by Chris Pickup

Two applications before council in committee last Tuesday highlighted the tangled complexity of some of the county’s zoning bylaws and wasted a ton of council time.

Staff admitted they were dealing with inherited and outdated bylaws and that would change down the road when the Official Plan is updated. Housing is assessed on value of the property whether the owners live there full or part time. Meanwhile, would-be year round residents in a seasonal residential zoning have to go through the extra hassle with county.

Both applicants wish to build full-time residential homes on Lighthouse Drive in Dunn township, a couple or so lots apart. The road is soft serviced with waste collection, school busing, and emergency services. They would build their own septic services.

Three area residents attended, mostly to ask the county to make sure there were no drainage issues from the new builds. There are currently drainage ditches beside their houses which run fast and hard in rainy weather. Two of the residents were otherwise quite content with the situation, although one wondered about the current right of way to the beach which leads by her property.

The third resident, who lives in the neighbouring lot to one of the applicants, worried about the effect of his construction on her own property. She felt the loss of green space on clay soil would worsen the drainage issues and possibly affect the already fragile state of her home by disturbing the soil.

She also wondered whether the neighbour’s lot was big enough to accommodate a septic system. Staff noted septic system technology has vastly improved since the original lots were laid out and that there would be no problem. Also, that drainage on a property is confined to that property.

Committee approved both applications subject to the usual site plans, grading, drainage and so forth. Any of the three residents who appeared before committee can get another kick at the can tonight if they wish.