Last summer, there was considerable interest in a proposed by-law that was being discussed by South Frontenac council. This bylaw attempted to clean up language surrounding what could be done with existing and demolished buildings that had been built too close for present setbacks. Unfortunately the language caught up perhaps a larger number of residents and structures than they originally planned and this bylaw is still being debated today. Below is a letter from a local interest group to South Frontenac council - it is being presented because some BLLA members thought that other Loughborough Lake members would find this of interest.
4586 Fox Ridge Trail
Sydenham, ON K0H 2T0
4 April 2017
PO Box 100
Sydenham, ON K0H2T0
Dear Mayor Vandewal and South Frontenac Councilors,
I am writing this letter as the spokesman for the South Frontenac Waterfront Coalition Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was appointed by the coalition to represent the group and the eight separate OMB appeals dealing with the recent bylaw amendments affecting legally non-complying properties. I spoke to you previously on 22 Nov 2016 at a Committee of the Whole Meeting. On 8 March 2017 I met with SFT CAO Wayne Orr. Mr. Orr indicated to me that he has received direction from council to determine whether there was any possibility for a negotiated settlement on this issue. As we have indicated on numerous occasions we believe there is significant common ground. Our group has asked on numerous occasions to have this conversation.
Very simply, our willingness to consider a negotiated settlement comes down to your intent behind the bylaw amendments. Since the original housekeeping amendments were proposed, we have heard from SFT staff and councilors different reasons why this bylaw was needed. Specifically:
A. to ensure any structure within the setback is as environmentally friendly as possible; and/or
B. to ensure the township has the ability to deal with abandoned structures.
If we have summarized this intent correct, then we would be enthusiastic to sit down and discuss a negotiated settlement with SFT. However, if the long-term vision or intent is to create a green ribbon around our lakes, by making it increasingly difficult for residents to use, maintain and rebuild their pre-existing structures, resulting in the gradual extinction of all legally noncomplying properties then we will opt to have this matter heard at the OMB.
Once again, I encourage South Frontenac to sit down and have this conversation with us. Let’s see if there is some common ground. There is a real opportunity to achieve a win-win for SFT and its residents. I sincerely believe that if you put both sides in a room we can come up with a very practical way to protect the environment, deal with abandoned structures, and protect the property rights of over approximately 2000 South Frontenac waterfront residents.
I look forward to hearing from you. Note that while our group has retained counsel to handle the OMB litigation, I will be your (and your representative’s) point of contact for any potential negotiated settlement discussions. My recommendation would be to have a without prejudice meeting between both sides without our lawyers. This will save our supporters and your taxpayers money, while also giving both sides a real opportunity to determine if our interests align.
Those people interested who would like to contact Mr. Peck can reach him at email@example.com
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Loughborough Lake Association