Council Reports: May 30, 2005

May 30, 2005
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 a.m. – 7:04 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:13 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
All Members of Council present.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 3:25 p.m. – 5:37 p.m.

ORAL SUBMISSION OPPOSING PROPOSED TRAILER PARK IN CONCESSION 2: The Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations and Tiny’s Residents Working Together made a joint presentation opposing the proposed development. The Federation argued that it is essentially a substandard, high density subdivision, larger than many of Tiny’s hamlets, in a place forbidden by our Official Plan, and that permitting it to proceed would post a green light to other developers interested in similarly going against the rules. It violates the “Environment First” provisions of the Official Plan, envisions managing storm water in a way which would victimize its neighbours, and makes no provision for beach access for its residents.
TRWT spoke strongly about noise, paint ball, and the impact of the development on the deeryard, and concluded by enumerating ways the developer has changed position on key aspects of his proposal.
For the full text of the Federation’s presentation, click HERE.

PARKING POLICY: Councillor Panasiuk observed that this Council has not yet considered the Township’s parking policy, and that prior to discussing the matter he and the other members of Council need a summary of the documentation that led to the current arrangement. He asked staff to ascertain whether there had been a resolution of Council and whether, if there were, it was based on a report. This information was needed before Council could address specific parking problems. Staff is to prepare a report for the meeting of Council on June 27.

SEA-DOO ISSUE AT BALM BEACH: During the open part of Committee of the Whole, Councillor Rob Panasiuk reminded Council that he had asked three times over the previous 6 months about whether a date had been set for the OMB hearing into the matter of Sea-Doo Rental at Balm Beach. Then he learned that the Township’s legal counsel, Burgar Rowe had entered into settlement discussions with the lawyer for Million Realty (Roger Neal of Sunport at Balm Beach, who rents out sea-doos). He asked who had instructed Burgar Rowe to have such discussions, as Council had given no instruction, and he had been expecting an OMB hearing, not a settlement.
Presumably this matter was discussed during the Confidential/Closed Session. For the earlier phases of this issue, see the Report on Council for May 31, 2004, when Council repealed the By-law passed in January allowing sea-doo rental by Million Realty.

10 PROBLEMATIC TRAIL BRIDGES REVISITED: The Manager of Public Works, Henk Blom, presented Council with a new set of choices concerning the 10 trail bridges (P7-P16) that need repair:
Abandon them, at a cost of $30,000 to the Township. (This was not really an option, as it did not deal with the hazard to trespassers nor the likelihood of clawback of $250,000 of SuperBuild monies already spent if the project were not completed. Moreover, there were environmental issues as pressure treated wood would soon begin to fall into the stream.)
Renovate all the bridges at a cost of $185,000 to the Township. (SuperBuild would then make a substantial contribution to the overall cost as would Snowriders who had agreed to a donation of $55,000.)
Complete P7, P8, and P9 this year at a cost of $92,000 to the Township, and leave the other bridges for later. (The problem with this was that SuperBuild funds, which must be used this year, could not be drawn on for the remaining 7 bridges. There was the risk of clawback, and the problem of escalating costs.)
Remove the bridges entirely at a cost of $350,000 to the Township. (There would be no help from SuperBuild for this option; and there would be the possibility of clawback.)
Council selected the second option on a 4-1 vote and empowered staff to get quotations for the reconstruction of the 10 bridges. (Councillor Millar opposed this choice, arguing that only the budgeted $85,000 should be spent.)

BLUEWATER PARK MASTER PLAN: Residents who use or live near the Bluewater Park at the end of Trew Avenue might like to read the News Release on the Township website, announcing Council’s decision that a Master Plan is to be prepared for Bluewater Park.
It emphasizes that there will be ample opportunity for public input.

UPDATE RE DRAFT ZONING BY-LAW: Dynamic Beach Delineation: W. F. Baird & Associates, a firm of marine engineers, are to be retained to map three categories of shore in Tiny Township: dynamic beach, ambiguous, and non-dynamic beach. This should exempt many owners, particularly on the north and east shores of Tiny Township, from the 45 m. setback from the 178 m flood hazard level. The cost is not to exceed $20,000. The money is to come from the quickly vanishing 2005 Budget Contingency Fund.
Footprint Expansion: Urged by Councillor Peggy Breckenridge, Council asked that the allowable expansion for the footprint of an existing dwelling, sideways or backward from the water, be increased from 25% to 50%.
County of Simcoe Mapping: Nick McDonald of Meridian Planning Consultants showed Council mapping from the County of Simcoe which delineates the 178 m flood hazard level, accurate to 1-2 m plus or minus. Excellent though the mapping is, it will not preclude the need for individual owners to have the flood hazard level surveyed.

