Jeff Green | Sep 24, 2015

A crowd was gathered outside the Denbigh Hall at 7pm on Monday night as a regular meeting of Addington Highlands Council was getting underway. They had been in the hall earlier for the performance of a new song by the Pickled Chicken String Band about the Wind Turbine Protest.

“We came here to show the council that we are not going away,” said Alice Madigan, a member of BEARAT (Bon Echo Area Residents Against Turbines)

The protesters remained outside the building as the meeting got underway. The turbine issue was not on the agenda.

Weslemkoon building project faces roadblocks

Valerie Peverly came to Council to see if a building permit she took out in 2007 could be reinstated. She explained that she and her husband obtained the permit with the intention of having a cottage built on a water access lot they own on the lake. They have an existing cottage on an adjacent lot and intended to build a new one. The project stalled, however, because the sawmill that her husband, Robert Peverly, operates in Peterborough, burned down that summer. As they focused on getting a new sawmill built, Robert also suffered knee problems, and required several operations over five years, culminating in knee replacements.

“I only tell you this to explain that we did not intend to delay this building project, but the circumstances did not allow us to do so until now,” she said to Council.

“We hear what you are saying and we sympathize,” said Reeve Hogg, “but the regulations have changed since 2006 and the permit is no longer valid.”

The circumstances are complicated by the fact that a minor variance that was granted at the time because of the location of the proposed building has also expired.

Valerie Peverly said that she has already submitted an application for a new septic permit and officials from Kingston Frontenac Public Health have been out to the property and are satisfied that they can issue one.

Doubt was then cast on the Peverlys' chances of obtaining a minor variance and subsequently a building permit when David Munday, a lawyer from Cunningham Swan representing a neighbouring property owner, also appeared before Council as a delegate. He said that when it comes to minimum setbacks from a water body, the key issue in the pending minor variance application is not only setback from the lake but also setback from a lowland/swamp on the Peverly property.

“The township's Official Plan talks about a 30-metre setback from any water body. Not to make too fine a point, we expect the township to follow its Official Plan in this case,” Munday said.

He also said that Weslemkoon Lake has been designated by the Province of Ontario as a Trout Sensitive Lake, pushing the setback for construction up to 100 metres.

Council received the Peverly and Munday presentations for information.

Trail or road, Council stays out of it

Mark Mieske, from the north shore of Ashby Lake, came to talk about a trail/road on his property that he has blocked off with rocks. At the previous meeting of council on September 7, a delegation came to Council complaining about the blocked road, which they said was a road that has been used for 40 years to access the lake and hunting opportunities.

Council did not take any action on Sept. 7.

Mieske brought pictures of the road, which he said was built in 1972 and had not had more than $500 worth of gravel applied since then.

“There is legal access to the lake through the public road, and this road, which is not a road but a path that can only be crossed by ATVs, is located entirely on my land,” said Mieske.

“There is nothing for us to do about this. As far as I can see, it is a civil matter,” said Councilor Bill Cox.

ATV bylaw

In response to requests from Mark Freeburn and the Napanee and District ATV club, the township will prepare a bylaw for the next meeting to permit 2 seater ATVs access to township roads.

“This will not effect Hwy. 41, which is controlled by the MTO, or County Road 29, just Addington Highland's roads,” said Reeve Hogg.

Former fire hall not available for storage

In response to a request from Andy Anderson to store materials for the Flinton Jamboree in the now abandoned Northbrook fire hall building, Councilor Cox said, “Aren't we trying to get rid of that building? This would be going backward, I think.”

Council voted to deny the request.

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