Appeal to the Lambton County Council

The following is an appeal that has recently been submitted to the County opposing Lambton Shores Draft 7 Official Plan. It is a remarkable document that attests to the spirit and acumen of members of our organization. Bravo to this OWCLA member. To ensure our goal of member privacy we have removed the name of the member who submitted this, but are very proud and appreciative of this effort.

To:      Clerk David Cribbs, County of Lambton and Warden Bev MacDougall, County of Lambton
Date:  May 6, 2016
RE:    Appeal to the Lambton County Council re:  Opposition to adopted Draft 7 of the Lambton Shores Official Plan before Lambton County Council for approval.

When it comes to the Lambton Shores Official Plan that Council adopted on November 24, 2015, I have many concerns.  These concerns have grown as I have learned more about the adopted Draft 7 and heard of the hardships experienced by those who have severed property and/or have built here in Port Franks.

Table of Contents

Process and Notification
Development and Infrastructure
Impact of Environmental Restrictions on Development and Property Rights
Environmental Restrictions and the Ontario Superior Court
A Punitive and Discriminatory Tertiary Septic System Policy
Cash-lieu of Parkland Payment
Sustainability Plan
Impact on Property Values
Summary
Footnotes

Process and Notification

I was amongst the hundreds of residents who wanted a public meeting on this draft but were denied this by the Lambton Shores Council.  When over 50 significant changes are made to any draft of an Official Plan, it makes a mockery of the public process to proceed on public input from a previous draft.  This mockery is further exacerbated, when the finalized published version of this 207 page document, along with detailed appendices and schedules, is only made available to Councillors six days prior to inclusion in a Council Agenda.  How can anyone be expected to review such a lengthy, detailed and complex document in 6 days, especially when 2 of those days are Saturday and Sunday?

  • Only one councillor spoke to his inability to process this amount of information in such a short span of time. In his remarks, this councillor held up both Draft 6 and Draft 7 to show those in attendance just how much information both he and his colleagues would have to read.
  • A motion was put forward to table approval of Draft 7 of the proposed Official Plan until a public meeting or an open house was held on the draft as presented. This motion was defeated in a 6 to 3 recorded vote.1
  • One councillor wanted 13 revisions made to eight Schedules.2 How can a By-law adopting an Official Plan be passed before all the revisions are made to that document? 
  • It was apparent that the Deputy Mayor did not understand the implications of Sections 5.7.2.1, and 13.3.2. 3 This would not have had so much significance, if the Deputy Mayor had not felt the need to tell the residents of Port Franks that they were protected from sewer installation for 20 years when in fact they were not. 4 Perhaps, if the Deputy Mayor had read the qualifier at the end of the sentence (“except incompliance (sic) with Section 13.3.2), he would not be left to wonder, “What is the concern?”

In the Citizens’ Guide to Official Plans,5  under the sub heading Pre-consultation, public meeting and Input it states, “When considering an official plan, your local council, ….. must ensure that:

  • At least one public meeting is held, notice of which must be given at least 20 days ahead of time, usually through local newspapers or by mail;
  • Adequate information, including a copy of the proposed plan, is made available to the public in advance of the public meeting.”

What the Lambton Shores Council has done in rushing Draft 7 of the Official Plan through to adoption is to set a precedent that is not covered in the Citizens’ Guide to Official Plans.  They refused to hold a public meeting on Draft 7 of the Official Plan. They refused to answer questions regarding both sewers and environmental concerns throughout the summer and fall of 2015.  They refused to alter their position on sewers in the face of substantial and ever-growing opposition.  Instead, out of the blue, they sprang the printed version of the Draft Official Plan on their residents.  Residents were informed at 4:55 p.m. on Friday, November 20, 2015 that the Draft Official Plan could be viewed on their website.  This was the first notification that residents received that the Draft Official Plan was completed and had been printed.  If residents were not in the habit of checking the Lambton Shores website for the Council Meeting Agenda they would be totally unaware that the Draft Official Plan and a pre-prepared by-law were to be discussed and most likely adopted in just a few days.  Is this behaviour in keeping with the spirit intended within the Official Plan process?  Will Lambton Shores Council be rewarded for this behaviour by having the County of Lambton approve their Official Plan? Will the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing rewrite the Citizens’ Guide to ensure that in the future all local councils who employ this strategy must:

  • Give at least 20 days notice;
  • Give notice through local newspapers or by mail in addition to notice posted on their website
  • Provide adequate information in the form of printed copies of the proposed plan
  • Provide these printed copies well in advance of the council meeting.

Development and Infrastructure

The Provincial Policy Statement stresses intensification, redevelopment and compact form when it comes to development.  It calls for the orderly progression of new development.  It allows for the expansion of settlement areas only after a comprehensive review and where it has been demonstrated that sufficient opportunities for growth are not available.  This is not the case in Lambton Shores where we are oversupplied with both serviced and partially serviced building lots.

Further, the Provincial Policy Statement stresses that development shall be appropriate to the infrastructure which is planned or available, and avoid the need for the unjustified and/or uneconomical expansion of infrastructure.  Allowing development of lands designated “residential beyond 20 years” throughout the Municipality is contrary to the Provincial Policy Statement Section 1.1.3.4, 1.1.3.6, 1.1.3.7, 1.1.3.8 and 1.1.5.5.  Not only does it further scatter development out in pockets of up to 5 homes, it also opens the door to sewer installation which both the Minister of the Environment and the County of Lambton have stated is not necessary.

I am opposed to any inclusion of sewer installation, however benign, in Draft 7 of the Official Plan.  The opinions of 2 councillors and the senior planner that septic systems are polluting the lake runs contrary to what water quality studies have shown and what the Minister of the Environment and the County of Lambton have stated.  Moreover, residents have stated loudly and clearly that they do not want sewers and that we do not need sewers.  It is preposterous to commit us, even to the possibility of sewer installation throughout the lakefront area, until it can be proven with empirical, objective data from a third party that:

  • The majority of septic systems presently in use are ‘failing’ whatever the term failing means since it has not ever been defined;
  • That these septic systems are negatively impacting ground water quality;
  • That the phosphorus problem on the Ministry of Natural Resources lands in Ipperwash emanates from residential septic systems and not from either the MNR septic system (which has been leaking for years) or agricultural runoff.

We cannot solve either an MNR septic tank maintenance issue or an agricultural problem with sewers.  Rather than automatically looking at large scale infrastructure projects our council should first define the scale and scope of the problem, if one even exists, and then work to solve these problems through small scale economically viable solutions.  After all, this is what good planning is all about.

