Jump to content
Lake Ranger

Trailer Park Dispute

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm new to this site, but thought there might be someone out there who's had some experience with what I'm dealing with. I own 220 acres of land in a very remote and rural community in West Nipissing, near the French River area. There has been an ongoing dispute in our neighbourhood about a trailer park development on our small lake. Sadly, the developers got their plan passed, however, with restrictions. The intention is to develop an RV park on 25 acres of land with only 300 feet of lake frontage on a very small lake. One of the by-law restrictions put in place by the City required the developers to establish a buffer zone of 65 feet of natural forest vegetation on each side of their property lines as a visual and sound barrier for adjacent properties that was to REMAIN forested and not removed. As soon as the developers received the approvals from the City, they brought in bulldozer, dozed through a large wetland, destroying the habitat of many animals and birds and continued to doze down the trees in the 'buffer zones'. They dozed right up to adjacent properties, knocking down and destroying all trees, vegetation, anything in their path. Originally, we did not appeal the City's decision to allow the development, since we believed the restrictions would be honoured. As well, another restriction that was ignored was the fact that the Ministries were to be informed of the development prior to any work being done so they could study the property and assess the natural values of the land and marsh. This never happened. Our complaints resulted in an inspector from the City coming to the property only to determine there were no violations. Of course, they would have no clue as to where the property lines were, nor would they know about the marsh that was now filled in. We were shocked to learn of this result and once again called the city to inform them of the violations. Now the city has said that the developers will have to get a survey done to establish the 65 feet buffer zone. Wasn't that the whole idea in the first place? To 'establish' and maintain the buffer zone that was to remain forested? It will take another 50 years for a forest to return to the damaged areas, if at all! The City refused to admit they've made a mistake and will not acknowledge our concerns. The developers have broken a their contract, violated by-laws, destroyed the forest and the marsh and without the support of the Municipality we do not know what course to take to have this development stopped and their commercial zoning pulled. Is there anybody out there who has insight as to what we can do to stop this development for the sake of the forest, the wildife, the land and the lake before it's too late?

Thanks to all or anyone who can help.

Here's a more recent website which will be updated soon describing all the violations, including photographs of the destroyed buffer zones.

http://www.marshallsland.com

Narrow_April_29_09_web.jpg

Edited by Lake Ranger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. When you say "our small lake" do you mean this lake is completely inside your acreage?

 

2. When you say "our small lake" does this mean it only belongs to you and some of your friends who live nearby?

 

3. Is this a case of NIMBY?

 

4. So, is this your lake or is it on crown land?

 

5. THought of hiring some tree huggers?

 

6. Sounds like the developers went through all the right channels. Sucks doesn't it?

 

7. Sorry bud, can't help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, I guess I use the term "our lake", as it is where we live. and we know the lake better than anyone sitting at a desk at City Council. No, it is not contained on my acerage, but I do own land on both sides of the lake. Privately owned properties back onto one side of the lake and most of the other side is crown land. Our concern is the lake is landlocked, and excessvie boat traffic and fishing will definately have a negative impact on the lake and the fish. There is no stocking of fish in this lake. The shore where the developers plan on having a boat launch is a breeding and feeding area for pike. The lake is mostly 'marsh' and actually is a river, not a lake. There are approximately 12 families that own property and water frontage, and of those families, only 4 or 5 have a small fishing motor boat. The soil is only a couple of feet deep and then solid bedrock. The water table on the land is high. The concerns for the environment and the impact this development will have on a small, narrow, shallow body of water seem to be of no concern to anyone who doesn't actually live there. I really need some solid advice on how to get this issue noticed, for the sake of this lake, and other small lakes in our beautiful province.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its quite sad, but $$$ comes before nature and the concerns of local residents. the developer likely planned to take everything down to the property lines to make it easier to build on these buffer zones in the future. when they go to get permits to build where these buffer zones were the city will likely approve as there is nothing there now anyways. they will likely make more money by trashing these buffer zones now even with stiff fines.

 

say goodbye to your peaceful lake.. :( :( :angry: :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF you want to control the whole lake you need to own all the land that surrounds the lake.......I don't like others telling me what I can and cannot do on my property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi CH312, thank you for your comment about the trailer park development issue. What you mentioned makes complete sense to me now, and I guess it's time to take this to the media again. I guess it's the stubborness or the passion in me, but I'm not ready to give up. It's a few of us against the government and the developers and yes, the almighty dollar, but we pay taxes on that land too, and have a right to fight. I really appreciate your comment, it does sound like you actually care about things like this. A few other comments were to me a bit harsh, but this is my issue and I have to deal with it. I hope that I can continue to fight it, with the support of the residents, property owners and frequent campers to the lake who also enjoy the peace and serenity of this location. The other residents and myself have allowed and welcomed respectful and seasonal campers who also know and visit the lake to enjoy the peace and serentiy and privacy of our lands, but now, due to an increased population of strangers to the area, we wil all have to post No Trespassing signs and Private Property signs down the lake and along our property lines for insurance purposes. It is very sad that it has come to this. Certain members of the West Nipissing Municipality are definately not getting my vote. What the heck are there by-laws for anyway?

