WVRA in closed talks with Little Avenue developer.

From Citywatch L.A.

For some reason, the Weston Village Residents’ Association will be holding private talks with Weston Asset Management, the developer of the mammoth project at Weston Road and Little Avenue. Both the community, and city planners have been highly critical of the project but now the developer and Councillor Nunziata seem to want the stamp of approval (or approved alterations) from the WVRA. This is much what happened with the Weston Hub. The nod from the WVRA was seen as adding legitimacy to the project and cut the legs off opposition along with a push for improvements to the public realm.

I asked to be present at the meeting but a couple of roadblocks were thrown my way. Firstly, membership of the WVRA is open to Weston residents only. Fair enough, I don’t live in Weston Village (I live 100 metres away). Secondly, only the ‘Steering Committee‘ will meet with the developer so Weston residents will not be able to attend even if they decide to join the association.

That smells.

The WVRA represents a few dozen people at best. It is not a democratically elected body and should not set itself up as a self-appointed architectural arbiter behind closed doors. There was a public meeting where the developer heard from residents. Was that not clear enough? Perhaps it was too clear.

Chair Dave Bennett insists that the WVRA isn’t holding a secret meeting but if it’s unannounced and held behind closed doors by a select few, it’s quacking like a duck, it’s secret, and it’s wrong.

18 thoughts on “WVRA in closed talks with Little Avenue developer.”

      1. The disenfranchisement of West Weston started in 1881 when the village incorporated in the township of York, which had the Humber river as its border with the township of Etobicoke. Throughout the 86 years of Weston’s existence as a political geographic entity, the Etobicoke inhabitants of Weston still used “Weston” as their postal address and continued to do so in the decades that followed, even as postal codes made the place name irrelevant. The matter of Weston existing on both sides of the river is not merely an exercise in linguistics: In the early 1970s, archaeologist Victor Konrad may have misplaced a “Humber Heights” native site to the east side of the river because he did not understand that Humber Heights was a part of Weston.

    1. Ok, I find this all a bit rich.

      If Roy doesn’t live in Weston, then you could make the argument that neither does the WVRA Chair Dave Bennett.

      1. Well same goes for Dave. I’m not a fan of these groups of the usual suspects that feel that they speak for Weston.

    2. From what I recall from a brief exchange, Roy resides on the non-Weston side of the Humber. Cut him some slack – he isn’t comfy with brandishing his Scarlet Letter.

      In any case – kudos to Roy for pressing on, despite the obvious resistance. Salut.

  1. This is troubling news. I know in the past I have not agreed with their collective view on what’s good for the community. Wherever possible the WVRA should push to have open forums and look for a diversity of voices.

  2. No matter what one thinks about some of Roy’s reports & perspectives, his views are no less important than someone who lives in the area of Weston known as Pelmo, Brookhaven or nearer to Dennison or Mount Dennis.

    He’s only steps away over a Humber River bridge and in this ‘hood more than you’d know.

    He deserves more respect..
    .. for giving a crap.

  3. Question:

    Is there an actual group known as the Weston Village Ratepayers Association?

    Because all I’m finding is a Weston Village Residents Association.

    Same thing, sort of?

    According to what I see, the Weston Village Residents Association seems to be a small group, headed up by a Dave Bennett.

    And, as far as notifying their membership goes – there’s nothing there on their web site about an upcoming meeting with this developer and the Councillor. (?)

    It seems that the communications role is handled by the book store lady, from Squibbs. And evidently, they don’t meet very often – if the events and newsletters section is any indication. Quite sparse, really.

    And yet, as reported above – they wield that amount of power to affect change in this community???

    How so?
    (And, more than any other interested or invested group around these parts?)

  4. Ooo… secret meetings…. I think they may be in cahoots with aliens in Area 51 too! Sounds like someone has a case of sour grapes….

  5. Okay then..

    If the WestonWeb has it oh so very wrong, again, please then explain if you can, how is it that this organization (WVRA) has apparently acknowledged an up coming important meeting – for members only.

    And, Mr. Murray was not invited or allowed to attend this or any other up coming meetings because he was not a “Weston resident”?

    WTF does that mean say the people in the Pelmo area, the Dennison area, the northern section of the Mount Dennis area, the folks from around the Brookhaven area, etc.

