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KHRASS Newsletter 03.07- 001              July 5, 2003 No. 1

Topics:

* The KHSS Park Boundary Proposed in the LSC’s November 2001 Recommendations for the lakes in Cavendish and Harvey.
* Exclusions from the KHSS Recommended by the LSC in Cavendish and Harvey.
* Implications of Bill 100 and the Charter for Cottagers whose access roads will traverse Crown lands which are part of the KHSS Park.
* Remedies provided for property owners in the KHSS Park Charter.

The map below is a portion of the map shown on page 47 of [1] showing (approximately) the boundary proposed by the LSC in Nov. 2001 for the portions of the KHSS Park in Cavendish and Harvey.  The areas shown in yellow are recommended "exclusions" or "boundary adjustments" or "buffer zones" that were recommended by the LSC to be removed from the KHSS Park as its boundary was originally proposed in March and July 1999.

NB: When we refer to "buffer zones" or "exclusions" we mean areas of General Use Crown land, exterior to the KHSS Park boundary, that spatially separate private property and related infrastructure (roads, trails and utility corridors) from the KHSS Park.

 
 

NB: Out of about 500 properties in Cavendish and Harvey that were proposed to be adjacent to the park boundary proposed in March 1999, all but about 50 have had "exclusions from the park" recommended for the benefit of their owners.  The 50 properties that have not had exclusions recommended for the benefit of their owners are located on the southeast corner of Gold Lake, the east shore of Lake Catchacoma and the easterly half of Pencil Lake.
NB: Exclusions were not recommended for the easterly shore of Catchacoma, mostly, it appears, because of inaccurate information distributed by certain members of the executive of the Catchacoma Cottagers’ Association.  Some of this information was accepted, without verification, by the LSC.  Please refer to [1], pages 22, 23 and 24. (We will follow up on this point in a subsequent memo.)

NB: No reasons are given by the LSC, as far as we know, for failing to recommend exclusions around southeast Gold Lake and Pencil Lake.  An exclusion was requested by at least one property owner on southeast Gold Lake.  See the accompanying letter from Rob Holroyd.

NB: The observations below apply to properties located on Wolf Lake, Looncall Lake and Anstruther Lake where no exclusions have been recommended.  There do not appear to be any reasons given in the LSC’s Recommendations of November 2001 for failing to recommend exclusions around these lakes.  Since there are great similarities in the situations regarding some of the lakes in North Kawartha and Cavendish and Harvey, it is difficult to understand why they are treated so differently in the LSC’s November Recommendations.  Some of the inaccurate information from the CCA Executive, referred to above, was distributed to Dana Dvorak on Wolf Lake and Bob Walsh and Associates on Anstruther Lake, and they re-distributed this inaccurate information to many other persons, along with inaccurate information of their own creation.
 

Implications of the KHSS Park Charter for property owners not receiving exclusions:

Section 10 (1) of the Charter reads as follows:

"…Roads and Trails

10. (1) Despite section 9 of the Provincial Parks Act, no new roads, including roads constructed solely to provide access to private property that is surrounded by Park lands or that abuts Park lands, shall be constructed in or through the Park on or after the day this section comes into force. …"

This text is also part of Bill 100.

In the interpretive portions of Section 10 of the charter (the non-italicized portions) appears the following text.

"… Closing roads and trails

Under existing provisions in the Provincial Parks Act the superintendent of the park may close roads or trails to use by motor vehicles. This power would primarily be used to address situations where continued use would result in significant environmental damage.

Any permanent closures of roads or trails must be authorized through an amendment to the park management plan. The amendment process will provide opportunities for public review and comment, including the involvement of the Management Advisory Board.

