Item - 2018.LS25.2

Tracking Status

LS25.2 - Review of Fraternity and Sorority Houses Exemption to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on May 22, 23 and 24, 2018, adopted the following:

 

1.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, by deleting subsection 285-8C, so that a registered student fraternity or sorority house may be required to be licensed, as set out in Chapter 285.

 

2.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, to update the definition of a cooperative student residence to describe it as a student residence owned or leased by a non-profit housing cooperative that has more than three dwelling rooms with the object of providing housing to more than three students who are members of the cooperative.

 

3.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to conduct research and public consultation on potential licensing requirements for fraternities and sororities and to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee in 2019.

Public Notice Given

Background Information (Committee)

(April 26, 2018) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on Review of Fraternity and Sorority Houses Exemption to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-114429.pdf
(April 27, 2018) Public Notice on Amendments to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-114520.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(May 3, 2018) Submission from David Harrison, Annex Residents' Association (LS.New.LS25.2.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80161.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Letter from Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto (LS.New.LS25.2.2)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80219.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Letter from Christian Chan, Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity - Sigma Pi (Toronto) Chapter (LS.New.LS25.2.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80225.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Submission from Adam L. Carson, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity - Theta Zeta Chapter, 1906 (LS.New.LS25.2.4)
(May 4, 2018) Submission from David Sterns (LS.New.LS25.2.5)

Communications (City Council)

(May 18, 2018) Letter from Farrah Khan, Manager, Consent Comes First, Sexual Violence Support and Education, Lenore Lukasik-Foss, Chair, Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Sheila Macdonald, Provincial Coordinator, Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care and Treatment Centres and Amanda Dale, Executive Director, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic (CC.New.LS25.2.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82930.pdf
(May 22, 2018) Letter from Beth Black, Fraternity President, Kappa Kappa Gamma (CC.New.LS25.2.7)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82951.pdf
(May 22, 2018) Letter from Andrew Thomson, Chief of Government Relations, University of Toronto (CC.New.LS25.2.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82966.pdf
(May 23, 2018) Submission from Adam Carson (CC.New.LS25.2.9)
(May 23, 2018) Letter from Annemarie Brissenden, President, Kappa Kappa Gamma House Corporation (CC.New.LS25.2.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82975.pdf
(May 23, 2018) Letter from Annemarie Brissenden, President, Kappa Kappa Gamma House Corporation (CC.New.LS25.2.11)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82976.pdf
(May 22, 2018) Letter from Emilie Jones, President, Beta Psi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma (CC.New.LS25.2.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82977.pdf
(May 23, 2018) Letter from Lucrezia Spagnolo, Founder and CEO, Vesta Social Innovation Technologies, Inc. (CC.New.LS25.2.13)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/cc/comm/communicationfile-82979.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor John Campbell (Lost)

That City Council delete Licensing and Standards Committee Recommendation 1:

 

Recommendation to be deleted

 

1.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, by deleting subsection 285-8C, so that a registered student fraternity or sorority house may be required to be licensed, as set out in Chapter 285.

 

and adopt instead the following recommendation 1 contained in the report (April 26, 2018) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards:

 

1. City Council amend former City of Toronto bylaw, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses to require fraternity and sorority houses (called a "chapter") to submit an application as required by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards by September 1 of each year, with the following information:

 

a. certification that they are active chapters of a national or international student fraternity or sorority and that the building provides accommodation for more than three students who are members of an active chapter of a bona fide national or international student fraternity or sorority; and

 

b. the name, mailing address, email address and telephone number of a contact person for the local chapter of the fraternity or sorority and of a contact person for the national or international student fraternity or sorority.

Vote (Amend Item) May-23-2018 5:30 PM

Result: Lost Majority Required - LS25.2 - Campbell - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 14 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Gary Crawford, Jim Hart, Norman Kelly, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Lucy Troisi, Jonathan Tsao, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 22 Members that voted No are Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Neethan Shan
Total members that were Absent: 8 Members that were absent are Josh Colle, Vincent Crisanti, Mary Fragedakis, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item) May-23-2018 5:32 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required - LS25.2 - Adopt the item
Total members that voted Yes: 25 Members that voted Yes are Maria Augimeri, Ana Bail„o, Jon Burnside, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Mark Grimes, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Mike Layton, Joe Mihevc, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Neethan Shan, Lucy Troisi, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 12 Members that voted No are Paul Ainslie, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Gary Crawford, Jim Hart, Jim Karygiannis, Norman Kelly, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Jonathan Tsao
Total members that were Absent: 7 Members that were absent are Vincent Crisanti, Mary Fragedakis, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

LS25.2 - Review of Fraternity and Sorority Houses Exemption to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Public Notice Given

Committee Recommendations

The Licensing and Standards Committee recommends that:

 

1.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, by deleting subsection 285-8C, so that a registered student fraternity or sorority house may be required to be licensed, as set out in Chapter 285.

 

2.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, to update the definition of a cooperative student residence to describe it as a student residence owned or leased by a non-profit housing cooperative that has more than three dwelling rooms with the object of providing housing to more than three students who are members of the cooperative.

 

3.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to conduct research and public consultation on potential licensing requirements for fraternities and sororities and to report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee in 2019.

Origin

(April 26, 2018) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards

Summary

At its meeting on June 19, 2017, the Executive Committee directed staff to undertake a review of the rooming house licensing exemption for fraternity and sorority houses and cooperative student housing. This review included a study on the feasibility of licensing fraternities and sororities as businesses or as rooming houses and a comprehensive approach to address issues of noise, waste, and behaviour relating to fraternity and sorority houses.

