Council mulls proposed changes to planning fees

By Sue Tiffin

Published July 11 2017

The following are brief reports of items discussed during a July 5 meeting of Highlands East council.

Shannon Hunter CAO presented proposed changes to planning department fees.

The changes include a proposed increase to the site plan agreement application deposit the plan of subdivision deposit and the temporary use bylaw deposit.

“To be blunt” said Councillor Cec Ryall “I’m concerned about just the sheer amount that we’re increasing some of these fees and some of the areas in which we’re increasing. So I’m assuming at this point in time this is not ready to be passed.”

“This is to provide notice to the public of our intent to pass” said Hunter. “It’s recommending that we bring it back at the next meeting.”

“So we’ll have a chance to look at this more in depth” he replied. Council will further discuss the proposed changes at the Aug. 2 council meeting.
“I’m not comfortable with the way it sits” reiterated Ryall.

Best practices to clean up the municipality and avoid a “slum” image were discussed at the June 13 economic development committee meeting.

Committee co-ordinator Joanne Vanier submitted a report to council proposing the bylaw enforcement officer actively enforce the Clean and Clear Bylaw.

“As visitors and potential property owners enter our communities yards cluttered with inoperable machinery and other debris present a negative ‘slum’ image” reads the report. “Individuals are reluctant to report these properties as their name will go on record and presented in court if the issue goes to litigation.”

Councillor Cam Mackenzie said the current bylaw officer at the Cardiff office was “probably at capacity.” Hunter said the discussion wasn’t negatively reflecting on the bylaw enforcement officer but more about the municipality finding the best system to deal with the concerns.
Councillor Joan Barton noted it was a valid item for next year’s budget.

Jim Sangster who retired as chief building official for the township of North Kawartha last year is helping the municipality after deputy CBO Josh Bramham resigned.

“He is willing to for the next few months work for us on a part-time basis so that we have time to recruit a new deputy chief building official” said Hunter.

Councillor Joan Barton thanked the Ontario Federation of 4WD Recreationists (OF4WD) for pulling a dangerous and derelict car from a trail off of South Wilberforce Road that is already in use and is in the process of being further developed.

“It was a difficult task and saved us a lot of time” said Barton.

Municipality staff is planning to work on cleaning up the Irondale River starting in Wilberforce in the month of July.

“We haven’t had a chance to get down through” said Jim Alden property supervisor. “The water is still really high and we can’t do anything until the water level does go down a bit.”

The Cardiff water service replacement project began June 21 and Stewart Hurd environmental supervisor said only 12 property water connections have been completed so far. “A lot of different things day by day we’ve seen” he said. “Something new every day.”

“Is there any way we can speed that up?” asked Reeve Dave Burton.

Hurd said Fowler Construction which is working on the project have told him they were working on hiring more staff to be able to have two crews working on the project.

“It’s a little concerning” said Hurd who said he is asking for daily updates. Prior to the project beginning it was expected to take three and a half months to complete.

Septic inspections on Tamarack Trooper and Koshlong Lakes are starting now that the re-inspection program has been completed at Little Glamor Glamor Billings and Stormy Lakes. Student septic maintenance inspectors Rob Carter and Adam Bird said 72 per cent of properties are in the low risk category 13 per cent are moderate risk eight per cent are high risk and five per cent are in the very high risk category.  Systems at very high risk might have a damaged filter bed visible effluent or damaged or corroded tank. The sewage system maintenance inspection program began in May.