McIntosh Perry wants to develop Baker Valley property
The engineering and development company McIntosh Perry has purchased the Baker Valley property that runs from Highway 7 to Kennebec Lake near Arden, with plans to develop cottage lots on the one mile of shoreline.
The company sent a letter to Central Frontenac introducing the project to Central Frontenac Council. The letter says a purchase agreement for the 200-acre property has been reached and is in “a period of due diligence to determine the viability of development.”
The company has been in touch with township staff and is planning a meeting with the Kennebec Lake Association. It is anticipated that a lengthy planning process, including an Official Plan amendment and a plan of subdivision, will be required.
“I’m pleased that we have a heads up,” said Mayor Janet Gutowski, “Let’s do this and do it right. That’s what’s important, doing this correctly.
Seniors’ housing project headed for OMB
The North Frontenac Not-for-Profit Housing Corporation was granted $2,700 from the township in compensation for planning fees that have been levied for a zoning bylaw amendment, an Official Plan amendment, and a severance application that were necessary for the corporation to construct a five-unit seniors’ complex that is planned for Clement Road near Sharbot Lake.
In debating the matter, Councilor John Purdon said some of the fees would never have had to be levied but for a historic oversight on the township’s part. “In terms of zoning I believe that is something that should have been taken care of years ago for the four-plex that already exists on the site. Theoretically the OP amendment and the zoning would not have been required if we had done the work when the four-plex was built,” he said
“I think that council and staff missed something when we were doing our Official Plan, and that part is our fault and not the applicant’s,” said Councilor Frances Smith.
The decision to grant back the $2,700 charged in fees came about as the housing corporation, and the township, have learned that the severance that was granted by the township for the project has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Township CAO John Duchene told Council that another appeal to the municipal board is expected if and when the Ministry of Municipal Affairs approves an Official Plan amendment, which council passed for the same project. That approval is not expected until mid-October at the earliest.
“The history with the OMB is that they only want to hold one hearing, so they will wait to schedule one until after the Official Plan Amendment is finalised.”
As far as covering the costs associated with the OMB hearing, Frances Smith said, “I think they will have to pay those costs themselves. We should cut them loose after this.”
“Even though it is the township’s decision that is being appealed to the OMB, the applicant [North Frontenac Not-For-Profit Housing] signed an indemnification agreement saying they would cover all costs related to our decision, as all applicants do,” said CAO Duchene.
New committees struck
Council will be changing the way they do their business. Starting on October 13, meetings will be held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake at 7:00 pm.
At 4:00 pm on the meeting days, committee meetings will be held to allow for fuller debate and for more complete staff interaction with council on issues. The 4:00 pm meetings will be divided up into four areas, each of which will be chaired by a different member of council.
Councilor Bob Harvey will chair discussions regarding Planning and Building; Councilor Jeff Matson will chair Public Works/Waste Management; Fire and Emergency Services will be chaired by Councilor John Purdon, and Corporate and Financial Services by current Deputy Mayor Gary Smith.
County governance – Mayor Gutowski relinquished the chair to Frances Smith for a debate on county governance. The debate was short-lived, however, because a proposal to ignore a request to answer seven questions by the county and instead reiterate Central Frontenac Council’s support for a county council with nine votes, three for South Frontenac and two for each of the other townships, proved very popular.
Mayor Gutowski, who in her role as warden has overseen the debate at the county, voiced her support for the nine-member proposal. “I support this resolution; I think it’s quite appropriate,” she said.
Whether the county will effectively address the county composition issue in time for a new structure to be adopted for the municipal election next November, is still unclear
A statement that Mayor Gutowski made to the Whig Standard alludes to her own indecision about where the debate will go at the county level. "I think [county governance] is really up in the air.” She is quoted as saying. “The issue is not going to go away; we have to be thinking longer term rather than making rash decisions on emotion. It might not be bad if it takes another four years [to resolve] because someone will likely have to live with it for the next 20 years at least."
Gas tax money – Central Frontenac has received $18,473 as their share of $119,000 in county gas tax money that has been divvied up by the lower-tier townships. The money will go towards overruns on a salt dome project that is already underway.
“The only issue that I see is that the salt dome is costing $250,000 and we are getting $18,000, but it helps a bit,” said Frances Smith.