Under the initiative of the Canonto Lake Property Owners Association and the Township of North Frontenac, representatives of a dozen or so area lakes met at Clar-Mill Hall last Saturday for a Lake Planning seminar.
“Lake plans do not hold any regulatory status,” said Alyson Symon of Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. “But policy is that planning authorities do look at development impact on a broad scale and in Provincial Policy Statements, lake plans are a resource you can use to form official plans.”
Common issues considered include water levels, boating practices and impacts, development and redevelopment, she said.
“Often, a lot of anecdotal information comes up,” she said. “It’s good to have a concrete document to bring up.
“But all lake plans are different and the level of detail is up to individual lake associations.”
She said perhaps the most valuable take-away from going through the lake plan exercise is “community engagement and connections.
“Process is as important as the end product.”
They can also be useful when leveraging funding for projects, she said.
She said there are only six lakes with plans within the MVCA watershed.
Frontenac County community planner Megan Rueckwald said lake plans are a valuable resource when constructing things like municipal official plans.
She said that the North Frontenac Official Plan takes a collaborative approach to waterfront area policy which contains the wording “shall have regard for” lake plans.
One member of the audience said he thought “shall have regard for” wasn’t strong enough wording.
North Frontenac Coun. John Inglis replied that “from my point of view, it’s very strong wording.
Rueckwald said there are three levels of wording — shall have regard for, shall be consistent with and shall conform to— and any stronger wording “may be in conflict with the Provincial Policy Statement.”