Council Reports: February 12, 2007

February 12, 2007
Committee of the Whole Meeting: 9:00 p.m. –6:23 p.m.
Regular Evening Meeting: 7:00 p.m. – 7:48 p.m.
All members of Council present.

CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: 1:07 p.m. – 1:56 p.m.

OPTIONS RE REGULATION OF FENCES IN TINY: Nick McDonald of Meridian Planning presented a report concerning the Regulation of Fences in the Township of Tiny. Tiny has an old fence by-law – 96-111 – which regulates pool fencing and nothing else. The Comprehensive By-law – 06-001, which put the Official Plan into effect in January of 2006 – says that a fence in excess of 1.8 metres (6’) is governed by the rules for structures, but supplies no rules for fences that are less than 1.8 metres in height, except in sight triangles at street corners where fences may not exceed 1 metre in height. The method that the By-law supplies for calculating the height of a fence is confusing and cumbersome.
The report recommended that, if a fencing by-law were to be prepared,
– it should be under the Municipal rather than the Planning Act,
– it should consider the issue of fencing only along the waterfront, and
– as “there is no fair and equitable way in which to develop a standard that would somehow provide for consistent treatment of fences in the shoreline/waterfront area …the only effective way to deal with the issue is to not permit new fences in the area between the wall of a dwelling facing the water’s edge and the water’s edge. Exceptions could be made to permit the replacement and repair of fences that existed at the time the By-law was passed by Council. Any new fences would require special approval.”
During Council’s discussion of the report, Councillor Nigel Warren observed that such a by-law would be seen as discriminatory, as it would apply only to shore lots, and Mayor Breckenridge emphasized that points relating to fences in the Comprehensive By-law must be fixed.
Staff is to prepare a report to assist Council in considering Meridian Planning Consultants’ report.

BLUEWATER BEACH PARK: PHASE II: In their presentation about the Bluewater Beach dunes rehabilitation project, David Leinster and Megan Hazell of AMEC reviewed the long term plans for Bluewater Park. They spoke about a five-year plan, and recommended controlling access, putting up more fencing, installing boardwalks and more signage and fenced “gardens” of native plants to demonstrate how well things grow if people don’t trample them. They also spoke of the need for education of the general public, annual spring clean-ups, monitoring, removal of alien plant species, and fundraising.
There were no recommended actions year by year and no proposed budget.
Councillor Claire spoke about the abuse of the park by those on dirt bikes, snowmobiles and ATVs and about the need for barrier fencing and board walks.

REPORT ON MUNICIPAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IN 2006: At the beginning of his Annual Report, Shawn Crawford noted that his department follows up on complaints about infractions, including those where the complainants do not leave their names, but observed that the latter get less priority. Complainants who provide their names are assured of anonymity unless they are required in court to substantiate the Township’s position on a by-law matter.
The report supplied comparative figures for 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
With regard to parking infractions, some areas usually have many parking offences – among them Balm Beach, Concession 2 West, Concession 13 West, and Jackson Park. Improved signage in permit parking areas resulted in fewer complaints.
The number of heavy pick-up items left at the roadside long after pick-up day were up significantly compared to earlier years (probably, we suspect, because the heavy pick-up day occurred BEFORE seasonal residents had opened their cottages for the summer in 2006. The scheduling of Heavy Pick-up this year is better — the week of June 4-9 for Monday collection routes and June 11-16 for Wednesday collection routes).

PROPOSED LAND ACCRETION PROCEDURE DEFEATED: As water levels drop, some problems have surfaced with regard to accreted land where Township land abuts privately owned land. CAO/Clerk, Ruth Coursey, prepared a report suggesting a procedure that might be followed when such a problem occurred.
Councillor Cornell absented himself during the discussion and the vote about the procedure.
Councillor André Claire asked that a clause about costs be removed, as, in his view, they should be apportioned on a case-by-case basis.
Deputy Mayor George Lawrence felt that affected private landowners should do a Boundary Act application rather than trying to come to an agreement with the Township. He was opposed to incurring staff costs on such matters.
Councillor Warren supported the Deputy Mayor.
Mayor Breckenridge felt that the Township would save court costs by having a procedure in place rather than simply ignoring land accretion problems.
In the evening, the proposed policy was defeated on a 2-2 vote, with Mayor Breckenridge and Councillor Claire supporting the adoption of the procedure and Deputy Mayor Lawrence and Councillor Warren opposing it.