Thanks again, and have a great day,

Lake Ranger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Document your complaints and proof and bring them not to staff, but to council (since staff has already washed their hands of it).

Mention your plans to approach the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) with your concerns.

Talk to the MNR, MOE and any other governing body with jurisdiction.

I agree that you cannot prevent the progress, but it must be done within compliance and within sound resource usage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Time to Sell. make a buck and go find yourself something else to call home, the adventure waits you. :D

Who knows the next place you buy may be way better than the current one?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Document your complaints and proof and bring them not to staff, but to council (since staff has already washed their hands of it).

Mention your plans to approach the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) with your concerns.

Talk to the MNR, MOE and any other governing body with jurisdiction.

I agree that you cannot prevent the progress, but it must be done within compliance and within sound resource usage.

 

 

Definately the way to go.

 

If this route falls through put up a deer stand on the edge of the property and when the developer comes to check on his devastation put a 270 round through his forehead!!!!!

Problem Solved!!!!! :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Definately the way to go.

 

If this route falls through put up a deer stand on the edge of the property and when the developer comes to check on his devastation put a 270 round through his forehead!!!!!

Problem Solved!!!!! :w00t:

 

 

I was thinking maybe an arrow........ but 270 is a great flat shooting gun :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before this one gets too far out of hand and locked... are your facts actually factual and correct? The hair raises a tad on my back when I see a brand new member graveling for support. I already see error in your stated land mass vs the "save the lake" websites numbers. Do you have pictures outlining property lines to physically show they have gone against the agreed municipal guidelines. If you say they indeed needed MOE studies etc before proceeding very few would fire up a dozer. Just hoping that you are truely concerned and not just another GTA moved to the Northern lake NIMBY like I'm currently dealing with, as the owner of the oldest deeded piece of patent land on a prestine Northern lake. I've seen all to personally that those opposed fail to look in their own yard... to see that they are throwing stones in a glass house. In our case that the cottage association on the lake told all their members at an AGM, to feed the fear mongering, that we were building a hotel on our property.... vs a cottage tucked way up in the trees, with a highly modern septic system 450' back from the lake... vs their own island bedrock properties that they have no issue expanding right to waters edge with holding tanks that are one impact, or pump out gone wrong, away from environmental disaster. The old ...we have our paradise, now that we've cut down the trees to build our place, and how dare anyone else come and do the same syndrome.

Edited by irishfield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, first of all, thanks everyone for their comments. As absurd as it is, I do find the deer stand solution comical and amusing. I would like to also thank Rick for his suggestions and all who agree.

I would like to comment on the following post. I agree that a new member is quite bold to look for support, however, I'm actually looking for advice on how to handle the situation properly so that the developers do respect the restrictions put in place and do not continue to violate them. I don't believe this is a NIMBY situation at all. I believe that someone is not obeying or respecting the rules that were put in place to protect the land, the lake, the wildlife and the surrounding residents and propeties of this rural neighbourhood.

 

Before this one gets too far out of hand and locked... are your facts actually factual and correct?

YES, INDEED. We have proof with photos and surveys of the immediate adjacent properties.

The hair raises a tad on my back when I see a brand new member graveling for support.

I understand. I have been searching for a sight that has a forum where people who hunt and fish have respect for the system and why there are rules to protect wildlife and fish and their habitat.

I already see error in your stated land mass vs the "save the lake" websites numbers.

Please specify and I will clarify if there has been an error.

Do you have pictures outlining property lines to physically show they have gone against the agreed municipal guidelines.

YES! We have photographs, surveys, we have found the surveyor stakes at the property lines, and have obtained copies of the zoning by-law restrictions for this particular development.

If you say they indeed needed MOE studies etc before proceeding very few would fire up a dozer.

That's what blows our minds.

Just hoping that you are truely concerned and not just another GTA moved to the Northern lake NIMBY like I'm currently dealing with, as the owner of the oldest deeded piece of patent land on a prestine Northern lake. I've seen all to personally that those opposed fail to look in their own yard... to see that they are throwing stones in a glass house. In our case that the cottage association on the lake told all their members at an AGM, to feed the fear mongering, that we were building a hotel on our property.... vs a cottage tucked way up in the trees, with a highly modern septic system 450' back from the lake... vs their own island bedrock properties that they have no issue expanding right to waters edge with holding tanks that are one impact, or pump out gone wrong, away from environmental disaster. The old ...we have our paradise, now that we've cut down the trees to build our place, and how dare anyone else come and do the same syndrome

I'm from a town close to Wawa. I purchased this property 20 years ago, because of the rural way of life in the area. Most of the properties in this area are approximately 100 acres as it was homesteaded centuries ago. Sadly, new comers bought a 100 acre lot, severed their property in thirds and sold the parcels. One parcel was sold to a family looking forward to living in a quiet rural community. The other was sold shortly thereafter to the developer who plans on shoving 35+ families in RV's and campers on an area of land less than 25 acres, if the buffer zones are respected. (Which of course are now bulldozed down). The third parcel was lastly purchased by an existing land owner on the lake after this dispute errupted to prevent it from also being destroyed and developed.

