SWANSEA AREA RATEPAYER’S ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF MEETING, TUESDAY, June 21, 2005
Present: Louis Gris, John Meijer, Pat Reavy, Bill Roberts, Nicholas Singh, Ron Braun, David Fleming, Chris Korda
Regrets: George Dubauskas, Frances Labelle
1. CALL TO ORDER AND DECLARATION OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST:
The meeting was called to order at 7:45 pm, with no conflicts of interest.
2. ADJENDA AMENDMENTS: 18 Rennie Terrace
Since we used the Agenda of May 17th, with date change, the above item was added under the topic, “Land Use Items”. There was no motion to accept the Agenda of June 21st.
3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Nick Singh presented his minutes, with a description of his new format, which was discussed. There was concern as to the lengthiness, due to the adding of current minutes to details from minutes of the previous meeting(s), so that members can see the recent history of each entry and rely less on memory.
Subject to amendments as discussed, the Minutes of May 17/05 were approved upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Pat Reavy, and carried.
4. EXECUTIVE REPORTS
Louis Gris reported that there were 9 new memberships, making a total of 78, that is 4 family, 4 senior/single and 3 honourary. He will forward $118.00 to the treasurer.
Nick Singh suggested that in order to increase membership, we should distribute SARA flyers at the next public meeting, scheduled by Councilor B. Saundercook for Sept. 21/05.
Bill Roberts said there is a need to obtain the councilor’s permission. Louis agreed to do so.
The report was accepted upon motion by Louis Gris, seconded by John Meijer and carried.
Louis Gris is awaiting the template for the tickets from the Village Players and hopes to give members tickets before September, so as to give them time to sell tickets in advance.
May 17/05: Louis Gris reported that there were no new funds and the date for the fundraiser play will be in November and tickets will be made available as soon as possible.
© Treasurer’s Report and Approval of Expenses:
SWANSEA AREA RATEPAYERS ASSOCIATION
(prepared JUN 21, 2005)
BEGINNING BALANCE 886.77 May 17
plus: memberships 108.00 May 24
less: cheque 115 187.06 May 26
less: cheque 116 51.36 Jun 02
ENDING BALANCE 756.35 Jun 21
ING Business Investment Savings Account
BEGINNING BALANCE 5,134.91 May 17
plus: May interest 10.47 May 31
ENDING BALANCE 5,145.38 Jun 21
Petty Cash 1.12
TOTAL $ 5,902.85
Fund-raiser 2000 $1,150.00
Membership Secretary Float $50.00
The report was accepted upon motion by John Meijer, seconded by Louis Gris and carried.
Expenses: Upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by John Meijer and carried, the expense by Louis Gris of $29.44 for office materials was approved.
5. CURRENT MATTERS
(a) New Member: Nick Singh welcomed Chris Korda, who has accepted the office of Secretary.
(b) Newsletter: Bill Roberts and John Meijer will work on the Newsletter, so as to be ready for distribution in mid-July.
(d) SARA Meeting with Councillor Saundercook: No news.
Bea, from Councellor Saundercook’s office, is preparing the minutes.
(e) Adopt a Block:
Bill Roberts attended the meeting June 17/05. He reported that this program (to run from September to May) is a link to the Clean City Campaign (supported by the Board of Trade, Scouts Canada and SARA). It is a good recruiting tool for SARA, as Swansea has been selected as a pilot area for the whole city. Waste Management will be involved. He suggested we highlight Adopt-A-Block in the Newsletter, with a separate flyer and application form enclosed, so that over the summer, Swansea residents can sign up, to be responsible for picking up litter on their street. Details of when, and how the garbage is to be gathered and disposed of will be worked out. Pat Reavy asked if this program has been tried elsewhere. Chris Korda asked about the safety issue, especially when kids are involved. Pat, Chris and John Meijer volunteered to research the project and make necessary preparations for the flyer. The topic should also be posted on the website. Louis Gris will ready a list of all executive members with telephone numbers, for making personal contact. 30-40 volunteers are needed. They will be asked to arrange for advertising in local newspapers, to talk to neighbours, to church groups, and to Swansea area groups, such as the Historical Society.
(f) Massage Parlours:
Since these operate differently than those operated by Adult Entertainment Establishments, who pay $13,000 per year for the license, and since they are not legitimate businesses, the City needs to enforce the rules related to them. Bill Roberts has asked to see the report. He will attend the Planning and Transportation meeting on June 27/05 at 2 pm at City Hall.
May 17/05: Bill Roberts reported that the letter was sent, supporting Councillor Saundercook’s efforts against a massage parlour.
