January 2019 Executive Meeting Minutes

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Regal Heights Residents’ Association

Minutes of Meeting

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

7pm – 57 Regal Road

Attending: John Keating (Chair), Florence Watts, Jeff Warden, Brigit Higgins, Harry Lay, Linda DeGiorgio, Kevin Johnston, Richard Cavanaugh, Patrick Murtaugh, Marie Goldthorpe , Peter Norman, Margaret Smith, Andrew Tay, Edwige Jean-Pierre, Dave Meslin, Carol Gallagher, Ana Bailão (City Councillor), Manuel Lomba (City Councillor’s office), Julie Dzerowicz (MP for Davenport), Chris Dunn (urban planning guest speaker)

Regrets:  Mary Ann Quance, Beth Marcilio, Rosa Cordiano

Greetings from Ana Bailão, City Councillor for Davenport

Ana Bailão brought greetings from Council and reported on her participation on various committee and initiatives. She hopes to be available in her office most Fridays. Ana is actively involved in looking for ideas to connect different community organizations throughout the ward. Her assistant, Manuel Lomba, will attend our monthly meetings. 

1.  Street Beautification

a) Garden plan updates, graffiti, garbage (deferred)

b) EcoSchools project for Daffodil Hill

Richard Cavanaugh introduced Patrick Murtaugh, teacher at Regal Road PS. Patrick plans to set up an outdoor education program with an outdoor learning area at the school. They have started with a composting program at the top of Daffodil Hill and Patrick inquired about the community’s history of involvement on Daffodil Hill. Florence reported that since 1999 well over 3,000 bulbs have been planted on the slope. Patrick is gathering information from EcoSchools and Foodshare and would appreciate community volunteers to help bring projects to life. Anyone with ideas for involvement can contact Patrick at Murtaugh@gmail.com.

2. Communications and Planning

a) Communications and mailing list update:

Peter Norman reported that one recent addition to the RHRA website (regalheights.ca) is the “Committee of Adjustments Tracker” through which residents can be aware of development applications. It was further noted that there will be a public meeting in January regarding an application concerning redevelopment of 831 St. Clair Avenue at the corner of Winona. That public meeting is scheduled for 6pm Monday January 28th and will take place at Oakwood Collegiate. Councillor Bailão will be in attendance. Peter reported that the RHRA currently has 452 registered email subscribers and roughly 500 followers on Twitter. There is also a new Facebook group that lets community members post and discuss items of interest. Agendas for executive meetings are now posted on the website one week in advance. These meetings are open to the public (advance notice of attendance appreciated to make sure there is enough space). It was suggested that agendas also be posted on the kiosk on Rosemount Avenue. Florence reported that there is a small number of copies of the monthly minutes printed and hand-delivered to residents who do not have email. Please provide Peter with feedback and info to keep the website up to date.

b) Regal Heights Newsletter (deferred)

c) Drive to increase participation in RHRA

John Keating reported that the GoFundMe drive was very successful raising $5000. A one-time door-to-door flyer is also proposed to inform residents of the association and collect email addresses for distribution lists; this could be at the same time as the newsletter proposed by Dave Meslin. Volunteers would be needed for the distribution. Watch for developments.

d) Traffic light initiative at Rosemount and Oakwood

Kevin Johnston reported that the application for a light was approved by community council; the next step is a TTC review, and then the request is prioritized for acceptance by council. The light would ideally be installed before next September and Kevin suggested that an on-line petition could be set up to advance the process. Residents observe that the traffic calming barriers on Oakwood (a city pilot project) are having a beneficial effect. It was asked if the electronic flashing speed displays could be secured. Ana Bailão explained that these signs are installed as part of the Vision Zero School Safety Zone initiative and she has requested that Dufferin Street near Regal Road PS be also considered for this designation. She may need assistance from residents in collecting relevant information for this review.

e) Movement regarding transit uploading

Margaret Smith introduced the Defend Toronto movement to rally opposition to the uploading of the subways to the province. The organization will also be discussing the redevelopment of Ontario Place. Information about this movement can be found at defendtoronto.org.

f) RHVBIA

Margaret Smith reported that the Regal Heights Village BIA elected several new members to its board at the AGM in November and that the new BIA executive will be elected at their next meeting in February. The RHRA will continue to work with the BIA to support neighbourhood initiatives that strengthen our community.

3. Police Community Partnership (deferred)

4. Special Events

a) John Keating confirmed that the next Regal Heights Pub Night is February 28th

b) John Keating reminded everyone of the Family Games Night on Thursday Jan 17th

c) Cancer Society inquiry: John Keating received an email from Bradley Stevenson from the Cancer Society asking if the group could partner with the RHRA in April for their annual daffodil sales fundraiser. No specific action was decided upon at this time.

5. Community Welcome Projects

Harry Lay reported that several packages have been distributed to new households since the last meeting in November. Updated materials are still needed from various organizations. Ana Bailão will send the new Waste Management calendar along with her welcome letter; there are Seniors calendars available with additional information.

6. Finances

Linda DeGeorgio reported the following figures.

Spending was clarified upon request (gift to retiring Councillor Palacio, song sheets and donation to Salvation Army Band for December Carol Sing)

  November 20, 2018 January 15, 2019
Operating Fund $10,491 $9,839.89
Heritage Fund $276 $276
Street Sale Fund $192 $192
Petty Cash $250 $260
     
TOTAL $11,209 $10,567.89

7. Development Issues

a) Strategies for better control of development

Kevin Johnston introduced Chris Dunn, an urban planner with experience in City of Toronto’s Heritage Preservation Services. Chris addressed what neighbourhoods could do if they wanted to have more say in minor variance and other redevelopment applications within their areas. He discussed the approach used in Cabbabetown, Wychwood Park and elsewhere of attaining a “Heritage District” designation, which then provides protections under the provincial Heritage Act. He clarified that the Heritage District is an “architecture focused” approach rather than natural landscape focused. He also discussed other approaches undertaken in different parts of the city, some of which were more symbolic, and had “no teeth”. He provided an overview of approaches and options to proactively address development proposals according to priorities identified by the community. The review process to achieve a Heritage Designation is costly (between $50,000-$100,000) in part due to fees for consultant reports. Chris suggested that a more practical approach is for the community to define its key characteristics (and he suggested that some of the witness statements prepared by consultants for the 49-51 Springmount TLAB matter already provide some of this information) which can form part of the required materials for the review. He also warned that a Heritage District approach can have pros and cons, as it reduces the freedom of existing homeowners to undertake changes they may want or feel are necessary to their own properties. In the end, he suggested that seeking a “Cultural Heritage Landscape” designation might be more appropriate for Regal Heights

b) Intersection of Springmount and Regal Road

Ana Bailão reported that there will be a public meeting in early March for the pilot project at the intersection of Springmount and Regal Road.

Greetings from Julie Dzerowicz, MP for Davenport

Julie Dzerowicz applauded the establishment of the new local paper, The West End Phoenix. She stated that Toronto MPs will be working with the province regarding integration of the regional transit system. All are encouraged to check her website for new initiatives and funding for programs.

Meeting adjourned at 9pm

Next meeting to be held at 15 Lauder, home of Dave Meslin,

Tuesday, February 19th at 7:00 p.m.