April 1, 2008

South Frontenac Township Official Plan Review.

The township council is in the final stages of its periodic review of the official plan. David Hahn has sent an email to his distribution list expressing concern about two proposed changes and, because of their substantive nature, the lack of sufficient notification and public input about them. The proposed changes pertain to severances and development on private lanes. I will attempt to capture the essence of the issues. In addition, I encourage you to contact our councillors and township officials to express your views. The council will review the official plan again at its “committee of the whole” meeting on Tuesday, April 8th at 7 PM in the council chambers in Sydenham. While the public will not be afforded the opportunity to speak at that meeting, I encourage you to attend if you are able to do so.

Severances.

When the OP was adopted in 2000, it permitted up to three severances from lots that existed on that date. Otherwise development would have to proceed through a formal plan of subdivision. The restriction was intended to ensure that issues such as drainage, groundwater and traffic impacts were adequately considered for larger developments. David Hahn indicates that the council proposes to allow three severances from lots in existence in 2008. The effect of the date change would allow the potential to establish 16 lots from the original single one without the requirement for a plan of subdivision. Objecting council members: Hahn, McPhail, Davison; others support this.

Development on private lanes.

David indicates that the current OP does not allow development on private lanes unless they lead to water. He states that generally a new lot must either have water frontage or be on a public road. It specifically states that no new back lots will be created on private lanes. The council proposes to change this policy to allow back lot development on private lanes. This could lead to a second tier of lots surrounding our lakes. David states, “The argument advanced is that this will create more residents to share the upkeep costs of the lanes.” He expressed his view that it would lead to more pressure on our lakes, would create more traffic on lanes and create more pressure to provide township services to the lanes. Objecting council members: Hahn, Robinson, McPhail, Davison; others support this.

David expressed concern about the substantive nature of the proposed changes. He indicated that the township was performing a review of the plan, not developing a new plan. He said “We were looking for any areas of policy that were not up-to-date with provincial policies or perhaps that were not working as intended to achieve the goals and objectives set out in the OP.” He continued, “I believe that the effect of these two policies together will produce a pattern of development that is not foreseen in the OP and that constitutes a major change in the direction of the Township’s policies. Council of course has the right to change policies. But if the changes are major and go to the heart of the OP goals and objectives as these do, then the public must be given an opportunity for input.” He also said that the township planner and the CAO both recommended against these changes. He stated further that the Township solicitor advised that there may be township liability with respect to private lane development and that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs representative said that they advise against private lane development.

Action Required.

We urge you to contact your councillors and the Township Chief Administrative Officer, CAO to express your view on these matters. Their contact information is:

Del Stowe, Bedford District Councillor: dstowe@primus.ca

David Hahn, Bedford District Councillor: dhahn@rideau.net

Gord Burns, CAO: gburns@township.southfrontenac.on.ca

Gary Davison, Mayor: davison4544@yahoo.ca

Lindsay Mills, Township Official Plan Administrator: lmills@township.southfrontenac.on.ca

Please also send your comments to Taro Alps, President of the Greater Bobs & Crow Lakes Assn. at mtalps@kingston.net

The township website is at: www.township.southfrontenac.on.ca. You may view a copy of the existing official plan by going to the “planning” tab there.

In addition, we urge you to attend the township meeting on Tuesday, April 8th at 7 PM.

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