3 March 2013
To: LWRA members
From: Tony Doob
Re: Update on the Jessop Lake Severance
As you probably know from the various emails on the Jessop Lake matter, the Town has delayed its decision on the zoning amendment of the property in question. The current zoning precludes the creation of new lots, so amending the zoning bylaw is necessary for the decision of the Town’s Planning Advisory Committee to have any effect and is a condition of the subdivision. The committee does not have the power to re-zone. That matter must go before the full council.
In the meantime, however, the deadline for appeal of the consent (ie: the actual severance) to the OMB is fast approaching. We have confirmed with the OMB that, despite the delay on the zoning amendment, appeals of the consent must still be received by March 7. Anyone who addressed the public meeting orally or submitted comments in writing prior to the decision can appeal.
The LWRA executive met this morning. A unanimous decision of those in attendance was that we proceed with an appeal. While we still hope that our representatives will heed the wishes of the electors, we feel we must keep our options open in the event that they choose to approve the zoning amendment.
It is important to note that any individual can file an appeal. Unincorporated groups cannot file, but an individual could file on behalf a group. There is an filing fee involved ($125). What you should remember, when considering whether to appeal, is a very simple fact: the LWRA will be acting in the interests of those members on all four lakes. Many of us believe that this is a matter that affects us all. But it is theoretically possible that the LWRA could decide to settle with the developer on grounds that would not be acceptable to some individuals (on Jessop or elsewhere). Hence it is important for you to consider your own interests. Filing may help you protect your own interests and would give you and independent voice with the OMB. That said, it is likely that the appeals would be consolidated by the OMB the various parties in opposition could share experts, as happened with the Pieper case on Waseosa. The grounds for the appeal are numerous, and we can help any other individual or group with preparing their application.
We will be needing to raise funds for the LWRA costs. We have done this in the past and, generally speaking, those most affected have taken a leadership role in the fundraising efforts. At this time, the LWRA Board does not include a resident from Jessop (Jingo). It would be especially helpful, therefore, if one or more Jessop landowners could volunteer not just to help with the fundraising but also to help in other ways with the appeal.
Once again, my own feeling is that it won’t hurt for each of us – once again - to write the members of the Town Council urging them to turn down this proposal. We believe that provincial legislation prevents the Town from delaying the decision further. Given the vulnerability of the lake on various dimensions, we believe that it is in the community interests for the Town to do the right thing for the vast majority of the community and turn down this proposal. I would hope that – once again – the residents of Jessop would make their views well known to the Town council (as you have done very effectively so far).
Thank you for your patience. As always, the board of the LWRA welcomes any comments you might have.