PUBLIC MEETING RE DRAFT EXOTIC ANIMAL BY-LAW: Because of its continuing uncertainly about the need for an exotic animal by-law, Council decided to have a public meeting to see if new ways of looking at the matter might be presented. All those who spoke and wrote letters supported the idea of such a by-law, although two of the speakers felt the proposed by-law was too broad.

PURCHASE OF OFFICE PORTABLE: Council had authorized the spending of roughly $8,000 for the purchase of a trailer or portable building to ease overcrowding in the Township Offices. Staff bought a portable classroom for $1,000, plus $2,500 moving costs, plus $1,000 to prepare the location behind the Offices, $4,500 in all. Additional expenditures of $13,000 will be required to renovate the portable before it can be used.
Councillor Ray Millar spoke vigorously about the need for staff to follow the Township’s Financial Procedures By-law, but it was clear that all members of Council felt that the purchase was a good one, given that the extra space will be needed for some 3 to 5 years, and that the portable can be sold when it is no longer needed. The $13,000 is to come from the 2005 Budget Contingency Fund.

RENOUF WATER SYSTEM UPDATE: At the end of October this year, the Renouf Water System in Balm Beach will be turned off. So far 45 of roughly 90 properties served by the system have had wells installed. According to Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, some of the remaining properties have had difficulty finding appropriate locations for wells. This appears to contradict the report of RJ Burnside which was discussed by the last Council on March 10, 2003, and which claimed that appropriate well sites had been found for all users of the system.

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SIX COMMUNITY PARKS: There have been problems in the community parks concerning drinking, drugs, and vandalism. As Wyevale had suffered the most recent acts of vandalism, the Parks and Rec Association there sought advice from the OPP. As a result Constable Janet Small inspected the park for things that could be done to discourage vandalism. Many of the suggestions were relatively inexpensive, and have been acted upon. New signs are to be erected at each of the 6 parks specifying park hours, listing inappropriate behaviours, and displaying the symbols for forbidden activities. Constable Small is to make recommendations about crime prevention in the other five parks.

TOANCHE PARK BALL DIAMOND RENOVATION: The grass in the outfield of Toanche’s heavily used ball diamond was destroyed this spring by grubs and skunks. As the local Parks and Rec Association had outlined a reasonable plan to get the field back in order, and as there was money in reserve for that particular park, Council authorized the expenditure of up to $18,300 as the Township’s matching contribution toward costs.


May 30, 2005

Presented by Judith Grant on behalf of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations

Mayor Klug, Deputy Mayor Maurice, and Councillors Breckenridge, Millar and Panasiuk:

I am here today representing the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations, which encompasses 24 associations in the shoreline areas of this township that provide more than 80% of its tax base.

On behalf of all our member associations, I urge this Council NOT to approve the proposed “Recreational Park” on lots 24 and 25 of Concession 2.

The most fundamental reason that you should not approve it is that what is proposed is essentially a large, substandard, seasonal subdivision at a place in the Township where no subdivisions are allowed, with good reason.

Your approval of this development would send a “green light” signal that Tiny Township now gives its blessing to those developers willing to ignore the most fundamental provisions of its new “environment first” Official Plan and Zoning By-law, and invites similar proposals back of the shore.

All over this province strong pressures continue to build for development of more near-shore recreation residential properties now that shoreline sites within reach of the large cities are all but non-existent. “Innovative” proposals involving condominiums, time-shares and mobile home projects disguised as “campgrounds” continue to be put forward to slip through loopholes in the proper planning processes and exploit this market.

You must not let Tiny play into the hands of those trying to manipulate the planning system in ways that would be detrimental to our long-term future.


The Stubbs proposal vs the Official Plan

The Stubbs proposal is being called a “seasonal campground facility”, but it includes permanent buildings (lodge, recreation complex, health centre, and 10 year-round cabins. Dr. Stubbs has spoken of adrenalin sports, but also of a retirement centre. What a contradiction!

Having read through the proposal and listened to the developer’s agents at public meetings, we have good reason fear that the logic and economics of the development would be such that most of the 290 “seasonal” sites would become permanently occupied by trailers and mobile homes. It would become a seasonal residential subdivision in all but name, and yet would generate a negligible amount in taxes compared to genuine seasonal residences. The seasonal occupation of a trailer or mobile home on any other lot in a subdivision in Tiny is prohibited. Why should it be allowed here?

