March 2019 Executive Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes Icon

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

7:00 pm at 79 Regal Rd

Attending: John Keating (Chair), Beth Marcilio, Linda DiGiorgio, Carol Gallagher, Harry Lay, Dave Meslin, Peter Norman, Margaret Smith, Florence Watts

Regrets: Rosa Cordiano, Brigid Higgins, Kevin Johnston

1. Development

a) RHRA Development Strategy

Peter Norman, proposed a motion for the RHRA to adopt a formal policy on planning and development matters. The motion would formalize what, in Peter’s understanding, has long been the unofficial position of the RHRA. The motion is based on the position that the RHRA represents all residents and, as such, collects and transmits information on all matters of interest to the neighbourhood without taking a position regarding matters on private property. The motion reads as follows:

“Whereas the Regal Heights Residents’ Association (RHRA) represents all residents within our catchment area; and

Whereas the RHRA serves primarily to make life better in the beautiful community of Regal Heights; and

Whereas the RHRA has been entrusted by a large proportion of its residents to communicate information directly to residents and to provide a reliable and trustworthy link between our residents and public officials and entities; and

Whereas the RHRA finds itself in a position to assemble information from public officials and entities on matters that affect private property within its area and is committed to sharing that information transparently with its residents.

Be It Resolved that;

1.       On planning policy matters that affect private property, RHRA will commit to sharing all relevant information with its residents, but will not adopt, officially or unofficially, any advocacy position on said matters; and

2.       On development matters that affect private property, RHRA will commit to sharing all relevant information with its residents, but will not adopt, officially or unofficially, any advocacy position on said matters; and

3.       That the RHRA will not initiate or pursue any strategy or policy that seeks to impose controls on the use of private property within its catchment area; and

4.       Notwithstanding the above, that the RHRA will encourage any groups of residents that may from time to time take on such advocacy positions on such matters, to update the RHRA on their activities during executive or public meetings and that the RHRA with its discretion share any and all relevant information related to or provided by such groups to its residents.”

The motion was discussed at considerable length and some questions included: What if developments on private property have significant impact on the public realm?; Should there be a distinction drawn between private residential and private commercial properties?; Should the motion include provision to bring items of significant interest up in a public meeting hosted by the RHRA? What about the value of a “unified voice” from a body like the RHRA, to represent the neighbourhood, on matters that concern a large number of residents, even if there are other residents in the neighbourhood who are not onside with that voice?

Dave Meslin raised some additional ideas to consider including that the RHRA: should actively encourage and facilitate residents to engage in such matters; work up a list of general guidelines that everyone can accept; take a formal position when there is general consensus; and/or conduct straw polls to determine proportions of support on any given matter.

A vote on the motion was deferred. A second motion was passed to strike a subcommittee to refine the motion before the next executive meeting on April 16th in order to prepare the motion for the general meeting in May. John Keating, Margaret Smith, Peter Norman, Dave Meslin, and Harry Lay volunteered for the committee. Kevin Johnston was nominated in absentia.

b) Update on Development at 861 St. Clair Ave

Harry Lay reported on a public meeting held on March 5th during which the developer had given a general overview of the project and explained numerous variances in the application. At that meeting, members of the public had the opportunity to pose questions and gain further information.

The developer requested a follow-up meeting to review in more detail the impact of the requested variances. Mitch Abrahams, president of the corporation behind the project, met with several member of the RHRA executive on March 11th. The variances have mainly to do with how the setback is interpreted to include the laneway abutting the proposed development, and with a proposed amenities room covering part of the roof. These discussions were useful for the RHRA to monitor proposed developments and act as an information conduit so that residents can stay informed. More information can be found on our portal page HERE.

2.Street Beautification

a) Gardens, Graffiti, Garbage

Florence Watts noted that there is a lot of graffiti in the neighbourhood. Everyone is reminded to call 311 to have the city remove graffiti from public places. It was also noted that the neighbourhood is experiencing the usual problem of garbage surfacing with the spring melt.

