Georgian Bay town slaps year-long ban on shoreline construction

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Tiny Township has enacted an interim control bylaw to halt all shoreline development for one year. The bylaw was approved at a special council meeting May 29, after residents complained about construction along the Balm Beach shoreline.

Projects previously awarded permits will be allowed to continue as planned.

“We have had lots of input from the community about a specific retaining wall,” Councillor Steffen Walma said at the meeting. “We don’t want to see (that kind of construction) happening throughout the community.”

Tiny occupies most of the Penetanguishene peninsula, the most northerly municipality in Simcoe County. The township, located about two hours north of Toronto, has a total area of 344 sq. km. and has a coastline on Georgian Bay stretching 70 kilometres.

“While we are building the bylaw, I don’t think it should be free season for development on the shoreline because everyone is trying to beat us to the punch,” Walma said.

In recent months, the township has received an increase number of enquires and activity related to retaining walls and structures in the area of the high watermark.

The interim control by-law puts a temporary freeze on certain land uses while a municipality is studying or reviewing associated land use policies. The basis for the use of this regulatory tool is provided in Section 38(1) of the Planning Act.

“Based on the nature of the recent activity and council’s intent to enact a site alteration by-law in the fall, it is staff’s recommendation for council to pass the interim control by-law,” Jamie Robinson, planning consultant wrote in a report.

The interim control bylaw passed unanimously and will prohibit the construction of fences, retaining walls and other structures within 30 metres of the 178-metre contour elevation of the Georgian Bay shoreline (the high-water mark).

“I am 100 per cent in favour,” said Councillor Kelly Peter Helowka. “We need to protect our shorelines at all costs.”


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