This proposed development would violate a number of the Official Plan Principles (emphasis added) —

#12 — “A limited amount of rural residential development, in the form of individual lots and through the process of infilling, may be permitted in the permanent countryside. The development of new residential subdivisions is not permitted ….”

# 16 — “The consolidation of residential and commercial development in existing settlement areas is encouraged in order to protect the character of the rural areas.”

#25 — “Low-intensity recreational uses are encouraged to be developed in the rural (not agricultural) areas of the Township, provided the use has a minimal impact on the open and natural character of the rural area and is properly sited.”

With its 290 seasonal sites, undefined amounts of seasonal group camping, 10 cabins for year round use, extensive sports facilities and buildings, the Woodland Beach Recreational Park is anything but the “limited” sort of development spoken of in Principle #12. If fully developed, it would bring to a rural area in Concession 2 a population larger than that in some of our hamlets!

It would not be like a golf course, or trout ponds, where people arrive, engage in a recreational activity and leave. It would be a substandard, very large, high-density subdivision. It would be a new hamlet, one that uses facilities and resources beyond the bounds of the park while returning very little to the Township.

The development would have much more than Principle 25’s “minimal impact on the open and natural character of the rural area”. In fact it would cut off a substantial chunk of the rural landscape, hide it behind a fringe of trees, and in doing so would diminish “the open and natural character of the rural area”. Every time another part of the rural landscape is cut off and screened, the sweep of the whole is reduced.

This proposed development would also violate Principle 16, which urges that residential and commercial development be consolidated in the hamlets “in order to protect the character of the rural areas.”

We almost hesitate to mention specific concerns given that the entire conception, placement and size of the development in a quiet rural/agricultural area would violate the guidance of our Official Plan. Focusing on each specific impact one at a time suggests that if that item were dealt with, the proposal might become palatable. It would not.

We believe that the whole “environment first” principle of the Official Plan has not been respected. According to Meridian Planning Consultants’ Report of October 20, 2004, the lands fall within the Nipissing Ridge-Greenbelt and the Environmental Protection II designations, but do not contain any of the major features that would give it “Environmental Protection I” level protection, and so impacts can be “mitigated”.

This sort of attitude makes a mockery of the “environment first” principle. It permits your planning consultant to express opinions like “If Council wishes to uphold the ‘Environment First’ principle as an absolute, then the paintball adventure areas should be restricted to above the ridge.” If you believe in “Environment First” then that’s what you must give precedence. The fact that areas have been separated out for environmental protection should be sufficient reason to protect them!

We urge you to hold your ground on the integrity of the Official Plan!


The Stubbs Proposal vs impacts on other properties and the shore

We note that the proposed storm water management strategy appears to have ignored several obvious problems. According to the October 20, 2004 Planning Report, it “utilizes a continuous overland flow design using existing swales and the construction of new swales and minor management facilities as required.” These swales are not on Dr. Stubbs’s land. They are below his property, on land owned by others. The comment about swales implies that the development would cause more runoff than is currently the case. In a period of intense concern about West Nile Disease and pollution in the Bay in the Woodland Beach area, it seems ill advised to permit more swales of standing water and more flow of surface water into the Bay.

Moreover, the quality of water running off an area of woodlands and fields would be significantly different from the quality of water from a development such as Dr. Stubbs proposes, with its parking lots, buildings, and intense use.

We also take exception to Meridian Planning Consultants’ dismissal of concerns about beach use demand and parking. Insofar as this proposed development would focus on seasonal recreation, it would differ from ordinary hamlet subdivision developments. They would have few of the preoccupations of a permanent residential population engaged in work, raising children, maintaining their homes and the like. Rather, if the seasonal residents, the campers, the players of tennis and baseball and paint ball, were to get hot in summer, they would have the leisure to go exploring and to try out different beaches.

We also find it interesting that at one point Dr. Stubbs claimed that he was making arrangements at Allenwood for beach access for his residents, so he once clearly recognized that his residents would want to go to the beach. He has thereby contradicted the claims of his own consultants that the park’s users would have little desire to use the shoreline and little impact on it.

We are also concerned about the conversion of agricultural land for a parking lot and driveway.  These uses would take farmland out of production and make it unlikely that it could ever be used that way again.



We ask this Council to reject the proposed “Recreational Park”, and to make the reasons for doing so clear enough to withstand future proposals of a similar nature.



Report of first public meeting re the Woodland Beach Recreational Park
Report of the second public meeting re the Woodland Beach Recreational Park
Letter from Janet Phillips, who was the chair of the Kitchen Table Committee for the Environment.