| Nov 15, 2007

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Feature Article - November 15, 2007

Central Frontenac Council - Nov. 12by Jeff Green

Council wants clarification before finalizing Official Plan

After submitting their final plan 4 months ago, Central Frontenac Township has finally heard back from The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (OMMAH) regarding the five-year review of their Official Plan, and the OMMAH is asking for several changes before approving the plan.

Chief among the changes is something council had not heard anything about before - a designation of two major Lakes, Crow and Eagle, as “Highly Sensitive Trout Lakes”. This designation brings severe restrictions on development.


“Further development on those lakes must be 300 metres back,” said the township’s planning consultant Glenn Tunnock. “What you are looking at is a non-impact lot.”

Tunnock said that the Ministry of the Environment, which is responsible for the designation, was “prepared to come to the meeting tonight, but they are off because of the Remembrance Day holiday.”

“I’m just wondering what people on Crow and Eagle Lake would think about this. It’s certainly new to us, and it will be new to them when they come back in the spring,” said Councilor Frances Smith.

“Remember, it does not apply to existing lots of record,” said Glenn Tunnock, “only to new lots.”

“I would like to speak to the ministry to make sure this is substantiated,” said Mayor Janet Gutowski. “I wonder what lake will be next - are other lakes going to pop up some other time? We ask people to come to public meetings and no one knew about any of this.”

Another major change proposed by the province is an increase in the so-called “ribbon of life” around all shorelines in the township, which will be increased to 30 metres (about 100 feet) from the current 15 metres. No structure can be built, nor any vegetation removed, within a ribbon of life.

“Certainly it’s an imposition on any one who is planning to build a shed or a gazebo,” Tunnock said. “We could try to establish instead that the average of the adjacent landowners’ outbuildings be used instead of the 30 metre setback. I leave that in council’s hands.”

“My feeling is that the Ministry of the Environment, who are behind these changes, are coming anyway, so let’s ask them. I’m sidetracked in all of this over the mining issue. We are asked to tie people’s hands over a shed, and yet the province is not addressing the Mining Act. I look forward to talking about these two very different policy directions on the part of the provincial government,” said Gutowski.

Peer Review over Condominium Proposal

The Primrose is a proposed set of two three-unit townhouses on a five-acre lot on the east basin of Sharbot Lake. The focus of the development is on environmentally friendly luxury condominiums that would be more commonly seen in places like the Muskokas than the Land o’ Lakes. The proposed units will range from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet each, each including “executive elevators to homeowners from the main floor to the third floor observatory, a spacious room offering a panoramic view of the lake and surrounding green space” according to the prospectus for the development.

Glenn Tunnock, the planning consultant for Central Frontenac Township, has been engaged by Cameron Chiarot, the developer behind The Primrose, and he brought the development forward to a council meeting earlier this week. Tunnock said that the developer has “to date complied with all requests for information and studies.” Tunnock suggested that a peer review of the proposal be conducted because of his own familiarity with the developer, and that an application for a zoning bylaw amendment be heard at the township council meeting in December.

“Is it not wise to wait until the peer review of the proposal is complete before holding the public meeting?” asked Councilor Frances Smith.

“I don’t think the developer will balk at that,” said Tunnock.

The developer will pay for the peer review.

No asphalt in Mountain Grove? – Councilor Norm Guntensperger asked why, in the light of a determination that putting in a concrete pad at the Mountain Grove outdoor rink would be too expensive, the possibility of an asphalt pad is not included in a report on pending public works projects that was presented to Council.

“I would suggest sending the matter back to the Rec, Committee first,” said Mayor Gutowski

“In the minutes from the committee, it says they want council to consider other options,” said Councilor John Purdon.

“I was just going to say that the site is questionable in regard to asphalt or concrete, so there is another layer to be considered,” said township CAO John Duchene.

Staff will consider the possibility of materials and will report back to council.

Fire Services response areas - Fire Chief Mark MacDonald brought some information about changes that have been made to the protocol for sending out fire crews from the four township fire stations and the Piccadilly substation.

“What we are looking at achieving in terms of our fire response areas is the shortest distances for crews to drive. A new map, which outlines the protocol that has been developed over time, shows that the Mountain Grove Hall, for example, has the smallest region as the first response, but the largest as the second response crew.

“The first and second responders are always called for structural fires,” said Mark MacDonald, in explaining how the system works.

MacDonald also brought information concerning the 192 calls to the Central Frontenac Fire and Emergency Service so far this year. The largest number of calls, 55 (28.6%) have been medical assist calls, followed by motor vehicle collisions, 41 (21.4%), structural and miscellaneous fires, 38 (19.8%) ,and grass/brush fires, 35 (18.2%).

The Sharbot Lake Station has had the busiest crew in terms of first response, followed by Parham, Mountain Grove, and Arden.

Building total reaching $8.5 million – As of the end of October, 38 new houses had received permits in 2007, as compared to 30 and 40 at the same point in 2006 and 2005, respectively.

The total value of construction, including the $1.5 million construction project at the Sharbot Lake Medical Centre, is $8,491,000 thus far this year. Figures for January to November 1 in 2006 were $6.6 million, and $7.2 million in 2005.

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