The Provincial Policy Statement wants municipalities to avoid the uneconomical expansion of infrastructure.  Section 1.6.6.1(b) stresses that sewage systems be provided in a manner that is “financially viable”. At present, Lambton Shores tax payers are paying for the capital, operating and maintenance costs of two arenas (when our population can realistically only support one arena), the makeover of Grand Bend’s main street and the Grand Bend Sewage Treatment Facility.  Moreover, this municipality already maintains five (5) sewage treatment facilities.  Why would our council even contemplate another large, expensive infrastructure project when our septic systems are working just fine?  Many residents feel that property taxes are already too high for the limited services we receive.

How can our council expect that affected residents under a user pay scenario will have the ability to pay for sanitary sewers?    One councillor has stated, at the November 24th Council Meeting, that the cost would be $40,000.00.  Others have estimated the cost at closer to $60,000.00.  When you add in property costs (hook up charge, a contractor to trench to the house, a plumber to redirect pipes and drill through a concrete floor to connect pipes, repair basement, redo landscaping, repair driveway, decommission septic tank which could include soil testing, removal of weeping bed, possible removal of contaminated soil, a back flow or check valve, and insurance) homeowners could be facing another $5,000 to $20,000.  Seniors on fixed incomes, snowbirds, and cottagers make up the bulk of the population in Port Franks.  For them these costs would be untenable and most would have to sell; if they could sell in an environment when everyone else was trying to sell.

In rural and semi-rural areas it makes no financial sense to engage in expensive and unnecessary sewer infrastructure projects.  Septic systems that are properly installed and well maintained are a more economical and environmentally safe solution.

The Sewer Shell Game Played on Residents of Port Franks, Ipperwash and North Bosanquet

In Draft 6, Section 5.7.2.1 Policies, it stated,

“In addition to the relevant policies of the “Grand Bend Residential” designation, the following policies apply in Port Franks and Ipperwash:

The Municipality does not anticipate the extension of sanitary sewers to Port Franks and Ipperwash in the 20 year planning horizon of this Official Plan.”

 In Sanitary Sewage Services, Section 13.3.2, of Draft 6 of the Official Plan it stated,

“At this time

  • Lambton Shores has no plans to service Port Franks, Ipperwash or North Bosanquet within the planning horizon.”

Given these statements in Draft 6, residents felt confident that they would not have to pay for any costly and unnecessary installation of sewers for 20 years.  This changed drastically on May 11, 2015 when council stated their intention was to service lakefront areas currently on septic systems with sanitary sewers.  Council then followed this up in June 2015 with a strategic plan initiative to develop a 20-year sanitary sewer servicing master plan for all of Lambton Shores.  Although this initiative was dropped during council’s last strategic planning workshop, council never wavered in its determination to place sewer installation in the Official Plan.

The protection residents were afforded in Draft 6 disappeared from the Sanitary Sewage Servicing Policy, section 13.3.2, on September 22, 2015 when Council voted to remove the following bullet from under the words “At this time”. 

  • Lambton Shores has no plans to service Port Franks, Ipperwash or North Bosanquet within the planning horizon.”

Once this was done section 5.7.2.1 was also altered.  It now reads as follows:

5.7.2.1   Policies

In addition to the relevant policies of the “Grand Bend Residential” designation, the following policies apply in Port Franks and Ipperwash:

  • The Municipality does not anticipate the extension of sanitary sewers to Port Franks and Ipperwash in the 20 year planning horizon of this Official Plan, except incompliance (sic) with Section 13.3.2.

How neatly played.  On one hand the council is providing protection from sewer installation while on the other hand they are removing this protection through an exclusion clause.  Section 13.3.2 of Draft 7 now includes the following:

….”the Municipality will consider the future servicing of areas in Lambton Shores currently on private septic systems with municipal sanitary sewers, where there is sufficient demand or proof that the sewer extension is warranted.”

Why did the council feel that they needed to add this exclusion clause in Draft 7?  It would appear they wish to restrict the protection residents were afforded in Draft 6 and open the door to ‘possible sewer installation’ their intended goal from May 11, 2015.  Why will council not define what constitutes ‘sufficient demand’ or ‘proof’?  Is it any wonder that residents are concerned?

Impact of Environmental Restrictions on Development and Property Rights

Environmental restrictions and regulations are delaying and negatively impacting development.  Although council has tried for years to encourage economic growth, they have met with limited success.  In order to understand why this is the case, we need to examine both the Official Plan and the application of the Official Plan.  What happens when a landowner wishes to sever a building lot or two from their property?  What happens when a landowner or a developer wishes to build on an infill lot?  What happens when a landowner wishes to add an addition to their home?   What happens when someone purchases a vacant lot and wishes to build a home?  I will use a few properties in my community, Port Franks, to illustrate the frustration, the anger, the excessive time spent dealing with bureaucrats, the hurdles, and the expenses that landowners and developers encounter before they receive that elusive building permit.  Many classify their experience with the planning and building department as ‘a nightmare’.  They speak of decisions that are subjective and the process as being adversarial.

Most properties in Port Franks are designated ‘residential’.  So there should be no difficulty when it comes to securing a building permit.  Wrong.

What residents only discover when they want to build a new house, add a second story, build a room over a garage etc., is that Port Franks is in an Environmentally Significant Area containing either endangered species or species at risk.  This brings these lands under the control of the Ministry of Natural Resources.  Many areas within Port Franks also qualify as Natural Heritage Areas.  This means that an Environmental Impact Study is required.   Port Franks is also forested in many areas so the Significant Woodlot definition with its constraints comes into play.  Significant Woodlands and areas deemed significant wildlife habitat are regulated by the Conservation Authority and the Municipality.  Then there are the Ecological Buffer Zones that must be respected.  On top of all this, because Port Franks is considered to be in an area classified Extremely High Archaeological Potential an Archaeological Assessment is necessary.  Last, but not least, are those homes in areas designated “Hazard” and “Lakeshore”.  These properties come under the jurisdiction of either the Ausauble Bayfield Conservation Authority or the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority.

