SFRA Bulletin #2: Coyotes, Condos, and Chanukah, (oh my!)

December 11, 2020

A few items to update you on this week – not all are development related.

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Coyotes: For those who have somehow missed the news, coyotes have been much more visible in southern York Region (this is a province-wide issue) in search of food. Unfortunately, several ratepayers’ pets have been attacked and even killed by coyotes. SFRA has joined with the Flamingo (North of Centre Street) and other adjacent ratepayers’ associations to see what residents can do about the Coyote situation (coyotes do not respect ratepayer association boundaries).

The ratepayers associations, Vaughan’s Animal Services team, and the Coyote Watch Canada organization on Tuesday evening, Dec 1. The Coyote Watch rep gave instruction on coyotes and their behaviour, how people should interact with coyotes, and the mistakes that bring coyotes and people into conflict (see https://www.coyotewatchcanada.com/site/coyote-resources). Animal Services outlined how they deal with coyotes and their advice (https://www.vaughan.ca/services/residential/animal_services/Pages/Coyotes.aspx). As a group we discussed what the residents can do to help. Takeaways from the meeting were (A) identify sources of food in the neighbourhood that are attracting coyotes, (B) educate residents on all things coyote, and (C) train volunteers on how to correctly haze coyotes. Volunteers who want to help on the Coyote issue (by locating unsecured food sources) are invited to contact Scott Ecclestone through springfarmra@gmail.com.

We encourage residents to put out their green bin and garbage out on the morning of garbage and recycling pickup day (not the night before) so that nocturnal animals (racoons and coyotes) don’t have easy access to human food, and to make sure that they don't leave other food garbage lying around. Like a lot of things these days (e.g. Covid) it will take a collective effort of a lot of individuals to achieve success. Talk to your neighbours (from a safe distance) and spread the word.

Condos: This Monday, our Past-President Pam Taraday-Levy attended, on behalf of the SFRA, the challenge to Vaughan's Yonge Steeles Secondary Plan by the Gupta development company looking to build three highrise buildings ranging from about 50 storeys up to 65 storeys at the corner of Yonge and Steeles. The current Secondary Plan allows for 30 storey buildings on that site. That challenge is now before the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT), a decision making body funded by the provincial government. This was an introductory meeting only and no arguments were presented. Many of the development companies, land owners, the cities of Vaughan. Markham, Toronto, York Region, Metrolinx and the SFRA attended. The LPAT hearing is expected to begin sometime in the spring of 2021. This is one of approximately 130 current appeals to LPAT from developers wanting greater heights, density, less green space etc. for their highrise projects. As the LPAT hearings proceed, we will keep our community informed and may ask for your assistance.

Chanukah: Finally, to end on a positive note, SFRA wishes all of its Jewish residents a Happy Chanukah, commemorating faith, action, and perseverance against tyranny, illustrating how the initiative and efforts of a few can lead to ultimate success even against overwhelming odds. A message I think we can all take inspiration from. Of course, this year we have to forgo our usual group gatherings and events to contain this horrible Coronavirus, so that we can ALL be around next year. Please only celebrate with the people who live with you. Support local businesses. A vaccine is around the corner, but we need to stay the course for a while longer. We can do it.

Regards, and best wishes for the holidays with your loved ones. Jordan Max


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