    Clearly, anyone who’s ever had ANYTHING to do with Weston knows the boundaries stretch further than just “Main Street”. And, that includes anyone who lives a stone throw across the River from Weston arena’s parklands.

    In addition, perhaps you can make better sense of this authoritative group’s web site, event notes & letters – all very much under the watchful eye of the book store lady, who signs off as their Director of Communications.

    She’s obviously not overwhelmed because the last two postings are dated about 10 days ago – regarding a cancelled meeting about the Weston District Conservation Authority, and the Santa Claus parade before that.

    Prior to those two recent date stamped notes, visitors can see that the other postings are from years ago, literally.

    The WVRA web page tells that the Chair (Mr. Bennett) and his committee total about 6 people, including the Director of Communications – who may have or my not have sold off her family’s long time interests.

    Whatever, it’s her business, her motivations, her right to handle her affairs her way. In any case, she’s still comfortably on site and appears to be remaining without complaint.

    Now, the WVRA’s so-called Steering Committee that Mr. Murray speaks of above totals around 14 people.

    So, if my arithmetic is close that’s about 20 people – who along with the Councillor, City Planners and of course, the Weston Asset Management group may or may not have a definitive say about what might or might not happen with this historic town’s future?

    So, other than Mr. Murray, anyone else feel a little bit concerned about potentially being excluded from an important community meeting that just may help expedite this developer’s lucrative project?

    After all, this will effect all who call this area home, and I’m pretty sure there’d be more than 20 people interested and concerned, right?

    So finally, has the Weston Web truly gotten it wrong, again?

    Or is this (according to some), truly a case of it’s none of the Weston Web’s and it’s readers business?

  6. Lol… if anyone here is a member, and then put in the time and commitment required to become a steering committee member to represent interests and concerns of Weston….then they would know what they were talking about!!! Roy should apologize for this obvious poke at the WVRA… sad really you claim to be news of Weston then try to slander the people that put in the work… Roy is not special and should not expect special treatment… he might as well invite himself over for dinner at your house!!! Just bad form and clearly shows how little he knows of the workings of such an association…

    1. Hold up, Bilbo.

      A “Resident’s Association” that purports to represent residents in any given area is not the same as being an exclusive member of let’s say a private golf club or Masonic Lodge, is it?

      If you call yourself a “Resident’s Association” it be hooves you in all your altruism to share with members & non-members alike, especially with a fellow like Roy, who’s been writing about community news & issues for years and helps build awareness in the Weston area.

      And, he’s a pretty damn good writer, too – whether reporting or serving up perspectives & opinions.

      Sure, sometimes a reporter may step on sensitive toes. But, he’s civil and at the very least, he’s sharing a variety of information gleaned with the Weston community, for what it’s worth.

      I guess that’s why Adam calls his website, WestonWeb – a blog page that actually dives a little deeper on any given topic around this community.

      And so, I would think that it would be the very least a group calling itself the Weston Village Residents Association would consider doing, too and that is share information on it’s website pages that are evidently there to communicate information with anyone willing to take the time to visit and consider the issues and concerns of the community, members and non-members alike, right?

      Otherwise, it’d be pretty elitist..
      ..and what would be the point of that?

  7. There was a public meeting in November at the high school. Did anyone attend and voice their concerns then?
    How did you hear of this “secret meeting”? If you know about it then it’s not a secret. Do you know how many meetings the WVRA have had in the past that you are not privy to? Why suddenly the need to attend this one? Do you want to out their secret Illuminati powers?
    Why not start your own association, contact the developer and conduct your own “secret meeting”. But remember, it’s a secret! Shhh!

    1. After you get your association up and running, be sure to post your secret meeting so I can attend because I am entitled, right?

  8. Don’t call Roy out on this one. It’s about time the community was made aware of what these two were/are up to….

    He’s only reporting the truth.

  9. What I find amazing is that everyone is getting their knickers in a knot over these “secret” meetings. But when there is an actual meeting in the hood where everyone is invited, they tend to be relatively poorly attended. And, if they are attended, it’s the same people that speak up.

    Has anyone read the staff report? has anyone voiced their concerns to the planner on the file? All those comments are to be collated and taken into account.

    As for the bookstore lady, she doesn’t owe us any explanation. She’s running a private business. No one running a business owes the rest of us an explanation of what they decide to do.

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