REPORT ON COUNCIL
August 29, 2005
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 a.m. – 5:21 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:02 p.m. – 8:36 p.m.
All Members of Council present.
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 1:42 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
BLUEWATER PARK MANAGEMENT PLAN: Council confirmed staff’s recommendation that Meridian Planning Consultants, together with the Planning Partnership and AMEC International, be contracted to prepare a Management Plan Study for the park. Work began with a workshop on August 27, which involved 138 interested residents, and is to be followed by a second workshop on September 24, at 9 am, in the Wyebridge Community Centre.
SALE OF PART OF THE CONCESSION 9 ROAD ALLOWANCE: Council’s discussion about the encroachment of a cottage onto the Concession 9 Road Allowance revealed that several points that had caused concern at the public meeting on August 8 were misunderstandings. In particular, only the 1,400 square feet required to give the intruding cottage appropriate setbacks and footprint room were to be stopped up/closed/and sold. The remainder of the road allowance would continue to be a road allowance with all the rights and privileges that belong to a road. Similarly the concern that several driveways “encroach” on the road allowance is a misconception. Driveways typically end at a road or a road allowance.
In the end, Council decided that sale of roughly 1,400 sq ft, at a fair market value, was reasonable, as public interest was not harmed, and as it was highly unlikely that any future Council would seek to expand the width of the access path to the beach as that would necessitate construction of an expensive retaining wall, given the gradient.
It was also felt that the circumstances of this encroachment were sufficiently different from other encroachments onto road allowances as not to set a precedent.
COUNTY OF SIMCOE STAFF AT LOGGERHEADS WITH TINY COUNCIL AND STAFF: Without consulting the Corporate Services Committee of County or County Council, County staff has asked for a review of an OMB decision: this concerns County’s appeal to the OMB about the old fire department property in Wyevale (which was also initiated by staff without approval of County Council). Tiny had protested that the appeal was not substantive, and the OMB had agreed.
Tiny’s staff and Council believe that County’s staff should not be acting without political direction and should not be wasting the taxpayers’ money.
Council is hoping to get answers to some questions about the governance structure of County when the County Warden and CAO come to visit in October.
COMMUNITY SMALL WATERCRAFT BOAT LAUNCH FOR NORTHEAST SHORE:
Over the years there have been a number of requests for a launch site for small watercraft in the northeast quadrant of the Township. The matter was discussed and staff was asked to look into it.
Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, reported that potential launch spots had been reviewed from Concession 17 to Kettle’s Beach. The north shore was felt to be unsuitable, “as the pre-beach area is generally inaccessible or environmentally sensitive due to high ground water table and wetland vegetation.” Also, “The beach areas are rocky and it would be difficult to construct an access or to launch [small watercraft].”
Three locations on the northeastern shore were viewed as serious possibilities —
at the south end of Sawlog Point Road. (Staff recommended against this option because of the slope of the beach and reduction of the beach area.)
at the Concession 20 road allowance. (Staff recommended this option. “This road allowance was used [in the past] for access to the water by vehicles. The slope is long but moderately steep and could be readily prepared as an access by placing about 10 cm of granular ‘A’. The beach area is reasonable but the bottom is quite rocky beneath the water. The launching of [small watercraft] would have less impact at this location than at the south access of Sawlog Point Road.”)
at the north end of Sawlog Point Road. (Staff recommended against this option as requiring extensive clearing of the unopened road allowance, removal of rocks and boulders, and as having generally rough water conditions.)
Council approved staff’s recommendation of the Concession 20 road allowance. They emphasized that it was for neighbourhood use, whereby a boat would be launched and the vehicle and trailer would immediately depart, and that signage and parking arrangements should make that clear.
EXTRA SURVEY MONUMENTS TO HELP SET THE 178 METRE LINE: In 2004, survey monuments were placed on the Township’s pump houses. These monuments can be used as reference points when establishing the 178 metre line on waterfront lots. (This line is the point of departure for setback requirements for dwellings and septic systems.) Along the northeast shore, from West Basin to Kettle’s Beach, there are only three such monuments, one at the TeePee pump house, a second at the Georgian Bay Estates pump house, and a third at the Sawlog pump house. Council approved the setting of three additional monuments –at Toanche fire hall, near Camp Marygrove, and at Kettle’s Beach.
Another 7 or 8 monuments are probably needed elsewhere along Tiny’s shores and the location of these is to be considered soon.
Right now, the water level in the Bay is at 176 metres above sea level.
