Township Watch - September 2014

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Wahta Mohawks

Chief Franks of the Wahta Mohawks presented at Council on Friday, September 12th, 2014 stating that the portage review had not included them even though they have given notice to different levels of governments asking to be informed.  He asked the township for support and to adopt a motion, that he put forth, asking the District to postpone the issuance of Swift River Energy Limited’s (SREL) entrance permits as the proper level of consultation had not take place.  It was brought forth that when SREL did their environmental assessments they had an obligation to the First Nations and Metis.  Also, that discussions had taken place with Chief Franks predecessor with no further sign offs required.  Chief Franks stated that the previous Band council has given no indication of that.  He further explained that due to unrest on their lands, he does not currently have access to the Band’s records so he could not confirm whether that had occurred or not.  A resolution, penned from resolutions presented by the Township lawyer and Chief Franks was passed.

Bala Heritage Conservation District Study & Plan

As previously reported MHBC consultants were hired by the Township for the Bala Heritage Conservation District Study & Plan which is now complete.  It was determined from the public meetings and input that even thought there is a small amount of infrastructure in the area there is merit for the heritage designation.  The consultants said that the heritage policy will apply to all lands within in the district except those that belong to the Province.  Lands adjacent to the Heritage District will be impacted as the Provincial Policy Statement says development on them must not negatively impact the heritage district.  The next step is a public meeting that will be held during the Township council meeting of October 17th, 2014. 

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law 

At the Planning meeting on Monday, September 16th, 2014 Draft 4 of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law was reviewed by the committee.  After a brief discussion on “grandfather” rights to buildings that are legal non-conforming, there was a discussion regarding hot tubs on docks and boathouses as under the new comprehensive zoning by-law they will not be permitted.  The committee discussed whether or not hot tubs were considered structures, and the definition of structures, as some hot tubs are now portable.  It was decided that the provision to restrict hot tubs on docks remain in the by-law to protect the lakes.  This by-law will be presented at the council meeting of October 17th for first and second readings.

YMCA Camp Pinecrest 

Representatives from the Clear Lake Road Association, Clear Lake Property Owners, Gullwing and Echo Lakes and a private citizen came before the planning committee to request that the zoning application for Camp Pinecrest be denied.  They argued that since the Township has neither approved nor defeated the rezoning application, they cannot rely on mediation with the YMCA.  In order to have strength at the OMB hearing they require a definitive decision from council.  Amongst their reasons for this request were that the YMCA has not had adequate consultation with their neighbours, the traffic review on Clear Lake road does not meet transport guidelines and it is a substandard road, the impact on the environment and water quality as well as a need to negotiate and/or mediate.  It was argued that the YMCA needs to see that there is an unpalatable solution in front of them or their lawyers will advise them that there is no need to negotiate. 

Although there was no resolution on the table for this request, the committee directed staff to bring a resolution forward at the next council meeting of October 17th, 2014.  Director of Planning, Mr. Pink informed the committee that the Township is already a party to the OMB hearing but defeating the resolution would give clear direction to the OMB.  Mr. Pink further stated that staff and legal counsel have already advised council that they should be moving forward with this application. 

Ballots will be mailed any day now.

Inform yourself and VOTE!!


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