Report on Council: August 8th and 29th

REPORT ON COUNCIL
August 8 and 29, 2016

Committee of the Whole Meetings August 8: 9:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. and August 29: 9:00 a.m. – 3:20 p.m.
Regular Meeting August 8: 2:00 p.m. – 2:32 p.m. and August 29 6:06 p.m. – 6:40 p.m.
All members of Council present: Mayor George Cornell, Deputy Mayor Steffen Walma and Councillors Cindy Hastings, Richard Hinton and Gibb Wishart.

STAFF APPOINTMENT: Bill Goodale has been appointed a Building Inspector for the Township of Tiny

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, September 22, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., Tiny Township Community Centre.

PILOT PARKING STRATEGY:
The Pilot Parking Strategy prompted presentations and reflections and requests at both August meetings.

Kitching Lane, a heavily used 10-foot lane that provides access to the beach for swimming just south of Balm Beach, was the subject of scheduled and open deputations by residents, both direct shore and backlot, expressing many perspectives. Prior to the deputations on August 8, Mayor Cornell read a statement regretting the acts of theft and vandalism at Kitching Lane, referring to ongoing major beach park enhancements, and appealing for patience while Council worked “its way through the issues.” Improvements have been undertaken at Lafontaine Park and at Balm Beach.

Members of Council reported on concerns about various walkways, and about heavy, inappropriate use of Bluewater Beach Park (tenting and the like).

A deputation by the Bluewater Dunes Ratepayers Association was typical of protests from several stretches of shore that regretted their exclusion from the Pilot Parking Strategy area and felt the impact of increased use of open parking places in their area. In the case of Bluewater Dunes, such parking in the subdivision behind Bluewater Park resulted in heavy use of the beach that undercut the community’s efforts to protect its dunes from Deanlea to Trew and undid the work of the expensive Management Plan prepared by consultants in 2006. Jessie Garland, speaking for the Bluewater Dunes Ratepayers, asked for “no parking with limited permit parking” in their community. She presented a petition, signed by 200 community members (names, addresses, signatures), asking that Council implement the Township Parking Strategy at Bluewater Dunes Beach.

There were a number of additional deputations and letters asking for changes to the Parking Strategy.

The Bylaw Department noted that the number of parking tickets issued on the Civic long weekend increased dramatically over the previous year, as did the number of complaints, largely due to the Pilot Parking Strategy.

In response to a proposal that permits be issued to backlot owners to give them access to the beach, it was determined that Council does not have the authority to provide access to privately owned beaches. At one point Council asked that “an education session related to beach ownership issues be scheduled for its members including appropriate background information.” The date for this session has not been set yet.

On August 30, Council authorized a Press Release titled “Kitching Lane Beach Access.” Its full wording appears on tiny.ca under News & Events/Press Release. It expresses disappointment about acts of vandalism at Kitching Lane and reminds residents and visitors that “Tiny’s shoreline is a combination of municipal and private shoreline” and that the township’s jurisdiction “only extends to property owned by the Township.” It invites “all residents and visitors to enjoy our municipally owned beaches and parks” and declares, “this Council is dedicated to improving the enjoyment and access to municipal beaches in Tiny.”

The deadline for feedback on the Pilot Parking Program is September 30. Full discussion of the many issues raised in deputations and the like is to be delayed until the fall when Council will review the Pilot Parking Program.

POSSIBLE PURCHASE OF WATERFRONT PROPERTY NEAR MUNICIPAL SHORE PARKS:
In August, Councillor Hinton suggested that township might expand municipal beaches by purchasing adjacent property as it comes up for sale. There were two ideas for financing such a move: Deputy Mayor Walma “suggested a levy on each tax bill,” while Councillor Hinton recommended that funds be raised through the sale of unused township property. Expansion of township beach parks is to be considered at the November 1 Committee of the Whole Meeting and at the 2017 Budget Meetings.

FREE SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS AVAILABLE:
In August, Chief Mintoff noted that the first 100 households to contact the Fire Department (705-322-1161) for a free Home Fire Safety Audit would receive a free combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Many of these alarms are still available.

WAYFINDING MASTER PLAN PRESENTED:
This concerns a proposed comprehensive system of signage designed to orient trail users and to provide clear directional information along the township’s network of trails and cycling routes. It is to be aligned with similar signage programs being developed in Bruce, Grey, and Simcoe counties. It includes signage to points of interest in the township. We noted, with some concern, that there were to be signs to Tiny’s five major beach parks, and wondered whether these would counter the effect of the Pilot Parking Program.

Council asked for a number of changes, among them that

  • there be signage indicating that the trail and adjacent private property be respected
  • beach signs be restricted to the trail and not placed on roadways
  • signage indicate distance travelled
  • there be signs about a trails’ code of conduct
  • it include a five major beach park master plan for consideration in the 2017 budget

For the complete Draft Tiny Trails Wayfinding Master Plan, see the August 29, 2016, Complete Committee of the Whole Agenda/F) Reports of Consultants or Third Parties on tiny.ca.

 

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