Council Reports: January 26, 2004

REPORT ON COUNCIL January 26, 2004 Committee of the Whole: 9:00 a.m. – ??? p.m. Evening Meeting: roughly 7:00 p.m. – 10:45 p.m. All Members of Council present
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED: ??? – ???: This concerned personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal employees. A series of requests for pre-budget approvals of various expenditures (or for matters not in accord with accepted procedures) appeared on the agenda.
WATER SYSTEM DEBTS: Users of the Lafontaine Water System, which had to be brought up to standard, owe a total of $139,003.89, while users of the defective Renouf Water System in Balm Beach, which will be decommissioned in 2005, owe $230,737.82. The outstanding totals per user are $3,500 for those in Lafontaine and $2,500 for those in Balm Beach. John Theriault, Treasurer, calculated an appropriate rate of interest to apply to the outstanding debts (one which will neither earn nor lose money for the township). The upshot was a schedule of annual payments of $450 extending over a 10-year period, with an option to pay the total immediately. The payments begin this year for those in Lafontaine, but not until 2005 for those in Balm, when the Renouf system is decommissioned. A letter of explanation will be sent to the users of the two systems.
MEDIATION: Council passed a motion that the Attorney General “affirm the mandate of the Mediators to continue with the process and specifically the Cease-fire Framework proposed as a mechanism for further negotiation on a beach by beach basis.”
DECISION RE GIANT’S TOMB DEVELOPMENT: At the previous meeting of Council, Heather MacKinnon and Ruth Bricker of the Giant’s Tomb Cottagers’ Association made a deputation urging that the area proposed for redevelopment be preserved in its natural state. Much of the island is a regional ANSI (Area of Natural and Scientific Interest) and is already part of Awenda Park. The proposed development would affect a densely forested area on the “Little Tomb” where there are rare and endangered species of flora and fauna, a point emphasized by speaker after speaker at the public meeting on this development four years ago. The developer had appealed the Township’s and the County’s failure to act on the proposed development to the Ontario Municipal Board. (In other words neither body is willing to let the development proceed.) It was decided that Nick McDonald, Consulting Planner for the Township, and Ian Rowe, the Township’s legal Counsel, should meet with the developer see if an appropriate mediated solution can be found and a costly OMB hearing avoided. (The best solution would be that the area be added to Awenda Park.)
178 METRE LEVEL AND SETBACKS: Two letters in the Correspondence section of the evening Agenda will obviously form the background of future discussions. One of these was written by Nick McDonald of Meridian Planning Consultants and the other by an official at the Ministry of Natural Resources. For McDonald’s letter, click HERE. For the MNR letter, click HERE.
TOWNSHIP COMMITTEES: During its first two meetings, new members of Council asked for various sorts of information as the basis for making decisions about Township Committees such as presentations from the current heads of committees and a report about expenditures and honoraria. After Councillor Peggy Breckenridge suggested that it would be helpful if each committee were to present reports concerning their “objectives and deliverables” in the coming year, Council decided to reappoint current committee members until April 30 to allow such reports to be prepared and to give Council time to assess the situation. A member of Council has been appointed to sit on each committee, and what each one learns will doubtless also be taken into account.
SITE 41: In the course of the discussion of last meeting’s deputation from Concerned Citizens for Safe Water, Councillor Ray Millar stated that he opposes Site 41. Click HERE for the position piece he read into the record. He also asked that when Mayor Klug makes statements about Site 41, he should emphasize that he speaks for himself and not for Council, as Council has not yet taken a position. Councillor Paul Maurice observed that there is very little awareness of the issues surrounding Site 41 in the rest of the County and that education is the key. He supported the intent of the deputation – the raising of awareness. Councillor Peggy Breckenridge opposed development of the dumpsite and made the point that all like-minded groups should work together to make a strong impression on those who need to be converted. Mayor Klug felt that the new members of Council should hear what the County has to say before voting on the proposed motion. He went on to say that it is essential that a comprehensive waste diversion program be implemented, and felt that a recycling plant would probably be located close to the County’s major population centres in the south, not in Tiny. Councillor Rob Panasiuk observed that, as no one wants Site 41, it was the duty of Council to represent that view, regardless of what any higher authority were to say about the viability of the Site. When the Mayor argued that it was not clear that everyone opposes Site 41, as there has been no referendum, Panasiuk observed that he had never heard anyone express support for the project. More, Panasiuk argued that if Council took a strong position, it might well cause at least a temporary moratorium on development of the Site while more information was gathered and solutions found. He said that Council should show leadership on this issue. The Mayor prevailed in the short term: it was agreed that no decision would be taken until County representatives make a presentation on the subject, and that Mayor Klug and Deputy Mayor Maurice should cause this to happen as our representatives at County.
