Council suspends contravention ruling while seeking provincial input on Carter Bay building

MINDEMOYA—Despite concerns raised by a councillor, Central Manitoulin council has agreed to pass a motion withdrawing a notice of contravention bylaw that would have forced a Carter Bay resident to remove building structures on his property. Council has withdrawn this bylaw until the municipality can obtain clarification on development and land use in Carter Bay from the province. As reported in last week’s edition of the Recorder, a motion to this affect had been recommended to council  by its finance and economic development committee.

Council, at its regular meeting last week, considered the motion, “that we recommend to council to withdraw the notice of contravention of Bylaw 2002-07 from the property located at Carnarvon con. 19 Lot 27PT PCL 1017  RP MR26 Part 7 (owned by Bill Cranston) until the municipality can obtain a clarification on development and land use within the Carter Bay development.”

“I’m not in support of this motion,” stated Councillor Derek Stephens. “The committee and council had (originally) instructed our bylaw enforcement officer to investigate a complaint and investigate the properties. They (property owners) know they cannot build there.”

“So our bylaw enforcement officer identified the properties in question and brought this back to the committee and to council,” said Councillor Stephens. “Now we are allowing them to keep their buildings on their properties, and I don’t think we are doing our due diligence.”

“This has been a long term issue, and no planned subdivision was ever forwarded to the municipality or the Manitoulin Planning Board to allow for development,” said Councillor Stephens. “Everyone that lives there knows they can’t build in Carter Bay, as did Mr. (Bill) Cranston,” he said calling for a recorded vote on the motion.”

However, councillor Linda Farquhar stated, “I think we are doing our due diligence by asking our clerk to  obtain clarification of land use on Carter Bay.”

Councillor Pat MacDonald noted, “I think all around the municipality we could find numerous places in which people have developed or built on their lots without permission. But we don’t ask the building inspector to look at all these properties. The proposed motion and action will hopefully help clarify things about Carter Bay.”

Councillor Ted Taylor said the whole issue with Carter Bay and development, “has been going on a long time. We have never seen a planned subdivision for approval.” He questioned if the lots are big enough for well and septic services.

It was explained by municipal clerk Ruth Frawley that there are a total of 2,500 lots on Carter Bay, that’s why a planned subdivision is needed. A planned subdivision would have to go through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the local planning board  before development of a  subdivision could take place. And it was pointed out there are about 300 private lots in Carter Bay, and once one property owner is allowed to develop, others will want the same.

“I think it’s sad we are leaving 300 people out to dry on this,” said Councillor Taylor.

It was pointed out council at one time agreed with a former owner of Carter Bay, Arend Van Vierzen, for a smaller subdivision to be developed near the Michael’s Bay restaurant but the municipality never saw final plans for that, and this took place about 18 years ago, said Ms. Frawley.

“Council has known there has been a problem down there for all that time,” said Councillor Stephens.”

Councillor Dale Scott said, “I agree with what Linda (Farquhar) said that we are doing our due diligence. We are not dismissing someone having a building on the property and that it contravenes our  bylaw. But we are saying we are suspending any action until we meet with the province to see what we can do to accommodate the 300 landowners stuck in this travesty.”

Councillor Scott said, “we need to negotiate with the province, they have the final say on planned development. I don’t think we can proceed until we come to a common ground on this issue.”

Council held a recorded vote on the motion from its finance and education committee, with all  members of council in favour of the motion, except for Councillor Stephens.