REPORT ON COUNCIL

October 15, 2002

Committee of the Whole: 9:10 a.m. - 6:34 p.m.

Evening meeting: 7:00 p.m. - 9:54 p.m

All Members of Council present

 

CONFIDENTIAL/CLOSED SESSION: 5:05 p.m. - 6:34 p.m.

 

STAFF APPOINTMENT: Council approved the appointment of Kelly Weste as Planner.

 

VIRTUAL TOWN HALL: The Township website has a new look, becoming part of the Simcoe County "Virtual Town Hall". The website address remains the same: www.township.tiny.on.ca

 

LAFONTAINE SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX: Rosita Desroches and Deirdre Gibson presented a deputation describing a planned senior citizens complex in Lafontaine, including up to 50 apartments, 8 townhouses and 20 assisted living rooms in two clusters of ten around a family style kitchen and common room area.

 

WINTER DISPOSAL OF UNTREATED SEPTIC WASTE: Keith Robillard of Georgian Bay Sanitation advised of a change in regulations by the Ministry of the Environment. Untreated septic waste (from septic tank pump-outs) can no longer be spread on fields during the winter months. Within a few years, it is expected that this will become a year-round restriction. As Tiny Township has no sewage treatment facilities, Mr. Robillard urged Council to make arrangements with Midland and Penetanguishene to ensure acceptance of septic waste from Tiny Township at the sewage treatment facilities operated by those municipalities.

 

WYEVALE FIRE STATION – AGAIN: A resolution was passed to engage a consultant to assist in site selection and design for the new Wyevale Fire Station. George Lawrence of Tiny Residents Working Together presented a deputation supporting this approach.

 

SHORELINE WATER QUALITY DISCUSSION: Don Beckett of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Ted Devine and Bernie Mayer of the Simcoe County District Health Unit and Keith Sherman of the Severn Sound Environmental Association attended Committee of the Whole for a discussion of shoreline water quality and postings of Tiny beaches due to high e-coli counts during the 2002 summer season. Various possible contributing factors were discussed, including those which cannot be controlled, such as wind direction, wave patterns and summer temperatures, as well as others which can be, including septic systems, and storm water management and beach use density or "bather load", which Mr. Sherman indicated could be a significant factor. "Mayor Klug asked a good question, which went unanswered. He wondered why Wasaga, with a much higher bather load than any beach in Tiny, had no postings this summer when Tiny had so many. The Township will continue with its annual septic inspection program.

 

MEDIATION: A motion was passed to hold public information meetings in Wyebridge, Wyevale and Perkinsfield, providing an opportunity for the provincially-appointed Mediators, Paul Torrie and James McKenzie to provide information to interested members of the public concerning the proposals outlined in their Fall 2002 Interim Report.

 

REVIEW OF 2003 PARKING POLICIES: During Committee of the Whole, Council began its review of shoreline area parking policies, to introduce any changes required for the 2003 summer season. It was noted that any changes should amount only to "fine tuning" and should not involve wholesale changes to current parking policies.

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO OFFICIAL PLAN: At the evening meeting, a public meeting was held concerning a proposed amendment to the Official Plan, to redesignate a property in the Peek-A-Boo Trail area from "Environmental Protection One" designation, to "Shoreline" designation, to permit the creation of building lots. Several area residents spoke in opposition to the proposed amendment. Jack Ellis made a presentation on behalf of the Federation, urging that the "environment first" principles of the Official Plan should be maintained. A copy of Jack Ellis' letter to Council on the issue is attached.

 

 --

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor Robert Klug and Members of Council

Township of Tiny

130 Balm Beach Road, West

R. R. #1

Perkinsfield, Ontario

L0L 2J0

 

October 16, 2002

 

Dear Mayor Klug and Members of Council,

 

Potential Amendment to the Official Plan and Re-Zoning of Environmental

Protection Lands for Development, Pt. Lot 4 & Block C, R.P. 1060, Con. 16E

 

I have been asked to write to you on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations regarding the above OPA and re-zoning. The intent of the letter is to provide a written record of the objection and the grounds for it that I made orally at the Public Meeting in the evening of October 15th.

 

The grounds for our objection are on general principle as well as on the facts of the specific application that were placed before you in such eloquent detail by so many of the affected property owners in the immediate area. The application concerns us deeply as a precedent.

 

The general principle is that the OP has just been put in place. It was developed by a process of public involvement unprecedented in the Township. Its provisions were specifically designed to preserve what is still there to be preserved of Tiny’s precious and unique natural environment.

