P58    Summer  2012     the first bridge parking lot issues
Dave Coulas is gone, Brent Stewart needs "help".  editorial comments in red
generally we copy the document onto this pages  in order that the reader can follow a time line, and also hold a link to the actual PDF document

return to the Park index

1) Public Notice for a Category B Project Evaluation     REDIRECT TO  Public Notice.pdf  sent Wed jan 4 2012 with attachments
2) some minor email strings and  CCRAI  comments     REDIRECT TO   CCRAI_Comments.pdf
3) Letter to MNR from Mclean and Kerr LLP by Michael Citak       Stewart_020312.pdf
4) MNR stops the process  - --  letter from Brent Smith  REDIRECT TO Reply_by_KHSS.pdf and Less Holroyd Response.pdf

5) Bottle lake assoc. letter Feb 9th   LettertoMNR-Parking_Lot.pdf
6) email strings continued     Plus  letter Jarosz of CCA  to Brent Stewart and response        can we help - no thanks

Subject: Environmental Assessment Notification
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 2012 11:04:49 -0500
From: brent.stewart@ontario.ca

Dear Sir/Madame:
Our records indicate that you prefer correspondence electronically.
Please review the attached two documents regarding a proposal to upgrade an existing access point at Catchacoma Narrows on Beaver Lake Road, in the Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey.
If you have any difficulty viewing the attachments, please contact me.
Brent Stewart--

Kawartha Highlands KH_CatchacomaNarowsEA_PublicNotice.pdf
Public Notice for a Category B Project Evaluation
Catchacoma Narrows Parking and Access Point Upgrades
(Major Maintenance)
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), Ontario Parks, Southeast Zone invites public comment on a proposal to upgrade the existing access point at Catchacoma Narrows by
developing a gravel parking area, widening a turn-around and installing a composting toilet south of Beaver Lake Road, in the Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey. This work would be undertaken in accordance with the approved park management plan and applicable policies and guidelines.
A gravel parking area, approximately 45m x 45m, will be developed west of the existing boat launch at Catchacoma Narrows in an area previously disturbed by a major windstorm. Minor vegetation removal and grading will be required at the proposed project site, mainly to allow for proper ingress and egress. The work is proposed to be completed in the winter of 2012. A composting toilet, previously screened as a Category A project, will be installed once the parking area is complete. The purpose of this project is to provide adequate parking for Kawartha Highlands Signature Site park users. The parking area will also service local cottage owners. These improvements will help eliminate safety concerns along Beaver Lake Road. This proposal is being evaluated as a Category B project under the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (Class EA-PPCR). Notices of Completion will be sent to those who submit comments or request further notice once the project evaluation is finished. MNR may proceed to implement the project without issuing a further general notice.

Comments must be received by the office noted below within the 30-day comment period, which expires on Saturday, February 4, 2012. The public notice, a Record of Screening, and a site map are available on the Ontario Parks website at ontarioparks.com/planning.
For more information on the project, to submit comments or to request further notice, please contact:

Brent Stewart
Assistant Park Superintendent
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
P.O. Box 500,
106 Monck Street,
Bancroft, ON K0L 1C0
Tel: 613-332-3940 ext. 251
Fax: (613) 332-1800
E-mail: brent.stewart@ontario.ca

The Ministry of Natural Resources is collecting your personal information and comments under the authority of Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act and Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006. Any personal information you provide (address, name, telephone, etc.) will be protected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act; however, your comments will become part of the record of consultation and may be shared with the general public. Your personal information may be used by the MNR to send you information about future planning initiatives in the park area. If you have questions about the use of

attached Project_site_map.pdf
2 additional maps


The following are some email strings edited for identification restriction

an 4
Attached is a communication from KHSSP in regards to a proposed new parking lot just west of the boat launch at the first bridge on Beaver Lake Road. Comments are required by February so we should circulate this as appropriate and we will likely need to have some discussion among our board in terms of how we respond to this.
Jan 4
Interesting proposal that has not been considered yet by the Park Management Advisory Board.    WOW

Improving access to the park and avoiding parking impacts on local roads seems like a good objective. But given the limited capacity of this side of the park and the facilities already developed at Bottle lake  I am not sure if this is really needed.
--important consideration-- future role of the Baldwin bay marina. --cottagers group has now successfully reached a tentative agreement to purchase the marina -- effect from June 2012. ----marina might be the most logical access point for the park from the West side. It could mean some revenue for the marina from parking, canoe rentals etc.  I have sent the EA notice to the Marina board to see they have any interest in asking Parks to consider working with the marina instead of spending park money at the first bridge.
 I would think that CCRAI --need other inputs first, particularly from the residents in the area, from the residents along the while Beaver lake road, and from the new Marina group.

marina group turned it down-- lake has restricted access??