The gardening discussion was deferred.

b) Replacement of Willow with Memorial Tree

John Keating reported that the City forestry department is planning to plant a tree likely this spring to replace the large willow that stood on Springmount Ave. near Rosemount. It will be a memorial to the late Anne Marie D’Amico. The RHRA is currently in communication with Councillor Ana Bailão’s office about landscaping the site. The RHRA proposes using its volunteers to do the work, with the support of the City.

c) Annual Toronto Spring Clean-up Saturday April 27

John Keating has registered our neighbourhood and sent maps of the garbage pickup points to the city. The cleaning blitz will start at 10am at the Oakwood CI parking lot. Dave Meslin volunteered to be the main coordinator to assign teams to streets. Carol Gallagher will contact Oakwood CI to solicit student volunteers to assist Dave as organizers for the event. John Keating will invite Ana Bailão to the event.

3. Communications and Planning

a) Communications

Peter Norman reported that there has been the usual activity of emails sending news to the community. A few more people have recently joined the neighbourhood Facebook group.

b) Traffic Light Initiative Update

John Keating indicated that there will be more updates by April. The initiative is still on track for a light to be in place at the corner of Rosemont and Oakwood by September.

c) Update on Regal Heights Newsletter

Dave referred to the scheduled meeting on March 21st to address the newsletter. He has had several people express interest in working on the newsletter.

d) RHVBIA Update

Margaret Smith presented a draft letter from RHRA and Northcliffe Village RA considering withdrawal of attendance at BIA meetings. She reported that the BIA executive is taking a direction that does not invite involvement with neighbourhood associations. The draft letter was discussed and John and Margaret will make suggested changes to the draft and liaise with the Northcliffe Village Residents’ Association on the issue.

e) What to Include in RHRA Archives

Florence Watts reported that she is in possession of a large quantity of RHRA archival materials dating back to the 1970s, including assorted maps, minutes, photographs and a treasury of other items. The question was raised as to how much should be retained and how best to preserve it so that it is accessible to others. After some brainstorming it was decided that next fall we will hold an event to sort, photograph and digitalize the materials. The date was tentatively set for November 30th. Volunteers will be needed for this undertaking.

f) Statement of Recognition of Indigenous Heritage

Florence Watts proposed that the RHRA website include a Land Acknowledgement of Traditional Territory. A motion was passed that Margaret Smith will research a passage to post on the home page of the website.

4. Police Community Partnership

The report was deferred. It was suggested that we designate a back-up representative to attend meetings when Rosa is unavailable, to ensure regular updates from the community meetings at 13 Division. A volunteer with an interest in attending PCP13 meetings to be back up is needed.

5. Special Events

a) Street Sale Update

John Keating and Kevin Johnston are setting up a meeting with the Danforth East Community Association which currently has the biggest street sale in the city. This will generate ideas on how to maximize attendance at our 2020 street sale.

b) Reminder: March 21 Meeting on Street Party, Maple Syrup, Newsletter

Dave Meslin is holding the meeting at his home at 15 Lauder on March 21st. This year, the RHRA is tapping 6 trees. The boil-down will be on Springmount with a date soon to be announced. Dave requested funds to a maximum of $250 to defray costs for the maple syrup project. A motion to approve the spending was passed.

c) Gardening Budget Request (new business)

Florence requested approval of a $70 expenditure to repair the disintegrating barrel holding the tree at the top of the Springmount stairs. Richard Cavanaugh can make the necessary repairs. A motion to approve the expense was passed.

d) TANGO Summit

Dave Meslin reported that there have been 180 positive replies for the event on April 6th from 10am-4pm in City Chambers. Mayor Tory and Councillor Ana Bailão will attend. There will be guest speakers form London and Guelph. Dave also mentioned that the TANGO interactive map has been updated on the website www.TANGO.to.

e) Report of United Neighbours Fund-raising Concert for Syrian Family (Item deferred)

f) Councillor Ana Bailão Easter Egg Hunt April 20th (Item deferred)

g) Location for Public Meeting in May

The Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library has offered its space to host the public meeting in May. The Library has requested that the meeting end at 8:15. John will write the librarian about extending the hours until 9 pm.

6. Community Welcome Project (Item deferred)

7. Finances

Linda DiGiorgio provided the following figures. Discussion was deferred.

  February 19, 2019 March 19, 2019
Operating Fund 9,839.89 9,759.00
Heritage Fund 276.00 276.00
Street Sale Fund 192.00 192.00
Petty Cash 226.00 226.00
TOTAL 10,533.89 10,453.00