NEW FIRE CHIEF USES GRANT MONEY WELL: Earlier this summer, on the recommendation of Randy Smith, Tiny’s new fire chief, Council had approved six projects to use an unexpected $50,000 grant from the Fire Service Grant Program. These have now been dealt with and
there is still some grant money left. The chief recommended (and Council accepted his recommendations) that 12 outmoded pagers be replaced and that a hi-volume portable pump (400-500 gallons per minute) be purchased.
PARKS AND RECREATION OPTIONS: Ruth Coursey, CAO/Clerk, had prepared a report outlining three options for Tiny’s 6 Parks and Rec Associations. Several factors precipitated this report, a key one being the cost of insurance for recreation activities.
One option is Status Quo, according to which each of the 6 incorporated Associations would continue to manage recreational programs in its area, raise funds, and make use of many volunteers. A second is a single incorporated recreation association: this would reduce insurance costs. A third would be to have the 6 associations become recreation committees of Council: insurance would then be covered in the Township’s general policy (a huge saving), administration would be managed by Township staff (a cost), and volunteers would concentrate on programs and special events.
Council passed a motion affirming its desire to continue to have a strong Parks and Rec volunteer base, and asked that the CAO present the Report to the 6 associations at the next meeting of the Recreation and Community Centres Committee for comment.
The discussion recognized that recreation in the Township is broader than the Parks and Rec Associations. It includes Township use of facilities outside Tiny, such as arenas and libraries. Council intends to consider the broader issue of recreation and the extent and nature of the Township’s economic support of it, in due course. In anticipation of this discussion, John Theriault, Treasurer, prepared a list of contributions Tiny has made to other municipalities for use of their arenas from 1992 to 2005 – sums totalling $133,500 to Penetanguishene and $134,100 to Springwater – and noted current requests for recreation funding from Penetanguishene, Midland and Springwater.
ORAL SUBMISSION TO COUNCIL BY SAVE THE BEACHES INC.: In the evening, in a packed Council Chamber, Donald D’Aoust expressed a number of concerns on behalf of Save the Beaches. He asked for a comprehensive review of parking arrangements, for less aggressive ticketing of parking offences by by-law officers, for fewer signs, for action on beach access at a privately owned beach, for Council to intervene on behalf of the public against claims under the Boundaries Act, and for Council to take a lead role in mediation.
APPLICATIONS UNDER THE BOUNDARIES ACT: In discussing a letter from former Councillor Bob Buchkowsky about Applications under the Boundaries Act for confirmation of the boundaries of a particular lot, Ruth Coursey, Clerk/CAO, observed that the Township had sought legal opinion on whether it has any role in these applications, and was told that they were not within the Township’s jurisdiction. The Boundaries Act is provincial. The Township has no role to play and no legal standing in any hearing under the Act. [It is puzzling that Mr. Buchkowsky should ask Council to “make a concerted effort to pursue a claim of ownership” with regard to such applications. A number of these applications were made during his term on Council and his Council made no move “to pursue a claim of ownership.”]
As there has been widespread misunderstanding about such applications and the Township’s role, the clerk suggested that an information piece be prepared by staff and placed on the Township’s website.
SEVERN SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION: In its August 9 report to Council about its many projects concerning water quality and related issues, the SSEA pointed to several opportunities for volunteers to participate directly in their work. Those who want to know more should contact the SSEA office or look at– www.severnsound.ca. There is, for example, a ShoreWatch monitoring program which involves frequent sampling of temperature and clarity by volunteers and recording unusual quality occurrences. Volunteers may participate in annual wetland evaluations and benefit from SSEA’s advice and assistance to landowners interested in protecting, enhancing or restoring a natural shoreline. And there are many other opportunities.
SSEA had asked the 9 municipalities it serves to participate in creating a Severn Sound Community Sustainability Plan for our watershed. Future infrastructure money will be dependent on the creation of such a plan. The cost is $2,300 per year for the next three years.
Councillor Ray Millar expressed concern that the participating municipalities do not have identical objectives: he noted that some of them support Site 41 even though SSEA has serious concerns about it. After some discussion, Council decided that it was better that Tiny’s views be represented, especially as the amount of money involved was small. If it were to prove that the Sustainability Plan did not express Tiny’s views, then it would still be possible to create an independent Plan, and the experience of working on the joint plan would then be useful.
SEA-DOO RENTAL IN BALM BEACH: Roger Neal, owner of Sunport, has decided to withdrawn his appeal to the OMB which was to have been heard on September 8th. The result of this is that the permitted uses on his lands are: “a six unit motel; an accessory residential use; rental of non-motorized watercraft, such as canoes, paddle boats and sailboats” and that he has established “a legal non-conforming use for the operation of 6 personal watercraft” but that “no additional personal watercraft are allowed to be rented from the property.”