For the actual wording of the motions indicated, a link will be provided.
REPORT ON COUNCIL
February 12, 2001
All votes unanimous.
WATER SYSTEMS: WILL OUR TAXES SOAR?: The Ministry of the Environment has ordered the Township to take over a SECOND privately run water system--this time the Lafontaine Water Works. We know nothing about this system, as Council discussed it in camera. The Township is, however, appealing the order. The implications for the taxpayers of Tiny, along with those associated with the similar order concerning the Renouf water system in Balm Beach, could be VERY serious. For details see the deputation that Doug Moles, a director of the Federation, made to Council.
NEW OFFICIAL PLAN INCHES FORWARD: Council approved a series of changes to the new Official Plan, most, but not all, arising from the County's review of the Plan and most minor, and returned it to the County for final approval.
a) LOT SIZE: On the recommendation of Nick McDonald, the Township's consulting planner with The Planning Partnership, the basic lot size in any NEW subdivision in the shore area was reduced from .8 to .6 hectares (ie from 2 acres to 1.5 acres). This recommendation was probably made in awareness of Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury's often stated view that a basic lot size of 1 acre is enough. (The 2-acre size had been chosen to ensure ample separation of well and septic system.)
b) DEFINITION OF A FARMER (which affects a farmer's ability to sever a building lot for himself from his farm on retirement): To make the new Official Plan conform with provincial standards, Nick McDonald recommended that the bracketed words be added to B10.4.1.1, thus--
A full time farmer is a person who is retiring from a life long commitment to a career in the agricultural industry. A full time farmer shall have owned and operated a farm operation on the lot from which the severance is proposed for at least 10 years [and has farmed for at least 20 years] and the farm operation subject to the consent shall have been in existence on January 1, 1994.
It is expected that such applications will only be made by full time farmers who have derived their career from a form of agriculture such as animal husbandry or crop production. In reviewing such applications, the Committee of Adjustment shall be satisfied that the applicant's operation is generally comparable in terms of size and scale with other active operations in the Township or County.
Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury, suported by Councillor Frank Hughes, argued that "life long" should be changed to "a long time," that farming for 10 years was enough, that severances should be allowed for those who withdraw from farming because of injury. The only cautionary voice was that of Pierre Paul Maurice, the one farmer on Council. He pointed out that lots severed for retiring farmers were usually sold within 10 years, usually to city people unaccustomed to the smells and noise of farming, with resultant friction.
In the end, the word "life" was removed from the first sentence of B10.4.1.1 and the bracketed section omitted from the second sentence. This will allow more houses to be built on Tiny's farmland.
BALM BEACH MASTER PLAN COSTLY: One of five parks selected as the focus of public use along the western shore, Balm is an area which wants to attract visitors to its tourist cabins, stores, entertainments. Yet little has been done for many years to make its beach attractive, safe, well-managed, and pleasant. The Master Plan would update the washrooms, remove the boat ramp, establish more parking (140 spaces as opposed to the current 80), create a shady picnic and sitting area, set out planters and plantings, establish walkways, "naturalize" the two little streams, improve lighting and garbage management. The cost is estimated at $800,000. The Plan suggested a five-year phase-in period. Council's reactions were mixed: Deputy Mayor Salisbury, appalled at the expense, spoke of the many demands on the budget. Mayor Bob Klug, though likewise aware of budgetary constraints, was eager to see if some parts of the plan could be implemented. Here is an opportunity for improved beach access.
PEBBLE RIDGE GOLF COMMUNITY (phase 2 of the Blairhampton development in concessions 20 and 21): This Council is keenly interested in making sure that this subdivision and golf course gets approval. The last Council voted not to support it on the advice of its consulting planner, Nick McDonald of The Planning Partnership, because, in his professional opinion, it did not conform to the township's forest resources policy. This Council reopened the question by having a "peer" review done of The Planning Partnership's report by the Ainley Group (!) [See deputations.] The peer review conflicts with Mr. McDonald's opinion. Now Council has passed a motion saying that, had the Blairhampton proposal come before it, it would have been approved, subject to a number of conditions. This motion is to be taken to the Ontario Municipal Board Appeal Hearing (initially, probably, the PreHearing Conference in the Council Chambers, 130 Balm Beach Road, on 13 March 2001).
