Andrew Arentowicz

What is the Environment Council and what does it do?

The Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes is a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting the health of these lakes and the surrounding natural environment.

The Environment Council is the successor organization to the Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lake Plan Steering Committee – the group that produced the Lake Plan. Our goal is to preserve and enhance the Clear, Ston(e)y, White Lake watershed environment for future generations of humans and wildlife by implementing the Lake Plan recommendations and action plans. Hence our slogan “Your Lake Plan in Action”.

Water quality was the top issue identified in the Lake Plan, and we are currently focusing on four priority action areas to improve it – preserving natural shorelines, protecting wetlands, promoting good septic system practices, and strengthening municipal policies and plans affecting the lakes.

How did the Environment Council get started?

Almost 20 years ago, a number of concerned Ston(e)y Lakers banded together as the Ston(e)y Lake Environment Council to try to protect the lake environment.

Andrew Arentowicz

Realizing we needed a more inclusive approach to be successful, we hosted an early 2005 meeting of cottagers, residents, on-lake businesses, and local government and agency representatives. Representatives of this group embarked on a process called Lake Planning, on a local watershed basis, and worked steadily for three years to gather data and fairly reflect differing priorities.

In summer 2008 we published the results of our research, mapping and priority setting – the Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lake Plan Report entitled A Delicate Balance. This report set out 42 recommendations, six action plans and a wealth of information ranging from water quality data to community values.

We then reorganized ourselves as the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes, and dug in again to put the Lake Plan into action.


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What’s New?… Published October 22, 2017

OMB dismisses Fraser Development appeal

It was worth the wait!

On October 6, a year after the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) concluded its hearing into the proposed “Fraser Property” development east of Burleigh Falls, the Board issued its decision.

The OMB ordered that Burleigh Bay Corporation’s (BBC) applications to amend North Kawartha Township’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw be denied and that BBC’s appeal to the OMB be dismissed.

The decision protects the 6.2-kilometer undeveloped shoreline and two Provincially Significant Wetlands (PSWs) from a 58-unit housing development and 72-slip marina, with extensive recreational facilities, road network and parking areas.

The development was proposed on 273 hectares (675 acres) of mostly forest and wetlands, containing an estimated 450 different species of flora and fauna. A number of these are endangered or threatened.

The Board cited the location of the development “in and around” the PSWs as one of the most compelling reasons for denying approval, and noted many issues relating directly or indirectly to water quality.

The OMB found that the development was not consistent with the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) and the County Official Plan as they relate to the protection of natural heritage resources, and especially the PSW Complex.

These were key points addressed during the hearing by expert witnesses on behalf of the Friends of the Fraser Wetlands (FFW), by the Environment Council for Clear, Ston(e)y and White Lakes and by other individual participants.

It is clear from the OMB’s findings that the proposal did not pass the “no negative impacts” requirement set out in the PPS. In summary, the Board found that the proposal did not represent good planning, nor was it in the public interest.

The Board noted the “consistently large contingent of concerned local residents of the Stony Lake area” and individual participant’s concerns about issues such as increased boat traffic and its impact on water quality, aquatic species and safety.

 

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