Under goals and objectives of Section 3.1 Natural Heritage System, it states that “the Official Plan is based on the following objectives:

  • To prohibit development and site alteration in the habitat of Species at Risk
  • To prohibit development and site alteration:

    • in woodlands, valleylands, wildlife habitat (sic) wetlands and areas of natural and scientific interest (ANSI) unless it can be demonstrated that no negative impacts will occur to features or ecological functions;
    • on lands adjacent to these areas, unless an evaluation demonstrates that no negative impacts will occur.

Under Natural Heritage Areas, Section 3.4.2.1 Policies it states:

  • “Development and site alteration is not permitted in (PPS):

a) significant woodlands;
b) significant valleylands;
c) significant wildlife habitat;
d) significant areas of scientific interest; and
e) coastal wetlands;
unless it has been demonstrated that there are no negative impacts on the natural heritage features or the ecological function.”

Under section 3.4.2.4 Significant Woodlands it states,

  • “Development and site alteration is not permitted in a significant woodland unless it can be demonstrated that there will be not (sic) negative impacts on the natural features or their ecological functions. An Environmental Impact Study (EIS) will be required for any development, site alteration, etc. within 120 metres of a Significant Woodland as outlined in Section 3.5 of the Official Plan.  (Natural Heritage Reference Manual for Natural Heritage Policies of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 Second Edition)”

“Other policies include:

  • Any trees or forest cover removed for development, site alteration, infrastructure and public service facilities must be replaced at twice the area removed. Replacement cover should be planted in the same corridor and consist of similar or native vegetation.
  • Tree Preservation and Natural Vegetation Preservation Plans will be required as a condition of development.”

Under Section 3.4.2.5 Wildlife it states:

“As required by several Federal and Provincial Acts, the Official Plan protects the following habitats:

  • Primary and Secondary Corridors;
  • Hazard and Lakeshore Areas;
  • ESA’s
  • Significant fisheries and wetlands;
  • Woodlands and Natural Environment Areas;
  • Significant Habitat of Endangered and Threatened Species.

Federal and Provincial Acts provide additional protection for birdsThe Migratory Birds Convention Regulations (MBR’s) prohibit the ….disturbance, destruction or the taking of the nest of a migratory bird.  Similar protection for most other wild birds is protected by the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and regulations.

No development or site alteration is permitted in wildlife habitat unless it can be demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural heritage features or their ecological functions. 

To implement these laws, Lambton Shores may take the following actions:

  • All EIS’s, as required by the Official Plan, must include an assessment of existing and potential habitat.
  • Development and site alteration, involving tree and vegetation clearing, must avoid the bird nesting season, generally extending from mid-April to the end of July in this area.’

Under Section 3.4.2.6 Significant Habitat of Endangered and Threatened Species it states:

“The Federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) is intended to prevent wildlife from becoming extinct or lost from the wild with the ultimate objective of helping their numbers recover. SARA covers birds, plants, fish, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles. The Ontario Endangered Species Act (ESA) came into force in 2008 and protects species at risk in Ontario. The Endangered Species Act includes additional species that are not at risk in Canada but are in Ontario, such as the bald eagle.

In Lambton Shores, aquatic and terrestrial SAR and ESA species are known to exist throughout the Municipality. To protect habitats from disturbance, specific locations are not identified in the Official Plan or shown on the schedules. Specific locations will be determined during the development approvals process, using data from Provincial and Federal authorities or data acquired during an environmental evaluation as required.  The following policies apply to preserve significant habitats:

Development and site alteration, including grading, excavation and the placement of fill, are not permitted in habitats of endangered and threatened species, except in accordance with provincial and federal regulations.

Lambton Shores’ staff will assist property owners in determining if their lands are impacted by SARS and work with then and the appropriate Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Staff to obtain site specific information.  

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has general SARS mapping available at the County of Lambton to assist municipal staff in identifying those areas in the municipality which are or may be impacted by SARS.

Development and site alteration are not permitted on lands within 120 metres of significant habitats of endangered and threatened species unless an EIS has been prepared in accordance with Section 3.5.

Prior to accepting an EIS and allowing development and site alteration to proceed, Lambton Shores will be satisfied, in consultation with the appropriate Federal and Provincial authorities and Conservation Authority, that the EIS demonstrates that all negative impacts on habitat values and related ecological functions can be (in order of preference) avoided/minimized or mitigated.

Under Section 3.5.1 Ecological Buffer Zones it states:

“Designed to protect natural heritage system features and their ecological functions, an ecological buffer zone is a strip of land and vegetation between development sites and these features.”

From Table 3 Ecological Buffer Zones and Areas Subject to an Environmental Impact Study we find that buffer zones are generally 120 metres but they may be larger or smaller depending on the findings of an Environmental Impact Study.  These zones are regulated by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Conservation Authority and/or the Municipality.

Under Surface Water and Groundwater Section 3.10 it states:

As required by the PPS, the Official Plan includes policies for protecting, improving or restoring the quality and quantity of water, including surface water and groundwater features.  With the Conservation Authorities as partners, the Official Plan’s policies are based on the following objectives:

  • The Protection of areas susceptible to groundwater contamination, as shown on Schedules B and C.
  • To restrict development and site alteration in or near sensitive surface and groundwater features, so the features and hydrologic functions are protected, improved or restored. Mitigation measures and alternative development approaches will be required as part of the development approvals process.”

Under Areas Susceptible to Groundwater Contamination Section 3.10.1 it states:

  • “Better enforcement of the many existing rules relevant to groundwater protection. Examples include Federal and Provincial legislation and regulations, such as the Fisheries Act, Building Code, Nutrient Management Act, Environmental Protection Act, the Ontario Water Resources Act….” 

Given all of the above, where is the consideration for the massive impact that a sewer system installation will have?

Under Archaeology Section 14.1.2 Policies it states:

“Completed as part of the land use planning and development or environmental assessment approval process, an archaeological assessment must be approved by the Ministry of Culture.  The assessment follows a four stage process:

  • Stage 1 consists of Background Research to determine the existence of known archaeological resources and the archaeological potential of a property affected by development or infrastructure improvements. If a property has moderate or high potential, the assessment proceeds to Stage 2.  If no archaeological potential is identified, the property may be “cleared” of further archaeological concerns.
  • Stage 2 is a Field Examination of lands with archaeological potential, involving surface surveys and shovel testing, to determine the presence of undiscovered archaeological sites and impact of the proposed development, etc. on the sites. If a site is identified, the assessment proceeds to Stage 3.” 

Stage 3 testing determines whether the size, cultural affiliation and significance warrants moving to Stage 4 which may include excavation or preservation.