DEPUTATION MADE AT COUNCIL MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2001,
By DOUG MOLES, resident of Tiny Township, and a director of the Federation
Like everyone in Tiny Township the members of the Federation are concerned about safe drinking water. But like almost all taxpayers in Tiny Township we were deeply concerned at the financial implications of the Ministry of the Environment's requirement that the Township of Tiny assume operation of the Renouf Water Works. At the December meeting of Committee of the Whole, Mr. Herb Proudly, our Manager of Public Works, made it clear that there is no proper system to "assume" -- that a system would have to be created from scratch -- and that it was likely that it would cost as much as $15,000 per household to do so because the water table in the Balm area is so high. Another knowledgeable source has suggested $20,000 per household as the cost. The number of households using this system has been variously reported: the Ministry of the Environment believes it serves 130 households (15 permanent, 115 seasonal); after viewing the Renouf's map of those served by the current arrangement, Mr. Proudly said it served 109 households (of which 12 were permanent). The total cost of a new system taking the more conservative estimates - $15,000 x 109 = $1,635,000. The higher estimate of $20,000 per household would yield a total cost of $2,180,000.
In December, Mr. Proudly pointed out that there were much less expensive ways for the Renouf Water System users to acquire safe drinking water, and the most obvious of these is for them to drill their own wells (at a cost of approximately $7000-$8000 per well).
In a Township where most taxpayers are responsible for their own water supply and septic systems -- and even those who enjoy access to a municipal water system do so on a user-pay basis -- the Township's assumption of this so-called water system would set a dangerous precedent. If the order were carried out, it would in effect make most taxpayers in Tiny (ie all those not on the Renouf system) pay not only for their own water supply but for someone else's as well.
People at Coutnac Beach, who had to drill wells recently when their water system was deemed inadequate, would have every reason to feel particularly hard done by.
We would very much like to hear what our Water Works Manager, Michael Emms, has to say about the Renouf System and about the province's order. He might well have a useful perspective to offer.
We were pleased to discover that the Township decided to appeal the Province's order to take over the Renouf System to the Environmental Review Tribunal. The letter written by the Township's Solicitor to the Environmental Review Tribunal -- and available as part of the Tribunal's public record in this matter -- is a strong one and the Federation supports it.
We particularly support the following statements in the letter written by the Township's solicitor to the Environmental Review Tribunal, appealing the province's order:
[The entire text of the Township's solicitor's letter follows. Those portions marked with double hyphens ("--") were read out as part of the deputation to Council on February 12, 2001.]
January 12, 2001
Environmental Review Tribunal
2300 Yonge Street
Dear Ms. Dunn:
CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TINY
REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR - ONTARIO WATER RESOURCES ACT S.62(1)
RENOUF WATER WORKS
LOT 18, CONCESSION 9, TOWNSHIP OF TINY, COUNTY OF SIMCOE
OUR FILE: 0050Q03
The writer is the solicitor for the Corporation of the Township of Tiny with respect to the above noted matter. Please accept this correspondence as my client's Notice of Appeal of the Report of the Director (Ontario Water Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. 0-40 (OWRA) s.62(1)) dated December 20, 2000.
--The Corporation of the Township of Tiny is appealing the Report of the Director in its entirety.