Jan 4
The parking lot at the first bridge usually has a number of vehicles parked there on any given summer weekend and on lang weekends there is usually twice as many cars there. That parking lot is also used by cottage owners who have water access properties on the or near the narrows..

The people on the two islands in the narrows park on the other side of the bridge (east side) on the road adjacent to their dock.
The majority are day trippers or cottage visitors with boats that are launched at that site.  One other gentlemen from Blades Island utilizes this site as well.
A large majority are now attracted by the Park Signs indicating access to Cold Lake. Some indicating (obviously without looking at the Kiosk map) that they are in the Park.

Jan 10
We have a cottage directly north and across from the Bridge. There is a lot of activity in this area and we eventually see it all. There is a lot of pedestrian traffic at the bridge, younger groups meet and spend time in this area including my family. A lot of cottager’s coming from home and leaving the cottage stop on the bridge for a few moments. People from elsewhere drive to the boat launch to just sit, fish and swim. Cottagers and others use this boat launch a lot. On most weekends the existing parking area is full. Also at times people camp here. Trades people use this launch area to pick up supply’s and equipment. At times it may appear that the area is not very active but in fact it is a very busy area. Over the years traffic (boat & car) on and around the bridge has increased substantially. The roadway over the bridge for some motorcyclists seems to be a good place to do wheelys. Motorcyclists usually only seen on highway 507 are now seen on Beaver Lake road. Some vehicles like to speed up while crossing the bridge. On weekends there are a lot of cars parked on the road at the bridge. There is a curve both before and after the Bridge plus a hill on the west side.  On Beaver Lake road there is not enough room for 2 cars and pedestrians, especially at the curves and over the hills. On the west side of the Bridge where the cars park there are huge boulders on the side of the roadway. To get into the boat launch and proposed parking lot the entrance is right at a curve in the road. To launch a boat the vehicle has to back into the launch area.  For the vehicle to back into the area it must drive onto the wrong side of the road where the curve is in the road because the existing launch does not provide enough space to turn a vehicle and trailer around. Has anyone considered the safety, garbage pickup, cleanup, lighting, surveillance, tail gate parties, proper entrance and exit ways, camping and  warning road signs for  pedestrians and vehicles. This enlarged parking area will create more traffic and activity in an already very busy unsafe area.

Jan 11
my concern is with camping which we have seen increase in the last few years. Along with camping there is a lot more swimming at the bridge which possesses a safety issue with boats going through the bridge and people swimming in the channel. Bonfires, garbage, lack of privies etc is something to be concerned with as well.
Access to the existing parking area for people launching their boats is difficult as there is insufficient room to drive into the launch area you need to back down especially when the area is full of parked vehicles.  A serious safety issue but is increasing the parking area the right choice or would improving the access be a better option.


February 3, 2012     CCRAI_Comments.pdf

Brent Stewart
Assistant Park Superintendent
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
P.O. Box 500,
106 Monck Street,
Bancroft, Ontario
K0L 1C0

Re: Public Notice for a Category B Project Evaluation - Catchacoma Narrows Parking and Access Point Upgrades (Major Maintenance)


I am writing to you today as President of the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association Inc., (CCRAI). As you may be aware, our association represents the largest number of members, being land and property owners in the area.

Our association has several major concerns about the Catchacoma Narrows Parking and Access Point Upgrades project detailed in the documents attached to this email from you dated January 4, 2012. As such we are objecting to this project proceeding and strongly advise the KHSSP not to proceed with this project for the following reasons:

1. Our position is that the KHSSP is planning this project to crown land that is outside of the park boundaries and as such is out side of the jurisdiction of both the KHSSP mandate and is in contravention of the Park Management Plan.

2. The proposed location will have significant negative environmental impacts as a larger parking lot will create more vehicle, boat and pedestrian traffic in an area that has cannot sustain it. This additional traffic will result in more garbage, camping, refuse and fuel spills on both the land and the water. These existing issues have already been observed at the existing small parking lot and a larger parking lot will only exacerbate these issues.

