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Davis to lead Sandbanks Summer Village project

Garry Davis at the demolition site of the old brick church, downtown Picton.

Prince Edward County’s Chief Building Inspector will be the Lead Project Manager for Cottage Advisors’ Sandbanks Summer Village project.
Davis announced his resignation late last week.
“I resigned my position of 36 years – the past nine years with the County of Prince Edward,” said Garry Davis. “Recognizing Sandbanks Summer Village as one of the most dynamic projects ever to be introduced to Prince Edward County, I am both proud and excited to be chosen to facilitate and lead the construction industry to build it,” said Davis.
He will begin work Sept. 20.
Sandbanks Summer Village is a seasonal waterfront cottage resort at East Lake, offering full cottage ownership. The resort is to include a recreation and fitness center, restaurant, private beach, family and adult-focused areas.
“A founding principle of Cottage Advisors is to turn to local businesses and trades in development of the resort communities, said Howard “Chip” Hall, President of Cottage Advisors Canada, Inc. “In the process of sourcing local construction personnel, Cottage Advisors engaged in multiple discussions with local professionals to identify the best candidate for this senior position.
“I am extremely pleased that Garry has decided to join our team. We want to ensure that our company
integrates well within the community and the trades industry,” said Hall. “We could not have found a better candidate for the job. Garry has a deep understanding of the industry. We believe that he will attract the best trades people and bring our project to life.”
Cottage Advistors gained approval to proceed with work on the 237 cottage development at East Lake during last week’s council approval to allow a site plan agreement. Work could begin as early as October.
The Friends of East Lake community group had raised concerns about the project and instead of taking on the financial burden of a full OMB hearing, entered into an agreeement with Cottage Advisors to address issues of contention including well monitoring, protection of the significant woodlot on the property and a shoreland management plan.
At the council meeting, Friends’ members Catherine Blakely and Carolyn Barton said they wanted more attention paid to the fact a First Nations site was found on the property.
Cottage Advisors has been working with the Ministry of Culture to do archaeological work. Hall said the area is a small part of the property and no building will be done in that area until approvals come from the ministry.
Permits to take water, and for the development’s wastewater treatment system, he hopes to have in place by the end of September.
The biggest highlight of his work in the County, Davis said, was having an interactive, highly developed construction industry.
“We have one of the most viable industries anywhere in the province of Ontario in this County. We have a construction industry that could do anything they set their minds to and they are extremely interactive with our department.
“They have become one of the highest certified construction industries in the province of Ontario and they could do anything they wanted to in this County.”

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  1. Emma Dobell says:

    Here! Here! Absolutely … well said.

    Something is VERY fishy about the whole thing. Ethics? What ethics?

  2. Debbie Deano says:

    As a ratepayer in Prince Edward County I was extremely interested to read in the Belleville Intelligencer, the announcement that PEC’s Chief Building Officer Gary Davis notified council of his decision to retire, effective September 15. About three days after notifying council of his decision to retire he announced he would be taking the position of Project Manager for the Summer Village, (237 Cottage subdivision on East Lake.), the same project that he had the responsibility to review the site plan to ensure it met all code and official plan requirements, and make recommendations for approval to council. I find it difficult to believe that the employment offer was never discussed prior to this week, or that it is merely coincidence that Summer Village site plan was recently approved and Mr. Davis suddenly came to their minds as a likely candidate for Project Manager.

    In any other level of government, bureaucrats are required to wait one year before taking employment with any business or corporation that they had dealings with in their government job. This rule is put into place so that no government employee can take advantage of their position for personal gain, and that there is a measurable level of transparency.

    I can only wish Chip Hall better luck than I had dealing with Mr. Davis and the Building and Bylaw Enforcement Department, while under his reign.

    When building our home in 2003, we believed it was being inspected and that it met the applicable Provincial Building Codes. Unfortunately this was not the case. Since 2003, we have spent over $100,000 for repairs to ensure the structural soundness of our home and we will have to pay out an additional $50,000 to bring it to Provincial Building Code.

    Given the fiasco with the house in Lake on the Mountain right next to a barn and given a long list of other questionable project outcomes, I would suggest council think strongly about requiring a forensic audit of the Building and Bylaw Department by THIRD PARTY committee, not hand selected by the municipality or the CAO.

    Also given that there seems to be such a quick turnover from retirement to employment with a development that our Chief Building Official had oversight for, perhaps Council should develop an ethics policy that would address the concerns of citizens regarding the conduct of municipal staff and council. The recent approval of Katlin and Summer Village, are significant projects and those files deserve to be checked to ensure that everything is in line and that no one sitting as a councilor or currently employed as a municipal staff member had or has a vested interest in either development.

    These suggestions are not out of line. They are practiced in corporations, other levels of government and they are put into place to protect the constituents, the citizen and the rate payer, so that they do not unduly suffer because of the actions or inactions of well paid government staff who are supposed to have the training to ensure the regulations and rules are followed.

  3. Beth Globe says:

    I have been very proud to work with Garry on many projects in the County since he became out Chief Building Inspector. I have always found him to be a fair man and highly knowledgeable in building practices.

    I will be sorry to see him leave his position with the County however I know he will be an excellent Project Manager for Summer Village and an asset to the company and development.

  4. Dan Taylor says:

    Best of luck Garry, sad to see you go!

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