Volume 23 Number 1 Newsletter of the Swansea Area Ratepayers' Association January 1997

Please renew and encourage your friends to become members in 1997. If you did not obtain a membership in November or December, 1996, then your membership is now due for 1997. Membership Fees for 1997: Single membership .......... $8.00 family membership ......... $10.00 Business membership......... $12.00 Please contact L. Gris at 766-2792 to renew. Membership inquiries may be sent to Swansea Area Ratepayers' Assn. c/o Swansea Town Hall, Box 103, 95 Lavinia Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M6S 3H9.

Unless real care is taken with the Province's plan, SARA has serious concerns that governmental costs will go up and democracy will be diminished. The real issue here is that as the number of politicians are reduced, the bigger the wards. The bigger the wards the less the politicians are accountable to local voters and the more dependent they become on political parties, major donors and groups such as unions and developers who can supply the necessary money or workers to help run campaigns. In addition, given that politicians are supposed to supervise the bureaucracy, the fewer the politicians, the harder it is for them to keep track of the bureaucracy. And the larger the ward, the more support staff the politician needs. For example in the last cycle when wards expanded in size, two city councillors per ward ended and each councillor got an executive assistant. If you look closely at the costs of the two, the savings were minimal, while the accountability was doubled. If we end up with one Metro and large wards, local accountability may well end and the day of the lobbyist will be here. SARA is developing a position in regard to the Mega City. For more information contact Bill Roberts 769 - 3162.

The Ontario Municipal Board approved the application for severance, minor variance requests and subdivision, subject to satisfactory approvals from the City. The Board directed that such negotiations be done in good faith. The City has appealed the Board's decision. SARA has expressed its concerns that the Board's decision has not adequately protected the High Park/Grenadier Pond ecosystems and views. For further information contact Oleh Iwanyshyn at 762-6724.

Several residents from Morningside Ave. attended the November SARA executive meeting to express the frustration they are feeling with the City and its seeming inability to enforce its zoning and planning procedures, including the Ravine Control by-law and Tree Preservation law. The Executive explained the options and indicated our concern for their frustration. G. Martinsons is following up on this matter. It is only one of several properties that seem to fall through the "enforcement cracks". If you are having problems with the City make sure you take note of your conversations and follow them up with fares and letters, copies to your City Councillor and SARA.

Glen Thede attended the Ontario Municipal Board pre-hearing on this matter. The Ontario Restaurant Association is opposing any controls, and in fact wants to be able to operate restaurants the same size or larger than the Savannah proposal adjacent to residential areas. The Association opposes the limitation on areas devoted to dance floors and similar accessory uses in restaurants and in general seems to be seeking a free hand. The Ontario Municipal Board has set a hearing date commencing 28 April, 1997 to the end of May, 1997, with two or three days when the Board will not be holding hearings. Glen Thede, as agent for SARA, will have to file by early March a list of witnesses and other matters. A public participation night will be set by the Board. If you have concerns please contact Glen Thede at 763-5283 or Bill Roberts 769-3162 immediately. [The problem has risen since the Province now has only one type of license, so distinctions between restaurants and dance halls, discos or taverns, etc, no longer exist under provincial law.]

SARA is presently trying to arrange a Public Meeting on the subject ''TRAFFIC CALMING & RIVERSIDE DR. IS THERE A MIDDLE GROUND?" with Councillor Hutcheon. When a firm date is scheduled we will advise you immediately of the Meeting Time and Place.

SARA continues to follow this matter. There was a stormy meeting on Riverside Drive, where about 100 people met with Councillor Hutcheon on short notice to indicate their serious concerns to the Councillor. SARA has agreed to chair a meeting so that the issue can be aired and that the persons chairing the meeting and organizing it would be neutral and not live in the Riverside Dr./South Kingsway and related streets area. Councillor Hutcheon has accepted SARA's suggestion. There was a notice that Metro Council was to consider the South Kingsway/Riverside Drive intersection, but Councillor Miller's office advised us that it was a drafting error of Metro's bureaucracy which included the item by mistake.

Metro Councillor Miller has indicated a willingness to co-operate in a meeting to look at traffic from an overall Library Ho perspective. Councillor Hutcheon has not indicated a Monday: willingness to hold a meeting with SARA that takes an Tuesday: overview approach because of the cost of any study Wednesday: looking at traffic as a whole. For further information Thursday: contact G. Martinsons 766-1734.

S. Wilkinson has been appointed as the alternate to the Taskforce. Bill Roberts continues to be our representative.

We are still monitoring this matter.

Councillor Hutcheon called a public meeting to deal with such issues and invited the Liquor Regulations Sub-committee of SARA but not the SARA Parking Committee Representatives. About a dozen people attended along with various representatives. Glen Thede and Ed Gaigalas were present at the meeting. The councillor asked that if other persons are interested but were not able to attend the first one, that people attending the meeting should let his office know. Councillor Hutcheon's number is 392-7907.

In residential areas live/work is designated home/work. As the result of comments of Bill Roberts pointing out a drafting loop hole, the by-law amendment was tightened up to ensure that whether above or below grade not more than 30 sq. m. can be dedicated to such use, and that not more than two residents per dwelling can be involved in live/work. Other restrictions were added for persons under the health regulation act. For more information contact Bill Roberts 769-3162

The City has a committee which reviews signs and the regulation of the same. Ron Luft and Don Jennison sit as our representatives on the Committee. For more information contact Ron Luft or Don Jennison.

SARA continues to monitor this matter.

James Bell sits on this body which advises the City on safety, use and design issues for High Park. One of the issues presently being examined is whether cars should be further limited in the Park. The City has started test plots to find the best method for encouraging native plant growth. For more information contact James Bell.

You can arrange for any movie, book or any other library material to be delivered to the Swansea branch for pick-up. The town hall has arranged for a computer to be available during town hall hours so you can order books, etc. when the library is not open. You can also order books, etc. through your home computer. Library Hours: Thursday: Friday: Saturday: Sunday Closed 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. 1:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. Closed 10:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. Closed

We have been contacted from time to time by members and neighbours asking why SARA was not present at a meeting. Well the answer is we may not have been told or else we received short notice. Please do not assume we have been advised. Take the time to call us and let us know about meetings. When we call a public meeting we invite Councillor Hutcheon and we hope he will make sure that his staff or the City keeps us advised of meetings being called by the City. Councillor Boytchuk and, as a Metro Councillor, Derwyn Shea did, and Metro Councillor Miller presently keeps us advised.

We continue to monitor the progress of the bridges. For more information contact G. Martinsons at 766-1734.

Please note that Executive meetings are public and held normally on the third Tuesday of each month. There may be seating limitations so contact the Executive before you come to a meeting. Our Executive is: Ron Luft President; Ed Gaigalas and L. Clay, Vice-Presidents; L. Volpe, Secretary; J. Oreto, Treasurer; L. Gris, Membership, G. Martinsons, Past-President; Your Directors: Ritvars Bregzis, J. Bell, S. Campbell, Peter Chant, Tony Giniotis, Bill Gouweleeuw, W. Haines, O. Iwanyshyn, D. Jennison, M. Rew, Wm. Roberts, M. Robertson, G. Thede, R. Vaughan, and S. Wilkinson.
Advisory Committee
Ron Luft Glen Thede G. Martinsons Editor- Bill Roberts