Under Section 3.5.2.1 Areas Subject to EIS it states:

Environmental Impact Studies are required for all development and site alteration in a significant natural heritage feature or within a certain distance, being the buffer zone, (adjacent lands) of significant natural heritage features as shown on TABLE 3.

Under Section 3.5.2.2 EIS Process it states: 

An EIS must be prepared by properly qualified professionals (see definition, Section 2.5).  Qualified Professional as defined in Section 2.5 “means a person carrying out studies or evaluations as recommended or required by the Natural Heritage Reference Manual who meets any specific requirements (e.g., wetland evaluation training) to carry out the study or evaluation and where appropriate meets professional standards in their particular filed (sic) and is accredited by a professional organization.”

In Lambton Shores the EIS process consists of three steps.  The first is a pre-consultation with the municipality.  Once the municipality’s planner has consulted with the appropriate Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Natural Resources it will “identify potentially affected natural heritage corridors and features” and “provide general guidance to the applicant on environmental issues and concerns and the form and content of the EIS”.

If this isn’t enough to scare off potential buyers, perhaps Step 2 will.  This is when they meet with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which is composed of representatives of the Municipality, ABCA or SCRCA and the MNR.  After discussing the suitability of the proposed development, the Technical Advisory Committee “may make preliminary recommendations regarding modifications to the proposal to enhance the compatibility with potentially affected features, preserve, enhance or restore on-site features and (in order of preference) avoid, minimize or mitigate potential adverse impacts.”  Detailed terms of reference are then developed for the Environmental Impact Study.  “The terms of reference must be approved by TAC for the application process to proceed.  With TAC’s approval, the terms of reference may be refined during the study to account for unforeseen circumstances.”  In other words, these regulatory authorities could ask you to do yet another study or report of their choosing.

Those persons, who haven’t thrown up their hands and given up, proceed to Step 3 which is the preparation and review of the draft Environmental Impact Study.  Of the many items that must be included in the draft the following stand out:

  • “all on-site and adjacent significant natural heritage features, areas susceptible to groundwater contamination, watercourses, streams and drains;
  • Recommended measures to …..avoid/minimize or mitigate adverse impacts, including buffer widths and vegetation and a buffer management plan;
  • Recommended monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of the development’s mitigating measures;
  • Opportunities to restore degraded significant natural heritage features.”

When you have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that your proposed development will have no negative impacts that can’t be mitigated, you can submit your draft EIS to the Technical Advisory Committee for review.  If comments are positive, you may submit the Final EIS along with a completed formal development application.  You are now in the home stretch.  “If the EIS is accepted and development is permitted to proceed, all recommendations made in an EIS, as modified by TAC, must be incorporated into development and servicing drawings and any subsequent development agreements between the developer and the Municipality.”

After reading through just some of the environmental definitions and regulations as outlined above, it is easy to see why landowners and developers are beyond frustrated.  It is important to keep in mind that after completing all of these studies there is no guarantee that a landowner will have his application approved and be granted permission to build.  Dealing with one government agency is often difficult but when you have to satisfy two or three different government agencies it becomes time consuming and exasperating.  What federal or provincial act do I have to satisfy now?  What new condition must I agree to in order to get my building permit?  Then hope and pray that a skink doesn’t show up on the building site necessitating a complete work stoppage.

The following illustrate the effect that this Official Plan is having on just a few infill properties in Port Franks:

  • It cost $50,000 and took three years for one landowner to do all the required studies and reports required during the E.I.S. process. This was so that they could sever three building lots and acquire a permit to build a new house for themselves on one of these lots.  The issuance of a building permit was delayed in the spring until they could satisfy the Migratory Bird Act.  This entailed having a qualified individual come out and walk the property and adjoining ‘buffer’ lands with a tape recorder to prove that there were no baby birds or bird nests that would be affected during the construction.  The cost of this report was $1,500.

To the overall $50,000 cost you also have to add an extra $8,000 to $12,000 for a tertiary septic system as now mandated by the County and over $10,000 to provide a paved driveway as a further condition attached to receiving approval to build.  Although there is no specific number of homes required for a subdivision in the Official Plan, this landowners was required to complete a plan of subdivision for three lots fronting on a well-travelled public road.  Naturally, this added to the cost.

Why did the County require a tertiary septic system, when tertiary systems are not a requirement of the Ontario Building Code? 

  • One of these subdivided lots was sold, not built on and sold again. The new landowner was told by the planner that environmental studies would be required before a building permit application would be approved.  There was no room for compromise until the new owner was able to secure previously done studies to buttress his position that studies had been previously done.
  • It cost $30,000 and took three years for this landowner to do all the required studies and reports in order to sever two building lots from their property.  In-lieu of parkland cost them $5,000 per lot.  Total cost was $40,000 to sever two lots.  Two prospective buyers loved Port Franks, loved the building lots and wanted to purchase a lot.  However, both were too scared to proceed after being informed of all the environmental reports that they would need to complete in order to have their application even considered for a building permit.
  • A prospective buyer wished to purchase a lot that had gone through the EIS process and was for sale. Since the original EIS was 3 to 4 years old, they were told by the municipality that they would have to update the EIS.  The cost for this – somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000.  At this point they still had no definitive answer from the Ministry of Natural Resources whether their application would be approved.   The municipal planner provided no assistance and would only say over and over, “What does MNR say?”

Unwilling to get stuck with a property that they could not build on, this desperate buyer went to a lawyer for assistance.  The lawyer wrote to the MNR informing them that if they didn’t give their approval, then the sale would not go through.  They waited at least 2 months for a response to the lawyer’s letter.  With no answer forthcoming from the MNR, this buyer decided to take a huge risk and finalize the sale.

When the final update report from Stantec was submitted to the MNR, the buyer received notification that they needed to fulfil yet another condition.  The Technical Advisory Committee required the Curriculum Vitae of the person who did the report in order to ascertain if they were qualified or not.

Although no birds and/or nests were found either on this lot or on adjacent properties, the MNR insisted that they respect the Migratory Bird Act.  For this reason construction did not begin until mid to late August bypassing the summer building season.

On top of all these delays and extra costs, as mandated by the County of Lambton, this buyer had to install a tertiary septic system.  The $20,000 cost for this system is $12,000 more than this buyer would have had to pay for a conventional septic system.

  • It is almost two years that this landowner has been waiting for the Conservation Authority to tell him what he needs to do so that he can enlarge his house. Who knows how much longer he will have to wait?