The Township of Tiny denies that it has been served with a purported Report by the Director because of lack of service, and in the alternative, --the Township of Tiny appeals the Report of the Director on the following grounds:
1. The Director failed to serve the purported Report on the Clerk of the Township of Tiny within the prescribed manner set out in the OWRA;
2. --The assumption of the waterworks by the municipality is patently unfair;
3. --Such an order will place an unreasonable burden on the taxpayers of the Township of Tiny;
4. The dates for compliance with the Report of the Director are unreasonably brief;
5. --The Director should have created a process for the benefiting owner to pay for the water system or, in the alternative, the benefiting owners should have been made responsible to pay for upgrading the systems to meet the minimum standards required under the regulations of the OWRA;
6. --The Director failed to properly explore other alternative solutions. The Director can close the water supply and distribution system and order that a privately owned and operated system be opened or, in the alternative, require that private individual systems be established;
7. --There are no development agreements, responsibility agreements or planning documents in place which anticipate municipal assumption of the waterworks. Therefore it is unfair to place this burden on the municipality;
8. --Making the municipality assume the waterworks provides a "free ride" to the benefiting owners. It is inherently unfair as this would make it better for individuals and/or developers to build inadequate water systems which the municipality would have to assume and bear the cost;
9. --There has been no hydrological work completed to determine if the Report can be implemented or if alternatives which may be better suited to resolve the problem are available;
10. The treatment of the Director of the current owners of the waterworks and the treatment of the Corporation of the Township of Tiny by the Director has been completely different and is tantamount to discrimination;
11. The Ministry of the Environment issued orders against the owners of the waterworks and failed to pursue all available remedies pursuant to those orders; and
12. --No Certificate of Approval has ever been issued by the Ministry of Environment regarding the Renouf Waterworks therefore the waterworks cannot be classified as a system. If the waterworks are not classified as a system, the municipality cannot be ordered to assume a system that does not exist. [Text of Township's Solicitor's letter ends here]
We would suggest that one additional point be explored by the Township's solicitor, and that is that if the Ministry of the Environment persists in ordering the Township to take over the Renouf System, then the Ministry should itself design and install and pay for a water system for the Township to take over. [End]
Motion #: 112/01
WHEREAS Council of the day on October 24, 2000 [actually October 30, 2000] refused an application by Blairhampton Properties Inc., Pebble Ridge Golf Community for amendments to the Official Plan and relevant Zoning By-laws;
AND WHEREAS Blairhampton Properties Inc. has lodged an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board; [Blairhampton's appeal was made several days BEFORE Council made its decision, and the
decision Council made on October 30th was not to support that appeal]
AND WHEREAS the Township has now received a detailed review of the Pebble Ridge Golf Community Development from the Ainley Group, as previously requested, noting that they are of the opinion that Pebble Ridge Golf Community is:
i) Not subject to Section 2.3 of the Provincial Planning Statement.
ii) Not subject to the Simcoe County Official Plan, or the newly adopted Township of Tiny Official Plan.
iii) In conformity with the governing Township of Tiny Official Plan.
iv) Within the acceptable level of development under the Forest Resources Policy.
v) And that technical issues regarding water supply can be addressed through conditions of the draft approval; as supported by hydrogeological studies, and comments received from the Ministry of the Environment.
vi) And the development of the golf course would be subject to a detailed Site Plan, an
Environmental Construction Management Plan, and a Tree Preservation and Edge Management Prescription.
vii) Also the club house and related facilities would not proceed without the appropriate hydrogeological work and servicing being completed satisfactorily.
viii) And finally a "Permit to Take Water" would be required for the golf course irrigation system.
THEREFORE Council resolves that had it been before this Council, the Blairhampton Properties Inc., application to amend the governing Official Plan and relevant Zoning By-law would have been approved; subject to a minimum, to the following conditions for Draft Plan Approval and/or as conditions within the Site Plan Agreement:
a) A detailed site plan showing the development of the golf course be prepared in accordance with the final recommendations of the Environmental Impact Study.
b) An Environment Construction Management Plan be prepared for the development of the golf course to the satisfaction of the Township.
c) A Tree Preservation and Edge Forest Prescription be prepared to the satisfaction of the Township.
d) A well monitoring program be established to ensure protection to down gradient water users.
e) Four (4) test wells be established to ensure that an adequate supply of water exist to service the individual lots.
f) Two lots from the southern end of Nipissing Road be deleted in accordance with the mitigative measures set out in the September 20, 2000 letter from LGL to the Township of Tiny.
g) The mitigative measures in the Environmental Impact Study prepared by LGL dated or revised January 2000 Report No. TA2354 and the letter of September 20, 2000 be implemented.
h) The developer shall establish in accordance with the Reasonable Use Guidelines of the Ministry of the Environment that the number of proposed lots meets the Ministry guidelines.
i) Permits for the development of the club house and related facilities will not be issued until a hydrogeological report has been prepared and approved by Council which supports the proposed use.
j) Prior to final approval, a Master Site Plan shall be prepared and approved by Council, which will among other things establish the location of all building envelopes, driveways, vegetative preservation areas and engineering facilities.
k) Prior to the development of the golf course, it shall be established to the satisfaction of Council that the location of the Putty Root Orchid are either protected within the
buffer area or are to be transplanted to appropriate locations.
1) A "Permit to Take Water" shall be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment for the proposed irrigation system and the details of this system are approved by the Township of Tiny.