May 10th, 2016 Public Meeting, Norolk County Council Chambers: I want to thank the County for allowing me to speak today. My name is Stephen Corke, my cousin and I are "vacant" land owners at 165 & 167 Hastings Drive. Our grandparents were one of the first original cottage owners in the late 40’s. The large brick chimney, footings and holding tank are still there and haven’t moved in the last 60 plus years, as per the survey I had done last summer by Kim Husted Surveyors out of Tillsonburg.
Based on current policies and recent OMB decisions, which I will go over, I find the Final Hastings Drive Issues & Options Report to be incorrect with it’s evaluation criteria, and overall biased in the legislation and examples selected.
The Final Report failed to mention Section 3.1.6 of the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement, which specifically states that development and site alteration may be permitted in those portions of the hazardous lands, where the effects and risk to public safety are minor. Furthermore the “no re-build” recommendation, within the 1989 Shoreline Management Plan is a complete contradiction to the far more current 2014 PPS.
To classify overnight seasonal tenting as a change of use, and therefore considered development, is completely unreasonable. The use of my grandparents property was bought for the same reason and use, as all the other cottages that are currently on Hastings. At the time of the 1985 storm there was no flood proofing standards for structures, and my grandparents didn't have the money to repair the cottage prior to it being unknowingly burned down by someone, which resulted in their, and now my property rights being stripped.
The Great Lakes communities have recently considered the Scarborough shoreline as a model for coastal protection. A Scarborough Bluffs resident stated, “Five years ago, we had a problem, and now we’ve got a solution. And it’s a brilliant solution”. At this time, 11 residents along Meadowcliffe Drive, in Scarborough, were losing roughly 30 centimetres of there backyard, every year.
Laura Stephenson, manager of the Toronto Conservation Authority commented, “We’re looking at it from a perspective of trying to find that balance between preserving some of the naturally eroding bluff features, and making sure our shoreline design mimics a beach.” A quick look through google earth can see, the simple yet effective shoreline protection implemented within the last few years, which echoes Ms. Stephenson’s balanced approach.
Norfolk County and the Long Point Conservation Authority should be looking into this. Does Norfolk want to be known as the County that is falling into Lake Erie or do we want to do something about it? Technology and flood proofing standards have changed in the last 30 years, as we can see now, yet none of which were identified in the Final MHBC Report.
I would now like to provide reference to three Natural Hazard based Appeals at the Ontario Municipal Board, which occurred within the last 10 years, keeping in mind that no OMB cases were referenced in the Final Report.
An OMB Case in the City of Niagara Falls during 2006, the Board Member approved development in Hazard Land, based on the fact that flooding and drainage issues already existed, and flooding issues would not potentially be worsened as a result of the new development. PL060322
An OMB case in the Thousand Islands district during 2010, the Conservation Authority appealed a proposed development in the wave uprush area, based on, all “new construction” constituted the creation of a “new hazard”.
The Board member approved the development and disagreed with the local CA’s view, and found that all documents within the PPS & OP allow for the consideration of development in the wave uprush zone, provided conditions are met. The board member also found that there was no concrete evidence to support the CA’s view that there would be actual negative impacts on personal safety and property damage. PL100123
Lastly, and most importantly, the 2011, Mr. Paul Smith OMB case involves the development of new seasonal cottages on undeveloped lands located within Reach 2 on the Long Point Peninsula, designated as “Hazard Lands”. The Council, CA and MNR refused the application concluding that development on the site should not be permitted, because portions of the site were found to be below the 1:100 year floodplain elevation, which would affect the installation of a septic tank making it “neither possible nor practical”.
The OMB member concluded, that the proposed development would be allowed, based on the fact that there are already existing seasonal dwellings and associated facilities in the area. They stated, “The Board has been told that the Long Point presently contains over 800 seasonal homes, many camp sites, and public recreational facilities. Although the whole of the Long Point is designated Hazard Land, all these facilities and installations have been allowed to remain with no restrictions, notwithstanding the “hazard conditions”. Are they not all subject to the same risk factors in a potential flood event with respect to traffic over the causeway? Would four new seasonal dwellings substantially increase the “public risk” factor? The Board has determined, through the evidence, that the proposal will not increase the risk, and any potential increase would be manageable by any public mass evacuation system presently in effect”. OMB Case PL090265
That being said, my Preferred Options Based on Current Legislation are:
The ability to fix or rebuild cottages on their old footprint. There was no option within the MHBC Report for fixing or rebuilding the previous cottages, which was made very clear to be an option during the initial stakeholders meeting on September 4th. Currently the Official Plan allows non-conforming structures on Hastings, which are partially or fully destroyed can be restored.
Thank you for your time.