Council Reports: May 8, 2006

Fence in Balm Beach; Bad News on Taxes for Shoreline Owners; Septic Re-Inspection Program Moves Inland in 2006; Contractors Wanting Beach Access; Beach Delineation Markers; Parking Change at the 8thREPORT ON COUNCIL
May 8, 2006
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:00 p.m. – ??? p.m.
All members of Council present.


FENCE IN BALM BEACH: When the Members of Council returned from their tour of shore parking hot spots, they found every seat in the Council Chambers filled, with many standing around the periphery. The crowd had gathered because John Marion, who owns a waterfront property in Balm Beach, had begun to erect a fence to the water’s edge. Janet Evans presented herself as a spokeswoman for the assembled group and spoke for more than half an hour. Kathy Speers of Save the Beaches Inc also spoke. Several others expressed concerns for public safety and about the possibility of teenagers acting in ways that would result in the police laying criminal charges against them. There were demands that Council get the fence removed.
Various things were said in the course of the next hour and a half.
According to Roger Robitaille, the new Zoning By-law, which, subject to the expiration of the OMB appeal period, takes effect as of January 9, 2006, provides that structures (a defined term) are subject to required setbacks from lot lines. Fences that are 1.8 meters or less are excluded from the definition of structure and as such are not subject to setbacks. At the time of the meeting Mr. Marion’s newly erected fence had not been determined in/out of compliance with the Zoning By-law.

At various points, Councillor Rob Panasiuk noted that
Amending the Zoning By-law takes a long time – at least 90 days.
Mr. Marion had made an application under the Boundary Act to extend his lot lines to the water’s edge. The Township had no standing at the hearing about his application, as it concerned the confirmation of side lot lines, and the Township’s only abutting boundary with the property is the road. Any appeal of the decision concerning the boundary is likewise outside the control of the Township. The Township received notice about the application as a courtesy, as it had asked to be notified about Boundary Act applications within Tiny’s borders.
Preparing and enacting a fence by-law can be done in a much shorter period than 90 days.
Garfield Dunlop (Conservative MPP for Simcoe North) was the appropriate recipient of some of the requests of the group.
Council decided to have a draft fencing by-law prepared for review and discussion.

BAD NEWS ON TAXES FOR SHORELINE OWNERS: The salient points are as follows:
10.78% increase in the County Levy
9.40% increase in the School Levy
.89% DECREASE in the Municipal Levy
4.5% increase overall
A more rapid rate of increase in assessment in Tiny than for Simcoe County as a whole means that the Township will be carrying a larger proportion of the County and School Levies. In addition there is a continuing shift of the tax burden onto shoreline properties caused by their increases in assessed values relative to rest of the township. The result is that, on average, taxes for shoreline properties will be going up about 16%. (Recently it was learned that the direct shore now pays between 42 and 43% of the total taxes in the Township.)

SEPTIC RE-INSPECTION PROGRAM MOVES INLAND IN 2006: This year re-inspections will be done in Concessions 1-10 east of Baseline Road, including Wyebridge, and also in Concessions 9-14 east of Tiny Beaches Road North.
Where deficiencies still exist in systems inspected from 2003 to 2005, follow up work will continue.

CONTRACTORS WANTING BEACH ACCESS: Council approved a policy prepared by Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works concerning beach access. Now, when a contractor needs to access the beach at a road allowance and cross private properties en route to a property where work is to be done, form PWF-01-01 (available from the Public Works Receptionist) must be completed by the property owner or contractor and permission must be sought not only from the Township but from owners of the shore properties that would be traversed.

BEACH DELINEATION MARKERS: No poles marking the boundaries of Township-owned beach parks have been installed since 2004 when the parks at Waterview (the 4th) and at the 9th were delineated. This year the road allowances at the 7th, the 8th, the 11th, and the 13th are to be delineated. Councillors Panasiuk and Breckenridge asked that poles have bright tape affixed to them and that more poles be placed along each of the side lot lines of these shore parks, so that the boundaries of the park are clear.

PARKING CHANGE AT THE 8TH: The two handicapped spots at the road allowance are to remain. The 18 spots along the side of Stott Park are to continue to be reserved for Permit Parking. The permit spots adjacent to Camp Wildman will now be signed No Parking because of safety issues.