CENTRAL MANITOULIN— JM Pellerin, the representative of the latest would-be developers of the storied Carter Bay properties, was jubilant following a June 23 meeting of the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) where the developers, along with surveyor Gord Keatley of Little Current, presented their plans for the property to the MPB.
The proposal presented calls for the consolidation of properties into 168 shoreline lots and 64 back lots and according to a communication from MPB secretary treasurer Alva Carter, “it was the general consensus of the board that the development proposal is supported and, subject to a reasonable time frame and completion of all required studies satisfactory to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, that the draft Official Plan could be appropriately amended.”
The Carter Bay properties have been a contentious issue for Central Manitoulin and the planning authorities since the 1970s and any suggestion that the property will eventually be resolved and properly developed has been taken as a positive sign.
“We have not yet closed the deal on the property,” noted Mr. Pellerin. He pointed out that his group only received the financial information on the corporations that own the properties that make up the Carter Bay development a couple of days prior to the original closing date. “There just wasn’t enough time to conduct a proper due diligence.
Mr. Pellerin said that he fully expects the deal to close eventually. Part of the developer’s plans are to consolidate the various corporations that hold title to the properties into a single company. According to Mr. Pellerin, the current owners wanted to treat the sale as a simple asset divestment, but his group wanted the sales to focus on the corporations instead.
“We are going to do this right,” said Mr. Pellerin, a point that was of some comfort to Central Manitoulin Reeve Richard Stephens.
“It will be nice to see this finally developed properly,” said Reeve Stephens during a recent council meeting where he briefed his council on developments at the Manitoulin Planning Board. “The developer seems to be approaching the development from that perspective.”
Mr. Pellerin noted that the patchwork quilt of property owners currently encompassed in the property is not anticipated as being a major difficulty. “We have already had a number of property owners approach us indicating that they would like to sell,” he said. Under the current set of circumstances, the properties in question are not able to be built on. “Right now you couldn’t even put up a tent there,” suggested Mr. Pellerin. So the new development would likely solve a lot of those owners’ property issues. “I am certain that we can work something out, either selling us the property or buying additional property that will bring their lots into compliance.”
As to the ongoing question of the fate of the Michael’s Bay property that Mr. Pellerin had also expressed an interest, that remains up in the air. That will remain the case “until Public Works Canada gets their act together and starts moving,” said Mr. Pellerin.