GORE BAY—The Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) has indicated it would appeal, if necessary, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) inclusion in its official plan (OP) that Lake Kagawong is at capacity for development, if that assessment is not backed up with hard evidence.
“That covers all the modifications in policies that have been made by the MMAH on our draft Official Plan,” said Theresa Carlisle, secretary-treasurer of the MPB, at a board meeting last week. Ms. Carlisle said that she would be sending the board’s comments on the modifications to the ministry this week and a final decision on the OP would be provided by the ministry by May 26. “Are there any policies that you feel strong enough about that you would appeal if the ministry kept them in the OP?” she asked the board.
“Lake Kagawong being a sensitive or at capacity lake would be one,” stated MPB Chair Ken Noland, to which board member Richard Stephens added his agreement.
“Not including water access to lots and Islands (would be) another one,” said Lyle Addison.
Mr. Noland said, in response to Mr. Addison’s concerns, “I think it is just a mistake that was made. With the amendment in the modifications recommended by the ministry, if you own land, on an island or a lot and want to split the property, you would need water access in some cases. With the amendment in the modifications recommended by the ministry you couldn’t do it. It would curtail development or even to get building permits on an island. They (MMAH) took it out in one of the modifications and we need to have this back in.”
Ms. Carlisle had told the board at the start of the meeting that 36 modifications in the draft OP had been made by the MMAH, although on some the MPB has no say.
“The only recourse we would have if we don’t agree with any of the modifications made in the OP is to appeal to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board),” said Mr. Noland. “That is why they have given us a chance for input on the proposed modifications they have made.”
The MPB board indicated it has no concerns with implementing policies in respect to coordinating planning application with Island aboriginal communities, “as long as the applications are still processed in a timely manner and decisions can be made within the required time frames,” said Mr. Noland.
As for the modification that Kagawong Lake may be approaching capacity for development, Mr. Noland said, “we have received no correspondence, statistics or correspondence that this is the case.”
The MMAH is expected to provide this information, but has not done so as of yet, the board was told.
“If there is no data how can anyone say Lake Kagawong is at or near capacity?” questioned Dan Osborne.
“Lake Manitou has been listed in the OP as an at capacity lake, with absolutely no study to prove this,” added Paul Moffatt.
“If there is no data to prove any of these lakes are at, or near capacity, then get it off the books,” said Mr. Stephens.
“We need to be strong in our position in this and challenge the ministry for proof on these lakes, before they go and post the same for other lakes in the future as well,” concluded Mr. Noland.