These environmental restrictions are not just affecting Port Franks.  They are being felt throughout all of Lambton Shores to a greater or lesser degree.  For example, take the buyer who wanted to build a home in the Pinery Bluffs subdivision.  Due to the topography, the land surveyor recommended positioning the home on a flatter section of the lot.  This was not compatible with the location of the building envelope that the municipal planner had specified.  Also not compatible was the size of the house.  While not overly large, it did not fit into the small building envelope that was allocated for this lot as per a policy in Section 3.4.2.3.1 which stated:

  • “Only a minimal amount of the existing tree cover and natural vegetation may be cleared for dwelling construction, including septic system, if applicable.”

These buyers were not prepared to pay $200,000 for a lot on which the municipality placed such severe size restrictions due to environmental regulations.  Since there is no definition of minimal, the size of the lot is left to the municipal planner’s discretion.  With no flexibility or room for compromise, the buyers walked away.

The result:

  • Buyers who wasted 3 months of their time and their money on a fruitless and frustrating endeavour. It is highly unlikely that these buyers would contemplate buying and trying to build on another property in Lambton Shores given their experience and financial loss.
  • A developer who through municipal regulation and intransigence lost a potential buyer and must now spend more time and money trying to find another buyer. It is difficult enough to sell property without municipal regulation, intransigence and delay added to the mix.

Section 3.4.2.5 Wildlife states:

  • Development and site alteration, involving tree and vegetation clearing, must avoid the bird nesting season, generally extending from mid-April to the end of July in this area.”

In Ontario the building season extends for twelve (12) months but in many areas of Lambton Shores the building season is reduced to eight and a half (8 ½) months due to this regulation in the Official Plan.  This regulation is enforced whether or not there are any nests on the proposed building lot or on adjoining properties.  This puts our builders at an extreme disadvantage.  Moreover, it elevates environmental protection “out of all proportion to what would be considered reasonable and accepted practice throughout the province.” 7  

Section 2.5 of Draft 7 of the Official Plan states, “The Province has a recommended approach for identifying natural heritage systems, but municipal approaches that achieve or exceed the same objective may also be used.”

Is it any wonder why many developers refuse to build in Lambton Shores?  Not only are they buried in red tape they are buried in environmental regulations and restrictions.  One has to wonder if these environmental restrictions are enacted and enforced to the same degree in the 11 other ‘lower tier’ or ‘local municipalities’ within the County of Lambton?

One also wonders if Lambton Shores truly wants to encourage development and growth when it puts the following in its official Plan:

“At any point during the process, before a formal development application is made, the Municipality may advise the applicant that the application is unlikely to be approved and recommend that an application not be submitted.  The completion of an EIS does not assure the approval of a development application.  Accepting, modifying or rejecting development proposals adjacent to natural areas is part of a larger development approval process.”

This is a presumptive practice that is totally subjective and discriminatory.

Environmental Restrictions and the Ontario Superior Court

Under Section 3.3 Hazard and Lakeshore it states:

“To protect public health and safety from natural hazards and preserve natural heritage features, the Official Plan directs development away from hazardous lands and sites along the Lake Huron shoreline, rivers and streams.”

Under Section 3.3.1 Hazard and 3.3.1.1 Permitted Uses it states:

The hazard areas in Lambton shores are designated on the land use Schedules A, and A1 to A8 to the Official Plan as ESA, General Regulation Area, Wetland and Hazard and are under the jurisdiction of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) and the St. Clair Regions Conservation Authority (SCRCA).

New development and site alteration are generally not permitted in “Hazard” areas.  Buildings and structures are generally not permitted, except those required for flood or erosion control, conservation and passive recreational purposes.  Development shall not adversely affect the ability of the floodplain where a floodway has not been established on a watershed basis.

The Hazard and Wetlands components of the hazard areas are regulated by the Conservation Authorities and approvals from the Conservation Authorities is required prior to the commencement of development activity in regulated areas.

Permit applications are submitted to the staff of the Conservation Authority for review.  This review is conducted under the internal times frames approved by the Authority Board.  Authority Staff can approve applications subject to conditions.  If an application cannot be supported by Authority Staff, because it does not comply with the Authority’s policies, it is presented to the Authority Board, who has the authority to refuse a permit application.  Decisions made by the Board and staff on permit applications can be appealed to the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner.”

The case of Gilmor et al. v Nottawasaga Valley and The Township of Amaranth came before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, on August 19, 2015.  Relevant sections of the issues raised on appeal, the analysis and the decision by Sean F. Dunphy, Jr. are set out below. 8

Alex and Tania Gilmor were denied permission to build on their land because the proposed development would affect flood control.  They appealed this decision by the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (the NVCA) to the Deputy Mining and Lands Commissioner (the “Tribunal”).

[30]          On July 31, 2014, the Tribunal released detailed reasons and upheld the NVCA’s decision, denying the Gilmors request for permission to build.  The Tribunal summarized its conclusion as follows (at p. 57):

“Based on the evidence and the reasons outlined, the tribunal does not find the application to be appropriate or justified especially from a safety point of view and also from the need to maintain the natural floodway.  The application cannot be considered unique from an environmental standpoint.  The tribunal finds that the PPS will take precedence along with the mandate of the Conservation Authorities Act and the subsequent regulation.  Therefore, the tribunal will order that this appeal be dismissed”.

[4]               Subsection 3(1) of Ont. Reg. 172/06 (hereafter the “NVCA Regulation”) required the Tribunal to assess whether the proposed development would affect flood control and several other factors.  Instead, the Tribunal interpreted the law to impose a general policy prohibiting development subject only to an exceptional discretion, and the Tribunal placed a heavy if not impossible onus on the Gilmors to justify an exceptional departure from the general prohibition.  In so doing, the Tribunal made the same error of law that this court corrected in the case of 3437400 Canada Inc. v. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, (2012), 354 D.L.R. (4th) 756 (Ont. Div. Ct.). Properly interpreted, the NVCA Regulation does not prohibit development in designated areas; it only prohibits developments that are found to affect flood control or one of the other listed criteria (none of which were engaged in the immediate case).

[5]               The Tribunal (and the NVCA) incorporated within its analysis of flood control a concern for safety should there be a flood at the property, but on the evidence, the proposed development will not have any effect on flood control as such, and the evidence revealed only a very low risk to safety, even in the event of a hypothetical extreme flood of rare severity.  The Gilmors’ application ought to have been approved based on the uncontradicted evidence before the Tribunal, and this court has the appellate jurisdiction to grant an unconditional approval.

