Common Values and Areas of Concern
Survey of Residents
The Lake Waseosa Ratepayers' Association carried out a community-based survey to identify the primary values and concerns of the residents. A questionnaire was distributed to obtain their views, clarify their residential use and to obtain their observations with respect to any changes related to activities and development on the lakes. The Questionnaire had a response rate of 38%.
The information obtained identified the values that are most important to the residents. These will be used in determining what future and further actions should be taken in order to sustain the present quality of life and to control any change in activity and further development.
The residents have identified the following values and concerns in their responses to the questionnaire:
Values In order of importance:
- Quiet setting
- Natural beauty, such as shoreline, trees and air quality
- Outdoor recreation
- Water quality
[The majority of people surveyed indicated that their main source of water is from wells (dug and drilled).]
- Preservation of natural environment, e.g. trees, animals, surrounding forests and abundance of wildlife
- Social and community activities
- Good fishing
Concerns The following issues residents consider to be threats to their values
- Increased development
*31% of those surveyed indicated that they will be increasing the use or development of their present properties in the next five years
- Decreases in water quality as indicated by the following:
- Decrease in visibility in water reported by snorklers, etc.
- Decrease in fish, frogs, clams
- Increase in water plants, weeds, and algae
- Increase in phosphorus
- Ripple Lake has an occasional musty fishy smell
- Palette Lake has an algae odour at lower than 8 feet when heated
- Lack of respect for natural settings (e.g. destruction of loon habitats)
- Shoreline development (e.g. tree cutting, beach development; not maintaining a vegetative shoreline buffer zone)
- Lack of public education and awareness with respect to overall areas of preservation
- The use of large boats which would cause shoreline erosion, gas and oil spills and general pollution
- Noise and light pollution (particularly during night time)
- Faulty septic tanks and tile bed systems and their effect on the lakes
- The use of jet skis
- Break-in's and burglary
- Value of property
- Increased boat traffic
Regarding these values and concerns, the Huntsville Official Plan provides that:
"8.13.3 Lake Plans prepared for individual lakes often go beyond land use planning considerations. The land use planning components of a Lake Plan are intended to be implemented through policies in this Plan. Other features of a Lake Plan will be implemented through the efforts of individual ratepayer organizations."
Therefore the specific policies of this Lake Plan will concern itself with planning issues and social issues such as behaviour and crime will be dealt with through an education program by the LWRA.
Objectives of the Lake Plan
The results of the Lake Plan Questionnaire and Survey obtained from the values and concerns of the residents were used to establish the following principles and educational objectives in the development of the Lake Plan.
1. Historic character of the lakes
This shall be protected and maintained and degraded areas should be identified and rehabilitated.
2. Water quality
Since contributors to pollution such as phosphorus, nitrates and E.coli occur naturally in lakes, residents should attempt to ensure that the natural background of these substances should not increase as a result of human activity and increased density of development
3. Natural shoreline and Riparian areas
Residents are expected to maintain and rehabilitate their shoreline areas in order to create a "ribbon of life" to protect shoreline vegetation, fish and wildlife habitats
4. Tree lines and forested areas
These should not be interfered with by any residential development which would alter the natural vistas of the tree lines
5. Future development Relating to Natural Character
Members and new residents will be encouraged to ensure that any future developments conform to the natural characteristics of the lakes, particularly on those properties which can legally be developed under existing by-laws and planning regulations
It is expected that these principles will maintained through the Official Plan of the Town of Huntsville.