Sunday 13 January 2019
To: LWRA members and others associated with the LWRA lakes
From: The LWRA Board
As many of you know, the Town of Huntsville recently received an application to re-zone Treasure Island (the big island in Lake Waseosa) from “Conservation” to “Shoreline Residential” together with a proposed mainland access point on the west side of Lake Waseosa as part of a proposal to build on that island.
We were not consulted in advance and were given a very short time frame to respond. After consulting those most affected and careful consideration of the issues, the Board of Directors voted to oppose the rezoning of Treasure Island and the proposed mainland access point is inappropriate and should also be turned down. Our reasons for each are in the document that you can access on our website at:
The Town has scheduled the legally required planning meeting to hear views from the community for 1 pm this coming Wednesday (16 January 2019) in the Council Chamber at the Huntsville Town Hall.
We encourage everyone to show up and ask to be heard at this meeting. It is important for the Town Councillors to hear your views. Even if you choose not to speak, the Huntsville Council can see the interest in these matters if you are there at the meeting.
The Town staff have recommended that no decision be made, pending further consultation between the developer and the neighbourhood. That does NOT mean that no action will be taken. The Committee could decide on the application on Wednesday after holding the public meeting. Or they could hold the public meeting and defer their decision. Or they could postpone the public meeting pending further consultation.
The staff recommendation and the material that they had received prior to their deadline is publicly available here https://huntsvilleon.civicweb.net/filepro/documents/18656?preview=18658
The Town is legally obligated to hold a public meeting before a decision is made. We must assume that the public meeting will be held on Wednesday as scheduled. Thus if you can be there, please attend the meeting. It may be your only opportunity to be heard.
The LWRA does intend to speak at the meeting. The Board has also committed funds to retain a professional planner to advise us. The LWRA Board very much appreciates the work that many of you have already put into this issue. Our own submission was informed, in part, by material that many of you provided to us.
When we last faced a “change in the character of the lake” threat in 2002, the Board set up a working committee that included some non-board members with special interests and expertise on these matters. One of their responsibilities was to raise funds to retain professionals. Although some of the general LWRA funds were used for related matters the vast majority of the funds used in that matter were raised specifically for the purpose of that issue and held separately as the “Save the Lake Fund”.
The current Board will follow that precedent and we invite those with any special expertise or interest in the rezoning of Treasure Island, the issues related to the mainland access point as well as those willing to assist with fundraising efforts to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not know how many people will have the time and inclination to join a group to work on these problems or whether we will have too few, too many, or just the right number of volunteers. Nor has the board discussed how many volunteers would be ‘just right’. If you have any other views about the size or mandate of the committee, please let us know.
More generally, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let us know.