January 14, 2002
Committee of the Whole 12:08 pm 5:05 pm
At Township Roads Complex
Evening Council Meeting 7:00 pm to 8:34 pm
In Council Chambers
All members of Council present

CONFIDENTIAL/CLOSED SESSION: From 3:30 pm pm to 4:55 pm.

NEW STAFF APPOINTMENT: Angele DesRoches is the new fire department secretary.

DEPUTATION FROM FEDERATION OF TINY TOWNSHIP SHORELINE ASSOCIATIONS: Presented by Al Taylor, one of the Federation's directors, this argued that written submissions on issues that will result in Zoning and Official Plan changes should be presented in a way that makes their import clear. He was asked whether the deputation represented the views of the directors only. He replied that it had been circulated to member presidents and representatives for input. Click here to read the text of the deputation.

TINY TRAILS BRIDGES TO BE SUPPORTED BY GRANTS, RESERVES AND YOUR TAXES!: The province has awarded $364,200 to the Tiny Trails for bridge reconstruction under the SuperBuild Sports, Culture & Tourism Partnership Initiative. As this funding is given on a 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 basis, this means that the federal government's share-- $364,200 --is virtually assured (though it is not yet confirmed), AND THAT THE REMAINING $364,200 WILL BE RAISED IN TINY ITSELF (a point that was not obvious in the way the matter was discussed by Council).

The SuperBuild monies are to be received and spent over a three year period.  This year, Tiny's contribution ($125,000) is being drawn from the Parkland Reserve Fund.  However, according to the treasurer, the Parkland Fund will be reduced to nothing by the end of this year because of the many large expenditures Council has planned (some $205,000 in addition to the $125,000 for bridges).
So next year's $125,000 for bridges will have to be raised from Tiny's taxpayers, as will the following year's $125,000!

SHORELINE ISSUES 2002: David Lambden, the township surveyor, has not yet done the surveys for five sites that were requested by the Parking Advisory Committee last summer. The necessary application for increases in parking fines (and for fines for building infractions) has not yet been made. The list of fines was passed on November 26.

Councillor Frank Hughes brought forward a motion that Township shoreline property be delineated with boulders and by signs saying this is where Township property ends. He was concerned that visitors know when they are on private property, and that motorized vehicles be kept off the beaches. It was agreed that at right-of-ways and Concession ends, the end red posts would be left in place, as they are a signal recognized by township residents, and the middle ones replaced by boulders. There was no agreement about signs at the boundaries of the township's property on the beach or about boulders marking the limit of township land on the beach.

Decisions are to be made about Shoreline Issues at a special Committee of the Whole on Monday, January 21 which is to begin at 9 am.

SMOKING BYLAW: The Medical Officer of Health has asked all municipalities in Simcoe County to ban smoking in all public places. He was moved to act by grim statistics. Simcoe's mortality rate from smoking related illnesses is unusually high; many of the deaths are suffered by non-smokers. Council feels that Tiny should make its move in concert with its neighbouring municipalities so that inequities do not put local businesses at a disadvantage. The public meeting on the subject on Monday at 7 pm in the Municipal Offices at 130 Balm Beach Road West is to be chaired by Peter Archer. Let us hope Council acts strongly on this important public health issue.

FIVE WELLS NEED STUDY: Herb Proudley, Manager of Public Works, reported that five wells may be under the influence of surface water -- Pennorth, Georgian Bay Estates, Georgian Sands, Lefaive, and Rayko -- and that studies are required at a cost of $82,300. As Rayko needs a new well -- at a cost of $75,000 to $100,000 -- that particular study won't need to be done, reducing the cost for studies somewhat. [Water systems are user pay, so these expenses will fall on water system users only.]

DEPUTY CLERK APPOINTED: The appointment of an interim deputy clerkJohn Theriault, the Township's treasurer--was approved.


Presented by Al Taylor

This deputation was prompted by the way our consulting planner Nick McDonald introduced the written submissions at the beginning of the public meeting on the Stubbs' Trailer Park proposal on December 1. He listed 25 written submissions -- 15 letters and 10 reports (according to the minutes) -- characterized each one briefly and said whether each supported or opposed the proposal. These 25 items were presented in no particular order or grouping. It was not easy to make sense of their implications.

What was done on this occasion was typical of the way written submissions on planning matters are handled. On several occasions we have found ourselves reflecting on what this material was supposed to demonstrate.

There's no question that the blunt totals -- so many for, so many against -- have an impact and this impact comes right at the beginning of the Planning Meeting. These totals affect the way the public assesses an application.

Yet it would appear that anyone can write a letter supporting or opposing a proposal and that each letter is counted as one letter in support or one in opposition no matter who writes it.

We urge that some thought be put into how these letters and reports are evaluated and presented.

We would argue that some letters should be disregarded entirely and not mentioned, such as

--letters from the developer and his relatives (there were four such letters on December 1). Yet the developer has had his say in the development proposal itself, in the reports in support of the proposal by his experts, and in the oral presentation he makes in support of his proposal to the public meeting.

--letters which are character references for the developer but say nothing specific about the proposed development

--letters of support written by consultants hired by the developer (these seem not to have been reported in the minutes of the December 1 meeting, but at the meeting itself, they had the effect of swelling the chorus of support for the proposal)

We would argue that letters written by individuals who are not tax payers in Tiny be disregarded unless they have something especially important to offer. Why--except in unusual circumstances--should the opinion of a non taxpayer be given equal weight with one written by a tax payer in Tiny. (An example of a letter which ought to be taken into account would be one concerning an environmental impact of a development in Tiny for a municipality or individual outside Tiny.)

It seems to us that letters submitted by associations representing many people should be given greater weight than letters submitted by one individual.

Sorting the letters when there are a large number of them into categories would be a help.

It would make matters clearer to the general public if reports were also sorted
--one category for reports from experts hired by the developer
--another for reports from experts hired by the township to assess the developer's experts
--other classifications might be useful too.

Three recent planning applications produced many written submissions. A careful consideration of the way the written submissions in these instances might have been presented to the public so that the information they contain is clear and its value evident would be a way of arriving at some guidelines. The applications in question are those concerning Pebble Ridge, Mike Vallee's recycling operation on the 14th Concession, and Dr. Stubbs' Trailer Park.

AMO may be able to suggest municipalities that have a good way of presenting written submissions.

The basic point, however, is that thought should be given to the functions these written submissions serve and that guidelines should be established for the planner who presents them.