SKIRMISH AT BALM BEACH CONTINUES: According to a report prepared by Earl Evans, Clerk/CAO, the cost of the proposed battle re-enactment would be $2,500 in addition to the $5,000 fee to the organizer. He noted that businesses in the area might be willing to put up some of this. In the evening, Evans again invited Dave Brunelle, organizer of the re-enactors, to make an unscheduled deputation. A final decision is to be made at the next meeting of Council or during budget deliberations.
BY-LAW REPORT: Shawn Crawford, Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, appears to be managing the By-Law Department efficiently. The number of infractions noted (and dealt with) was up significantly over the previous year in every category except parking and that, in his view, was the result of bad weather on summer weekends, $50-60 fines, and beach closures. The number of charges tripled. He had suggestions of ways his department might be made more efficient, including changes in deployment of staff and additional signage.
PRE-BUDGET DECISIONS: Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, was given permission to tender one vehicle, but only on the understanding that there was no necessity to act on the winning tender. He got permission to drill a new well in Lafontaine, as the well it would replace is showing signs that it might fail. Jim Sawkins, Fire Chief, wanted a number things and was given fewer than he wanted of one item and was asked to do more research on the others.
SEA-DOOS AT BALM BEACH: Last summer the By-Law Officer discovered that Roger Neal of Sunport Motel in Balm Beach had been renting out Sea-Doos illegally. To make his operation legal, a Zoning By-Law Amendment was required. This came forward as a public planning meeting, prior to the evening meeting of Council. Council was not adequately briefed on this matter. They were given the impression that the amendment (which permits Neal to rent out 8 sea-doos) was a house-keeping matter. No one spoke against it. This was not surprising as affected waterfront owners had not been alerted, either by the required notice (which goes to a few adjacent landowners) or by the way the matter was worded in the agenda. In the agenda, there was no reference to Roger Neal or to Sunport, no street address, no description of the issue at stake. This matter will doubtless come up again.
Councillor Ray Millar’s Statement Concerning Site 41 I would like to thank the members from CITIZENS CONCERNED FOR SAFE WATER for their report on issues and options surrounding the site 41 landfill proposal. Those of us who are opposed to the development of site 41 appreciate the efforts of all like minded groups and individuals. Having said that, I am not comfortable simply endorsing the report recently presented by Mr. Buchkowsky and Mr. Salisbury. Moreover, I am puzzled as to why they failed to introduce similar legislation during their respective terms on this council. In any case, this is far too important an issue to play politics with. Our provincial government has undertaken the implementation of WATERSHED-BASED SOURCE PROTECTION PLANNING and has already established a technical committee and an implementation committee. Next month, the work of the technical committee will be released in a white paper for consultation. This most important development will ensure that our Ministry of Environment has the best available science to work with. It will also allow continuous improvement as our knowledge increases. That is to say we can and must revisit decisions which were made before we had this knowledge base. Water is a finite resource that is essential to our health and well being. Unfortunately, many of our aquifers are poorly protected from near-surface contamination. In fact the site 41 proposal would have 1.2 million tons of garbage piled a mere 13 ft. above our water supply. To rehabilitate an aquifer following contamination, if it is even possible, will cost an astronomical sum. It is far more prudent to prevent the contamination. We can do this by influencing the location of high risk land uses. If we grudging accept that landfills will be a necessary evil in the short term, then we must only consider less vulnerable areas. By way of a Director’s Order from the Ministry of the Environment, based on reasonable and probable grounds, site 41 should be designated a drinking water source area. At the very least, this would delay the development of a landfill until a source protection plan is developed, approved and implemented. To move in any other direction would be completely at odds with the stated objectives of Watershed-based Source Protection Planning. As the Report of the Advisory Committee on Watershed-Based Source Protection states, “planning to protect drinking water sources must happen on a watershed-basis because it allows an entire water resource system to be considered as a whole – water does not stop at county lines or municipal boundaries.” Aside from the obvious negative environmental impact, there will be serious economic impacts if site 41 proceeds. At present the site 41 proposal only allows waste from 4 north Simcoe municipalities, Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny, yet all 16 municipalities of the County will be paying for this. The other 12 municipalities, after having spent significant portions of their waste disposal budgets developing and maintaining site 41, will still have to deal with their own garbage problems. The answer isn’t to find a cheaper place to bury our garbage; the answer is in finding ways to reduce our garbage as much as possible and as quickly as possible. The member municipalities of Simcoe County have a rare opportunity here. We can take the initiative and work cooperatively with each other and our provincial and federal counterparts. We can develop and implement alternatives to landfill or at least dramatically reduce our dependence on them.
