CAN - Study approved for 'unique' shoreline project along Georgian Bay
Results will help sculpt rules and regulations, aid in creating, managing and enforcing municipal bylaws; 'More people have screwed up our shoreline than you can imagine,' councillor notes
In the ongoing tug-of-war over beach ownership and rights in Tiny Township, the municipality has managed to dig its toes in and plant its heels upon approval of an upcoming study.
Following various instances of conflict and actions over the years regarding shoreline management, the municipality requested staff to look into a shoreline management study this summer. Initial discussions resulted in the discovery that the Tiny shoreline is not like many others.
Public works director Tim Leitch provided an overview to Tiny council at a recent committee of the whole meeting.
“It is classified as dynamic,” revealed Leitch, “meaning that it is constantly changing with the sand movement and boulder movement, through different ice and varying water levels that impact our shoreline.”
Staff contacted Markham-based coastal engineering company Aqua Solutions 5 (AQ5) to conduct the study. Council approved the staff recommendation to sole source AQ5 to investigate and produce a report at $34,000 to come from parkland reserve funding.
AQ5 will look at the feasibility to implement regulations and standards for the management of the dynamic shoreline.
“As part of that,” Leitch explained, “we’ve got to do our homework and make sure that everything we’ve put in place is consistent with any legislation, any planning objectives that need to happen. It’s so that when we come to a conclusion, then we can develop what these bylaws may be and make sure it’s on sound ground and it’s on good coastal science.”
CAO Robert Lamb noted that in discussion with the regional office of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, and Natural Resources and Forestry, the topic of Tiny developing municipal regulations was something of interest in enforcing policies between the two levels of government.
Lamb said: “I take that as a very good step forward; our ability to put something in place and our ability to actually enforce what’s been put in place.”
Coun. Cindy Hastings gave “two thumbs up” to the study as “an excellent framework” for the future council to make decisions. Coun. John Bryant was interested in the reasoning behind sole sourcing the study to AQ5, but was reminded by staff and council that it was an available option and that there was strong merit behind the choice.