The prehearing conference with the Ontario Municipal Board on the proposed redevelopment of the Minaki Lodge site, originally scheduled for September 22 and then suddenly cancelled, has been rescheduled for 10:00 am on November 29 in Kenora. The location is the Clarion (former Lakeside Best Western) hotel.
The Toronto attorney for the MCA and for year-round residents who also have appealed the Province’s preliminary approval tells us that the first try at holding the conference failed for a flaw in OMB’s meeting notices. Those notices apperently fell short in required specification of the location of the event (at that time, the Minaki Community Hall), a shortfall recognized by OMB at virtually the last minute.
The prehearing conference with the Ontario Municipal Board regarding the proposed redevelopment of Minaki Lodge is scheduled for September 22, at 10:00 am at the Community Centre.
This conference is the first official step on the way to the actual OMB hearing, likely in early summer, 2017. That hearing will decide year-round residents’ and the MCA’s appeals of the initial provincial approval of Banman and Schinkel’s plans for 138 seasonal condominium units on the site and for the use of the old Lodge sewage treatment plant.
A member of the Municipal Board will lead the conference. The conference’s purpose is to confirm parties and other participants, to start to identify issues and witnesses, and to estimate hearing length and potential timing. The MCA’s and year-round residents’ joint legal counsel from Toronto will attend. The conference is open to the public.
MCA board member Lyle Norrie has been leading some information-gathering on flowering rush — the non-native aquatic reed that is increasingly taking over places on the Winnipeg River in Minaki. The result is a 4-page report, available by clicking the link below. Here’s a summary: there is so far no good way to deal with this plant. Efforts at control will require a lot of work. The MCA will stay on this topic, providing information and seeking feedback from people as they try to manage it.
Good news! The annual Minaki community cocktail party and fundraiser is on for 2016, at the Community Centre on Sunday, July 24, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. Even better news is that Denise and Jean Louis are again catering the food.
Like last year, the MCA is organizing the event, and proceeds will benefit Minaki — liquor profits will go to the Minaki Community Association and the Community Centre, and net ticket sales will be split between the MCA and the Minaki Foundation. Everyone is invited. Tickets are still $25. We encourage you to buy your tickets in advance online by clicking here. You will receive an email confirming your purchase.
(No part of the ticket cost is tax deductible.)
Pleae come, have a great time, and support Minaki!
On April 5, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing approved preliminary plans for the proposed redevelopment of the Minaki Lodge site. The approval imposes a set of conditions on the redevelopers that must be met before the project can proceed, with a deadline for compliance of April, 2019. After reviewing the conditions, the MCA and a large group of year-round residents have filed separate appeals of the MMAH action. The appeal documents are available under the “Minaki Lodge” button.
Besides the issue of the sheer excessive size of the proposed project on the Lodge site in Minaki, the appeals assert that, based on the analysis of two engineering firms, the sewage plant is too small to handle the waste from the project, that under Ministry of the Environment procedures the plant is not allowed to operate for a communal use in unorganized territory without government back-up, and that the plant cannot meet Federal Fisheries Act requirements for emission of chlorine. They add that the associated boat and dock activity in the Lodge channel will be unsafe, and that the project layout will impair the cultural historical landscape of the Stanley Thompson-designed golf course.
The appeals also warn of the dangerous precedent set for the region by approving the Minaki on the River concepts without any pre-existing standards for when condominium and condominium conversions in unorganized territory would be allowed.
The appeals take the proposed redevelopment plans to the Ontario Municipal Board, for a hearing on the project and the issues raised by the local interests. OMB decisions are final. No hearing date has yet been set.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on April 6 issued notice of its decision on the proposed redevelopment of Minaki Lodge, approving fully the redevelopers’ plan for 138 residential condominium units with no meaningful conditions.
This result, in the face of strong local concerns from year round residents, Chief John Paishk of the Wabaseemoong First Nation, and the MCA, is disappointing, but somehow not unexpected, and not the end of the process. The MMAH review has always been subject to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board for a hearing and final resolution, and such an appeal has always seemed likely regardless of whether a decision favored the redevelopers or the local concerns.
With that in mind, the MCA from the start has participated in the MMAH review process assuming that an appeal would occur, establishing facts, finding and hiring experts, commissioning reports, and preparing to make and defend its positions on all of the negative impacts The MCA will now investigate and evaluate an appeal. The appeal deadline is April 26.
MNR is continuing to oversee the planning process for the second five years of the current 10-year Kenora Forest logging cycle. Cutting in those years, beginning in 2017, will include areas north of Pistol Lake and along the entrance to Roughrock. (A map showing those areas and proposed setbacks from the water is available under the “Forestry” button.)
MNR’s process remains in the information gathering phase, with public information centres scheduled for March 24 in Kenora and March 30 in Sioux Narrows. Those dates and places aren’t aimed at most cottage owners, but the MCA on behalf of its membership has submitted a set of concerns to MNR and the contract logger through Wayne Bruce of Pistol Lake, who sits on the forestry planning board. The concerns focused on the preservation of all tree lines visible from the water, and on limits on the days and times on and at which logging activity could occur. MNR staff will meet with MCA representatives as a follow up to that submission.
MNR expects to release a revised logging plan, reflecting the public input, in mid-June. An opportunity for public comment will follow that release as well. Please contact the MCA if you have any questions or comments about the proposed logging.