Letter to Tiny Council from Nick McDonald January 19, 2004 As you are aware, Township staff and the Mayor met with representatives of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the County of Simcoe and the Ministry of Natural Resources on January 15, 2004 to discuss issues relating to the Township’s Zoning By-law. Both Ministries and the County have recommended to the Township that the flood elevation be established at 178 metres G.S.C. in the Township’s Zoning By-law. In addition, it has been recommended that, in the absence of any supporting technical information, a 45 metre setback for buildings and structures from the flood hazard elevation be included within the zoning by-law. The Ministry of Natural Resources has indicated that, as far as they are concerned, the 178.o elevation is “non-negotiable”. This number was derived by the Ministry in the late 1980’s after flooding occurred on the Great Lakes in 1986, with some of that flooding occurring in the Woodland Beach area. Attached is a letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources dated May 19, 1995 which explains how the number was derived. Although it is recognized that the water level on Lake Huron has never been higher than 177.5 (at least since records were kept), the additional 0.5 metres is added to the elevation to account for the effects of wind and wave action. Essentially, while the lake level has not exceeded 177.5, the water level resulting from strong winds and wave action may be higher than 177.5 in certain conditions. Given the position of both the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Natural Resources, it is my opinion that the Township has no choice but to include the 178 G.S.C. elevation in its zoning by-law. This elevation is currently incorporated within almost every other planning document on Lake Huron and we do not have any technical basis to support a lesser number. It is my opinion that the 45 metre setback to account for the dynamic beaches along Tiny’s western shore from the 178.0 flood hazard limit is negotiable. It is the position of the Ministry of Natural Resources that the 45 metre setback be utilized by Municipalities, unless better information has been collected on what the appropriate setback should be. In order to obtain such information, a coastal engineering firm would have to be retained to carry out this work. However, given the length of shoreline that it is the site of a dynamic beach (approximately 50 kilometres), the carrying out of such a study is well beyond the financial capabilities of the Township of Tiny. On this basis, we have two distinct options. The first involves including the 45 metre setback within the zoning by-law and requiring changes to the By-law or a minor variance to allow for any development within the setback area. The second option would be to allow some limited redevelopment within the setback area but apply the setback to new development only. Obviously, the latter option will have a lesser impact on the residents of the Township of Tiny. On the basis of the above, and in keeping with the second option, below is a proposal for Council’s consideration. 1. The By-law could permit the expansion of any existing building in the 45 metre setback area by no more than 25% of the area of the building as it existed on the date the By-law comes into effect. This expansion would only be allowed to occur if the additional habitable living area was not located between the main building and Georgian Bay. In addition, no part of the new habitable living area could be located within 15 metres of the 178.0 elevation. 2. Building a second storey on an existing structure could be permitted and there would be no cap on the amount of additional habitable floor area permitted. In addition, the development of a second storey could occur even if the building was within 15 metres of the 178.0 elevation. 3. The replacement of an existing building in exactly the same location would be permitted, provided the building was located at least 15 metres from the 178.0 elevation. An additional 25% could be added on to the replaced building as well, in accordance with point number 1. 4. The erection of a deck would be permitted anywhere on the lot provided no part of the deck was located within 15 metres of the 178.0 elevation. Decks would continue to be subject to the interior side yard requirements of the By-law. 5. New accessory buildings would be permitted anywhere on the lot in accordance with the By-law provided they were located at least 15 metres away from the 178.0 elevation. I believe that the above may resolve some of the concerns of the existing landowners along the shoreline. However, given the position of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the County of Simcoe and the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement, it is my opinion and recommendation that: The 178.0 metre elevation be included within the By-law; The 45 metre setback be included as well, subject to the exemptions identified in this report. I look forward to discussing this matter further with Council. Yours truly, Nick McDonald, MCIP, RPP Partner