 

The Environmental Protection designation is one that you and Council can remove at the stroke of a pen. We urge you, very sincerely: do not do so! The Environmental Protection provisions of our Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw must not be frittered away by seemingly small incremental re-zonings, or the environment in Tiny will become so degraded that it is no longer an attractive place to live and recreate. The “thin edge of the wedge” eventually cuts deeply.

 

To provide you with a clear example of what can result in a shoreline area from a multitude of incremental decisions on planning and development taken over a period of time, I attach a description of the present state of the environment in the south Cawaja Beach area, provided by Don Urquhart, a life-long cottager. It speaks for itself. We urge you to heed its message.

 

I thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack B. Ellis, Professor Emeritus, Environmental Studies, York University

For the Board of Directors of the Federation of Tiny Township Shoreline Associations

 

Attach.

For the sake of argument:  
The state of the environment on Cawaja Beach, 2002
 
By Don Urquhart
 
Talking to various cottagers this year indicated that more and more are planning to retire to the beach.  I can cite five this year alone.  For some, this may be more an economic decision than the fulfilment of a dream.  In my view, it can be neither.  I do not wish to criticize, but the wisdom of such a decision is doubtful on both counts, considering recent shortages of potable water (or water of any kind) and pressures from over-development that ultimately threaten the environment.
 
The folly of the dream is quite predictable because the collective consequence of many similar decisions will destroy the very environment which, at present, makes the idea attractive.  Individuals dream of idyllic summer days or misty visions of a fading paradise - which obscures the stark reality of our new environmental situation.
 
Water!
 
Quite a few beach wells are still dry or at perilously low levels half-way through October.  Normally wells recover by this time.  Every year more cottagers bring in water - as demonstrated by the increasing number of plastic water containers put out with the garbage along the road each week.  Soon, piped water will be mandated.  This will be costly.  Taxes will rise.  Sewers will follow when it's discovered that the ground is saturated with pollutants – and the lake is routinely found unfit for swimming.  In the meantime, the cost of owning coastal property will exceed the resources of some retirees.  The long-term consequences will be further densification.
 
Densification!
 
We've experienced it all before.  It happened in Birchwood Park, in Mississauga, where we bought our first home in a beautiful, unique, heavily-wooded area near Lake Ontario.  The lots, considerably larger than most beach lots, were similarly served by wells and septic systems.
 
Starting in the 1970s, the neighbourhood was beginning to run short of water.  When older owners sold their homes, the new buyers opportunistically factored the profit from subdividing into their purchase decision.  We opposed them and went to court, but the new owners had no trouble winning OMB approval.  Now much of the forest is gone, replaced with huge houses, double or triple garages, paved drives and swimming pools.
 
Meanwhile, the local shoreline and Lake Ontario became hopelessly polluted.
 
Similarly, most of the few remaining multi-lot properties along Cawaja Beach have been subdivided to their limit.  Now we're entering a new phase.  A few years ago, most of the trees on some former wetlands near Concession Eleven were cleared.  Last year, all the trees and vegetation on a lot partly up the Eleventh Concession on the north side were cleared, piled up, burned, and the property put up for sale.
 
In general, our forest environment is fast diminishing.  Older-growth trees are mature.  Our warming climate has enabled a pest that kills red pines to survive winter.  We lost four red pines this year and a neighbour as many.  Most, if not all, will be gone within a few years.  Forget the white pines.  Most are gone, never to be replaced.  Little old growth is being replaced because the water table is too low to provide sufficient moisture for new trees to survive in our sandy soil.  Moreover, available space for new growth is diminishing each year and the surviving growth is showing signs of stress.  On most lots, there are not enough trees left to sustain a ground water balance.  Every year a few more trees are lost.  We are beyond the point where Nature can reclaim its own.
 
More and more space on private property is devoted to parking, garages, sheds, water craft, and, in some cases, disabled cars and trucks.  The appearance of Tiny Beaches Road in some locations differs little from that of a typical suburban street.
 
Come to think of it, summer noise at the cottage now often exceeds that of the city; strangers crowd our fences, possess the beach, threaten our peace, wake us at night, and sometimes abuse us or vandalize our property, with no consequence to them.
 
Am I overstating my case?  I think not.
 
If the trend continues in fifty years, most of Tiny's shoreline areas will be one big paved "in-your-face" city.
 
Yesterday, the thought crossed our minds for the first time -we might just sell the property - after five generations!  Perhaps our offspring will stop us from doing that.  Otherwise, better to let it go than see it die a gradual deteriorating, ugly and painful (to us) death.