| Oct 02, 2008

Oct 2/08 - CF Council

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Feature Article - October 2, 2008 Central Frontenac zoning bylaw amendment meeting - Sept 30/08By Jule Koch Brison Rhonda Brunke and Lorne Ross are neighbours who own two properties on Hungry Creek near Henderson in Kennebec district.

The building on Brunke’s property was built in 1968 and Ross has owned his property since 1977. The first inkling they had that, unbeknownst to them, the zoning of their properties had been changed to EP (Environmental Protection) was when another neighbour recently applied for a building permit to Central Frontenac Township and was denied.

“I was shocked,” Rhonda Brunke told council on Tuesday night. “When I bought the property I specifically asked what the zoning was and was told by Central Frontenac Township that it was formerly a part of a commercial resort and the zoning was commercial… I pay taxes based on residential services, how can my property be zoned EP?”

Brunke and Ross applied to the township to have their properties rezoned as EP-X (Environmental Protection – Exception) so they could construct storage buildings.

David Sappleton of Tunnock Consulting presented a report on the application, recommending that the township amend the zoning bylaw to allow the rezoning.

He said that the Official Plan allows non-conforming uses that predate the creation of the Official Plan. He specified that the rezoning would not allow new buildings to have washroom or kitchen facilities, and that they must have an equal or greater setback from the creek than the existing buildings.

Councillor John Purdon asked why the Committee of Adjustment was considering a rezoning to EP-X, as opposed to Rural.

Township planner Glenn Tunnock replied that rezoning to Rural would be “poking holes in the ANSI”. The properties are within the Kennebec Complex Wetland, a 4000 hectare area that has been designated by the province as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

Councillor Gary Smith asked if there were other properties in the same situation and Sappleton replied that there were, and allowing the rezoning would set a precedent, but that the restrictions would protect the environment.

Council accepted the recommendations of the planning consultant’s report and will prepare a bylaw to be passed at their next regular meeting. Ross and Brunke were asked to be in contact with township staff to work out the details.

Condominium Development application: Glenn Tunnock presented a report on an application from Chiarot Development Group Inc. (CDGI) to build a 6-unit condominium consisting of three duplexes on a 4.6 acre waterfront property on Sharbot Lake.

On March 5 of this year, Cameron Chiarot, CEO of CDGI, had withdrawn an earlier application for a larger condominium development on the same property because of an extra requirement from Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA). At that point Chiarot had already spent several hundred thousand dollars on hydrogeologial and environmental studies to satisfy the requirements of various bodies.

Over the summer Chiarot consulted further with MVCA and the township to determin the setbacks on the property and the “building envelope”. He decided to proceed with a revised application for a smaller development. The proposed units would have no docking or marine facilities, but would have a boardwalk leading to the shoreline with a viewing area.

Tunnock’s report recommended that council “defer approval of the application pending public written and oral submissions; seek opinion on a responsibility agreement for commercial systems; and hold a public meeting for a decision on rezoning.”

Claudette Miller, a member of the audience, raised several objections, including the possibility that the septic system could fail and it would be an expensive disaster for the township. She said that council should investigate the experiences of other municipalities.

Glenn Tunnock replied that the developer has to set up a trust fund to take care of such a possibility, and that the responsibility agreement between the municipality and the developer sets out all the costs. He said, “the possibility of the municipality having to take over the system is minimized”.

Councilor Gary Smith asked if the municipality has responsibility agreements with any other multiple residential units such as the Sharbot Lake Seniors Home or the Sharbot Lake Country Inn and was told that it does not.

Ken Waller, vice president of the Sharbot Lake Property Owners Association, commended the “patience of the developer and the approaches he has taken.” He said that the setbacks and CDGI’s plans for a tertiary level septic system go “way beyond what is required”.

A sticking point with some members of the audience and some councilors seemed to be the high population density proposed for the lot. Glenn Tunnock said that provincial policy encourages higher development in villages where there is a clear determination through hydrogeologic and environmental studies that the site can carry it.

Council passed a motion to receive Tunnock’s report.

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