Speaking Up for the Environment: We Oppose the Development of 70 Madeline Drive Because the Property is in an Environmentally Protected Area, and in the Floodplain of Townline Creek

Townline Creek abuts the east side of the 70 Madeline Drive property and is representative of the numerous small Escarpment watercourses that discharge directly into Nottawasaga Bay along its south shore. For over ten years, the Trust, in association with the Grey Sauble and Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authorities and for the past four years with Environment Canada, have helped to fund and have provided labour for assessing the impact development is having on Townline Creek. Compared to six other watercourses discharging into the Nottawasaga Bay, Townline Creek consistently demonstrates degraded water quality with higher-than-average TP and TSS concentrations.

A copy of the 2016 Assessment Report on Townline Creek has been provided to the Town and is on our website www.watershedtrust.ca. It points out concerns with respect to continued development in the area over the past ten years.  This report documents the negative impacts being created by development that need to be addressed to curtail this downward trend.

For this reason, the Watershed Trust has concerns with respect to the proposed service easement for 80 Madeline Drive passing through the 70 Madeline Drive property and the proposed new residential development on the 70 Madeline Drive property (Consent No. D10517 and Minor Variance No. D131417).

Important to this discussion is the understanding that the site is zoned Environmental Protection (EP). Schedule “A” lands and new development and site alteration within this designation are not permitted unless it can be demonstrated that there will be no negative impacts on the natural features or their ecological functions.

Re: Consent No.  D10517

We understand the purpose of Consent No. D10517 is to provide a new easement for servicing purposes for the 80 Madeline property located east of the 70 Madeline Drive property and abutting Townline Creek. The easement is proposed to be 7.5 metres wide.

No information is provided with respect to what services are to be provided. The easement is within the floodplain of Townline Creek. The existing grades in many areas of the proposed easement are less than 178.00 GSCD, the 100-year flood elevation of Nottawasaga Bay.

No site grading other than the existing grades are shown for the servicing easement to access 80 Madeline Drive or how services are to cross Townline Creek.

Based on the above, it is our position that Consent D10517 is incomplete and does not comply with the PPS, the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws and should be denied.

Re: Minor Variance D131417

We understand the existing 112.3-square-metre, (legal, but non-conforming) cottage that is in the Environmental Protection zone is to be demolished and replaced by a new 288 square-metre, two-storey single detached dwelling with a 58-square-metre attached building constructed.

Townline Creek abuts the property on the east side. The width of the property is less than 30 metres in that location and the property is within or immediately adjacent to the Provincially Significant Silver Creek Wetland. On the north side of the site the property line fronts on Georgian Bay. The property is within the flood plain of Townline Creek. The existing grades in many areas of the site are less than the 100-year flood elevation of Nottawasaga Bay.

The 2014 Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) states in 2.1 of the Natural Heritage section that natural heritage features shall be protected for the long term and makes specific reference to not permitting development in significant wetlands and significant coastal wetlands both of which apply to 70 Madeline Drive.

The proposed new residence requires the existing septic system to be abandoned and a new system is shown located within 10 metres of Townline Creek and in the floodplain. Site grading around the bed is not shown and is a concern.

Townline Creek presently supports fish habitat and fishery impact has not been addressed.

The grades shown around the proposed new residence are proposed to be raised to 178.90 GSCD requiring significant filling of the site. The grades along the northerly property line fronting on Nottawasaga Bay are less than 177.70 GSDC and the setback is less than the 15 metres required in the Section 4.12 entitled Nottawasaga Bay Floodplain Provisions of the Town’s Zoning By-Laws.

The existing cottage was constructed in the early 1950’s. Its building envelope is 112 m2 and, while presently considered a legal dwelling, was in place prior to the planning regulations being enacted. The new building envelope is 309% larger than the existing dwelling.

Based on the above, it is our position that proposed Minor Variance D131417 cannot be considered in any way a minor variance and does not comply with the PPS, the Town’s Official Plan and Zoning By-laws, and as such should be denied.

We asked that our concerns be acknowledged and a detailed response to our letter be provided as is now required by Bill 73 Amendments to the Planning Act.