| Jul 17, 2008

Feature Article - July 17, 2008

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Feature Article - July 17, 2008 Central Frontenac Council - July 14/08By Jeff Green

Severance getting close after four year wait

Doug Brown has been planning to sever his lot on St. Andrew Lake near Godfrey so that his sister can build a seasonal cottage on the lake, and he can keep his house.

It all seemed like a good idea. The new lot is large enough, and has enough shoreline frontage and required setbacks to satisfy the township’s official plan, so everything seemed in order.

But one bureaucratic hoop led to another, and four years and thousands of planning dollars later, things might just now be rounding into shape - that is, if there aren’t too many snakes nests on the new lot.

One year ago, council gave conditional consent to the severance and a required zoning change, but it turned out that road access was a problem.

Doug Brown’s existing property is split by an old CP Rail line, now owned by Bell Canada. The line is fenced and there is a gate on both sides that Brown uses, under an agreement with Bell, to access his property. It is a long-standing relationship, and as Doug Brown told Central Frontenac council this week, “Bell even replaced the gate a few years ago.”

When applying for the severance, Brown sought and received a letter from Bell Canada, stating “Bell Canada will permit the adjacent landowner to cross from one side of their property to their property on the other side, across the Bell Canada owned lands.”

While this is sufficient for the existing property, the township’s official plan says that any new lot being created requires that the lot has “legal access” to a township road, and Bell’s letter of permission does not constitute legal access.

This week, one year later, council studied a proposal to create a “water access lot”, to be accessed from a property on the north side of the lake.

While this satisfied council, Councilor Bill Snyder pointed out that the agreement to park a car for a boat launch to the new lot is listed in the application as a permanent agreement, and provincial law requires that no such agreements be longer than 21 years. Nonetheless council approved the bylaw on the understanding that a correction can be made in supporting documentation.

So, will Doug Brown’s sister be able to build soon? Not yet. A trained biologist will have to come in to the property to determine if there is any nesting habitat for the Eastern Black Rat Snake, which is listed as a “threatened species” in Ontario.

“If this is the case, there is plenty of room for the building to be moved,” said township planner Glenn Tunnock.

But then the cottage will be located next to a snake’s nest, and black rats are the largest snake in Ontario, growing to be as long as 200 cm (6 ft).

AFAR MAKES PRESENTATION – Bob Taylor, accompanied by Hali Foster, Stella Posthma, and Howard Gibbs, brought information about the AFAR (Adddington Frontenac Area Radio) project, which although based in Northbrook, will likely have Arden and Mountain Grove in its range.

Current plans are for the radio station to be on the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with mostly local programming.

Taylor asked council for a general letter of support to accompany a grant application to the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, and $1,000.

Council agreed to provide the letter, and asked staff for a report on where the $1,000 could be found. Several councillors also bought $10 memberships to the radio station.

FIRE HALL COMPLETED - The long-awaited Olden Fire Hall in Mountain Grove has been completed, Fire Chief Mark Macdonald reported to council.

“The trucks are in, the fire fighters are in, and the training centre will be completed by September, in time for us to do eight or so weeks of live burn training this fall,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald also reported that the radio tower project, in partnership with Utilities Kingston, will be completed soon.

As well, the new first response vehicle has been purchased for location in Piccadilly. The 4 x 4 truck will contain loads of fire gear, including fire retardant foam, to improve fire services in the very south end of the township.

$2,000 FOR PARHAM FAIR – Council agreed to provide a $2,000 grant to the Parham Fair, in line with grants in previous years.

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