[36]           Relying on 3437400 Canada Inc. v. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, supra, the Gilmors argue that the application of MNR safe access guidelines and provincial land use policy statements are beyond the Tribunal’s “home statute” expertise.   The NVCA counters that historically the Tribunal has been sitting on appeals from the various conservations authorities established under the CAA and over the years has decided numerous applications for permission to develop.  Many of its decisions are published, and it has developed a body of jurisprudence.  Thus, it submits that the CAA and NVCA Regulation are substantially equivalent to its “home” jurisdiction. The NVCA distinguishes 3437400 Canada Inc. v. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, supra on the basis that the Tribunal in that case treated the relevant policy of the conservation authority as binding, whereas the Tribunal in the immediate case placed such policies in the correct place in the hierarchy.

[37]           In 3437400 Canada Inc. v. Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, supra, this court granted an appeal from a decision of a different Deputy Commissioner of the Tribunal in almost identical circumstances.  In that case, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority had enacted a regulation materially identical to the NVCA Regulation in the immediate case.  The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority had published a policy which prohibited development and the Tribunal found the policy to be appropriate and applicable having regard to the context of the statute and regulation. In its decision, 3437400 Canada Inc. v Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (released May 11, 2010, File No. CA 004-09 ) the Tribunal stated:

“Stepping back from the issues before this tribunal and only looking at the tone of these two regulations, it is apparent that the legislators’ primary intention was to clearly state that development was prohibited in certain areas. But, an authority might grant permission if it could form an opinion that certain important interests would not be affected by proposed development” (at p. 20).

However, on the appeal, this court held that the Tribunal had demonstrated a fundamental error of law on a matter of general importance and extending beyond the Tribunal’s area of expertise. At para. 32 of its Reasons for Decision, the court held that the Tribunal “erred in finding that the legislator’s primary intention was clearly to prohibit development in certain areas and that the applicable policy was consistent with this.” The correctness standard was thus applied.   In my opinion, 3437400 cannot be distinguished from the immediate case and the same standard (correctness) should apply.

[45]           I note that it actually matters little whether the standard applied is “reasonableness” or “correctness”.  As shall be seen in the discussion below, in my opinion, the Tribunal’s decision was also outside the range of reasonableness. 

[46]           As I shall explain further below, the NVCA’s right to review, grant or withhold permission to develop under s. 2 of the NVCA Regulation only arises in cases where a proposed development is first found to have an effect on flood control or one of the other listed criteria in s. 3 of the NVCA Regulation.  In my opinion, creating a “heavy onus” against approval of developments before finding any adverse impact on flood control and then erecting barriers to discretionary approval based on criteria not listed in the statute or regulation, such as general concepts of “appropriateness”, and relying on unpublished and newly-raised strict standards of safety or a general fear of adverse precedents was both an error of law and also unreasonable.

[56]           Section 28(1)(c) of the CAA and s. 2(1) and s. 3 of the NVCA Regulation are intended to strike an important balance.  Land use restrictions of the sort imposed by s. 2 of the NVCA Regulation can impair or even sterilize land from most uses.  The Tribunal itself has on a different occasion characterized this as a “subtle form of expropriation”: Junker v. Grand River Conservation Authority, CA 83/91.  Such restrictions may be necessary in the broader public interest in some cases, but there is reason to be vigilant that such a significant impairment of property rights is carefully exercised within the bounds of proper statutory authority.

[57]           In the present case, the public interest which the NVCA was authorized to supervise was that of flood control – this limited but important jurisdiction was not intended to be wielded to assert wider jurisdictional authority than the Legislator has conferred and it certainly does not provide a general prohibition against development.  

[80]           I have found that the Tribunal erred in interpreting the regulatory framework under which it was operating.  I have found the decisions both incorrect and unreasonable.  I therefore would grant the appeal.

It must be noted that it is The Tribunal that has used the words, “a subtle form of expropriation”.  The Ontario Superior Court may go well beyond this wording when presented with the sheer volume of regulations that can be imposed as land use restrictions.  Just taking into account the land use restrictions of the sort imposed by one section of the NVCA Regulation, the court has found that it “can impair or even sterilize land from most uses”.

The following are some of the questions that may be posed to the Ontario Municipal Board on an appeal:

  • Is Lambton Shores in contravention of The Expropriation Act?
  • Are the various regulations from Federal and Provincial Legislation being interpreted and applied correctly in the Official Plan?
  • Does the Lambton Shores Council have the statutory authority to impose the restrictions imbedded in the following Federal and Provincial Legislation:
    • Navigable Waters Protection Act
    • Migratory Birds Convention Act
    • Species at Risk Act
    • The Green Energy and Green Economy Act
    • Clean Water Act
    • Endangered Species Act
    • Ontario Heritage Act
  • Are the land restrictions in the Lambton Shores Official Plan deemed to be “reasonable”?
  • Is it reasonable that the onus is on the applicant to prove that their development application will not negatively affect any of the provisions of regulations imposed by various Federal and Provincial Acts?

A Punitive and Discriminatory Tertiary Septic System Policy

As previously stated in the section on Development and Infrastructure, there is no evidence that our septic systems are polluting the lake.  There is no evidence that our septic systems show any trends which would indicate septic impact on groundwater sources.

In 2013, the Minister of the Environment, Jim Bradley, sent a letter to the Municipality of Lambton Shores that stated, “Groundwater monitoring indicated that current septic systems in Zones 3 & 4 were not causing an environmental impact.  These monitoring results were reviewed by a hydrogeologist from the Ministry of the Environment who confirmed the results did not present evidence of environmental impairment due to septic systems.  The surface water monitoring data was also reviewed by a Ministry of the Environment surface water specialist who has confirmed that the data did not show any trends which would indicate septic impact.9

Why are landowners in the “sand lands” of Lambton Shores required by the County of Lambton Building Department to install engineered or tertiary septic systems if their lots are less than 1 acre in size?  What motivated the former Director of the Building Department to implement this new requirement?  When did this new requirement come into effect?  Moreover, is this ‘higher’, discriminatory standard being mandated and enforced throughout the County of Lambton?

