The Lake Association has followed the activities of the Johnston Point development that is taking place in the East Basin of Loughborough Lake. From time to time, the Lake Association has commented on development and made presentations to township council with regards to this. Below is a chronological summary of what has been presented and our current thoughts and position.
Battersea Loughborough Lake Association
The BLLA has been actively involved with the planning process for a number of new developments on Loughborough Lake over the past few years. A number of significant issues with the planning process and the Official Plan for the Township of South Frontenac have been identified.
Encourage Development in the Right Location -- The Official Plan for the most part sets out criteria for new development to comply with. There are situations where the Township Council should be guiding or directing where development should occur for the benefit of the community and the environment. For example even if the development meets the criteria should construction be occurring in a Provincially Significant Wetland that is also an area of Species at Risk as is happening at Johnston Point? Council needs to consider the preferred locations for development and not simply react to developers’ plans. This issue applies to some hamlet areas as well.
Official Plan Criteria – Many criteria require a review and clarification. For example how to measure the water frontage. Most municipalities measure water frontage as a line perpendicular to the side lot lines. At Johnston Point this was not done and the developer took advantage of the poorly worded criteria and used the undulating high water mark line.
Council and Community Early Participation – The formal requirements of the Planning Act and the OP are likely being followed. However, proposed development applications often have been in the review and design stages and in consultation with Township staff for 1 or even 2 years before Council or the community are made aware of them. For effective decision making and community involvement much earlier involvement is required.
Monitoring and Compliance of Approvals – Johnston Point in particular has shown the lack of commitment and processes by the Township to ensure that conditions of approval are met. For example, the OMB approval set out conditions that the MNRF assess the Species at Risk concerns. However, significant construction activity has occurred without MNRF doing the required review. The BLLA wrote to the Mayor and Council raising this concern on June 15, 2016 but have received no response.
June 19, 2016
To: Mayor and Council of
Township of South Frontenac
From: Battersea Loughborough Lake Association
Re: Compliance with conditions of Approval of Vacant Land Condominium Plans
As you know the Battersea Loughborough Lake Association (BLLA) has been actively involved with the consultation and review process for recent new Vacant Land Condominium Plans on Loughborough Lake, East Basin; namely, the 2 applications now draft approved, Applewood and Johnston Point. From the beginning the Board of Directors' primary concern was that the planning rules and procedures be followed as required.
Both developments have an extensive set of conditions that must be fulfilled. All of those requirements are appropriate and many are critical for the protection of the environment of Loughborough Lake. In particular, the OMB imposed an extensive set of conditions on the Johnston Point development including the requirement that MNRF address the Species at Risk (SAR) issues.
Many nearby residents and members of the BLLA were very concerned when they became aware of the heavy construction happening on the property before the environmental conditions and in particular the SAR conditions had been addressed. It was quite disturbing to learn that the Township seemed to have no knowledge of what was going on. We expect the Township to fulfill its responsibility to manage the development it approves.
In late May Councilor Sutherland brought forward a resolution aimed at receiving a report and assurance that the conditions were being followed and that MNRF was doing the required SAR assessment. It was quite disappointing to see that almost all Councilors voted to turn down this reasonable request.
We are all aware that various requirements of the CRCA for Applewood development were not followed last year and that the CRCA chose not to take action. So there are previous examples of conditions of approval and requirements not being complied with.
It is critically important that the Township take steps to proactively fulfill its responsibility in ensuring protection of the environment and compliance of the conditions of approval. The BLLA asks that the Township take immediate action in ensuring compliance by requesting that the developer invite MNRF on site to perform the SAR assessment and to provide their report. If the developer chooses not to invite the MNRF onto the property to do the MR assessment as was expected, then the Township should immediately take the lead and initiate the review. As well, we would like to see Council receive regular status reports on these significant developments.
In conclusion, we hope to see this Council as a whole take a stronger role in environmental protection of our lakes.
Barbara Canton President, BLLA
cc Wayne Orr, CAO Township of South Frontenac Planning Department, Frontenac County
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Loughborough Lake Association