HIRA BRIEFING NOTE- February 27, 2023
This is a brief note to HIRA members and other residents of Howe Island about the Township of Frontenac Islands special council meeting held on Tuesday January 31, 2023 and the regular council meeting held on Monday February 13, 2023. The public was provided with Zoom access to the regular meeting and three of our HIRA directors attended or monitored the meeting. Only matters of particular interest to Howe Island residents are highlighted here.
Special Council Meeting January 31, 2023
The purpose of the meeting, with respect to Howe Island, was to bring forward by-laws:
To appoint Mike Quinn as the Township’s representative for the purpose
of dealing with Transport Canada with respect to the Township (East) ferry.
To appoint Mike Quinn as the Township’s representative for the purpose of
Dealing with MTO Marine Division with respect to the Township (East) ferry.
Regular Council Meeting February 13, 2023
Provincial Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 (Ontario):
Council received for information a report prepared by the County of Frontenac, Planning & Economic Development Dept. that summarizes the impact that Bill 23 will have on the planning framework in Ontario.
Residents who have an interest in the detail contained in this report can access a copy in the agenda for the council meeting published on the website for the Township. The link to the published agenda is:
The report is contained at pages 33-45 of the agenda.
Community Planning Permit System Proposed:
A presentation was made to Council by Joe Gallivan, Director of Planning
and Economic Development, County of Frontenac. Mr. Gallivan proposes the four townships that make up the County of Frontenac implement
a joint Community Planning and Permit System (CPPS). Start-up funding required to implement the proposal is estimated to be a total of $ 100,000
or $25,000 per township.
The aim is to establish a more responsive, efficient system to deal with
minor variance applications and straight-forward adjustment requests rather than subjecting applicants to the lengthy, cumbersome and expensive Committee of Adjustment review process they face today.
Implementation of the CPPS would allow council to delegate authority to township staff for decision-making related to minor, straightforward zoning variances and site plan adjustments. It is expected such a system would streamline approvals for minor variances, expedite building permit approvals, reduce record management costs and free up staff time for more
Council has indicated support for the CPPS proposal and will consider the
estimated implementation cost in their 2023 budget deliberations.
Lighthouse Lane Parking Restrictions:
Council received for information, submissions made by two separate delegations of Howe Island residents that ask Council to clarify the purpose of By-Law 2022-27. Passage of the By-Law has resulted in the imposition of a blanket parking ban on the entirety of Lighthouse Lane.
Both delegations question the wisdom of imposing a total parking ban on a street that provides access to an important waterfront recreational area that has been used by Island residents for decades. It would seem that a reasonable compromise should be reached in order to preserve waterfront access that is not otherwise available to residents who do not own waterfront property.
Howe Island Trail and Repeal of By-Law 2020-29:
A delegation of three Howe Island residents made a submission dealing with Council’s decision to reopen access to the Howe Island Trail for motorized vehicles. Council received the submission for information.
The delegation expressed some surprise and dismay that the decision to repeal By-Law 2020-29 in December of last year was made with no meaningful public consultation or opportunity for public input.
The delegation is not seeking to have Council’s decision overturned. However, they ask that Council bring forward a motion to endorse and support ongoing, regular maintenance on the trail in order to counteract the
the impact that motorized vehicles have on the usability and structural integrity of the trail.
HIRA will keep residents updated on how this issue is resolved.
County Ferry Service:
We understand Township Council intends to issue a formal request to County of Frontenac CAO Kelly Pender to provide a presentation at the next regular Council meeting scheduled for March 13, 2023. Mr. Pender will be asked to provide an update on the outstanding and ongoing issues plaguing the County ferry service.
We understand Mr. Pender declined an invitation to attend the February 13 council meeting on the grounds that he had no new information to provide on the subject at that time.
HIRA will provide updates on this item as more information becomes available.
Report to Township Council on Township Ferry Operation:
Mike Quinn submitted a report to Council to provide information on various elements of the Township 3 car ferry. A summary of the report follows:
Ferry service around the clock during recent withdrawals of service for the County ferry.
HIRA would also like to add our thanks and appreciation for the Township ferry employees who went above and beyond to maintain service for Howe Island residents.
END of COUNCIL BUSINESS
We have been advised that a representative from MTO Marine Division will
attend the next regular township council meeting scheduled for March 13, 2023 in the Council chambers on Wolfe Island. MTO plans to discuss how it intends to upgrade ferry service to Wolfe Island and Howe Island.
Mayor Judy Greenwood-Speers has offered to pose questions to MTO personnel on behalf of the residents of Howe Island. She asks that residents email any questions they have that relate to our ferry service directly to her email address JGreenwoodspeers@frontenacislands.ca. She intends to compile a list of questions from the emails she receives.
The MTO portion of the council meeting will be approximately 20 minutes in length. As a consequence, the Mayor asks that residents make their questions as concise and direct as possible.
We understand MTO has indicated they plan to hold a town hall meeting on the subject of ferry service to both Wolfe Island and Howe Island sometime in April, 2023. At this point, no further information is available regarding the proposed “town hall” and the Mayor has stressed that it would be an MTO initiative entirely (i.e. township council cannot provide any guarantees related to this proposed meeting). So, stay tuned.
HIRA will provide updates to residents if, and as, more detail emerges.
END of BRIEFING NOTE
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a member of HIRA, thank you for your support. If you are not a member, please consider joining at $10 per year. Yearly membership dues are due on January 1 of each year. If you have paid, thank you.
If you have not paid, please send or deliver a cheque payable to HIRA to one of our Directors or place a cheque into the HIRA mailbox at the roadside at the Township Office. You can also pay by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.