Letter: SEPO Replies to Bruce County Re: Development Charges

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The following reply was sent to Bruce County Council in response to their letter Re: Development Charges

Dear Mr. Henley.

Thank you for your reply dated September 20, 2023, specifically, for answering some of our queries around the imposition of county wide Development Charges. Further questions and concerns remain.

We understand that the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula annually sends approximately $7,000,000.00 to Bruce County with little visible return to the benefit of the Northern Bruce Peninsula residents. Development Charges will further compound this imbalance.

LINDSAY TRACT

Specifically, and in what manner, will trail improvements in the Lindsay Tract benefit our residents? There are inherent liability worries related to bicycle and ATV trails which frequently foster extreme levels of sport. We understand that the Cape Croker bicycle trail has been shut down following two life altering accidents resulting in legal action.

BICYCLE SHOULDER LANES

Are paved bicycle lanes on the East Road from Wiarton to Lion’s Head warranted? The observations of the signees of this letter concludes with infrequent if any bicycle traffic on Hwy #6. Adding shoulder bicycle lanes to the East Road from Lion’s Head to Wiarton, would be a multi-million-dollar project necessitating re-constructing and expanding the present paved road surface. By way of example, the original paved add on shoulders on Hwy #6 broke up the first winter resulting in an added hazard for cyclists; throwing a thin layer of asphalt on the existing gravel shoulders was a waste of time and taxpayer money. How will these additional bicycle lanes that would be partly in the southern part of the MNBP benefit our members and residents?

EARLY YEARS PROGRAM SPACE 

The Ontario Government, recently announced $640,000.00 towards upgrades to St. Edmunds Public School. What further educational enhancements are specifically planned for the youngest demographic in the MNBP?

NEW AMBULANCE IN LION’S HEAD

Is this a legislated requirement or deemed necessary by Bruce County Council?

LONG TERM CARE

Long Term Care Funding is non-existent for the residents north of Wiarton. We understand that Golden Dawn is owned by a non-profit charitable board, unlike the Long-Term Care Homes owned by the County which are strictly controlled by the Ministry of Health. Bruce County spends its entire budget for seniors’ support in the south; until it invests in a new Long Term Care in the north, Bruce County should consider other financial supports to seniors in MNBP. Despite pleas for funding of Golden Dawn, requests have fallen on deaf ears. Exactly how much per bed are LTC homes in Bruce County funded?

PROPERTIES ON PRIVATE ROADS

How will Development Charges apply to and benefit properties on private roads in the MNBP which have signed No Demand for Services Agreements? How many private roads are in the Northern Bruce Peninsula? How many properties on these roads have signed No Demand for Services Agreements?

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Overall, Development Charges will further increase housing affordability in the MNBP. In the context of escalating land costs, increasing build material costs and high interest rates, what is the definition of Affordable Housing? Now is not the time to increase building costs with added Development Charges.

We remain committed to speaking on behalf of the rate payers of The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula.

Yours sincerely, St. Edmunds Property Owners, Inc., Executive.

David Almack, Kevin Doyle, David Hartney, Carrie King, Tom McAfee, Udo Nixdorf and Jack Schenk.