An appeal initiated by the South Frontenac Waterfront Coalition (SFWC) to the Township’s recent zoning by-law amendments (see earlier posting on this topic) is now scheduled to be heard May 25/25 at the SF Township Offices.
SFWC has provided the following summary and background information on their appeal:
Find below UPDATE 006 concerning our OMB challenge of the SFT Bylaw Amendment that restricts (and will eventually eliminate) all grandfathered waterfront property rights.
Please let me know if you would like a general info meeting to occur the weekend of 20-21 May.
BOTTOM LINE – SFT staff has confirmed to me that the intent of the bylaw amendment is to eventually REMOVE all LEGAL non-complying (grandfathered) structures by pushing them back outside the 100 foot set-back, or as far back as possible for those undersized lots that do not have 100ft depth
This is a huge revelation, however it has been our fear/suspicion all along and the reason why we appealed the bylaw amendment to the OMB. We think:
1 – SFT does not have the legal authority to pass this bylaw. The same piece of legislation that gives them the authority to make property bylaws, specifically exempts the making of Bylaws that restrict or frustrate LEGAL non-complying structures
2 – Regardless of the law, this is bad policy planning. We think it will damage the health of our lakes as you are going to see an increase in people building without permits and building without proper conservation authority oversight. You will also see an eventual property devaluation as people loose their grandfathered footprints.
3 – SFT has passed up on a real opportunity to be a leader in municipal waterfront planning. Our group approached this issue very reasonably and pragmatically. By putting all parties in a room we felt a simple solution could be achieved that protects both our property rights and the environment.
1 – As you may recall, ever since the Bylaw Amendment was passed we have spent considerable effort to open dialogue with SFT. We recognize that there is a lot of common ground such as the environment and property standards on which to base a potential negotiated settlement. Our goal was to come to an agreement where SFT environmental and property standard concerns could be complimented with a bylaw that also protects our property rights.
2 – Unfortunately, however, after approximately 10 months of effort SFT informed us in mid April that they would only communicate through their lawyer AND (most importantly) that the INTENT of the bylaw is to see the eventual removal or push back of all structures within the 100 foot setback. Unfortunately, SFT actions suggest that they think the only way their environmental and property standard goals can be achieved is to move pre-existing structures back.
If successful, I feel sorry for all the cottages that were built 30-50 years ago that need substantial structural and foundational improvements to bring them up to today’s building code.
3 – Thankfully our legal/planning team has prepared for this situation. They have already won a similar case at the OMB and on Appeal. We are confident that the law and policy is on our side.
4 – Our OMB Appeal is scheduled for 25/26 May at the SFT Office
5 – COSTS: We need your help. This issue is rarely fought because the costs are too high for any one family to tackle. But as a group we have strength in numbers. We still need to raise additional funds. While we were able to raise the funds for the first hearing in February our costs increased 50% when a SFT mistake resulted in a 3 month delay
Ideally these new funds would come from new supporters. Please spread the word. However, if you are an existing supporter and have some additional money to commit please let us know. We have asked for $300 per supporter, however multiple families have now contributed up to $1000. No amount is too small.
If you would like to make a donation it can be e-transferred to firstname.lastname@example.org, or chqs can be made out to South Frontenac Waterfront Coalition and sent to (or dropped off at):
Jennifer Eastman 2114 Hambly Lane Hartington, ON K0H 1W0 613 374-5460
6 – LAKE ASSOCIATIONS: Our best guess is that this issue will affect approx 1500 SFT residences. I would guesstimate that 30-40% of all waterfront property has at least one grandfathered structure. Please keep your membership informed. We are not asking you to take a position, rather give your membership the information so they can make an informed decision. I am happy to make myself available if you would like additional information. Six lake associations have already contacted our group seeking additional information
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.