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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Zoning Bylaw Changes Halted

Northern Bruce Peninsula | by Matt Hermiz  

Onus now on Northern Bruce Peninsula landowners to determine flood lines, hazards.

The Municipality of North Bruce Peninsula has made amendments to its proposed Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw after vocal opposition to several items contained in the draft.

CAO Bill Jones explains Council decided at its meeting in Lion's Head Tuesday to remove the drawing of a 100-year flood line from the zoning schedule. Reference will still remain in text that a setback from the high water mark needs to be maintained, it's just not plotted on map.

The amendment also states it's the responsibility of landowners to seek professional assistance in determining the nature and extent of coastal hazards on their property.

Kathy Dimaline, a realtor who started The Red Line Group to oppose multiple changes included in the Comprehensive Zone Bylaw, says amendments were also made to other issues such as environmental hazard designations on waterfront properties and certain advanced sewage septic requirements.

More than 250 people were turned away from a Sept. 25 public meeting in Lion's Head with many packing into council chambers to object changes in the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw, with Dimaline saying nearby homes and cottages would have seen property values plummet.

Dimaline says North Bruce Peninsula Council addressed a number of The Red Line Group's concerns, but still takes issue with some of the new language and offloading of responsibility on property owners to determine coastal hazards.

"The liability and costs associated if you want to build on your property or if you want to add an addition, then you will have to get a coastal engineer -- an expensive coastal engineer," Dimaline says.

Dimaline and The Red Line Group is also considering pursuing litigation as she says the municipality has violated their own Comprehensive By-Law since the 100-year flood provision was added in text in 1989.

She says they issued building permits for years without ever verifying property owners were behind the text-established 49-foot setback from the flood line.

"That wasn't addressed and that may become a legal issue. I did address that yesterday," she says. "It may also become a Planning Act fining issue because they are contravening their own by-laws and have been."

The amended draft will brought forward for another public hearing December 2nd.

Dimaline notes the environment hazard mapping, flood lines and advanced septic sewage systems are only a few issues handled in Tuesday's meeting.

She stresses residents still need a lot more time to review and understand the 150-plus page bylaw to understand all the changes being enacted.

Bayshore Broadcasting News tried to contact North Bruce Peninsula Mayor Milt McIver for comment but he did not respond by deadline.

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