| Jul 10, 2008

Feature Article - July 10, 2008

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Feature Article - July 10, 2008 South Frontenac Council – July 8, 2008By Wilma Kenny

A Minor Variation or a "Horrible Precedent?"

Councillor David Hahn brought up a recent Committee of Adjustment decision that he said concerned him.

The owners of a shoreline property on Morning Glory Lane in Portland district had been granted a minor variance after they had constructed a deck and an addition without building permits. Hahn noted that the Township planner had advised the variance application be denied, as it did not conform to the official plan or the zoning act, and was neither minor nor appropriate to the lot.

Hahn recommended the Township appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Deputy Mayor Bill Robinson said the Committee of Adjustment had passed the motion 5 to 3, and he felt their decision should not be challenged.

"I disagree," said Councillor Del Stowe, "If we start approving minor variances after construction without permit, we’d be setting a horrible precedent. If we did that, I’d wash my hands of that committee."

Councillor John Fillion sided with Robinson, saying Council had no right to challenge its own committee.

Mayor Davison said the township lawyer had advised that if a committee went against the recommendation of its own planner, they should consult another planner before making a decision.

John Fillion then made a comment about lawyers.

The mayor said he found the committee’s decision unconscionable: he said that the applicants had known to get a renovation permit for inside work, so had no reason not to know a permit would be necessary for the deck and addition.

"How can we defend our official plan, if we allow this?" he asked.

Councilor Ron Vandewal said, “This way, the people who behave legally are the ones who are penalized: the ones who don’t get permits are being allowed to get away with it."

Council voted to appeal the decision: John Fillion, Bill Robinson and Larry York were opposed.

Township Land Acquisitions

Council has agreed to purchase a band of land around the Storrington Centre site for $45,000, on behalf of the Township, and approximately 40 acres adjoining the Loughborough landfill for $100,000, on behalf of Loughborough district.

Fuel Price Escalation Raises Township Expenses

Mileage rates have been increased to $0.49 per kilometer effective July 1, for councillors, staff and contractors using personal vehicles while on township business. Council also agreed to incorporate a fuel price adjustment for payments for the provisions of municipal services under contractual agreement (waste collection, snow clearing, etc), effective April 2008. The amount will be determined by the Ministry of Transportation Fuel Price Adjustment calculations.

Library/Township Building Expansion

Council agreed to establish an Advisory Committee on the Sydenham Library and Administration Building Redevelopment proposal, to be composed of: 4 council members, 3 members of the public, and staff and advisors as required. This committee will review proposals and make recommendations to Council. The CAO will advertise for the three public members.

Poison Ivy in Verona

Deputy Mayor Robinson reported he had been receiving complaints about poison ivy on township property in the village of Verona: Council has agreed to engage a licensed applicator to destroy it. Poison ivy is on the provincial list of noxious weeds, and it is the responsibility of the landowner to get rid of it.

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