3. The proposed parking location is on fairly tight turn on a very narrow part of Beaver Lake Road where there already is a high level of vehicular, pedestrian and boat traffic. A larger parking lot in this area will create greater safety issues for pedestrians and automobile drivers as the curves in this area already impair visibility for vehicles and pedestrians. In addition, more boats being launched in the water on the south side of the bridge will increase the possibility of accidents in an area where boats travelling south have blind areas of visibility when approaching and going under the bridge.

4. Our organization objected to the preliminary park management plan which recommended Beaver Lake Road as the primary access to the KHSSP. For all the same reasons that we stated that Beaver Lake Road was not a safe or optimal primary access road into the park are the same reasons why we object to this parking lot being proposed in this area.
 5. This areas is already posted with signs as an access point to Cold Lake and as there are only approximately six camping sites in Cold Lake, the exiting parking lot is more than sufficient to support the campers and day visitors for that lake.

6. There is plenty of parking available now at the new parking lot located in the park near Bottle Lake. If additional parking is required for camp visitors and day visitors, this parking lot can be expanded as it was designed and constructed in such a way so that it could double the capacity. This is the first place any new parking should be created.

The issue that our organization finds most disturbing is that the Public Announcement for this project was issued on January 4, 2012, at a time when more than 85% of the property owners in the area are not residing in the area at all as they have closed their cottages for the winter or are wintering in warmer climates. If KHSSP wants to be a good neighbour and really wants public input, then they should release announcements like this in the summer time when the vast majority of all the property owners are in the area on a regular basis.

We request a response to this letter and respectfully request than we be kept informed via email and written communications on any related activities to this Environmental Assessment and this proposed parking lot and access point upgrades.


Gary W. Jarosz
Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association
c/o 181 Fincham Avenue
Markham, Ontario
L3P 4B4

c.     CCRAI Board of Directors

feb 4

Letter to MNR from Mclean and Kerr LLP by Michael Citak  Stewart_020312.pdf

due to the length and format, this letter is presented in PDF format only

Catchacoma Narrows EA   Reply_by_KHSS.pdf
Les Holroyd <ltholroyd@gmail.com>
Stewart, Brent (MNR) <brent.stewart@ontario.ca> Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM
To: ltholroyd@gmail.com
Cc: "Smith, Paul (MNR)" <Paul.Smith4@ontario.ca>
Mr. Holroyd,
As a result of comments received by this office regarding the proposed improvements at the Catchacoma Narrows, the decision has been made not to move forward with any work at this site until such time that the scope and intent of the proposal can be clarified, and discussed through a meeting with interested cottage and road association representation. This will also provide the opportunity for any additional associations that were not on the original mailing list to provide input.
The intent of the improvements and expansion (up to a maximum of 27 vehicles total – including trailers) was to address safety concerns brought forward by local residents and emergency services regarding road side parking, as well as to provide adequate parking for existing usage.
A notice will be sent out to all individuals and associations on the original distribution list, as well as those who have submitted comments informing them of this decision.
Thank you for your input and participation in this consultation process.
Brent Stewart
Assistant Park Superintendent
Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
Tel: 613-332-3940 ext. 251
Fax: 613-332-1800

Less Holroyd Response.pdf
Fellow Cottager and/or Visitor of Catchacoma/Mississauga Lake System,
I am very pleased to inform you, that the KHSSP has delayed any decision to move forward with the proposed Catchacoma Narrows Parking and Access Point Upgrades.
Please find attached the response by Brent Stewart, Assistant Park Supervisor, KHSSP, to the objection letters that were received.
The parks decision to re-evaluate the proposal is a direct result of the over whelming response. I wish to thank you for taking the time to send in your objection letter, to KHSSP. Well done.
In addition, I wish to thank Michael Citak, a cottager and a lawyer, who provided a detailed 8 page report, to KHSSP, with a legal perspective on their proposal. I did send a separate report that elaborated on the opinions and ideas put forward in the initial objection letter.
If you know anyone, cottager or visitor, who still hasn’t responded, please ask them to send in an objection letter and cc to me. To date, I was copied on over 85 letters, representing over 120 people. The more objection letters that are submitted, will hopefully, provide more leverage during the next phase, especially if politicians get involved. Votes count to politicians.
The next phase is to propose viable alternatives for the park to consider. Remember:
- The park is here to stay and
- Parking is required to service the Cold Lake campsites.
Simply venting frustration with the park and its procedures and rejecting all parking lots, will not be helpful. I would ask that each Cottage, Road and Stakeholder group, designate a Park Liaison for this issue. Please forward your alternatives and preferences to the appropriate liaison, or to me. I am willing to serve as the park
liaison for Rattys Narrows Road Association and for any cottagers or visitors who are not part of an association. I trust that the Park Liaisons, will contact me so that we have a distinct group for discussions with the park.
Personally, my priority and my major preference is that all park facilities, including the parking and Kiosk for Cold Lake, must be within the boundary of the park. The park should not be allowed to proceed with facilities and expansion onto crown lands, outside the park boundaries.
Send in your suggestions. A map of the lake system, crown land and the park boundary can be found on the KHSSP website, http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/kawa_planning.html , or on the Crown Land Atlas maps,
78.1132403,44.8536642 . Refer to attached maps.
I will attempt to keep everyone informed as the alternatives and suggestions are received. As a group acting, together, with a unified opinion on alternates and preferences, we will be more effective in obtaining the best solution for the lake system, the cottagers, the visitors and the park.
See you on the lakes,
Les Holroyd
#26 FR225A
Gold Lake