PROPOSAL FOR GRAVEL PIT IN CONCESSIONS 1 AND 2 EAST NOT READY FOR PUBLIC MEETING YET: Staff had recommended, in its report on the extensive gravel pit proposed by the Serjeant Company for the southeast corner of the Township, that it was time to have the required public meeting.
However, it was clear in the report that some essential information had not yet been forwarded. Councillors Claire and Warren, therefore, felt it inappropriate to go to a public meeting.
Also, the County of Simcoe had raised a series of concerns about the potential impact of the proposed gravel pit on the proposed landfill at Site 41. Councillor Cornell and Mayor Breckenridge felt that nothing should be done until a final decision had been taken about Site 41.
It was agreed that a presentation by the Sarjeant Company should be delayed until after the County’s waste disposal information session and after any vote that might be taken by County Council on Site 41, and, further, that the required public meeting be delayed until full information had been made available.

ANOTHER UNDERSIZED LOT PROBLEM: When members of Council expressed concern that, on the basis of a report prepared by the Township’s Planning Department, the Committee of Adjustment had okayed a new lot that was less than half the size required by the Township’s Official Plan, Ruth Coursey, Clerk/CAO, said that a report would be prepared about ways the intent of the Official Plan could be made clear and unambiguous.

RESPONSE TO BALM BEACH VOLUNTEER IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE PROPOSALS: In his response to the requests made by the Balm Beach Volunteer Improvement Committee (this is an independent group, NOT a committee of Council), Mr. Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, opposed many of the suggestions, said that Township staff would complete others, justified current Township procedures, and emphasized that Township staff are to manage the work in Township parks. He stated bluntly: “private individuals not be permitted to complete work on municipal beaches. Such work was previously stopped due to Township liability for third party actions, health and safety of the third party workers and the public, and the Township not being informed of the scope of work or when work was to occur.”
Council approved the report’s recommendations.

PROPOSED SEVERN SOUND ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATION BUDGET and REPORT: Keith Sherman asked Tiny Township for $33,933 as its share of the work the SSEA plans to do in 2007:
$2,300 for the third and final year of a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainability study
$25,000 for beach monitoring
$12,000 for reevaluation of the Tiny Bog, and
$6,970 for SSEA operating costs.
He then presented results of investigative work in 2006 in the main stream at Balm, the stream just south of Jackson Park, the Lafontaine stream, and the stream that emerges at the shore near the 6th Concession Road West. The SSEA looked at stream temperatures, E. coli densities, and nitrates. It had also done a little more work on the Nottawasaga plume. Mr. Sherman observed that more work could be done on sources of pollution.
(NOTE: In its letter to Council about various water investigations being undertaken in Tiny Township, the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations asked that the SSEA supply details about its findings regarding one especially polluted tributary of the Lafontaine stream, about follow-up regarding the Nottawasaga River plume of silt, about what it proposes for the summer of 2007, including the objectives of the research and what could then be done to improve the situation. Almost none of this was supplied.)
Bruce Beauchamp of the Barrie office of the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit noted that the Health Unit is looking for a predictive tool – a combination of circumstances that always produces high E. coli counts – as a basis for posting a beach rather than waiting two days for laboratory results.
(NOTE: In its letter to Council, the Federation had asked for the results of research undertaken last summer for the Health Unit by a Ryerson student. Nothing was said about this. Mr. Beauchamp had not seen the Federation’s letter, which went to Mr. Jerry Kapko and had not been forwarded to him.)

GEESE MANAGEMENT: Council adopted the North Simcoe Geese Management Strategies Report, decided that Terry Breckenridge and Rodger Yeatman should continue to represent the Township on the NSGMC, agreed to put aside $2,000 to cover costs, primarily of public education, and designated the as-yet-to-be-hired Recreation Coordinator as the staff resource person with regard to geese.

PAUZE PLUME AGAIN: The Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations had written to the Ministry of the Environment to express concern that a recent Ground Water Quality Review near the Pauze Dump Site showed that a leachate plume continues to escape from the dump and that information in the Review had not been made available to the Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit, the Municipality of Tiny Township, or the public generally.
Council decided to endorse the views expressed in the letter and to send appropriate letters.