| Jun 12, 2008

Feature Article - June 12, 2008

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Feature Article - June 12, 2008 Central Frontenac Council – June 9/08By Jeff Green

Central Frontenac Council resolves planning bottleneck

There’s nothing like a muggy summer night, a non-air conditioned hall, and a host of contentious planning matters to make for a pleasant evening for a township council.

All of those elements were in play in Mountain Grove on Monday night as Central Frontenac Council met to discuss a subdivision on Eagle Lake, a controversial “dry dock” on the Bell Line Road, and a retirement home on Road 38 south of Parham.

The first issue on the council agenda was a proposed subdivision on Bridgens Island on Eagle Lake.

As explained by the township planner Glenn Tunnock and a representative from the consulting firm McIntosh Perry, the proposal is an attempt to take a 30-year-old co-operative arrangement between 14 lot owners on the island and give each of the lot owners a deed to their lot.

Of the 14 proposed lots, ten are currently occupied by seasonal dwellings, and the four remaining lots would require setbacks of 40 metres from the high water mark for any building to take place.

The advocates for the subdivision, which will require county approval if it is to proceed, have been aided by an accident of timing.

In the revised Central Frontenac Official Plan, which is on the verge of being approved by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Eagle Lake has been deemed a “highly sensitive Trout Lake”, severely limiting development. However, the subdivision proposal pre-dated the new official plan, and Tunnock said that according to a legal opinion from the township’s solicitor, the township and the county can proceed in this case under the rules in the Official Plan as it stood at the time the application was filed.

Although most of the speakers on the proposal said it is merely an attempt to recognise what is already in existence and would not lead to any further impacts on the lake, there was a single dissenting voice. A woman who lives on the shoreline of Eagle Lake argues that there is much boat traffic and she feared the traffic would increase.

No decision was made on the application, which will continue its bureaucratic path.

BOOMGARDT REZONING: Council finally dispensed with an unusual rezoning application, although the matter will most likely end up before the Ontario Municipal Board.

Mr. Boomgardt was applying for a change in zoning to permit him to build a parking lot and a dock on a piece of property which has 19 metres of frontage on Warren’s Lake. The dock and parking lot are intended for the exclusive use of people who purchase four building lots that Mr. Boomgardt has created out of a 65 acre piece of land that he owns.

Objections were registered by adjacent landowners, who raised a series of technical arguments, and pointed to a report by the fire chief that raised concerns about a three metre wide road that is also planned. They argued that the lake will be endangered for no other reason than to allow Mr. Boomgardt to offer questionable waterfront access to properties that would otherwise be less valuable.

There was much discussion about whether the proposed dock would even reach the water or would only make it to a muddy wetland some distance from the shallow lake.

“The dock will reach the water during certain times of the year,” said Mr. Boomgardt’s consultant.

The zoning was approved in spite of objecting votes by Normand Guntensperger, John Purdon, and an abstention by Gary Smith.

CLOW REZONING - Another zoning matter that has been before council for a time was resolved when Glenn Tunnock recommended a zoning amendment to permit a retirement home expansion by Jennifer Clow of Hinchinbrooke.

Water issues on the site will need to be resolved before a building permit can be issued, and fire regulations will need to be satisfied before an occupancy permit can be issued, but the zoning hurdle has been cleared.

PUBLIC WORKS MATTERS – Public Works Manager John Simcock reported that tenders have been received for the surface treatment of Highway 509, Ardoch Road and Zealand Road. The winning bid came from Smiths Paving at $520,000, which is $2,000 over the budget estimate for the job. Greenwood Paving was the only other bidder at $550,000.

The roadside mowing tender was awarded to Scott’s Snowplowing and Grass Cutting for $13,500.

2ND LAKE ROAD – The washed out Second Lake Road repair is being addressed. A trench box culvert, costed at $63,000, from Anchor Concrete, has been purchased and a crane hired to lower it into place. John Simcock said there needs to be a “three-day weather window” to complete the work.

MOUNTAIN GROVE FIRE HALL NEAR COMPLETION – Simcock reported he has done a walk-through of the new firehall and a few safety concerns are being addressed.

BLEACHER COMING – In response to a question from Councilor Frances Smith, John Simcock said the second bleacher is coming for the Oso ballfield in Sharbot Lake.

“Good,” said Smith, “I’ll know what to say when people call me.”

SAFETY CONCERN OVER BEARS - Finally, Simcock took the opportunity to report that many people have been congregating at the Olden dump during off hours to view the bears that have taken up residence there.

“Many of the bears are female and when their cubs are born the situation will become even more dangerous than it is - and it is already dangerous,” said Simcock.

People are advised to stay away from bears, and never to approach them.

“On some nights, you would think it was a drive–in movie theatre there with the number of cars,” Simcock said.

The matter will also be raised with the Ontario Provincial Police.

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