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Boathouses on the water an issue in N. Kawartha

by Doug Hutton

North Kawartha Township CAO, Shannon Hunter reported to council’s September 6 meeting that the solicitor had reviewed the issue of building boathouses over the water and determined that North Kawartha only has jurisdiction over the land.

Deputy Reeve, Barry Rand said that he is concerned about the implications, and asked if there was any way that the township could obtain some control over building in-water boathouses.

Building Inspector, Jim Sangster confirmed that the Ontario Building Code does not apply to these structures so, currently, a resident could build anything over the water even if the structure was unsafe.

Ms. Hunter stated that the township does not want the liability associated with approving or inspecting a structure built over the water.

Reeve Jim Whelan stated that he and councillor-at-large Arnie Brown will be meeting with the Kawartha Highlands park superintendent to work on a memorandum of understanding as to what will be allowed to be built over the water.

Although this would only be applicable to the park, he said that he would attempt to get agreement from MNR and Fisheries and Oceans for the lakes outside of the park. He did clarify that this would be a very long process.

Ambrose Moran, a resident interested in planning issues, gave a comprehensive presentation including the background to the problem.

He said that in his view, the MNR free-use policy is flawed to the extent that it theoretically would permit a 36,000 sq. ft. in-water boathouse on pilings on some of the lakes in North Kawartha in the absence of township zoning.

He stated that Peterborough County appears to be “far behind” Haliburton and Muskoka in the creation and enforcement of waterfront development controls.

He urged council to pass an interim bylaw to attempt to halt the building of in-water boathouses until a proper study can be completed.

He said that this recommendation was made to Havelock-Belmont-Methuen a year ago and nothing was done, resulting in a 2,500 sq. ft. floating boathouse on Jack lake “which is a monument to their inaction.”

Mr. Moran added that he thought that the township has jurisdiction to zone the lakes based on a planning report www.highlandseast.ca/files/housekeeping.amendment.report_02.pdf prepared for the township of Highlands East. Council thanked him for his presentation.

Important Meetings Scheduled

Council will meet on October 24 to discuss the Capital Forecast; on November 4 for the Strategic Plan and on November 22 for the 2012 budget. All meetings will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Glen Alda Community Centre

Council approved the application for funding to make renovations to the Glen Alda Community Centre. If the funding ( up to $50,000) is received, the township would have to pay $15,000 of the total construction to make the entrance and washrooms wheel-chair accessible.

Fitness Centre Security Equipment

Director of Parks and Recreation Gary Geraldi recommended accepting the bid for $14,740 from Trent Security Systems for the card reader-access-system and closed circuit TV system for the new Fitness Centre in the Community Centre.

This will be financed from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant. Mr. Geraldi also stated that, because of competitive quotes, the centre will now be able to install two entertainment units in the exercise room and mirrors on the walls of the banquet hall.

He explained that there are some group functions like ladies gymnastics and dancing, where the group would like to be separated from the regular citizens in the exercise room.

The new exercise room should be open on the weekend following Thanksgiving. Council approved the recommendations.

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