Contrary to the Ministry of the Environment’s scientific findings, the former Director of the County’s Building Services Department, with the support of Lambton Shores Staff, determined that there was a trend to nitrate loading in sandy soils based on hydrogeological or geotechnical reports.  Based on their interpretation and their interpretation alone, “the Director (at that time) made an executive decision”. 10  “On lots less than one acre in size, (in sand) engineered systems were required.  If a conventional system was proposed it had to be supported by a geotechnical report verifying that the reasonable use nitrate criteria was met”. 11

The Lambton Shores Official Plan states that an EIS must be prepared by properly qualified professionalsResidents choosing to install a conventional septic system would therefore have to hire a properly qualified professional to do a geotechnical report on their property.  A properly qualified professional under Section 2.5 “means a person carrying out studies or evaluations who meets any specific requirements (e.g., wetland evaluation training) to carry out the study or evaluation and where appropriate meets professional standards in their particular filed (sic) and is accredited by a professional organization.” 

If EIS reports, which include geotechnical reports, must be prepared by properly qualified professionals, we should expect no less from those that are changing standards based on the reading and interpretation of highly specialized scientific reports.  A hydrogeologist requires a Master’s degree in either Geology, Hydrology, Chemistry, or Environmental Science.  To become a hydrogeologist who works in research one needs to acquire a PhD in either Geology, Hydrology, Chemistry or Environmental Science.

I question whether either the former Director of the County’s Building Department or the Lambton Shores Staff that supported the reading and interpretation of the “hydrogeological or geotechnical reports” were qualified to do so.  How can we trust their ‘interpretation’ of these scientific reports when they are not qualified?  How can we trust that their ‘conclusions’ are valid?

We cannot.  To change a standard, and base a policy on unqualified opinion is folly and unethical.

Given the discrepancy between the conclusions of the highly qualified scientists from the Ministry of the Environment that there is no trend and the ‘findings’ of the Building Department and the Lambton Shores Staff that there is a trend, we have to trust the conclusions of the qualified professionals.  Until such time as a qualified professional can review the same “hydrogeological or geotechnical  reports”, this policy should be rescinded.  Further, Section 13.3.2 Sanitary Sewage Services should be rewritten to eliminate the following:

“Certain criteria must be met, including lot size, percolation tests, compliance with the MOE’s Reasonable Use Guidelines and the provision of a reserve area for a replacement septic system.”

As it stands at the moment, this Section of the Sanitary Sewage Services is punitive and discriminatory.  It must not be allowed to remain in the Official Plan.

Cash-lieu of Parkland Payment

Section 8.3.1 Policies states:

The following policies apply to parks planning throughout the Municipality:

  • The Municipality should continue to require a minimum 5% land conveyance for parkland from residential developments (or application of the 1hectare per 300 dwelling units or cash‐in‐lieu provisions) and 2% land conveyance for parkland from industrial /commercial developments (or cash‐in‐lieu thereof). Cash-in-lieu of parkland payments will be based on the appraised value of any lands required to be conveyed for park purposes and will be accepted when:
    • The size and/or location of the development prevents it from providing a sufficiently sized park in an appropriate location; and
    • A combination of parkland dedication and cash-in-lieu may be accepted in some instances, such as a partial dedication achieving the desired standard or a development that includes private recreational facilities for residents.
  • Neighbourhood parkland deficiencies have been identified in Grand Bend, Arkona and Thedford;”

One resident who severed two lots from their property was charged $5,000 per lot in-lieu of parkland.  In Port Franks this is seen as a “money grab”.  With trails, beach accesses, the Ausable River Cut, parkettes and our Community Centre with its soccer field, tennis courts, playground, skateboard park, pavilion and community gardens  there is no shortage of parkland and/or open space.  Moreover, the size and location of single residential lots do not make them suitable for either a park or a parkette.  This is simply a “catch 22” situation which again increases the cost of acquiring a building permit.

There is nothing in the Provincial Policy Statement that requires parkland dedication or in-lieu of parkland dedication.  However, Section 4.4.3 (e) of the Provincial Policy Statement directs the establishment of “development standards for residential intensification, redevelopment and new residential development which minimize the cost of housing”.

If there had been a public meeting on Draft 7 of the Official Plan, residents of Port Franks would have voiced their opposition to being charged in-lieu of parkland fees.

Sustainability Plan

Under Section 5.4 Land Use and Design Policies it states:

All new residential development will be subject to Subdivision and Site Plan control, except as exempted in Section 19.9 and may be required to prepare a Sustainability Plan, as outlined in Section 15.1.5.”

Section 15.1.5 Sustainability Plan states:

“Council may require that applications for Plans of Subdivision/Condominium and Site Plan approval for residential, commercial and industrial development include a Sustainability Plan, preferably prepared by a LEED TM certified individual.  Prior to a development application being considered complete Council will consider each development proposal on its merits and decide whether a particular development is required to prepare a Sustainability Plan.  Using TABLE 5 as a framework, the plan will: …..

  • Describe and show (on the Subdivision and Site Plan) all of the measurers to be incorporated into the development.

Table 5 includes examples of measures that can be implemented to increase sustainability.  These examples are not intended to be a complete or exhaustive list.”

Why does Draft 7 of the Official Plan use the term ‘sustainability’ for which there is no working definition?  Once again this Official Plan goes well beyond the standards of reasonableness and what is accepted practice.  Developers in Toronto and the GTA are already incorporating many of these sustainability measurers into their buildings.  It is a selling feature that sets their developments apart from others.  Moreover, more and more developers are implementing some of these measures because of the cost savings they provide.  In other words, it makes good business sense.

Sustainability measures are best left to the market place.  There is no place in Lambton Shores Official Plan for these further onerous requirements.  They need to be removed so that private land owners and developers can move somewhat faster through the already arduous development approvals process.

Impact on Property Values

A material fact “with respect to the acquisition and disposition of an interest in real estate” is defined under Ontario Regulation 580/05 of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 as “a fact that would affect a reasonable person’s decision to acquire or dispose of the interest; (“fait important”).”  Under Ontario Regulation 580/05:  Code of Ethics, a broker or salesperson “shall take reasonable steps to determine the material facts”. 12   Moreover, “at the earliest possible opportunity”a broker or salesperson shall disclose material facts “that are known or ought to be known by the broker or salesperson”. 13

It is irresponsible of council to leave the ‘possibility’ of sewer installation in any Official Plan without a cost/benefit analysis for this ‘considered’ sewer system.  Since this is a material fact, it would have to be disclosed by realtors “at the earliest practical opportunity”.  This disclosure will negatively impact the selling price of properties in Lambton Shores.   Buyers that don’t walk away will protect themselves from ‘possible’ future costs by negotiating steep discounts on the asking price of properties.  The resultant loss of equity in their homes, due to council’s insistence on including the ‘possiblity’ of sewers in the Official Plan, will financially disadvantage sellers.