The second public meeting was held June 8/05. The City presented its proposals to change the ramp arrangement at The Queensway/South Kingsway with the explanation that there is a need for urbanization, that is, for making the intersection person and bike friendly. At the meeting, citizens commented on the fact that a bicycle link already exists where the city says it is needed. At the meeting, Bill Roberts asked for the creation of a Community Liaison Group, but this idea was not addressed by Councillor Saundercook. There is concern that because the proposal to eliminate the two south ramps would allow cars off the Gardiner to turn right onto the new ramp, to the traffic light, and then to enter the new Queensway development with ease, the only apparent winner is the new development. The major concern of most attendees is that the elimination of both south ramps, if adopted, will cause a terrible traffic problem, given the already high volumes and the increase expected with residents moving into newly constructed buildings in the area. The third public meeting is scheduled for September 21/05.
May 17/05: Bill Roberts reported that there is a second meeting planned for June 1/05.
Motion that SARA and SARG support the establishment of a Community Liaison Group to monitor and review any existing or ongoing data and to provide input regarding the South Kingsway project moved by Bill Roberts and seconded by Sybil Wilkinson and carried.
(h) Hydro Poles: No news
May 17/05: A discussion about the Hydro poles tool place during the meeting with Councillor Bill Saundercook and a presentation was made by a representative opposed to the sale.
Motion for Louis Gris to write the city opposing the sale of the poles moved by Bill Roberts and seconded by Merle Hudson carried
Bill Roberts attended the meeting of Community Involvement in Processes and Practices, June 17/05 in Etobicoke (one of a series of meetings). (Pat Reavy will phone Mr. Filion’s office, asking for a copy of the report.) Since Councillors John Filion and Cliff Jenkins are interested in reform and transparency, and since they welcome community involvement in achieving that objective, Pat Reavy will draft a comment letter, assisted by Nick Singh and Louis Gris. They will ask that SARA be notified as to when plans are to come before the Planning and Transportation Department in the fall. (All members are encouraged to get information and to provide comments, as individuals. This can probably be done at the website: www.toronto.ca/planning/process.)
Pat Reavy committed to calling other ratepayer groups, to compare their experiences vis-à-vis problems with the COA and the Building Department. Unfortunately, Frances LaBelle was not present to discuss her ideas. Pat wants to scan the COA granted variances, especially renovations in Swansea, documenting approvals which are not consistent with the By-Laws. She expressed the need for research helpers and is concerned about the time element relative to Mr. Filion’s process. Bill Roberts suggested that there is time enough in summer recess to prepare details, but that a memo should be sent now, asking that SARA be involved so that we can participate when P&T deals with the issue in the fall. With research results in hand, a comment letter to Councillor John Filion, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Planning Process, will be drafted (see reference to the letter above). Meanwhile, as individuals, other members of SARA and the public can state the issues to Mr. Filion.
inquiries as the need arises moved by Ed Gaiga and seconded by Pat Reavy. Motion carried.
(j) Storage for SARA at the Town Hall: No discussion
6. VISION STUDIES
(a) Bloor West Urban Design Study:
Since Nick Singh has received no negative responses from those he contacted (residents north of Bloor St., the BIA and Old Mill), he will write a sign-off letter.
May 17/05: Nick Singh reported that a response to questions about the sign-off letter [for the Bloor West Urban Design Study] had just been received but no action taken yet.
There was no news about the Humbergate study (Mimico to High Park).
(b) Humbergate Study: It is still on-going, but in hiatus, awaiting funding.
Louis Gris will ask Bill Saundercook for an update.
7. LAND USE ITEMS
(a) Committee of Adjustment – Processes and Practices
This topic is now included with “Community Involvement in Processes and Practices”
(b) Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan:
Bill Roberts reported that the Swansea Part II Plan was contingently approved by the OMB for the new year. There will probably be a request made by CORRA for money from SARA.
Louis Gris will attend a meeting of the Planning and Transportation department on June 27/05 at 10am, which deals with the mapping issue. Bill Roberts reported that secondary roads have been mapped.
Motion that Louis Gris will support the CORRA position on the mapping issue, to the P&T Dept. was proposed by Nick Singh, seconded by Pat Reavy and carried.
© Humber Cinema:
Louis Gris spoke to a member of the Bloor West Village Residents Assn (BWV), who asked what is SARA’s stand. Bill Roberts said we should unite with BWV in opposing the project and that it will probably go to the OMB and be passed. However, we should negotiate aesthetics in favour of height, but limit to 8 storeys.
Louis Gris suggested and John Maijer moved that SARA’s stand should be announced at the June 28th meeting, and is as follows: the planning process should proceed, with the minimum conditions to be met which are those proposed by the Bloor West Urban Design Study, and any building should be limited to a maximum of 8 storeys in height. Motion seconded by David Fleming and carried. Councillor Saundercook has a copy of the study and of the plans. The study is also available on the website www.world19.com
(e) 169 South Kingsway:
Louis Gris said there was a negative decision. He will check if an appeal has been filed.