email strings

Feb 5 to cca
Hi David,
I don't know if you plan to make a personal submission to the park.
I had hoped that the start of the next phase would involve compiling a list of options sent by the members of each lake association their various park liaisons.
I foresee the options being reviewed by the liaisons as a group and the best options selected.
The selected options would then be sent out to the members of the associations for comments, refinement and final approval.
Hopefully by enlisting Michael, we can present, in a legal format, a unified list of options that are supported by all lake associations.  Only in this way, will we be able to get the park's attention and the desired actions.
On the current issue, it appears that the KHSSP Management Advisory board and the SGKH Stakeholder Group, did not represent the opinions of the cottagers.  Therefore, we may need to present ourselves as another body that does represents all cottagers and their opinions.  Or, at least present ourselves to SGKH as a unified group.
Each individual or lake association submitting separately will not have as much weight to get any action.  If sent individually, it will probably create a conflicting list of options so that the park will either select the ones that suit its plan or will ignore the options all together.
To me, we need to concentrate on the key items:
1 -  Should all park infrastructure be constructed within the park boundaries?
2 -  Should the existing kiosks, which are not road signs, but are infrastructure, be allowed to remain outside the park boundaries?  Please note that a deposit box is now installed beside the kiosk at the first bridge.
3 - Which locations outside the park ie marinas or within the park boundaries could be used for the parking that is needed to service the campsites and day use of Cold Lake?
4 - What advantages would be provided by each location; ie boat safety, vehicle safety, pedestrian safety, hiking trails, snow shoe trails, cross-country ski trails, bird watching, backpack camping, minimal ecology damage etc, etc
5 - How would we like the park and cottagers to co-exist in 5 years, 10 years and on?
In addition, I have copied the other lake groups, as I know them, to get their responses to my ideas above.  I trust that the liasions for the various lake, cottage and road associations will contact me with their response to this email.
All for One and One for All

Feb 6
The Park Management Advisory Board --- might have had a role in this issue but ---role is in fact quite narrow as defined in the Park Management Plan. --- There may be a role for the MAB in dealing with this now. The recent experience has certainly destroyed or at least undermined the relationship  ( did it ever have one???) between cottagers and the Park.

--think that CCRAI might be wise to develop a number of positions:
-  use of existing and potential location of access points to the park (like Phillips Rd)
-  isolation of Cold Lake as a motor-boat-less lake
-  relationship with park management, establishing processes for future initiatives affecting seasonal residents and four season residents
-  boating education needs.

--think our members expect the CCARI to work with and for them on subjects that affect them in cottage country. -- this is something we should take leadership on.-- suggest this is not the only situation that will involve the park that will need the CCRAI to focus on now and in the future.

confirms MNR is out of touch

Bottle lake assoc. letter  LettertoMNR-Parking_Lot.pdf
sorry I do not have the original copy of Bottle lake letter

Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park February 9, 2012
Ministry of Natural Resources
106 Monck St., Box 500..
Bancroft, ON, K0L 1C0
Attention: Brent Stewart, Assistant Park Superintendent
Cc: Paul Smith, Bill Burrows, Peter Battey, Gary Jarosz
Re: Catchacoma Narrows Parking and Access Point Upgrades
Dear Sir:
I am writing again on behalf of the Beaver-Cavendish-Bottle-McGinnis Cottagers Owners Organization Inc. (“BCBM”). We appreciate that you have elected to delay development of the proposed Parking and Access Point for the Kawartha Highland Signature Site Park (“KHSS”). It has come to our attention that other parties are content to move the parking lot to an area that does not directly affect them – specifically, to the Second Bridge on Beaver Lake Road – which is not the solution that BCBM sought to defend with our original objection.
We wish to clarify the reasons for our objection to ANY proposed site along Beaver Lake Road:
• The questionable need for a -acre parking lot, in order to service only six campsites on Cold Lake;
• Public safety at risk with increased boating attracted to this narrow passage in the bridge area;
• Inadequate launching facilities – which you will find are much worse at the second bridge;
• Public safety at risk with increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic attracted to this dangerous section of road;
• Increased overnight camping enabled on unapproved sites with the creation of the proposed facility.
BCBM would like to go on record that we wish to be advised on a timely basis of any future site visits so that myself and / or designates be included as part
of these reviews. Our obligation is to provide our 140 members with accurate information for their consideration. The reaction by our members thus far to the
thought of this site at the second bridge is extremely unfavourable.
Brent, it is imperative that you know that Les Holroyd and Robert Holroyd under no circumstances represent our organization, therefore we prefer that you
deal directly with our association in this matter.
We would also like to see documentation on the approval process for placing a facility of this nature.
I respectfully request that you inform me on a timely basis of any progress in the initiative, and opportunities for us to communicate on this issue.
Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and our requests.
Rob Halko, President
Beaver-Cavendish-Bottle-McGinnis Cottagers Owners Organization Inc.

 feb 19 email
From the comments I’ve received it is not just the parking and access point upgrades but the access point for Cold Lake itself and advertising it as a boat launching site.
   this existing sign is viewed as inappropriate for this location and should be removed.  Mississauga Dam Road and West Bay Road were designated launch sites prior to the Parks existence.  I would suggest this be the only sign at any Access Site.
I would suggest this be the only sign at any Access Site.
The existing Kiosk at the first bridge location was placed without consultation and was objected to. It was seen as a temporary measure until the Park was officially open.  The Kiosk was, I thought, to be replaced by the one in the Bottle Lake Parking Area but was never dismantled. Once again the Park arbitrarily undertook to expand its boundaries without consultation or consideration of the impact it might have on existing residents, their safety and increased boating activity.

From: Gary W Jarosz [mailto:gwjarosz@sympatico.ca]
     Sent: February 18, 2012 6:59 PM
     To: Stewart, Brent (MNR)
     Cc: Smith, Paul (MNR)
     Subject: RE: Catchacoma Narrows EA decision

     Brent and Stewart, as you may be aware, I am the President of the
     Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association (CCRAI) and our we
     represent that largest number of landowners in the Galway-Cavendish &
     Harvey Township. We understand that there has been a considerable
     amount of concern regarding the proposed parking lot and access point
     upgrades. We understand that the project has been postponed until
     such time that more input can be acquired.

     I would like to talk to both of you about our proposal to have the
     CCRAI facilitate a meeting among yourselves, representatives from
     each of the cottage, lake, road and ratepayers associations in the
     area as well as municipal representation. In addition, if required,
     we would solicit representation from the Ministry of the Environment.
     We are confident that a meeting with representation from all parties
     concerned will eliminate the misinformation that is being
     communicated in the community and will allow us to come to a mutually
     agreeable solution to parking, access to the park, and concerns of
     all parties.

     When the new parking lot for Bottle Lake was proposed, we had a
     similar group that convened for a few meetings and the project went
     ahead with the support of all the parties mentioned above without any
     misinformation or issues and everyone is happy with the en result. I
     am confident that we can come to a similar conclusion regarding this
     proposed project as well.

     Please feel free to call me at your convenience.

     Regards ... Gary Jarosz

From: Stewart, Brent (MNR) [mailto:brent.stewart@ontario.ca]
     Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:29 PM
     To: Gary W Jarosz
     Cc: Smith, Paul (MNR)
     Subject: RE: Catchacoma Narrows EA decision


     Thank you for your recommendation and offer of assistance. We are
     currently reviewing the comments received and will develop a strategy
     to move forward, which will likely not happen until some time later
     in the spring. We will notify you once a decision has been made on
     how we will be proceeding from here.

     Brent Stewart
     Assistant Park Superintendent
     Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
     Tel:   613-332-3940 ext. 251
     Fax:  613-332-1800