Township taking campground owner to court over musical events

Written by  Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:02
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Editor’s note: The Frontenac News plans to cover the court proceedings on Wednesday, Jan. 24 and publish the results on our web pages.

The Township of South Frontenac is taking Loughborough Lake Holiday Park owner Del Vezeau to court Jan. 24 seeking an injunction against live music events at the park.

The biggest musical event at the park is the annual Canadian Guitar Festival, but Vezeau has hosted a couple of much smaller events such as a fundraiser for March of Dimes and an Ambush concert.

“One of the biggest reasons I bought this place was so we’d have somewhere to hold the CGF,” he said. “We put up the building in 2009 and it was expensive — $130,000.

“But I don’t have a concert hall, I have a recreational facility for the pleasure and enjoyment of my clients.”

The Township doesn’t seem to have a problem with the Guitar Festival, having recognized it as having significant cultural value.

Vezeau said that gave the impression to some people that he was applying for a permit to hold it every year but “I’m not applying for a permit to hold the festival, that was only so I could get a licence to sell beer during the festival.”

However, there has been one neighbour complain about noise and after the Ambush concert (which ended before 11 p.m.) in 2015, Vezeau was charged and had to appear in court in November 2016. Those charges were withdrawn in court.

The Township has suggested a zoning change to resolve the dispute but Vezeau maintains the zoning he has (resort/recreational) allows him to host concerts from time to time.

He calls the Township’s pursuit of an injunction “specious and punitive” and even speculates that there could be an ulterior motive at play here.

“This is a 48-acre campground and I pay $5,500 in taxes yearly,” he said. “But if the property were developed, it could bring in $150,000 in taxes.

“And I have had offers from developers.”

Vezeau plans on representing himself in court and has every confidence in his chances of success.

“I will speak truth to power,” he said.

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