REPORT ON COUNCIL
August 25, 2003
Committee of the Whole 9 a.m. or so ??? p.m.
Evening meeting: 7:08 p.m. 8:46 p.m.
All Members of Council present
CONFIDENTIAL / CLOSED SESSION: ??? p.m. - ??? p.m.
HANDLING THE BLACKOUT IN TINY: The clerk reported on activities by staff during and following the blackout. The fire chief's plan for emergencies was put into action. A boil water advisory had to be issued to the 2,200 households whose communal wells lacked backup generators (a deficiency gradually being remedied). This was hand-delivered by staff and their families. The fire halls (all of which have backup power) were manned and had refrigeration available for medications such as insulin and had water available for those who needed it. The municipal offices reduced power use by 50%.
Various deficiencies in the Township's emergency preparedness were discovered and are supposed to be remedied.
It would be a good idea if the Township were to remind residents, from time to time, about resources available in Tiny's fire halls during emergencies.
BEACH POSTINGS: Even though the Simcoe County District Health Unit decided not to test the two most frequently posted public beaches monitored in the summer of 2002 (namely Siesta Drive and Laurel Avenue), the total number of public beach postings in Tiny has been just as great in 2003 as last year. This is very worrisome.
Councillor Bob Buchkowsky questioned the accuracy of the Health Unit's data, as Concession 9 was posted at a time when samples collected by the Carusoe Bay Association (participant in this year's volunteer program) had very low counts. [The answer, probably, is that the volunteers took their samples on Monday, and that particular week the Health Unit didn't sample until Tuesday.] Council expressed a desire to have the Health Unit explain the multiplicity of postings.
178-METRE LEVEL AND 15/45 METRE SETBACKS: Keith Sherman of the Severn Sound Environmental Association said that, were his group to supply advice on this issue, it would have to hire experts to set the 178-metre level and to supply advice about dynamic beaches and wave uprush. It was clear that he knew what needed to be done to approach the problem thoroughly and carefully, but equally clear that this was not an area where the group had any experience to draw on at this point.
Later, Councillor Bob Buchkowsky addressed the issue of flood hazard limits in the new Zoning By-Law. He suggested that both the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority and the Severn Sound Environmental Association were likely to base their approach to the issue on the 178-metre level and the 15- and 45-metre setbacks. He suggested that it might be wise to tackle the issue of setbacks using historical information about the impact of last century's greatest storm (Hurricane Hazel in 1954) and last century's highest Bay levels (in 1986) following the approach advanced by Professor Jack Ellis in a presentation given to the County of Simcoe a year ago (and published in The Tiny Cottager). He recommended that Nick McDonald (the planning consultant who prepared the Zoning By-Law) be asked to prepare an historical approach to setbacks.
The Mayor reminded him that, at a special Committee of the Whole meeting on August 7, Council decided to accept the 178-metre level and a 15 metre setback as the standard and to remove the 45-metre setback for dynamic beaches from the Zoning By-Law for further consideration. Councillor Buchkowsky countered that Council should try this different approach.
Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury supported Councillor Buchkowsky, saying that they shouldn't accept the 178-metre level as, according to Trevor Dickinson's article "The Ups and Downs of Georgian Bay" (which appeared in The Tiny Cottager though he didn't mention that point), the highest level Georgian Bay reached in the last century was 177.5 metres.
Councillor Frank Hughes observed that the historical approach had been suggested a year earlier. Why was it suddenly being taken seriously? The implication appeared to be that this might have something to do with the municipal elections now approaching. Councillor Hughes had attended the meetings at which Jack Ellis had presented his approach and the County representatives had not been receptive to it.
It was decided to ask Nick McDonald to explore whether an historical argument for setbacks would be acceptable to the Province and the County.
INVESTIGATION INTO BAY WATER QUALITY IN TINY: Keith Sherman and the Severn Sound Environmental Association have been investigating Bay Water Quality in three areas Woodland Beach, Jackson Park, and Balm Beach. One focus has been the impact of discharges into the Bay from streams. He presented maps of the network of streams in each area, showing the discharge points on the shore, and the points selected for sampling. Typically, the stream water is considerably colder and saltier than the water in the Bay. It therefore sinks to the bottom and stays there unless something (like waves) causes mixing. At the beginning of the season, in May, the E. coli counts in streams were low. As the season advanced they rose. When there was rainfall, there was an abrupt rise in the numbers of E. coli to very high levels; these then fell until they were almost down to the usual level after 9 hours. This was a very preliminary report one given before the full range of data was available. The final report promises to be very interesting.