(f) 29 Beresford:
Louis Gris said there appears to be an overhang of the 2nd storey, but does not recall seeing that in the plans. He will monitor. Pat Reavy noted that the Building Dept. has 1 year after notification to act.
(g) 47 St. Olaves:
Bill Roberts reported that the appellant has withdrawn the appeal, so the matter is closed, despite the height variance.
(h) 35 Beresford: No news
May 17/05: A letter has been sent to Councillor Saundercook.
(i) 22 Willard Gardens: No news
(j) 18 Rennie Terrace:
Louis Gris attended the recent meeting at the COA. Two neighbours, near but not immediate, presented good arguments via letters. Despite the facts of the busy street, the parking problems, the nearby school and park, etc., the COA allowed all four variances. Louis Gris does not know if an appeal has been filed. A letter was sent to the COA from SARA. Bill Roberts said that if the letter was from SARA and SARG, then an appeal can be launched on behalf of SARG.
There was a motion by Ron Braun, seconded by John Meijer and carried, to launch an appeal, which includes permission to spend $125.00 in filing it. There is an urgent need to do so, either with the neighbours or separate from them. Councillor Saundercook must take notice.
8. COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
(a) Community Police Liaison Committee: No news.
May 17/05: Appointment of Representative: Merle Hudson continues to report on this item. The community phone alert system is being moved to an e-mail system.
(b) High Park Community Advisory Council: No news
May 17/05: The Shakespeare in the Park program will get a permanent stage in the park. High Park has received an award of excellence.
(c) Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park: No news
(d) Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Library: No news
(e) Swansea Public School:
Chris Korda will accompany Bill Roberts to present awards to Grade 8 graduates.
(f) Swansea Town Hall Board of Management and J.T. Bonham Residences:
Negotiations are on-going between the bond company and the town hall board.
May 17, ’05: Problems with the contractor are causing delay in finishing the project.
(g) CORRA: No news
9. ITEMS BEING MONITORED
(a) Windermere by the Lake: No news
May 17/05: Frances Labelle reports that 3 Windermere requires a variance that was overlooked during planning regarding windows. It is agreed not to oppose the application.
(b) Southport Plaza:
Bill Roberts reported that Georgian Homes has bought Loblaws and that ValueMart will vacate July 30/05. The OMB wording was that “commercial must be there”, but no specific commercial entity was specified. This is a setback.
May 17/05: It is reported that the development is on hold after some problems with Section 37 and controls regarding water monitoring. There may be some problems with soil stability and the water table. Motion made for Bill Roberts to write the City Solicitor on behalf of SARA and SARG regarding this project by Frances Labelle and seconded by Pat Reavy. Motion carried.
(d) 258 Windermere:
It was suggested that this item be closed, as it is moot at this point. Pat Reavy stated a need to speak to Mr. Filion about problems with the Building Dept, one of which is that a senior official has the right to make decisions based solely on the information at hand, so that each issue is in effect treated as a separate case. Legal Services says the matter is closed, because SARA did not appeal. The statute of limitations is 20 days, and that has passed, so it is too late to appeal. This property, together with St. Olaves, Beresford and others are examples of questionable decision making.
May 17/05: Pat Reavy reported that she called the Mayor’s Office regarding administration and accountability but no answers were forth coming. Mr. Filion is looking at improving planning and will consider, on the side, some issues about the building department.
(e) Context Development: No news
(f) Dark Horse: (liquor license)
Bill Roberts has asked to be advised of the next public meeting, but no date is available.
May 17/05: No news. Nick Singh is to enquire.
(g) Expose: (liquor license): No news
(h) Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail:
Nick Singh reported that this was discussed at the public meeting June 6th.
(i) Humber Bay Treatment Plant:
Ron Braun regretted missing the public meeting on this subject, also held tonight.
He reported that the City has recognized the problem with odours. The questions are how and when to fix these problems and the cost involved. They plan to rebuild a very old facility, which causes some of the odour. They have mapped the local area and have noted the number of hours of odour exposure, depending on wind direction. Ron will gather more details for the next SARA meeting.
(j) Petro Canada Station – 8 South Kingsway:
It was reported that, although a small sign exists on the property of Petro Canada, which prohibits a left turn onto South Kingsway from the exit lane, the sign is almost invisible and is ignored, since it cannot be legally enforced. (Unless the City passes a By-Law and erects an official no-left-turn sign, the police cannot enforce it.) Nick Singh suggests SARA press Councillor Saundercook to follow-up on this issue. Ron Braun will contact him in writing. The councillor has been informed about the bottleneck of traffic at that location, resulting from cars trying to make a left turn. .
10. NEXT MEETING:
September 20, 2005 (day before the public meeting on S. Kingsway reconstruction)