Status of existing roads

Existing roads that provide access to private properties will be regulated as part of the park, but maintenance will not normally become the responsibility of the park. These roads will continue to be maintained by the individuals or groups who are currently responsible, unless otherwise agreed to. …"
 

NB: Discussions that clarify the intent of the text "… regulated as part of the park …" have indicated that these regulations will likely require property owners, amongst other requirements, to obtain vehicle passes for themselves and their guests to access their private properties on roads that they have built, paid for and maintained, for many  years in some cases.
 
 
 
 
 

NB: Sections  13 (7) and 13 (8) of Bill 100 read as follows.

"…Permit required
(7)  Despite subsections (2) and (5), a person described in subsection (1) shall not operate a motor vehicle or a motorized snow vehicle in the Park unless the person has obtained a vehicle permit issued under the Provincial Parks Act, and no fee shall be charged in respect of the issuance of such a permit.
Limit on number of guests
(8)  The superintendent may limit the number of vehicle permits to be issued without charge at one time to guests of a person described in clause (1) (a) or (b) or of a tenant of a person described in clause (1) (a). …"

NB: Question re: implementation - How and where are owners, or guests, of private property owners arriving at, say, 3:00am, after being tied up in traffic for hours,  going to obtain the required vehicle permits, etc.?
NB: Some property owners have expressed the view that the requirement to obtain the passes and permits referred to, to access and / or bring guests to their private properties, is akin to being required to carry an identity card in a police state.  They did not purchase property in a pre-existing park where such requirements may have been in place (e.g. Algonquin Park,  and George Drum.  See accompanying letter.).  And, they have no wish to be placed in such a situation.  That is, they do not want to be in a provincial park.
NB: The passage immediately above, it might be argued, contradicts Section 8.5 of the Ontario’s Living Legacy (Approved) Land Use Strategy, July 1999 [2, p.31].  This section, which concerns the Kawartha Highlands Signature Site, states:
"… Private land within the area will not be affected by the land use designation. …"
We do not believe that this statement is, or can be, true.
 
 

Remedies Provided for Property Owners in the KHSS Park Charter as Negotiated by Chris Hodgson.

Despite the concerns emphasized above, the "Chris Hodgson Solution", to his credit, holds out hope that the grievances of property owners may yet be fairly addressed.  This hope is held out primarily by Sections 3, 5 and 17 of Bill 100 and the Charter, and appears to depend substantially on the actions of a fair and empathetic Management Advisory Board being appointed by, and with terms of reference specified by, the Minister of Natural Resources.

a) The non-italicized portions of the Charter in Section 3 contain the following excerpt:

"… Formal public and Aboriginal notification processes will be carried out prior to the regulation of the park boundary. These processes will allow interested parties, Aboriginal people and First Nation communities to identify any detailed concerns with the specific location of the park boundary. The processes are not intended to deal with broad policy issues or major changes to the boundary. As part of these processes notices will be mailed to adjacent landowners, interested organizations, Aboriginal organizations and First Nation communities, and notices will be placed in appropriate local and regional newspapers. …"
 

b) Section 17 (1) of Bill 100 and  the Charter contain the following passage.

"… Right of Access

The intent of this section is to continue to maintain the existing access, and if there are public safety or ecological integrity concerns, a new route will be found.

17. (1) Subject to subsection (2), nothing in this Act shall limit or in any way diminish a right of access to or through land that is part of the Park where that right was granted under the Public Lands Act or other provincial legislation on or before March 29,1999. …"
 

NB: There are strong arguments that the provisions of b) above can not be satisfied unless reasonable boundary adjustments as provided for in a) are granted.
 
 

Disclaimer:

The information contained in these Newsletters is intended to provide useful pointers to significant source documents.  No one should rely on it without checking the referred to source documents and other sources of information for themselves.
 
 

References:

Please note that copies of Bill 100 and the Charter were attached to KHRASS Newsletter 03.06-001, June 19, 2003 No.1.  Do not hesitate to contact us for a copy.

[1] LSC; KHSS Recommendations Report; November 2001.

[2] Ontario’s Living Legacy - Land Use Strategy, July 1999.