Trees cut for development concerns residents

To the Editor,

Re.: Harburn Holdings Development Proposal on Peninsula Dr./CR 21 on Grass Lake in Haliburton

We have to express our strong opposition to the above mentioned development.
As we live on Grass lake since 2004 we have witnessed the slow but drastic changes on the property in question:
First was the cutting of more than half of the trees, the woods looked much like it still does on the other side of the road, you could hardly see the lake. The brush was burned with tires, which indicated to us the lack of respect for the environment of the developer right from the start.

Then there were probably over 100 truckloads of fill dumped and spread out with heavy machinery right up to the swamp. Several mature trees are dying in that area. Now the developer will cut anther 50 per cent of the mature trees left. At the end there might only a quarter of the original trees be left!
The proposed erection of 88 units does not blend into the existing building surroundings, neither on Peninsula Drive nor on county road 21.
Even more out of place would be any commercial or “highway oriented commercial” (whatever that means!) development.

The whole area is already heavily effected by the new Tim Hortons, which – by the way – never installed the lower lamp posts that were a condition with the permit as far as we all remember. This constitutes a heavy light pollution for the whole area. It can be expected that the new development will only add substantially to it.
If 88 water front units are being built as proposed that would mean the addition of almost as many motor boats that will drive to their destinations through the narrows into town or the Kashagawigamog chain of lakes. The proposal said only a single dock would be build but no power boats be allowed. This is totally misleading: Who can forbid the use of a power boat on public lakes?

But our biggest concern is the deteriorating water quality of Grass Lake! In the last few years the growth of sea weeds has increased substantially.

I don’t know exactly when the sewage plant was built; it must be about 25 years old. But since then these are only the major developments that have been connected to that sewer line: condominium buildings, Granite Cove, Granite View and Granite on Wallings Rd. a subsidized housing project, phase 1 & 2 the first phase of a senior residence.
I remember reading the sewage plant was labelled as ‘oversized’ when build, but it must be doubted that it’s still sufficient in size. The off (or over) flow goes into the river between Head and Grass Lake thereby effecting the water quality of the subsequent chain lakes.

We demand that the municipality initiates a thorough condition and capacity investigation of that sewer plant by a competent engineering company with or without the proposed development in question.
We hope that the council of this municipality is not only guided by the chance to increase the property tax base and the rule: More and bigger is better, regardless of the negative consequences for the environment and people effected!

Angela Haedicke
Jurgen Haedicke