Letter to the Township of Tiny: Attention Roger Robitaille May 19, 1995 Dear Sir: SUBJECT: Natural Hazards Zoning By-Law Update Township of Tiny Following a discussion with Rich Vandezande of Ainley and Associates, I am forwarding these comments on identifying flood and erosion hazards along Georgian Bay in the new zoning by-law. The flood elevation for Georgian Bay has been recalculated to take into account the historical high elevations recorded in 1986/87. The current 100 year flood elevation, including wind set-up is 178 metres (GSC). This elevation does not include wave uprush (only the calm high water level plus the tilt of the lake during periods of sustained wind). The new Comprehensive Set of Policy Statements includes Section A3.1, a Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River flood and erosion policy. Under this policy, development should be directed to areas out of the Regulatory Shoreline, ie. recognized flood, erosion and dynamic beach susceptible shorelines. Tiny has areas of dynamic beach, erodible shoreline and flood prone sections. The hazards vary along the shoreline, with flooding and wave uprush being the main hazard in some areas, and erodible beaches in others. The three main hazards and the recommended policies are discussed as follows: a) For the Tiny shoreline, a “generic” provincial standard can be applied, to define the “flood allowance for wave uprush and other related water hazards” as: a 15 metre offset measured horizontally from the limit of the 100 year flood level of Georgian Bay (178.0 metres) This standard can be applied to the entire shoreline. The policy does provide for exceptions to the rule. Where engineering studies are provided to show that the flood allowance can be reduced, or the flood hazard can be overcome using accepted engineering principles, the regulatory flood standard would be: the 100 year flood elevation (178.0 metres) plus the “engineered” wave uprush allowance b) The areas considered as “dynamic beach” includes most of the sand beaches on the west shore. Some sheltered beaches in embayments may not be subject to the same degree of wave action, and may not be “dynamic” for the purposes of the policy. Much of the shoreline development on the west shore has already occurred on dunes, within the dynamic beach area. This was evident during the high water period in 1986, when the sand beach eroded during storms, damaging many dwellings. Although the beach re-established itself in the following weeks and months, the erosion and subsequent damages could happen again under similar circumstances. It is difficult to maintain lawns in some areas, as sand is constantly shifting around the dwellings. In order to prevent damage to new dwellings located in areas of dynamic beach, a generic standard has been developed. New development must be located beyond: 1. the landward limit of the Regulatory Flood Standard (178.0 m) plus a 30 metre dynamic beach allowance. OR 2. an allowance determined by a study using accepted scientific and engineering principles to determine the dynamic beach limit. c) In some areas steep slopes along the lakeshore may be subject to long term erosion. Should any of these areas be identified along the Tiny shoreline, the Regulatory Erosion Standard would apply. Where no long term (35 year) slope recession information is available, the landward limit of this Standard would be: the sum of the stable slope allowance plus a 30 metre erosion allowance measured landward from the toe of the slope. The stable slope allowance is the distance landward equal to 3 times the height of the slope (cliff, bluff or bank) measured from the toes of the slope, or an allowance determined through a study using accepted geotechnical principles. Please refer to the Implementation Guidelines attached for more detail on the hazards and how the municipality can address them. These standards can be applied in a variety of ways in zoning by-laws. Mapping of the 178 contour plus a 15 or 30 metre setback would provide a no development zone. Development could only occur within that zone if properly engineered. An OS zone along the shore, that at least approximates this line, may be sufficient on the schedules, with specific reference to the elevations in the text. Ideally, the location of the areas within which the three policies would apply should be determined through a shoreline management plan. In the absence of such a plan, it will be necessary to rely on available information to determine areas subject to flooding, erosion prone slopes and dynamic beaches. Records of damages that occurred in 1986 will assist us in this regard, as will a review of air photos and topographic mapping. Please contact me at your convenience to discuss the various options, and how you would like to proceed given the new policy direction. Yours truly, Roy Alkema Resource Planner Simcoe West Midhurst District