The turnout for open houses on things like Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw changes historically isn’t high but North Frontenac Township bucked that trend somewhat last Saturday with a steady stream of visitors coming to view proposals for a new Zoning Bylaw.
The impetus for a new document, last updated in 2004, was the updating of the Official Plan which was approved by Frontenac County last May.
“It’s high time this happened,” said Coun. John Inglis. “I think it’s a bit of a shame we had to pay for it (Frontenac County had been doing all of North’s planning but independent planners Zanderplan was hired for this job) but I’m not blaming anybody.
“The County would have done it but not on our timeline and it’s not that expensive.
“And the County planners did have input on this.”
Often with new Zoning Bylaws, there are hot-button issues but in this case, other than some localized concerns in areas like Norcan Lake, there is little controversy currently evident.
Still, there are a few things that need looking at.
“There are a few challenges,” Inglis said. “Like what do you do with trailers, tiny homes and pods?
“There are some things we may have to revisit as trends change.”
Tracy Zander, lead planner of Zanderplan, said the biggest challenge she faced was the size of the document.
“The challenge with a project like this is we’re updating a huge document,” she said. “And it’s all open to discussion.”
To that end, Zander identified nine priority items, which were outlined in some detail on boards around the room.
The nine areas of interest are:
“The live/work developments and tiny houses are new in the Official Plan,” Zander said. “I haven’t had much feedback as of yet but the staff here asked for something about keeping backyard hens and perhaps a ban on roosters.
“The other points are a matter of fine tuning.”
Zander began working on the document at the beginning of March and this was the first opportunity for public feedback. One thing that did come out of this meeting was a request for a definition of yurts and pods.
They anticipate another open house towards the end of June or beginning of July.
Planner Tracy Zander and Coun. John Inglis discuss North Frontenac’s proposed new Zoning Bylaw at an open house in the Council chambers Saturday in Plevna. Photo/Craig Bakay