PARTIAL REPORT ON COUNCIL
July 8, 2002
All members of Council present.
TRANSFER OF GOESSMAN ROAD RESERVATIONS REJECTED: Council defeated (by a vote of 0 to 5) third reading of a by-law to accept the Crown Reservations for 66' road allowances on lots given to John Goessman, first surveyor of Tiny Township, in 1823. (See the Council Updates for March 11, 2002.) The reasons given for this rejection are:
a) There is no guarantee as to what future Councils might do with these road allowances (which stretch 66' inland from the water's edge in 1823).
b) Too many difficulties concerning these road allowances have presented themselves since March ’Äì apparently they are sometimes wholly above water, sometimes partially under water, sometimes entirely under water. They therefore present an administrative nightmare.
c) The Ministry of Natural Resources has experience with such road allowances and is better equipped to administer them.
In the evening, Patricia O'Driscoll asked whether Council had made its decision about the Goessman Crown Road Reservations before receiving the final report on the matter from David Lambden, surveyor and boundary expert. She was told that Lambden had not yet submitted his report.
FEDERATION DEPUTATION RE (H) PROVISION: Judith Grant, on behalf of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreliness Associations, raised questions about the imposition of the (H) Provision on shore area properties and the Township's failure to explain it to those who will be affected. She urged that the letter that was promised when the [H] provision was first introduced be sent to all affected shore area owners. This letter should explain the (H) zoning, and tell property owners how to avert it. Even better, she argued, would be an automatic exemption, not just for those who have converted from seasonal to permanent, but for all those who have kept their septic systems up to date and for which the Township has records. For the full Deputation, see below.
Deputation Concerning Hold Provision - July 8, 2002
We of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations have supported a number of this Council's initiatives.
We supported the various moves that were made in relation to the Renouf Water system.
We supported the decision to apply for a boating restriction which would extend the existing 10kph speed limit from 30 metres to 200 metres offshore.
We argued for a general septic reinspection program, and when one was put in place, we have supported it.
However, with regard to the Holding Provision that is to be imposed on as many as 5000 shore area properties, we have very mixed feelings.
The Holding Provision was put in place when it was thought that a general inspection program was not possible. Now that a general inspection program is going forward, it seems to be overkill to also impose an (H) symbol on the 5000 shore properties that have not converted from seasonal to permanent. After all, you are beginning the general inspections with the shore area and are focussing on older systems or those that lack paperwork, so you will be getting to systems that need work quite quickly.
However, it is clear that the Holding Provision is a fact of life and will be imposed.
That being the case, it would be a good idea to let people know about it as quickly as possible, and in considerably more detail and with more practical advice about it than is currently available.
At the public meeting on the Holding Provision on June 16, 2001, it was said that notices would be placed in local papers inviting submissions about the H Provision and that these submissions would be taken into consideration as the final wording was worked out. The final draft was to have been presented to Council on August 13, 2001. There were no notices, there was no opportunity for input, and no final draft.
A direct mailing was promised and was to have gone out to all affected properties last fall. That too was not done. This morning there was a suggestion that something be put into a Township newsletter. This would not be nearly as effective as a direct letter to every affected shore area property owner.
I listened very carefully to what Darren Vella had to say today and it was not clear to me whether all those for whom CC Tatham possesses Septic Use Permits would be automatically exempted from the imposition of the (H) zoning. However, nothing that was said in the course of earlier discussions of the subject suggested that this would be so. Rather, what was said was that owners would need to bring in their use permits to the Planning Department so that their properties might be entered on a list of those to be exempted from the (H) Provision. What was also said earlier was that if they did not have paper records for a system installed since 1974, then they could have a search made for a fee of $30.
I urge Council to proceed rather differently than this. How about easing the way for as many of those property owners who have been good citizens as possible. I have in mind those who have kept their septic systems up to date, and for whom you have use permits. Such property owners should be exempted automatically from the (H) Provision.
Moreover to show that they are exempt ’Äì and to alert those whose records may have gone astray or who have older systems that need an inspection ’Äì we urge you to post a list on the Township website of all those properties that will not have the (H) imposed.
This would be a saving of effort all round. Citizens with systems installed since 1974 would not be put to the fuss of rooting out their records. Though there would be labour involved in making a list of all the use permits in the Township's possession, that would take less time than coping with confused citizens who fetch up one by one at the Township offices, needing explanations.
There are several important benefits of such an approach. You'll save yourselves the ire of citizens needlessly burdened with a negative zoning, and annoyed that you didn't avail yourselves of paperwork already in your possession.
At the public meeting on the subject, more than a year ago, it was emphasized that the name of the game with regard to the Hold Provision was "Communication, Communication, Communication."
So far there has been very little communication ’Äì only a brief reference to the Holding Provision in the newsletter that accompanied tax bills ’Äì but there has been no letter to each affected landowner explaining the (H) Provision and what must be done to avert its imposition.
We have done our part. We have described it, insofar as we were able, in The Tiny Cottager. We have constructed an information piece and circulated it to all those with whom we are in contact. We are encouraging our member associations to explain it ’Äì and the ways of averting it ’Äì to their members. Tiny Residents Working Together also included an information piece on the subject in their 24th of May issue. But our efforts do not have the force of an official communication from Tiny Township.
Sending the letter that was promised to 5000 shore area properties is one possibility. Far better would be a letter targetting those shore area properties that SHOULD have the (H) imposed because their septic systems are old enough to need inspection or because the township lacks the paperwork for them. An additional move that would reassure shore property owners would be the posting of a list on the Township website of properties that are exempted from the (H) zoning.
If you don't make use of the paperwork in your possession, if you impose a punitive zoning on property owners who have invested in current septic systems, this (H) provision will cause much ill feeling quite unnecessarily.