| Sep 18, 2008

Sept 18/08 - AH Council

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Feature Article - September 18, 2008 Addington Highlands Council –Sept 15, 2008By Jule Koch Brison

A plan by Fritz and Ursula Nussberger to build apartments on the back of an office that they are constructing to house Land O’ Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) will require an amendment to both Addington Highlands’ Official Plan and its Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw.

The Nussbergers brought their plan to council on Monday night (Sept. 15). The lot on which they intend to build is zoned commercial (C1) which precludes residential use. As well, Addington Highlands has no provision for multi-residential zoning.

The Nussbergers said that LOLCS cannot afford the square footage that they originally requested, so the office building has been made smaller, and they “would like to add apartments to the back of the office space to take full advantage of the property”.

They pointed out that there is a building in Northbrook, the Douglas Building, which is also zoned C1 but has 5 apartments, and which has been exempted from the Official Plan.

The Nussbergers were informed by Township Clerk Jack Pauhl that the Douglas Building was given an exemption because it was built before the Official Plan was adopted. He told the Nussbergers that to build the apartments they must first apply for an amendment to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw, and after consultation with the township’s planner, a public meeting would have to be held. Pauhl said that if there are no appeals, the process might be completed by the end of October,

The Nussbergers said they had started to build the day before the meeting and that LOLCS requires the building to be completed by April 1.

Reeve Henry Hogg commented, “They’ve [LOLCS] known for two and a half years that they have to move and all of a sudden it’s a mad rush.”

Ursula Nussberger asked if they could go ahead with the office space and Jack Pauhl said there might be an issue with the fire escape – a second door might be needed. Other than that, if the building inspector approves it, the Nussbergers can go ahead with the office part of the building.

ADDINGTON ROAD 5: Erroll and Mary Ruth attended the meeting to seek help from council in stopping the erosion and flooding of their road. Erroll Ruth said, “If something isn’t done now we won’t be able to get into our house”. He said that the erosion is being worsened by ATV traffic and asked that the township shore up the road with large stones and with crushed stone.

Addington Road 5 is an un-maintained township road, and council has received other requests from property owners to fix un-maintained roads. Reeve Hogg said to the Ruths, “We could go look at it but there’s no point if we’re not going to do anything about it”.

Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch suggested that council should hold a special meeting to decide what to do about all the un-maintained roads. “If we do something for them [the Ruths] we’ll have to do it for all”.

Council will meet to discuss the issue on Sept. 23 and will inform the Ruths of their decision afterwards.

POLICING ISSUES IN DENBIGH: Yvonne Rosien came to council to discuss policing issues in the Denbigh area.

She had written a letter to council describing a lack of police response to calls. She said that her husband’s truck was stolen and six vehicles ransacked in one night, and that three people had called the police but “they chose not to come in.” She also described another incident where “a fellow was brandishing a chainsaw and threatening to burn everybody down and they chose not to come in again… They felt it wasn’t worth it to come all the way to Denbigh; they dropped the ball”.

She said she had spoken to an officer, whom she did not name, who told her that because Addington Highlands had chosen not to renew their contract with the OPP, but were on a pay-per-use agreement, they did not need to patrol the area.

Reeve Hogg replied emphatically that that wasn’t true. He said, “We’re paying our fair share; we pay policing costs”. He asked for the name of the officer.

Yvonne Rosien did not name the officer, but said that after she wrote the letter she had a positive meeting with Detachment Commander Pat Finnegan and other OPP officers, and now felt that what she had been told by the one officer wasn’t true.

Councilor Janice Kerr concurred, saying that the police presence had been strong at Countryfest, which was held on the weekend. Kerr said, “They’ve made a good start …There were five officers at the dance; it was almost overkill”.

Rosien said that over the years there had been incidents and problems but people “turned their backs; they didn’t report them”.

Denbigh residents have now had their own policing meeting, and have established a sort of Neighborhood Watch. “We’re taking back the town; we’re not going to let them scare people,” said Rosien

Another Denbigh resident, who was also in attendance at the council meeting, interjected, “People are scared, though”.

DENBIGH WASTE SITE: The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is asking for more tests to be done before it approves an expansion of the Denbigh waste site. Reeve Hogg said, “The costs will go up and there’s no guarantee, but I guess we don’t have any choice”. Council agreed to comply with the new test requirements.

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