Haliburton County adopts shoreline bylaw

By James Matthews
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s all over but the wait.
That’s where Haliburton County is at regarding its new Shoreline Preservation Bylaw that will come into effect April 1. That bylaw will replace the current Shoreline Tree Preservation Bylaw.
County council officially adopted the new rules March 22 during its regular meeting.
Stephen Stone, the county’s planning director, spent the past number of weeks shopping the amended bylaw to lower-tier municipalities. The amendment was necessary because Dysart et al. refused to cede jurisdiction of its shoreline to county authority.
So the new bylaw will apply to Minden Hills, Algonquin Highlands, and Highlands East. The Shoreline Tree Preservation Bylaw will continue in Dysart.
Whatever Dysart decides to do in way of protecting its shorelines, Warden Liz Danielsen, who is also mayor of Algonquin Highlands, said she hopes it dovetails with the county’s efforts.
“The closer that we can align our directions, the better to reduce any conflict,” she said.
Councillor Murray Fearrey, Dysart’s mayor, said his township will work to mirror as closely as possible what the county does to protect shorelines.
“But we have some different slants on it, obviously,” he said. “One of them is the way we collect money. I just want to make sure that we’re not tied to the Provincial Offences Act because I know how it works. It doesn’t work.”
Fearrey asked about how the fines for infractions of the Shoreline Tree Preservation Bylaw came to be approved.
Stone said the county presented the fine structure to the provincial court for approval by a judge. Something similar will have to be done regarding the fines under the Shoreline Protection Bylaw.
“With the approval of (the shoreline) bylaw by council today, we’ll actually prepare a submission to the courts to get a fine structure established,” he said.
Should they get a violation after the bylaw comes into effect in April and before there’s a judicially approved fine structure, Stone said the offender will be summoned to court to answer for the violation.