May 2017

Grange Community Association Open Board Meeting Minutes

Staff Lounge, University Settlement House

1.     Welcome

In attendance: Ralph, Dennis, Max, Willie, David, Nicholas, Don, Ceta, Karen, Geoff

Minutes approved, moved by Willie, seconded by Nicholas

2.      Grange Green Plan

GPAC May 18 meeting; Review of results

– Ralph reports on GPAC meeting, discussion of deficiencies in DOLA, AGO took under advisement issues including: improved lighting; cement pad around fountain; seating inside DOLA.

– Donor recognition: names of donors so far that will have signage were shared, 6 areas in the park are targeted for naming

– July 8 Grand Opening is confirmed

– Regarding bikes in the park, further to the last GCA meeting and discussion of the existing bylaw that could exclude bicycles from park, there was no follow up at GPAC meeting, so no updates on this item. There was discussion of potential for removing curb cuts to reduce bike traffic.

– Regarding paver inscriptions, Ceta reports that inquiries were made re timing and order of installation of paver inscriptions, by birth date, alphabetical or date of publication of quote, alphabetical determined as best, except for the first at north end will be Thomson Highway “Trees are who, not what ” (in Cree) and the last will be Joyce Wieland at the south end, opposite the St George the Martyr where she is memorialized.

– Regarding the Grange Park Community Council (GPCC): Reps selection process was discussed at GPAC, including method of selection of reps from community. Cressy urged community, ie current people/community reps on GPAC, to come up with our own recommendation of a process. The previous GCA meeting proposed a selection process of 1 DOLA 1 TCHC, 2 at large.

– Ralph asked Ceta to lay out her alternative process. Ceta referred to the attachment regarding community reps. Historically a community management model was requested by GCA. As approved by City Council, AGO and City have final say over financials (Operations and Maintenance, Endowment, etc).  Format of composition of GPCC, similar to GPAC, except AGO reduced from 3 reps to 1 rep, with 3 at large positions removed. Now the proposal is for 4 representatives of residents as a GPAC decision to insure continuity; for first year existing members would continue, then there would be suggestions brought forward as to how future members would be recruited. At the community meeting scheduled June 26, hosted by Cressy, the entire park process will be presented, then a presentation of the proposed representative process. Max reports that Cressy suggests we put forward suggestions for representatives as opposed to allowing for a free for all at that meeting. Ceta suggests bringing together the many organizations originally involved before that meeting to go over issues from a community wide perspective. She is organizing such a meeting. Max reports that all of the wording in original GPAC document was agreed to, the only item left is to determine how the 4 reps are selected. Significant (financial) decisions will be taken by AGO and Parks, taking into consideration other reps positions/input. Ceta indicates agreed terms allow for input and transparency, and meetings that are open.

– Ralph returns to the process of how reps would be selected. Ceta indicates that on June 26 there would be community input for future year’s reps. She is suggesting a community meeting on June 6 to refine what that process would be for subsequent years. From this meeting a proposal would go forward at the June 26 meeting.  

– Max asks how will the June 6 meeting document will be written; what is the output? Ceta suggests output will be advice on how to make the selection, a document of the meeting, no prediction of outcome. If there is no concrete outcome, then GCA can revisit this at our June 21 monthly meeting.

– Max questions who would vet rep applications, Ceta suggests it will not be the city councillor, but a nomination process with application/expression of interest.

– Ralph inquires about the role of GCA as the sole neighbourhood association active in this process. Ceta suggests that the community will determine if they want GCA to assume a determining role. Max and Ralph suggest we should be the facilitator, not determine the outcome. Dennis asks how are the elements of community to be invited/contacted, Ceta suggests that this is work she did previously at original set-up of community input.

– Geoff suggests that community meetings provide an opportunity for GCA to assume a stronger role in the community.

– Max asks who will run the June 6 meeting. Ceta says she was planning to do so and she will bring a report to our June 21 monthly meeting.

– There will be notification of the June 6 meeting, signs posted in the park, and email invite distribution including GCA membership list. Ceta will prepare an agenda and vet it with GCA.

3.     Planning & Development:

203 College St.  Max reports that OMB decided 5 things must be fixed for approval (items in previous minutes), the developer fixed all 5 and gave them to city, but the city has not responded definitively yet. City councillor distributed an essay about 203 College bemoaning that it was 29 floors high, (the city had rejected a previous proposal for 24 storeys). GCA position on amenities moved to face north (not a specific OMB requirement) was met by developer. Also developer redesigned facade facing Cawthra, which is a definite improvement. City planning is considering the revised plan. The developer must return to OMB and it would be best to get city response in advance. There was general discussion of relations between OMB and the City, and the potential for change in planning processes as a result of provincial changes of laws turning the OMB into the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

Short term rentals/airbnb.  David presented issues relating to airbnb and disruptive and illegal practices in order to determine if GCA should develop a position on this matter to contribute to the current public policy consultation and debate in Toronto about short term rental regulation. He pointed to fairbnb’s studies and proposals for regulation as models for GCA consideration. The problematics of short term rentals in condominium buildings where this practice is prohibited by law but occur nonetheless was discussed, along with the variety of housing issues raised by short term rental services. Ralph asked David to prepare a draft of a possible GCA position to lobby municipal officials.

115 D’Arcy St.  Willie reports that OMB set up hearing for July 21, Raymond will set up lawyers meeting later in June.  Ceta reports that Raymond is leaving Councillor Cressy’s office, Sam Carter-Shamai is taking over the position

40-60 McCaul: effect on St George the Martyr church.   Ralph reports that in a conversation with a person from the diocese, there is no intent to close or sell the church for condos. Reinforcement of the church foundation is occurring right now. The music gallery may be able to return by January, church services are suspended till September. Heritage designation of the church needs clarification.

30 Widmer   Max reports that GCA is involved in this development because of concerns about the impact on the adjacent Adelaide Street bike lane.

158 Peter  Max reports that Margie Zeidler has offered the 401 Richmond parking area to city as a park if an underground parking and loading access solution can be found to her building via the two towers going up on Peter on the cornersof Richmond and the corner of Adelaide. Sue McAlpine is the new planner on the file and is supportive of park. However Parks has suggested this area won’t work as a park because parks must have a street address.

452 Richmond  Max reports on this development immediately west of Spadina, currently a parking lot and 2 two story buildings. Lamb proposes an 18 storey building filling the property on all four sides, with no good means of servicing the building which squats on the bike lane. City has no expert on bicycle lanes and how they are managed. Garment District Neighbourhood Association is a Party in the OMB hearing starting on Monday. City is offering no transportation witnesses, so it is left to the community to criticize this development’s impact on the Richmond bike lane (the busiest in the city), and the inadequate community services and facilities in the area.

U of T research initiative  Max and Ralph report having an unproductive meeting with two U of T officials, concluding that there is little institutional opportunity for the GCA to join the university in community-based projects.

U of T Engineering Projects  For next meeting, all U of T Engineering project results will be circulated and presented.

Yonge St Mission, Spadina Ave   Dennis reports that there has been a person assigned to do a study of all social services in Ward 20, as opposed to the local issues facing the YSM, a study which may well dilute immediate local issues.

OCADU.  Ralph reports there will be a June 5 (subsequently changed to June 28) community meeting re OCAD development, Ralph will circulate the invitation to all.

4.  Institutional                               

Finances.  Ralph reports there are 2 more $500 donations, one in place, one to come.  There was general discussion of holding an AGM for GCA; fuller discussion deferred to next meeting

Meeting adjourned 

Next meeting: June 21, 2017, same time, same place