Deadline for comments approaching for Centre Lake applications

By Darren Lum

The following are briefs from the Highlands East council meeting held virtually on June 8.

Time is running out for public comments pertaining to three notices about applications to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on Centre Lake. The deadline is June 25.

One is for the Crown Land Use Policy Amendment (CLUPA) to permit dispositions for cottaging on Centre Lake related to policy direction of a 200-foot Crown shoreline reserve surrounding parts of Centre Lake. This 200-foot Crown shoreline reserve is governed by the land-use policies for Multiple Resource Management Area or G340. A proposed change by the Ministry is needed to change the area specific land- use policies related to G340 to consider for cottaging. See details about the CLUPA at The contacts provided are MNRF regional planner Pauline Capelle can be reached at 705-761-5633 or at

The second is for a class environmental assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects, disposition of the eastern portion of the Centre Lake 200-foot Crown Reserve.

The application to purchase the eastern portion of a 200-foot Crown shoreline reserve in Cardiff is for the proposed Granite Shores development with cottage lots, a resort and spa and a maple products operation. Planning documents, applications and studies are included at Contacts included are MNRF regional planner Pauline Capelle and Granite Shores public engagement lead Steven Megannety at 289-690-5860 or

Third is for the Class Environmental Assessment for MNR Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects. Highland View Properties Ltd. is interested in a cottage lot development on Centre Lake. They have applied to purchase the western portion of a 200-foot Crown shoreline reserve in Cardiff. Contacts provided for comments are MNRF regional planner, Pauline Capelle, and EcoVue Consulting Services Inc. Agent Kent Randall, who can be reached at 705-876-8340 and krandall@ecovueconsulting,com.

The township is suggesting anyone who has concerns and questions over the proposals to direct them to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Councillor Cam McKenzie admitted he was confused about the three notices related to the developments and why they were presented the way they were.

CAO Shannon Hunter sought to clear up some of the confusion.

“The first one that you see is for the crown land-use policy amendment. The other two are for the environmental assessment. I believe that is why they are listed that way,” she said. “It is confusing, but if you go back to MNRF’s presentation it did speak to the two different processes that will be transpiring and we will be holding a meeting for our comments on June 22. What we did previous to this correspondence is let people know this is what’s going on, so if the public do have concerns or comments, they should be directed to the MNRF, as stipulated in these notices and I believe Robin will be providing the MNRF any comments that we receive to date.”

Exponential increase for building permits
There doesn’t appear to be any slowdown when it comes to building projects in Highlands East.
At close to eight times more money coming in compared to last year, the township is experiencing astounding construction value figures of approximately $15.8 million this year, which is far greater than last year’s $1.93 million. The township had only 36 building permits in 2020. This year for the same period it is 81, and there were only 16 septic permits last year to this year’s 51.

It left deputy Mayor Cec Ryall shocked.

“I don’t want to say exponentially, but I don’t know what to say?” he said.
Chief building official Laurie Devolin said part of the increase includes the rise in values, which is the result of greater material costs.

Ryall asked, “Could we break $20 million?”

“If this keeps up, we very well could,” Devolin said.

Township waives $50 fee for Septic Use Permit
Without debate, the town council agreed to waive the $50 fee for the Septic Use Permit for the maintenance inspections, as requested by Ron Parkinson. Parkinson championed to have the township recognize optional Level 4 septic inspections.

No objections made for Bell tower location
During the presentation by Maria Wood of Bell Mobility, which pertained to the plans for an installation of a 100-metre guyed tower west of Loop Road to improve wireless network connectivity for Wilberforce and area, she said there hasn’t been any objections to the proposed site.

“This location will provide to the most amount of residents while still minimizing visual impact to the community and due to the tricky nature of siting towers this was the only location that was really able to meet our radio objectives while still maintaining distance from the town of Wilberforce. We have not received any objections in regards to this location. That being said, it is just further evidence [that we’re on] the right site within the community,” Wood said.

Other alternate sites were west of the current selection, which is the most ideal.