Concerns raised over runoff from proposed extension to parking lot

CENTRAL MANITOULIN—A zoning bylaw amendment for the Spring Bay Pentecostal Church that would allow the church to expand its parking lot onto a property adjacent to the present parking lot met some resistance during an August 25 public hearing on the matter, but was eventually passed at the subsequent Central Manitoulin council meeting with assurances from the church pastor that would ameliorate some of the neighbour’s concerns and in conjunction with the Ministry of Transportation’s injunction that the only access driveway be off of Grimesthorpe Road, despite an existing driveway onto the highway on the property in question.

“I don’t see why they can’t have a driveway there,” said Councillor Derek Stephens.

The decision on the highway access was not for council to decide, noted Councillor Alex Baran, as the decision lies in the hands of the MTO.

Pastor Thompson indicated that the church planned to keep the two properties at their current (and different) levels, with access from one property to the other coming by way of a ramp.

Councillor Dale Scott raised the question of the soil composition of the property and a concern that it may cause an issue with the proposed usage, but staff indicated that it was not anticipated to be an issue.

In addition to concerns of water runoff, the neighbour expressed concerns about the potential for a vehicle to drive into his house. “What’s to stop somebody from driving their vehicle, it’s only 30 feet.” It was noted that there is a tree between the lot and the house, but Pastor Thompson added that the church will be placing large stones to act as barriers to any vehicle crossing onto the adjacent property.

Councillor MacDonald noted that if there was any new runoff from the property caused by the new parking lot, the church would be required by law to rectify that situation.