CENTRAL MANITOULIN—After several years of discussion and false starts, Central Manitoulin municipal council has finally passed Zoning Bylaw Amendment 2016-07, but not without some last minute protests from Councillor Derek Stephens. The amendment will curtail the use of house trailers on private property in the municipality.
“I am still in opposition to this bylaw,” said Councillor Stephens during the November 10 meeting of council. “This should have been put in tax bill so that people know this is happening.”
Councillor Stephens cited the bylaw for being too draconian for a rural area and he maintained that there should have been some provision for people to licence trailers on their land. “People in the public liked that idea; they would still be able to use their property.”
Councillor Stephens went on to reiterate that the general public has not been well apprised of the impact of the bylaw. “This bylaw hasn’t been put to the public,” he said. “It should have been (proposed) in the summer when people who will be impacted by it are here.
“Is it on the website?” asked Mayor Richard Stephens.
“I posted as per the bylaw,” replied municipal building official Raymond McPherson, who was in attendance at the meeting.
“We just did what the Planning Board does,” confirmed CAO Ruth Frawley.
“This was put out to the Island public,” said Councillor Stephens, noting that without a broader publication, property owners who live off-Island in the off-season would not be likely to have heard. “People don’t know what was going on,” he said.
“I believe that people have a responsibility to stay informed,” said Councillor Alex Baran.
“This will only be enforced by complaint,” interjected Councillor Patricia MacDonald. “This will not be a witch hunt.”
“By written complaint,” confirmed Ms. Frawley.
On a recorded vote only Councillor Stephens voted against the motion.
“I will vote in favour,” said Mayor Stephens. “I think we have had ample discussion on this bylaw. It is carried.”