 

This report recommends amending the former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, to create reporting requirements for fraternity and sorority houses to be met in order to continue to qualify for an exemption from a rooming house licence. It also recommends providing greater clarity on what constitutes cooperative student housing. To address community concerns, staff also outline proactive outreach and education sessions to be undertaken. Highlights of the recommendations include:

 

-  New annual reporting requirements for fraternity and sorority houses that will include:

 

a.  Confirmation of active membership in an international or national fraternity or sorority;

 

b.  Confirmation of accommodation for more than three students who are members of the active chapter; and

 

c.  Contact information for the national or international student fraternity or sorority, and the local chapter.  

 

-  Proactive outreach and education sessions that will be coordinated with other divisions, such as Toronto Fire Services, on issues of health and safety, noise, and property maintenance that would be targeted for fraternity and sorority house residents.

-  Better defining what constitutes cooperative student housing that qualifies for an exemption from a rooming house licence.

 
Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, currently exempts fraternity and sorority houses and cooperative student housing from the requirement to obtain a rooming house licence. Fraternity and sorority houses are defined as containing more than three dwelling rooms and providing accommodations for more than three students who are members of a bona fide nationally- or internationally-chartered student fraternity or sorority. Cooperative student residences are exempted if they are owned or leased by a non-profit, contain more than three dwelling rooms, and provide accommodation for more than three students who are members of the non-profit, non-share corporation owning or leasing the dwelling. Currently, there is no requirement for proof of status to be provided in order to validate the exemption, it is not required unless enforcement occurs.

 

In Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, a rooming house is defined as a form of shared housing that provides separate and private bedrooms to tenants and shared rooms, such as kitchens or bathrooms. Bedrooms in rooming houses may include food preparation facilities or sanitary facilities, but not both. If not exempted, fraternity and sorority houses could meet the definition of a rooming house under Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, and be required to obtain a rooming house licence to operate. There are other aspects of law related to various forms of living arrangements that also must be considered in determining licensing requirements.

 

Rooming houses in the former City of Toronto and Etobicoke must be licensed and are subject to annual or bi-annual inspections to ensure compliance with applicable legislation, including the Ontario Fire Code, the Building Code, the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and Property Standards By-laws.

 

This report includes feedback received from public consultations on community concerns arising from fraternity and sorority houses as well as possible solutions. The consultation process included one public meeting in November 2017 where over 30 participants attended, including students, residents, residents' associations, local Councillor's staff, and fraternity and sorority members. Individual stakeholder meetings were organized for residents' associations and student union representatives together, and a separate meeting was organized for members and representatives of fraternity and sorority houses. Some of the key feedback received included:  

 

-  Local residents were concerned about noise caused by fraternities and sororities hosting social events that can move onto the street, impacting neighbours and sometimes resulting in assaults and violence.


-  Most residents wanted fraternity and sorority houses to be licensed as rooming houses to help make them more accountable.


-  Fraternity and sorority representatives stated that any complaints they receive are usually resolved and that the City has been active in enforcing noise, waste, or property standard violations.


-  Fraternity and sorority representatives expressed a need for greater dialogue with the surrounding residents to help address issues as they arise.
 

These public consultations took place as part of a broader examination of the Rooming House By-law which staff will report back on in 2019.

 

Legal Services and Toronto Fire Services were consulted in preparation of this report.

Background Information

(April 26, 2018) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on Review of Fraternity and Sorority Houses Exemption to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-114429.pdf
(April 27, 2018) Public Notice on Amendments to Chapter 285, Rooming Houses
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/bgrd/backgroundfile-114520.pdf

Communications

(May 3, 2018) Submission from David Harrison, Annex Residents' Association (LS.New.LS25.2.1)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80161.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Letter from Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto (LS.New.LS25.2.2)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80219.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Letter from Christian Chan, Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity - Sigma Pi (Toronto) Chapter (LS.New.LS25.2.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2018/ls/comm/communicationfile-80225.pdf
(May 2, 2018) Submission from Adam L. Carson, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity - Theta Zeta Chapter, 1906 (LS.New.LS25.2.4)
(May 4, 2018) Submission from David Sterns (LS.New.LS25.2.5)

Speakers

David Sterns
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Grange Community Association and Annex Residents' Association
Jeff Ball, Zeta Psi Elders' Association
Adam L. Carson, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity - Theta Zeta Chapter, 1906
Kevin Tuttle, Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity
James McCreath, Zeta Psi Fraternity
Randall Pancer
Christian Chan, Phi Kappa Pi Fraternity - Sigma Pi (Toronto) Chapter
Councillor Joe Cressy

Motions

1 - Motion to Refer Item moved by Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Withdrawn)

That the Licensing and Standards Committee refer the item to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, with the request that she further consult with fraternities and sororities and report back to the Licensing and Standards Committee with recommendations on potential licensing requirements for fraternities and sororities.


2 - Motion to Withdraw a Motion moved by Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Carried)

That Motion 1 by Councillor Di Giorgio be withdrawn.


3 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Frances Nunziata (Carried)

That Recommendation 1 in the report (April 26, 2018) from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, be replaced with the following:

 

"1.  City Council amend former City of Toronto By-law, Chapter 285, Rooming Houses, by deleting subsection 285-8C, so that a registered student fraternity or sorority house may be required to be licensed, as set out in Chapter 285."


4 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor Frances Nunziata (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council