South Frontenac Council granted Desert Lake Resort an exemption from its noise bylaw that will allow the resort to hold four concerts this summer at Council’s regular meeting this week in Sydenham.
In a recorded vote, Coun. Alan Revill and Ross Sutherland voted against the proposal.
The resort had been seeking permission to hold six concerts but many residents on the lake opposed the idea. However, after considerable discussions, most felt two concerts would be acceptable.
The final decision is not without restrictions. Concerts (which the resolution refers to as “amplified musical events”) can only be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the Township must be notified three weeks in advance of the date. Furthermore, of the four events, two can be held on holiday long weekends (Victoria Day and Canada Day most likely) and the other two are to be held on non-holiday weekends.
As this year is being thought of as a trial basis, Council asked that bylaw enforcement representatives be on the lake to observe and report back on noise levels.
“I think this is a reasonable compromise,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “I’m sure there are people in Havelock who don’t like the jamboree but we have to acknowledge that it’s an economy boost for that municipality and I certainly don’t have a problem with concerts on Canada Day because most people are celebrating then anyway.
“And to my knowledge, there’s never been a problem with the resort in the past. I don’t know of any time that bylaw enforcement has been called.”
Coun. Ross Sutherland said that he has heard of incidents when the OPP has been called and argued that one of the attractions of South Frontenac is peace and quiet.
“I would like to remind Council that we limit the number of days people can set off fireworks and we give very few exemptions to our noise bylaw,” Sutherland said. “The times we do grant exceptions are for special circumstances like the Canadian Guitar Festival or large weddings.”
Coun. Mark Schjerning said he wasn’t comfortable with the idea of bylaw officers being present on the lake for the event.
“Our policy has always been complaint driven,” he said.
“I know it sounds funny to have bylaw enforcement there,” said Vandewal. “But you know people are likely to complain anyway and it would be good to have an independent assessment of the noise levels around the lake.”
Road allowance closing
Council cleared up a somewhat long-standing issue by closing a road allowance off Atkins Lane in Storrington District.
Planner Lindsay Mills said that they had to re-advertise the proposal because an adjacent property owner, Lori Greenwood, hadn’t been properly notified. Greenwood’s access to her property is through the affected land.
However, Greenwood said at the meeting she wanted the measure to pass so that the owners could get on with their lives.
She did have one concern though.
“Why didn’t you tell me about this a year ago?” she said. “You seem to have no problem finding me with tax bills.”
Council allocated $13,477 in grants to 11 community groups for various projects. The grantees include: Sydenham Lion’s Club - $1,842 for benches at The Point; Verona Community Association, $1,970 for a Flagpole with Canadian flag at the Verona Trailhead site; Frontenac Society of Model Engineers, $1,000 for safety repairs to locomotive for miniature railway; Frontenac Fury, $1,000 for girls hockey development; Sydenham Lake Canoe Club, $425 for waterproof two way radios; Verona Lion’s, $2,000 for a garbage container at Verona Trailhead site; Southern Frontenac Community Services, $2,000 for youth volunteer co-ordination; Frontenac ball hockey, $1,000 for the program; Sydenham Lakes and Trails Festival, $740 for flyers and a banner; and 4-H Sine Club, $1,500 to increase registration and promote swine farming.
$15,000 was allocated to the grant program in the 2017 budget, and requests were submitted for $16,477. All of the groups that applied received funding, but three of the groups, Frontenac Society of Model Engineers, Frontenac Fury, and Frontenac ball hockey, applied for $2,000 and received $1,000.
Building starts in normal range
Building permits for $2.077 million in construction were sold in the 1st quarter of 2017, down slightly from $2.16 million in 2016. The total for all of 2016 was $29.3 million, up from $26.9 million in 2015. Permits for 4 new houses were issued in the first quarter of this year, which is normal for the time of year. The total number of new houses was 70 last year, a jump of 15 from the year before. The busiest quarter for new home permits last year was the 2nd quarter, when 30 were issued.