| Jun 04, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - June 4, 2009 South Frontenac Council - June 2/09by Wilma Kenny

South Frontenac welcomes new CAO

Following a brief and unusual mid-meeting in camera session, Mayor Gary Davison introduced Wayne Orr, the Township’s new CAO, hired to replace Gord Burns, who is retiring in August.

Orr is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from McMaster, with strong work experience in human resources. Presently living in Fergus, he is Director of Administration for the Wellington/Dufferin Public Health Unit. Orr said he’s looking forward to working in the area of municipal government, and living in a rural area. He will begin working for the township in early July, in order to have a transition time before Burns leaves. At present, he’s planning to spend a couple of days looking for a house in South Frontenac for himself, his wife, and their two teenage sons.

Plastic Bags

At the mayor’s request, three Loughborough Public School students, Sarah McFadden, Alex Gibson and Kayla Green repeated the presentation they took to county council about the damage plastic bags cause to marine animals, the economy and the environment. They gave a lively, impassioned and well-reasoned plea to find alternatives to our heavy use of plastic shopping bags. 

Public Meetings

There were public meetings around three severances. Two of them, the division and rezoning of a lot between Devil Lake and the Perth Road, and another about a rezoning issue in Storrington, drew no comment. The third issue, Sally Gordon’s request for rezoning of the southwest corner portion of Moon’s Corners (where Sydenham Road meets Rutledge) led to a lot of questions and comments from both neighbours and Sydenham villagers. There were concerns about noise, traffic, storm water and drainage management, and the effect of development on existing well levels.

Gordon intends to put in a service station and a small office, and eventually a retail outlet and storage units on the 15 acre site, for which she is seeking re-zoning from rural to special rural commercial.

Speaking on behalf of herself and her husband, Fran Willes listed a number of concerns, saying she had been shocked by the township planner’s apparent acceptance of the proposal. She noted that the traffic studies did not seem to accurately reflect the heavy summer traffic of cottagers and visitors to Frontenac Park. Others questioned the wisdom of approving apparently extensive commercial development outside the village. Ms Gordon’s planner responded that a recent report seemed to approve the projected plans for water and waste disposal. His understanding is that summer traffic volume is no greater than spring and winter pm/am peak flows. He said that bulk fuel depot could be removed from the list of acceptable uses, and added that his client had not requested approval for a hotel: that that had been added to the application by the township.  He noted that the site plan approval process would allow for further community input later in the process.

Councilor Hahn commented, “In my opinion, this proposal has OMB written all over it. It’s important at this stage to hear and respond to the neighbours’ concerns. We also need to look at the hamlet of Sydenham, and the effect of a fairly wide range of external commercial uses.”  

Hahn said he would like to see more specific zoning: the owners could come back for rezoning, if later uses were being considered. He noted that the township rarely uses the site plan process as a place for public input.

Councilor Ron Vandewal said he agreed with Hahn (reluctantly): a developer is bound to want as broad a range of uses as possible. He felt the original proposal for a gas station, storage units and small office spaces seemed reasonable.

Councillor Alan McPhail agreed that the list of approved uses should be narrowed down.

Deferred motion

Council deferred a motion in support of Bill 221 to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to include volunteer fire fighters, pending further information about the financial impact of the retroactive legislation. Mayor Davison emphasised that this was in no way meant to be unsupportive of the fire department volunteers.

Bag Tags:

Homeowners will be issued 50 tags, to cover until the first tax bill is mailed in 2010. It is hoped that by that time, a more long-range plan will be in place.

Special Commendation:

The mayor praised Councilor Vandewal for having recently made his 100th blood donation. The Canadian Blood Services recently presented Vandewal with an award in honour of his generous accomplishment.

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