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Feature Article - May 11, 2006

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Feature Article - May 11, 2006

Public meeting on GarrisonShores -- CFCouncilMay 8, 2006

by JeffGreen

Central Frontenac Council continued their attempt to bring the ill-fated Garrison Shores waterfront development in line with their Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw at a public meeting earlier this week.

Garrison Shores was established in the early ’80s as a development of 100 plus properties around a small lake near Arden . The concept was that people would purchase small lots and would jointly own a larger parcel, including much of the shoreline around Garrison Lake .

Legal problems beset the development from the start, and the original developer was long gone when property owners began realizing that they could not sell their lots because they did not own legal deeds.

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In 1997 a plan to legalise the lots was brought forward, but it was never approved, and when Kennebec Township , the original township where the development took place, was amalgamated into Central Frontenac, the new township inherited the Garrison Shores headache.

Nine years later the township has prepared a plan to create a special amendment to both their Official Plan and Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw to permit the existence of the development as it is, and provide for the possibility of further development on the site that gives protection of the water and the surrounding countryside.

One of the key elements to the plan, according to the township’s planning consultant Glen Tunnock, is that no further development can take place on the 53 legal Garrison Shore lots without a hydro-geological study being undertaken to determine if the land can withstand the new use.

Currently Garrison Shores is comprised of 35 seasonal dwellings, three permanent dwellings, and one seasonal mobile home, The 53 lots on the site will be divided into four clusters by Tunnock’s proposal.

The proposal was supported by Mr. Walker, the lawyer for the Garrison Shores Owners’ Association, and all of the property owners in attendance at the public meeting - save one.

Jeff Dubois took issue with one aspect of the proposal, whereby 18 of the Garrison Shores properties will now extend to the water, into territory that was previously an eight metre buffer zone that was owned by the group as a whole. Dubois made reference to the opinions expressed by Quinte Conservation and the Garrison Shores Association’s lawyer back in 2002 that the buffer should remain in the hands of the group to ensure it is left in a natural state for the protection of the lake.

Glen Tunnock countered that the new plan calls for a vegetative buffer of 15 metres around the lake, even if the land will be individually held. Dubois argued that the shoreline would be better protected by collective ownership, and said it would be less of a stretching of the township’s Official Plan to go with collective ownership of the shoreline.

Now that the requisite public meeting is over, the township will wait for comments from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing before proceeding any further. If the plan is approved, it will be forwarded to Frontenac County , but the possibility of an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board remains open to Mr. Dubois.

LHINs come calling Paul Huras and Georgina Thompson from the regional Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) made a presentation to council concerning health care reform. The LHINs will be assuming managerial control over a wide range of health care services in the coming years. Hospitals, long term care facilities, and home care agencies, among others, will come under their purview. Ambulance service, which is municipally delivered and funded, is not part of the LHINs framework.

Ball field improvements Brett Harvey asked for council’s permission for a group to initiate improvements to the bleachers at the Sharbot Lake ball field. Harvey told council that $10,000 has been raised by James Webster, and while most of the money has been used to purchase new shorts, socks, and jerseys for each and every child playing in the baseball league, money remains for bleacher improvements and a roof. All of the materials for the project have been donated, and the adult ball teams have volunteered to do the work. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, council accepted the offer.

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