 

I appreciate your scepticism, but we are truly concerned and will continue to fight this until we find a resolution. If a developer decides to break one or two or three by-laws all while in the initial stages of the development, what will we be up against once (and if) their facility is up and running? A whole new set of problems and Bull, that's for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure you have absolute unmistakable proof that laws, by-laws or municipal policy has been violated and take what you have to the media. Look for a reporter who tends to lean towards conservation.

Shake some trees, ruffle some feathers, but do NOT ever use hyperbole or emotion to try and win your argument. Use facts and the law.

Just because you were there first doesn't mean you get to keep the place the way it was forever. But, just because someone has money to toss around doesn't mean they don't have to follow the same rules the rest of us do (unless they are politicians, of course..lol)

Compliance is the best you can hope for.. it just is no longer possible to stop development. All municipalities were required to comply with Smart Growth plans set out a few years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IF they flattened the buffer zones as you state ...they could be replacing the removed trees with a more manageable tree such as dwarf cedars....hence getting more money for specific sites on their land for "lake view"...how many trees are down for you to see "your" lake ? IF you really want to do something in protest ...DONT CAMP THERE and see to it your friends dont either ..i might be out of line here ...but your sounding like a little child that has something and you dont want to share it with 35 other families...

 

Look on the bright side ...you could possibly make some new friends... :clapping: while your sharing your lake harvesting fish....

 

PS Dont forget to post the fishing reports on here...

 

welcome to the board !

 

just thought of a better solution ....sell your 220 acres to the developer ?

Edited by Twocoda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe the attitude of some of the people on this site.

 

The guy said they did NOT oppose the plans when they were set up with a buffer zone. They did not oppose new families (or whoever) enjoying the lake.

 

He says they opposed the development now that they bulldozed the existing buffer zones (good point that they could put in new ones...nice sidestep by them) and knocked down wetland that was supposed to go under an impact assessment first.

 

What in the world is wrong with that?

 

As for what to do -- I'd look to use the media (the only thing that will matter to the city, vs. development dollars). Just be sure you do so in a credible way....if you come off as a tree hugger, you won't get far. If you're a local taxpayer who is a good citizen on the lake and a the story is about a developer who is sidestepping rules and the city doesn't care because of the dollars involved.....that's a different story that may get some momentum behind it.

 

Also talk to the appropriate ministry officials about the environmental impact assessments - ask for copies of what was done. I don't know specifics of the process but assume they are less motivated by local development than the city might be.

 

There are also lawyers who specialize in this stuff -- there was one who stopped a logging truck route development in the town where our cottage is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

btw - your website sucks. It comes off as the tree hugger who can't deal with development. You need to tell the story the way you described on teh site.....developer gets approval based on rules that they are now breaking and the city doesn't care.

 

Bigger story.

 

btw - i am a huge fan of that area. I understand why you're trying to keep it pristine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can't believe the attitude of some of the people on this site.

 

The guy said they did NOT oppose the plans when they were set up with a buffer zone. They did not oppose new families (or whoever) enjoying the lake.

 

He says they opposed the development now that they bulldozed the existing buffer zones (good point that they could put in new ones...nice sidestep by them) and knocked down wetland that was supposed to go under an impact assessment first.

 

What in the world is wrong with that?

 

Quote from your website

"In a generation of 'Green' it is unthinkable that

it would be acceptable to commercialize this RURAL area and change forever what we have respected and loved our entire lives."

I thought you didnt have a problem with the development just the disregard for the buffer zone? ??

 

You had me till I read your website IMO its more about how this will affect YOU and your NIEGHBOURS peace and quiet than the lake. Great way to play the GREEN CARD ,that seems to pull at everyones heartstrings latley and get you heard.What better place to sell your sad story but to a bunch of sportsman who are always willing to save there sport

Sorry I may be way off track but it just doesnt sound like we are getting the whole story

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, thanks for all your input. I'm getting alot of great ideas, and yes, I know the website is outdated and comes across as treehuggers looking for sympathy. It was posted long before any of the violations actually happened, long before the plan was approved. The reason the community did NOT appeal the decision was because of our opposition to the original proposal. With all the residents showing up at the meetings, describing the actual topology of the land, the lake, etc, the possible impact to the marsh, habitat, forest, etc, we figured that the restrictions put in place BY THE MUNICIPALITY would be honoured and therefore chose not to appeal. There's been corruption from the get go. I wish I had a video tape of all the City Council meetings where some of the members couldn't wait to go home and watch the hockey game rather than discuss the possible impacts this development could have on this lake. I think there was only one maybe two members who actually listened to us and understood why we were so against this proposal in the first place. Good advice to update it and start the fight over where we are now.

Cheers!

Great Forum, by the way, glad I joined! :)

 

Our more recent site..

http://www.marshallsland.com

Edited by Lake Ranger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest ThisPlaceSucks

Some of you are like dogs on meat when someone comes around...sheesh!

 

There is no need for a commercial campground to be set up on a small lake. It really sets a dangerous precedent if you ask me!

While this may be a case of NIMBY, who would want an operation like that set up right next door? I know I wouldn't either!

I sympathize with these cottagers, and hope it works out well in their favour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×