County News – Official Plans and Zoning Bylaws by Bob Weimeir

A public meeting was recently held in the municipality of Georgian Bluffs on the contents of a new Zoning Bylaw. This is round two for the municipality, as they already passed one in September 2018.

This bylaw was passed in anticipation of what the new Grey County Official Plan would look like. It was promptly appealed by both the county and the Grey-Sauble Conservation Authority.

The County’s objection lay in the fact that lot severances were too small and did not conform to the draft Official Plan. The Conservation Authority objected to the fact that the municipality had hired their own consultants for the heritage and wetland mapping. This mapping was four thousand acres short of what Conservation wanted.

To cut short the appeal process, the municipality repealed their recently passed zoning bylaw, agreeing to accept Conservation’s mapping. As you can imagine, this mapping is not going over well with the residents. About seventy people showed up to the public meeting leaving standing room only in the hall outside the council chambers, with a lot of them speaking to council to have their objections recorded, to go along with the numerous objections already received by the municipality. Not so surprising was the fact no one stood up to say they liked any of the changes. It seemed people realised just what this mapping was going to do to them.

The biggest surprise to me was Grey- Sauble’s presentation. They stated the fact that their funding had been cut and they were to work under their core mandate. Going on, they seemed to be under the impression their core mandate is exactly what they have been doing recently. I couldn’t believe it! What part of “wind down other activities” didn’t they understand? Simple logic seemed to be the only thing that was cut.

We have dealt with the CA’s across the province for many years, but this borders on insanity. Needless to say, after all the people presenting statements had been heard, the Mayor stated the bylaw might not be passed as soon as they first thought. Numerous more letters are going in to the municipality against the mapping. Thanks to a front-page account of the meeting in the Sun Times, hopefully many more will add their voices to the struggle.

The saga continues.