REPORT ON COUNCILAugust 8, 2005Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 a.m. – 4:58 p.m.Regular Evening Meeting: 7:05 p.m. – 9:58 p.m.All Members of Council present.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 3:32 p.m. – 4:58 p.m.
STAFF APPOINTMENT: Shawn Persaud has joined the Planning and Building Department of the Township, as Planner. (He replaces Kelly Weste who has resigned her position to take maternity leave and because she is moving.)
SEVERN SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION REPORT ON PROJECTS AND ACTIVITIES: Keith Sherman reported on the SSEA’s ongoing projects.
At the meeting on July 11, Councillor Panasiuk had noted that it was not clear in the SSEA’s proposal for this year’s investigative work into pollution in swimming water in Tiny Township just what SSEA had planned for streams. He thought that a base line of statistics should be established for all streams, and that, once all septics had been brought into conformity in an area, the streams should be sampled again to see if any problems had been missed. Staff was asked to contact SSEA and make sure such stream sampling was being done this year.
That message did not seem to have been conveyed, although something had been said about streams. Sherman noted that this summer’s investigative work was to focus once again on Woodland Beach Park, Jackson Park and Balm Beach and associated streams. Lafontaine Creek (the stream that emerges into the Bay south of Concession Road 13 West) is under investigation in connection with another of SSEA’s projects — source water protection – and Sherman said that it would be possible to add bacteria analysis and basic chemistry to the work already planned if Council so wished. He said that it would also be possible to arrange air photographs of the creek’s discharges. It was not clear whether he was empowered to undertake this extra work. There was no discussion about collecting basic information on all streams flowing into the bay as a check on the efficacy of the septic re-inspection program.
E-GENDA FOR COUNCIL AND THE PUBLIC: The Township’s GIS/Computer Coordinator, Brenda Biggs, submitted a report recommending that “staff begin the implementation process of E-genda for Council and the public through the Township’s Docushare program.” This is a welcome development, as many residents of Tiny would welcome the ability to access reports and agendas electronically, rather than having to read the long agenda for each Council meeting in the Township Offices.
COUNCIL REJECTS DR. STUBBS’ TRAILER PARK PROPOSAL IN CONCESSION 2: Council voted 4-1 to reject Dr. Stubbs application for Official Plan Amendments to permit his proposed trailer park and entertainment complex in Concession 2.
Mayor Klug argued that although the public opposes the proposal, the Township’s consultants say that it can be made to work, and that therefore Council should take no action and let the Ontario Municipal Board decide whether the proposal should go forward. Councillor Rob Panasiuk observed that public opinion is important. The Planning Act mandates that there be public process when a proposed development requires Official Plan and Zoning changes. This makes it clear that public opinion must be taken into account, even if a proposed development complies technically. Council had heard from the larger community at two well-attended public meetings and that community does not want this development. He also noted that, in his view, Council SHOULD make a decision. The members of Council are elected to make decisions for the community. Failure to act is an abdication of responsibility. He said that he would oppose the development.
Councillor Peggy Breckenridge agreed with Councillor Panasiuk. No group had come forward to support the proposed development — no groups of young people spoke in support of paint ball. Council’s duty, she felt, was to represent the public. Councillor Ray Millar also supported the points made by Councillor Panasiuk. He too felt it important that Council make a decision.
Deputy Mayor Paul Maurice said that in his view some parts of the proposal had merit, but that his vote should reflect the public’s opposition to the proposed development.
Speaking a second time, Councillor Panasiuk emphasized that this Council’s request for an assessment of the economic impact of the proposed development was not to “string the developer along” but rather to allow Council to consider the impact of the proposal on the larger community. He urged the Mayor to reconsider his position. The developer was likely to appeal a rejection of his proposal to the OMB. The Township would be able to oppose the trailer park before that tribunal more effectively if the vote were 5-0 rather than 4-1. A united vote would send a strong message, and it would better reflect the community’s view. It was best to speak with one voice.
The Clerk, Ruth Coursey, reminded Council that once a decision was taken on any matter, every member of Council must support the decision. She also noted that an OMB hearing is a trial de novo. All arguments and points must be made afresh. The vote was 4-1, Mayor Klug voting in support of the proposed development.
BLUEWATER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY REQUESTS A ZONING CHANGE FOR BLUEWATER PARK: Representing the newly formed Bluewater Conservation Authority, Ian Ferguson, David Wiseman, and Andre Claire expressed concerns to Council about the proposed development of a Master Plan for Bluewater Park. In the course of a long presentation, they argued that the current zoning (Open Space) for the park is inappropriate and that what is needed is a zoning that will protect the park’s dunes.
TINY TRAIL BRIDGE DECISION: Council considered yet another set of figures prepared by the Manager of Public Works, Henk Blom, and with some discomfort (given the uncertainty of figures they had been given in the past) chose the second of three options.
Option 1 (Abandonment) was not really an option as the bridges are increasingly a public hazard.
Option 2 (Pedestrian Use Trail Option), which was based on a tender, is to cost the Township roughly $300,000 plus GST. The SuperBuild Fund is to cover the balance of the total cost of $685,000 plus GST.
Option 3 (Snowmobile Trail Use Option) was rejected as being too expensive. The total tendered cost of this option was $922,000 plus GST with the Township’s share being roughly $530,000 plus GST.
The vote was 4-1. Councillor Millar voted in opposition as he felt the cost was too great and had no confidence in the numbers.
PUBLIC MEETING REGARDING THE STOPPING UP/CLOSING/SELLING OF LAND IN THE ROAD ALLOWANCE BETWEEN CONCESSIONS 8 & 9: This concerned an encroachment by a cottage onto the unopened road allowance that gives access to the beach at Concession 9. The encroachment was accidental and of long standing, as the cottage had been built just after the World War II. The owner had asked to buy enough property from the Township to get give him ownership of the land under the encroaching corner of the cottage and a few extra feet of land to allow the required setback from the Township’s road allowance (roughly 1,400 square feet). Sale of the property would have no impact on public access to the beach (the access path runs along one side of the road allowance, the rest of the road allowance in the vicinity of the cottage being unusable as it rises sharply to the level where the cottage is built).
Janet Evans and Anthony Lancia (both representing Tiny Township Ratepayers Association) and Donald D’Aoust (of Save the Beaches Inc.) spoke in opposition. Several neighbours spoke in support of the cottager and each of them emphasized that there would be no change in public access to the beach.
Council will discuss the matter at its next meeting.