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Pilgrim’s Rest proposal raises concerns

On March 7, Peterborough County Planning Department posted a notice regarding proposed development of the Pilgrim’s Rest property in Hull Bay on Stoney Lake.

This property is on the north shore, on the west side of Jack’s Creek, adjacent to part of the Hull Bay-South Bay Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) Complex.

The proposal is for a 30-lot vacant land condominium with common recreation areas in the existing beach, boat launch and dock areas (24-30 docks).

Environment Council immediately responded to the proposal and its supporting documents. We have requested further environmental impact assessment, including an update on significant new provincial policy and mapping relating to this proposal.

A key concern is the potential impact of increased boat traffic on Jack’s Creek and the PSW complex. Both are spawning areas for Muskie and Walleye, and provide habitat for a diversity of other fish and wildlife.

We are also concerned about the effectiveness of implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the mitigation measures proposed to offset human impacts on water quality, the shoreline, terrestrial wetlands and other habitat for wildlife, including Species at Risk.

A public meeting will be scheduled following the completion of the peer review process for the project.

(Note: Depending on your web browser, the following links may open in a new window or download to your PC.)

Click here to see our complete submission.

Click the next 2 links to see maps of the area


Provincial Natural Heritage System


Septic re-inspection update

There’s good news and bad news about septic system re-inspection on our lakes.

The good news is that North Kawartha Township is re-inspecting all Ston(e)y Lake properties within its jurisdiction this spring and summer, including water access locations. Trent Lakes Township also has a program in place.

However, we are very concerned about the Selwyn and Douro-Dummer Township decisions not to begin their septic re-inspection programs this year, as they had committed to do.

Selwyn plans to hold public meetings on the subject in August. Watch your tax not ices and the township’s website for updates. Please plan to attend and reinforce the need for re-inspection.

Douro-Dummer’s plans are unclear at this time.

Faulty septic systems pose a serious threat to water quality and human health, so we will continue to press these two townships to start re-inspection programs as soon as possible.


OMB dismisses Fraser Development appeal

It was worth the wait!

On October 6, a year after the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) concluded its hearing into the proposed “Fraser Property” development east of Burleigh Falls, the Board issued its decision.

The OMB ordered that Burleigh Bay Corporation’s (BBC) applications to amend North Kawartha Township’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw be denied and that BBC’s appeal to the OMB be dismissed.

The decision protects the 6.2-kilometer undeveloped shoreline and two Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs) from a 58-unit housing development and 72-slip marina, with extensive recreational facilities, road network and parking areas.

The development was proposed on 273 hectares (675 acres) of mostly forest and wetlands, containing an estimated 450 different species of flora and fauna. A number of these are endangered or threatened.

The Board cited the location of the development “in and around” the PSWs as one of the most compelling reasons for denying approval, and noted many issues relating directly or indirectly to water quality.

The OMB found that the development was not consistent with the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the County Official Plan as they relate to the protection of natural heritage resources, and especially the PSW Complex.

These were key points addressed during the hearing by expert witnesses on behalf of the Friends of the Fraser Wetlands (FFW), by the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes and by other individual participants.

It is clear from the OMB’s findings that the proposal did not pass the “no negative impacts” requirement set out in the PPS. In summary, the Board found that the proposal did not represent good planning, nor was it in the public interest.

The Board noted the “consistently large contingent of concerned local residents of the Stony Lake area” and individual participant’s concerns about issues such as increased boat traffic and its impact on water quality, aquatic species and safety.

We believe the OMB’s findings in this case are extremely important, not only because they protect a large and irreplaceable natural area on our lakes, but also because they provide clear reference points for decision-making on other possible developments in sensitive areas.

The future of the “Fraser Property” is unknown, but we are hopeful that a way will be found to preserve it in perpetuity, and that no new development proposal will be put forward. For updates, and more on the OMB decision, please go to www.friendsoffraserwetlands.com

We are encouraged by the OMB’s finding that only two of the 58 proposed lots were not adjacent to at least one PSW “pocket” or part of a PSW, and the fact that the protection of PSWs was so central to the Board’s decision-making.

The Environment Council is deeply thankful for the work of the FFW Board of Directors, Curve Lake First Nation, FFW’s legal counsel, who were very helpful to us, and FFW’s amazing team of tireless volunteers, all of whom were critical to achieving this wonderful positive result.

Thanks also to the many donors who contributed to FFW, and to the lake associations and individual participants for their support.

The OMB decision is an important victory for protection of our lake water quality, wetlands and natural shore lands and the wildlife they nurture – and for our lake community. It shows what can be achieved when many people become informed and actively involved.




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