Grange Community Association
22 June 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Staff Lounge, University Settlement
In attendance: Ralph (presiding), Beverley, David, Dennis, Don, Geoff, Julie, Karen, Linda Dawn, Marianne, Max, Pesha
1. Welcome, minutes, agenda approval
Ralph welcomed members. Minutes from the last meeting, posted by email and on the GCA website, were approved. There were no additions or modifications to the agenda.
2. Grange Park
Ralph provided an update on developments with the Park:
- GPAC met last week with the following outcomes: – new AGO director Stefan Jost introduced – terms of reference for the Working Group on Grange Park Governance were proposed and a revised version will be prepared by the secretariat – Max provided an update on paver inscriptions. The working group is evaluating proposals, a list of approximately 16 finalists will be circulated widely so the final 10 quotes can be decided
- third stage of construction ends in mid-July with the east-west path from Beverley to Settlement House opened
- play equipment being delivered this summer for future installation
- community celebration scheduled for June 27 at 12:30 at north end of John St. promenade. 3. Community Standards Laneway Naming:Dennis provided copies of a map of the Grange Community area, annotated with all laneways, named, and unnamed. Ceta has forwarded a memo to the City requesting 5 laneways to be named; no objections were expressed by members. In discussion, Dennis suggests that laneway naming be publicized on the GCA website; Max suggested plaques be placed, giving information on the meaning and significance of the names and that GCA could fundraise for this purpose; and Dennis suggested staging events in conjunction with namings, e.g., for the Underground Laneway, connect with Baptist church for a combined event. It was agreed that Ceta should continue to lead efforts to expand the list, with consultation and community input. Ralph noted that homeowners adjacent to a laneway must agree to the name, as part of the City process. Filming:Ralph followed up on intent to ask production companies for donation to GPAC, as other residents’ associations and the Hydro Block have done; initially positive responses from several film companies, waiting for donations to be finalized. Nuit Blanche:Ceta requested from the city information about Nuit Blanche in our neighbourhood, and in reply, Nuit Blanche suggested coming to a GCA meeting. After discussion it was decided that Ceta should continue to talk to them directly, without a meeting required. Rooming House Licensing:Max and Ralph noted progress on this issue, with City Council directing staff to consult with the public on proposed “multi-residential rental property licensing” and report back to Council in the fall. MMVAs:The consensus was that the MMVAs had been held without serious problems, with reduced noise, a complete absence of helicopters and easier traffic and pedestrian circulation. This outcome was has been actively sought for years by the GCA 4. Planning and Development 35 McCaul:Owner/developer proposed double height and density, applied to Committee of Adjustment; Max intervened on behalf of the GCA in opposition to the development. The Committee determined this was not a minor variance and voted against proposal, application denied. 203 College St:Ralph noted that there will either be an OMB hearing or a deal will be negotiated by the City. GCA via Max organized a number of collective meetings with residents and the developer which have resulted in ten major changes to the proposal in response to neighbourhood concerns. Subsequently, a significant without-prejudice offer was made by the developer to the City. Ceta, in her own effort, has urged some neighbours to send individual letters to the City opposing the development. King-Spadina Secondary Plan and King-Spadina Heritage District Study:Max recommends attending meeting this Thursday 6:30 at Metro Hall. In his and other members’ views, King-Spadina is a planning mess, now in its fourth year of “study.” Grange Green Plan:Ralph reminded members to suggest locations or actions that they would like to see included in the GGP. He is completing a draft and will follow up with Councillor Cressy regarding assigning an intern to work with us for the summer. Professional Assistance in Future:Max has undertaken to get support from professors in planning and urban design departments at universities, especially Ryerson, to help our continuing efforts in the planning and development aspects of the GCA programme. Research and strategic help from students will be sought. The GCA has undertaken 180 interventions in the last 5 years, at various levels of the bureaucracy and municipal and provincial decision-making bodies – some major ones are listed on the GCA website. 5. Institutional GCA Incorporation:Max provided overview of rationale for incorporation:
- Party status for community associations at OMB is possible if the association is incorporated. With party status expert opinion evidence can be presented and cross-examination of other witnesses allowed.
- Federal incorporation as a not-for-profit organization is not onerous, reasonable cost, $200.
- Incorporation eases the process of appearing before OMB
- Once incorporated, we would be eligible for grant programs (for example, Friends of Alex Wilson Park, incorporated and have received a grant for repairs to the park)
- Incorporation may give us more standing and credibility with the CityRequirements of Incorporation are:
- Annual general meeting
- Report at year-end on income and expenses, but no auditing required
- One director initially, can expand to additional directors, financial liability not a major issue for not-for-profits (possibly not requiring directors insurance)
- Aims and purposes of the organization and its boundaries are modifiable
- No membership list or minimum numbers are requiredAfter considerable discussion, the meeting decided to incorporate. Motion: Max is to proceed with incorporation of GCA, initially with himself as the sole Director. Moved: Max Seconded: Julie Passed unanimously. GCA Constitution:Ralph outlined the history of GCA Constitution: one was developed but was not enacted in 2008; the issue was revisited in 2012 with the same result. The question is do we want or need one now? In the ensuing discussion Max felt no constitution was needed for our activities, but it might be good for our image; at the moment our good work and accomplishments don’t result from a constitution, but from bottom up initiatives of various members. Dennis observed that a constitution involves a range of actions and requirements, and we may not have the member support to act within the detailed terms of a constitution. He also felt that since it involves an institutional process, was it more appropriate for this group and the desires of the membership to operate inclusively and flexibly. Geoff argued to broaden the terms of the constitution beyond the currently limiting language of the 2008 and 2012 drafts, and include elements from the incorporation statement. Several felt that the issue of legitimacy of representatives of and speakers on behalf of GCA might be addressed by a constitution that defines executive and membership structures and roles. It was agreed that further consideration and consultation was needed with the intention of getting additional expertise in the organization, and a possible constitution that reflects the organizational desires of the membership GCA Banking:Once incorporation in in place, Ralph will set up a GCA business account which requires an incorporation number. May also require dual signatures for expenditures, which in turn may necessitate 2 or 3 Directors.