Hastings projects approved despite tribunal ruling

SIMCOE - Some on Norfolk council wonder if the Long Point Region Conservation Authority is setting some Long Point property owners up for disappointment.

Simcoe Coun. Peter Black blew the whistle Tuesday after reading the minutes of an LPRCA meeting that was held April 4. The minutes contained resolutions approving the construction of change houses on Hastings Drive in Long Point.

The LPRCA approved these minutes at its meeting May 2. This is more than two weeks after the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal – a new agency replacing the Ontario Municipal Board – ruled that all new development on Hastings Drive is forbidden.

Black expressed frustration with the LPRCA’s actions. He said the board is putting property owners in a position where Norfolk bylaw officials will have to order them to dismantle any construction they have undertaken. Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke agreed.

“I think it’s fair for the LPRCA to say they approve it,” Luke said. “But in the end you’ll have to remove it. I think it’s only fair that applicants know that.”

Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus is chair of the LPRCA. He told council that – despite the LPAT ruling – authority members are free to vote their conscience. Prior to the LPAT ruling, the conservation authority had approved a number of change house applications for Hastings Drive that were entirely within the law.

“Each of the board members has a democratic right to vote how they feel,” Columbus said. “There has been a precedent set.”

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