Without a public meeting, most residents are unaware of the new environmental restrictions placed on an increasing number of their properties in Lambton Shores.   They are also unaware that the area of control by the Conservation Authorities and the Ministry of Natural Resources has increased considerably since Draft 6.  Properties affected in whole or in part by these environmental regulations, will lose significant value, in some cases close to 100%, and become more difficult to sell.

The environmental designations and policies in this Official Plan have several unexpected consequences that the Lambton Shores council may or may not be aware of.

  • The municipality, by significantly increasing restrictions and mandating third party control and approval of land use over many more properties, has in effect terminated affected landowners’ property rights. In so doing, the municipality has expropriated many properties without compensation.
  • The municipality has placed realtors in an untenable position. If realtors don’t disclose these environmental restrictions they are violating their Code of Ethics.  If they do disclose these harsh environmental restrictions to buyers, buyers will most likely walk away.
  • Buyers, like developers, will buy or build in other municipalities where it is far easier to get approval to build and/or renovate property.
  • Subdivisions, like Pinery Bluffs, will find it increasingly difficult to sell their vacant lots. Potential buyers that visit the Building or Planning Departments will most likely be scared away when they are made aware of the EIS process that they must complete before even submitting their application for a building permit.
  • Buyers that don’t walk away will protect themselves from ‘possible’ future costs (ie. the reports and studies required during the EIS process as well as the extra costs of a tertiary over a conventional septic system) by negotiating steep discounts on the asking price of properties. The resultant loss of equity on vacant lot will financially disadvantage sellers.  The loss could range from 15% to 60%.  If the buyer wants to factor in the ‘possible’ future cost of sewers, the significant value of the property may drop close to 100%.
  • MPAC’s assessments have gone down on many vacant lots. It is still too early to say with certainty but this drop in assessed value appears to confirm the negative impact that environmental restrictions and the EIS process are having on properties.

Summary

Under the law in Canada, it is up to the legal system to prove that a person is guilty.  It is not up to the person to prove without a doubt that they are not guilty.  This same principal does not apply in Lambton Shores when it comes to the Official Plan.  In order to assert a policy preference, the protection of the environment, this Official Plan seeks to ban development until an individual can prove to the satisfaction of an Advisory Committee that they are not harming their property or the adjacent 120 meters more or less of someone else’s property (Section 3.4.2.6) where significant habitats or species at risk are present.  This Advisory Committee is a fabrication of the Lambton Shores council and staff in order to assert a policy preference and uphold harsh and punitive regulations.

Over 40% of this Official Plan concerns itself with regulatory requirements that control land use.  The area of control has grown significantly from Draft 6 to Draft 7.  Nonetheless, both drafts place the onus on the individual to show that “there are no negative impacts on natural features and their ecological functions”.   To surreptitiously pass control of property rights to various authorities and Ministries through the vehicle of an Official Plan is a matter of extremely serious concern.  This is not an issue for bureaucrats to determine but for the courts.

The County of Lambton Council must keep in mind the words of Deputy Commissioner Yurkow in Junker v. Grant River Conservation Authority, supra, where he wrote at p. 4:  “Government policies are not, however, law.”14

In your deliberations on whether to approve or not approve this Official Plan, I would ask that you give serious consideration to the following questions:

  • Is the purpose of an Official Plan to be a vehicle whereby property rights are removed from private individuals who own a property and pay taxes on that property?
  • Does the County of Lambton, as the upper tier level of government, want to be on record as the first Tier II government to sanction the removal of private property rights?
  • Is the County of Lambton prepared for a possible court challenge that may emanate from the removal of property rights in favour of environmental regulations?
  • How can a municipal by-law adopting an Official Plan be passed before all the revisions are made to that document?
  • Should Lambton Shores’ residents have the opportunity to become informed regarding both the scope and the impact of the environmental regulations in this Official Plan before or after it is approved by the County?
  • Can you approve an Official Plan knowing that there is still enormous and growing opposition to the inclusion of sewers, however benign, in that Plan?
  • How does this Official Plan show council’s commitment to the future growth of my community as stated on the government’s Municipal Affairs and Housing website?
  • Are realtors going to have to carry around copies of the Official Plan to decipher what material facts have to be disclosed to both potential buyers and sellers? Or, are realtors going to have to call the municipal planner to confirm exactly what potential environmental restrictions have been placed on each property a buyer may be interested in purchasing?

Common sense must prevail.  Balance between the environment and development must be restored.  The residents of Lambton Shores deserve the opportunity to examine Draft 7 of the Official Plan in its entirety.  We have not had that opportunity.  I am asking you, the County of Lambton Council, to return the adopted Draft 7 of the Official Plan in full so that we can provide the public input that will create an Official Plan that works much better for all.

Footnotes

  • Council Meeting Minutes — November 24, 2015 Item 11.3 Report PL 37-2015
  • Council Meeting Minutes — November 24, 2015 Item 11.3 Report PL 37-2015
  • Municipality of Lambton Shores Official Plan, November 2015, pp 93 and 151
  • Video of Lambton Shores Council Meeting, November 24, 2015, can be accessed on-line at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZlExSz62yo Deputy Mayor at 1:08:12 min.
  • Citizens’ Guide to Official Plans, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Updated 2010
  • Video of Lambton Shores Special Council Meeting – May 11, 2015 can be accessed on-line at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8hkwCngY3s  between 27.36 min. and 41.00 min.
  • Gilmor et al. v Nottawasaga Valley and The Township of Amaranth, 2015 ONSC 5327, section 65
  • Gilmor et al. v Nottawasaga Valley and The Township of Amaranth, 2015 ONSC 5327
  • Minister Bradley’s “Summary of Key Issues” to the Municipality, September 11, 2013
  • Letter from Building Services Department, September 26, 2014, can be accessed from Lambton Shores Agenda, October 16, 2014 pp. 23,24
  • IBID
  • Reg. 580/05: CODE OF ETHICS, s. 21(1) under Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sched. C
  • Reg. 580/05: CODE OF ETHICS, s. 21(2) under Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sched. C
  • Gilmor et al. v Nottawasaga Valley and The Township of Amaranth, 2015 ONSC 5327
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