PARKING: Henk Blom, Manager of Public Works, submitted a report about areas where residents had complained about excessive parking and had asked for No Parking Signs Concession 8 at Tiny Beaches Road South, Wendake and Oriole, Old Trail Road, Trew Avenue, and Pennorth Drive. As there had been no complaints since No Parking signs were placed on one side of Trew Avenue, the report focussed on the other locations. In each case, by-law had done car counts and taken pictures on several occasions, usually Saturdays between noon and 3 pm, once on Sunday. Only a few cars were observed at each location.
Deputy Mayor Gordon Salisbury said that the wrong time had been chosen to survey the parking problem on Pennorth Drive (his own area): Sundays were the most troublesome day there.
It was decided that the requests for No Parking signs not be granted at Concession 8, Wendake and Oriole and Old Trail Road, but that new data would be sought, on a Sunday, at Pennorth Drive and that residents in the area would be encouraged to come forward with the deputation they were rumoured to be preparing.
There was no suggestion of residents in the other troubled areas being invited to make their case before Council, no suggestion of counting cars on a Sunday other than at Pennorth.
BEACH SIGNAGE: Frank Hughes presented a 6-page Memorandum about "Policy Inconsistently and Inappropriately Applied regarding Concession Road End Signs". This began with quotations from the parts of By-Law 00-88 which establish the five major shoreline parks as the primary focus of public use on the western shoreline. It then quotes the parts of By-Law 00-88 that view the smaller parks and road allowances on the western shore as being for the use of all Township residents on a low intensity basis or for the use of residents in the immediate neighbourhood.
Hughes' Memorandum then reviewed the process that resulted in the decision to place signs saying "Welcome to the Township of Tiny. Please enjoy our municipal beaches and keep them clean" at concession ends and the decision NOT to post an accompanying sign showed the extent of municipally owned park land at each location.
The balance of his Memorandum reviewed the strangely various signage at Concession and Road ends in the stretch of Tiny from the 5th to the 7th Concession Roads. For this, click HERE.
REQUESTS FROM CITIZENS PRODUCE NEW BY-LAWS: Council discussed two matters drawn to its attention by Tiny residents. One concerned the pasturing of exotic animals (kangaroo and lemurs) in Concession 3 and the other the discharge of firearms at Cawaja. Staff is to prepare an exotic animals by-law to deal with a range of potential problems and also to prepare a by-law regulating the discharge of firearms including air, paint, pellet, and flare guns.
WYEVALE FIRE HALL: Council decided that the low bid of $527,004 plus GST should be accepted and THEN savings should be looked for. In Question Time, George Lawrence, chair of Tiny Residents Working Together, emphasized that the fire hall is $200,000 over budget, that it is 20% bigger than the fire hall in Lafontaine, and that the low bid figure covers the cost of the building only. Equipping the fire hall will be an additional expense.
MAINTENANCE OF BEACH OUTLETS: Many road allowance parks are made almost unusable by weed -choked, stony, meandering outflows. Application was finally made to the relevant authorities for permission to trench 7 watercourses in sand beach areas. Permission was given as long as
-- trenching does not extend into upland vegetated areas or alter stable banks
-- sedimentation and erosion controls are installed prior to any work and are left in place until the area has been stabilized
--a 6.1 meter (20 foot) buffer is left between the current Georgian Bay water level and any trenching, and provisions are made for the dredged material.
The seven beach drains approved for maintenance by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and by the Ministry of Natural Resources are 2096 Tiny Beaches Road South (municipal drain), Concession 8 at TBRS, Cobblestone and 8th Street, Armstrong drain #38 TBRS, Balm Beach drain outlet, Drainage ditch at TBRN and Jules Leger in park, Harrys outlet Sawlog Point Road.
EXCERPT FROM COUNCILLOR HUGHES' MEMORANDUM
7. Unopened Road Allowances
Most, if not all, of the municipally owned road ends leading to the shore are unopened.
8. 5th Concession Road Allowance
A resident proceeding west from County Road 6 along the 5th Concession Road to Tiny Beaches Road South will find the unopened 5th Concession Road allowance which looks as if it were a private driveway.
