on the direction provided by those attending the public meeting held by SARA in August. Bill Roberts appeared on behalf of SARG. As a result of our submission, modifications were made. Parking remains an issue. SARG advised the City that we support the community concerns and have even greater concerns should Mainstreets reduced parking standards come to Bloor Street West. SWANSEA BY-LAWS - STRATEGY MEETING The purpose of this meeting is to prepare a response and strategy for the upcoming Ontario Municipal Board hearing. SARA spent several thousand dollars preparing and distributing the newsletter describing the new Zoning By-laws and the possible consequences. And while the door to door distribution was done by SARA Executive members, other costs were also borne by SARA. We will need to expand the numbers of persons involved if we are to succeed in making changes. The City is receptive. Now we need to ensure the City is aware we will not back off. We need your input and assistance. Come out, make your voice count. Thank you for your support to date. BY-LAW STRATEGY MEETING to be held at Swansea Town Hall 95 Lavinia Avenue on Tuesday, January, 25, 1994 at 7:30 P.M. GENERAL ISSUES The Planning & Development Department invited select persons to attend an information meeting. The invitation to SARA was after the fact, in the sense that we were given no advance warning and it was only after we started asking about the meeting that an invitation to SARA was issued! The meeting held on 2 December, 1993 touched on the issues of the Plaza, Stelco, and the South Kingsway Petro Canada station. You should be aware that the Commercial Residential (CR) designation on the Plaza allows commercial and residential or only commercial or only residential. The reduced densities provide some protection, but do set the precedent for redevelopment. The Official Plan designation is being switched from Local Commercial to Commercial/Residential which allows up to three times DENSITY. There is no requirement that the commercial component be kept. Three times DENSITY is greater than that allowed in the surrounding condominiums which range from 1.8 to 2.28 (Tridel). If the CR designation is kept it would seem desirable that the Official Plan be amended to provide a statement of the importance of the plaza to the area and that reduced densities be put in the official plan. Parking is another issue related to the Plaza. Additional parking will not have to be provided under the CR designation. Only Mr. Grocer's is required to provide parking. Thus "excess space as defined under the by-law Is available for residential parking. If rental units are provided the criteria is one parking space per unit. If Social Housing goes in this can be reduced to as little as one parking space for every 10 units. The present by-law requires residential buildings to provide residential setbacks. In CR the only setback from adjacent properties is 3 metres or roughly 10 feet. The Planning & Development Department is unwilling to reduce the height limit on the Stelco lands from 23m to 10m. RIPLEY AVE. A sub-committee of SARA was created consisting of M. Rew, L. Gris, S. Wilkinson, Ed Gaigalas, and Bill Roberts to deal with the various zoning issues. A series of meetings with the Ripley Avenue Ratepayers were held over August to October to try to resolve what would be appropriate and inappropriate additional uses. A public meeting was held on the 9th of December, 1993, to discuss this issue. Concerns were raised in regard to permitting motor vehicle class "A" repair shoes and take-out restaurants. OFFICIAL PLAN Bill Roberts and Ed Gaigalas on behalf of SARA/SARG met with the Commissioner of Planning & Development and two Deputy Commissioners to discuss our concerns over some of the official plan amendments. The Planning & Development Department seemed willing to consider some of the issues raised. Also present at the meeting were representatives from CORRA, Bloor Junction, and Bloor Shaw. FEDERAL ALL CANDIDATES MEETING A successful all candidates meeting was held with over 200 members of the public present. Special thanks should go to L. Clay, B. Gordon, James Bell and Ed Gaigalas who co-ordinated and organized the meeting, and to G. Martinsons who chaired the meeting on our behalf. Editor- Bill Roberts Advisory Committee - G. Martinsons - S. Wilkinson