re Ardoch Lake

Written by  Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:01
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I suppose it is a key indicator of failing to grow old with grace and resignation that one greets with relief the news that "5 Years in Ardoch Lake Development Still Needs Work". Hopefully, the planning and evaluation will take forever, unless the proposed project is downsized to a more sustainable density consistent with the community and environmental needs. Of course, profits may be affected. While the community understandably seeks growth and development, one hopes that the historic rural, wild aura of the area so many have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to preserve over the decades will not be too adversely impacted by the proposed development.

Still, it is hard to imagine that a 30-cottage behemoth development-- complete with cleared lots, a maze of new roads and driveways, hydro lines, likely more than a hundred land and water vehicles, with complementary outbuildings, docks, wells and septic tanks--concentrated on the shore of a small, shallow, scenic and now productive lake, will not take a toll. It seems inevitable that phosphorus and nitrogen levels will increase in the lake, and that fish, amphibian and other wildlife and human habitat will be degraded. But these are issues for scientific experts to address, hopefully without undue financier or political influence. The community experience indicates that a development of six to eight or so cottage sites could be responsibly incorporated around the lake with relative ease, but perhaps it's time to roll the dice on something new and go for something 400% or so bigger. Profits likely will be more substantial, at least for some folks. And what's to lose? Planners are looking at the placement of wells and septics, and there is some concern for some bird and fish nurseries.

Still, one can't help thinking that perhaps it might be better to just pave over the whole place now and be done with it, so long as other area sites could be preserved. I realize that my views may be skewed, even reactionary. Having experienced just down the road the edge-of-the-world beauty and wonder of a once isolated Schwaugers Lake in the 1960's, I view the current development there with profound sadness while others still purport to see great beauty and wilderness. It is a matter of experience and perspective. I wish it was possible to require the Ardoch Lake development investors to post a $100 million bond to guarantee that the proposed 30-cottage development will not adversely affect water and other environmental quality and esthetics over the next twenty years or longer, but I know that is not possible. No insurer would guarantee it. One can only hope that citizens twenty years from now can look back with some consensus that the decades-old development truly reflects "progress" that benefitted the entire community.

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