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A colossal waste of tax money

August 25, 2016   ·   0 Comments

THE 8,000 RESIDENTS OF MONO should be up in arms.

Next month, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) is scheduled to have a hearing that’s expected to last six days, into an appeal by the Town against an NEC decision allowing Caledon orthodonist Cliff Singer to have a few water-skiing competitions on a lovely man-made lake in the 204-acre portion of a worked-out gravel pit that he owns situated between Airport Road and Mono’s Sixth Line EHS.

The challenged ruling allowed up to four of the events per year for three years, The events would see competitors taking part, one at a time, dodging marker buoys as they are pulled by an inboard motor boat that makes much less noise than an outboard or a seadoo boat, and little or no air or water pollution.

The lake itself cannot be seen by passersby, thanks to berms up to 30 feet high along the former pit’s western boundary abutting the Sixth Line, and the Singers’ boat can be barely heard by anyone standing on that roadway, yet one of Mono’s 43 ridiculous contentions is that the competitions (all during summer days) might somehow breach the Town’s noise bylaw.

Just who it is that has led the vicious campaign against the Singers (Cliff, wife Judy and daughter Chantal, a water-skiing medalist), has never been disclosed. Nor has Mono Council ever held public discussions on the matter, ostensibly because it involves litigation. On one occasion, Dr. Singer spent close to an hour responding to issues raised by Town staff without facing any challenges, or even questions, from the Council.

And to date his invitation to the five-member council to visit his property and see for themselves the absence of any threat to the environment or disturbance to the far-off neighbours has gone unanswered, although Councillor Ralph Manktelow did visit the site once last year.

If nothing else, in addition to costing Mono taxpayers at least $150,000 in legal fees, the NEC appeal hearing will underscore the enormity of the difference between property ownership in NEC-controlled parts of the Oak Ridges Moraine and that enjoyed elsewhere in the moraine.

Just a few miles to the east, in King Township, the owners of another lake created by the aggregates industry now enjoy the warm support of the town fathers, who boast on the Township’s website of the popularity of the lake’s regular use for both water-skiing and wakeboarding.

All the Singers want is to have up to four competitions of the sort once held on a relatively small, shallow pond on Amaranth’s 20 Sideroad, an area well removed from NEC jurisdiction.

This leads us to a rather basic question: how on earth has the Singer application come to be classified as a “development” requiring an NEC permit? Interestingly, “development” was defined in materials before Mono Council on Tuesday in a site plan agreement for 10 Coles Crescent, the site of a building planned by Premier Concrete:

“Development” shall mean the construction, erection or placing of one or more buildings or structures on land or the making of an addition or alteration to a building or structure that has the effect of substantially increasing the size or usability thereof and shall include the construction and installation of all facilities, services, utilities, works and other matters incidental thereto, including building excavation but shall not include preliminary site grading including stripping and storage of topsoil. “Developed” shall have a corresponding meaning.

What the Singers propose hardly fits the definition, any more than would holding  Sunday School picnics at the lake.

         

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