Another Parking Lot on Top of the Escarpment? Scenic Caves Parking Application

By Peter Tollefsen

The Blue Mountains received applications in November 2017 for Official Plan and Zoning By-Law Amendments from Scenic Caves Nature Adventures for a property north of Scenic Caves at the intersection of 15th Sideroad and Scenic Caves Rd. The subject property address is 214 Scenic Caves Rd., across the street from the Southern Comfort Chair at the top of Blue Mountain Resorts. The application is requesting amendments to allow an overflow parking area to support the adjacent Scenic Caves operations.

A public meeting was held January 29, 2018. A planning consultant for the owner of 208 Scenic Caves Rd., the property adjacent to the proposed parking lot, voiced an objection because of impact. This existing residential property would be wedged between the proposed new parking lot and the recently built parking lot of Blue Mountain Resorts further impacting the escarpment wildlife corridor. Blanka Guyatt and Norm Wingrove from Watershed Trust attended the Public Meeting and voiced a major concern on behalf of BMWTF about the negative impact of a parking lot on the nearby Townline Creek watercourse. A letter from the Trust was submitted.

The NEC wrote that the development objectives don’t allow an accessory facility. The lot in question is accessory, on the other side of sideroad 15a, and not on the principal lot. Furthermore, the NEC letter pointed out, the pond is a key hydrological feature, prohibiting development. This issue will be discussed in the next meeting of The Blue Mountains Committee of the Whole in June.