Municipality defers meeting about significant woodland overlay
By Liz Dadson

Kincardine council

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Kincardine council has agreed to defer to next summer, a planning meeting about removing the "significant woodlands" overlay from the Official Plan, as well as all references to this overlay.

The public meeting was originally scheduled for next Wednesday, Oct. 8, at the municipal administrative centre.

However, at the council meeting Wednesday night (Oct. 1), councillors Maureen Couture and Jacqueline Faubert both put forward recommendations to defer the issue until the summer of 2015.

Couture presented it in a notice of motion, while Faubert put forward a motion, given that there would be no time to further discuss and decide on such a motion next week prior to the planning advisory committee meeting.

The municipality has applied for an amendment to the Official Plan to remove the designation of "significant woodlands" which has caused some concern for area landowners.

Couture said the public meeting should be held in the summer of 2015 when all seasonal residents would be able to attend. It would also give the new council, which takes over in December, an opportunity to thoroughly review the natural heritage study which resulted in the "significant woodlands" overlay.

Faubert proposed the same motion, and council agreed to put it on the Oct. 1 agenda so it could be dealt with prior to the planning advisory committee Oct. 8.

During discussion, Couture said she has received numerous calls and E-mails regarding this overlay which was actually added to the Official Plan by Bruce County, not Kincardine.

Faubert said she had also heard from numerous constituents about the issue. However, she said that as much as the amendment argues policy, the amendment should not be a blanket removal of the "significant woodlands" designation either.

"The problem is that council never adopted this," said mayor Larry Kraemer. "In the last term of council, it was unanimously rejected because nobody could define what a local significant woodland was. The county did that."

He said the amendment is a housekeeping matter. "The overlay got into the Official Plan and is negatively affecting people's development of their own property."

Council agreed to defer the public meeting until the summer of 2015.

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Thursday, October 02, 2014