A concession road is an Original Road Allowance, (O.R.A.). An O.R.A. is a "public highway". The Public interest in a public highway is paramount. A municipality cannot take the public's right away without adhering to a very strict procedure. This is true of all roads which are owned by the municipality.
There is no sign at the entrance of this unopened road allowance inviting all who read it to "enjoy our municipal beaches" although the 66 foot road allowance and the beaches to the north and to the south of it are municipally (publicly) owned.
Also, a sign should be placed at this Concession Road end indicating the Concession Road end beach and the municipally owned beaches to the north and south of it in green. Unless the Council rectifies this situation, its lack of action is aiding in continuing the denial of the Pubic Rights of residents of this Township.
9. Pathway South of the 5th Concession Road
Some distance south of the 5th Concession Road, there is a nondescript pathway leading from Tiny Beaches Road South to the 5th Concession Road near the waterfront. An "Enjoy our municipal beaches" sign has been placed at the entranceway to this path. There is not any indication of where "our municipal beaches" are.
10. 6th Concession Allowance
The 6th concession Road is not opened fully from County Road 6 to Tiny Beaches Road South. It is opened for some distance east of Tiny Beaches Road South. At the entrance to the pathway leading from Tiny Beaches Road South to the waterfront, it is almost concealed. The only sign there is a No Parking sign. Although there is no encouragement for the "day-tripper public" to use this area, apparently word of its location has spread. There have been complaints from residents in the neighboring area about overuse of the beach at that area.
Only the 66-foot road allowance is public. The property to the north and to the south is private. This is a situation where the sign illustrating the prohibited activities and the sign indicating in green the 66-foot limit of the public beach is required.
11. Durie Street Road Allowance
A resident proceeding from County Road 6 along the 5th Concession Road who turns north along Skylark Road and then takes the left fork along Durie Street will arrive at the unopened road end of Durie Street.
This is a location where, with a rare exception now and then, the only persons using the 66-foot road allowance beach are the neighbours in the immediate area. On either side of the 66 feet there is private property where there has not been any "traditional use" by others.
The sign that is placed there now declaring "Welcome to Tiny. Please enjoy our municipal beaches and keep them clean" is totally inappropriate. This is a situation which the framers of the Official Plan had in mind when they stated "designed for use by residents in the immediate neighbourhood". The "public" has NOT used these beaches going back to the early 1930's.
To tell the public to enjoy "our municipal beaches" without making it clear that "our municipal beaches" is a 66-foot road allowance is an open invitation to the public to violate the private property rights of the residents to the north and south of Durie Street.
A municipality cannot take away a person's private property rights without adhering to a very strict procedure. The Township should alter the wording on the existing sign immediately, and place a sign there showing the 66-foot road allowance in green.
12. Skylark Road (Unopened Road End Allowance) and
Concession 7 Road (Unopened Road End Allowance)
A resident proceeding west from County Road 6 along the 5th Concession Road who turns north along Skylark Road and then takes the right fork continuing along Skylark will arrive at Tiny Beaches Road South where the unopened Skylark Road end and the unopened 7th Concession Road end cross in an "X" and both continue to the water's edge.
At the 7th Concession Road end, there is a "No Trespassing" sign on a utility pole and playground equipment seems to be placed on the road allowance between the Bay and the tourist lodge located at Tiny Beaches Road South.
There is no Township sign welcoming visitors to this location, where on three of the four corners of the roads are tourist facilities and a store. The "Welcome to Tiny Township" sign should be placed there if it is placed anywhere. The sign indicating the 66-foot road allowance in green should also be placed there.
At the other end of the "X" is Skylark Road. There is a sign there, which is placed in an inconspicuous place not seen from Tiny Beaches Road South, indicating the prohibited activities. This is a situation where the sign indicating in green where the Township property is, should be placed.
13. Township Sign Policy Inappropriately and Inconsistently Applied
It is clear that there is an urgent need for Concession Road end signs indicating Township owned property in green
It is also clear that there is an urgent need to review the wording and placement of the "prohibited activities" sign.
14. Attached is a copy of a memorandum which I submitted to Council dated October 23, 2002. It lists most of the beachfront property owned by the Township of Tiny. It seems to have been filed for information and forgotten.
Why are out of town "day trippers" not being directed to Tiny's five large municipally owned beaches?
Why are Tiny residents not being informed of Tiny's other municipally owned beaches?
Would Tiny residents be surprised to find out the extent of municipally owned beaches in Tiny?