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UPDATE: Meeting on trailer park development open to public

AUG. 1 – UPDATE: Ruth Ferguson Aulthouse, RFA Planning Consultant has notified us that the meeting is being hosted by the applicant ‘Fourward Holdings’, not the County, and all residents are invited to attend.

“We invited all residents to this meeting that attended a statutory public meeting held under the Planning Act on May 16 by the Prince Edward County Planning Council in Picton and those individuals who wrote to PEC Council concerning applications to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw,” she said. “We would welcome any other members of the public to the meeting who wish to gather further information about the proposal and they are more than welcome to attend to speak in person with the applicant’s consulting team. We would be pleased to answer all questions they may have about the project.”

She also noted the Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment applications must still be voted upon by County Council before the project can proceed.

JULY 31 – Prince Edward County’s Friends of the South Shore environmental community group is alarmed the public is not invited to a meeting Thursday regarding a proposal for 337 more park model trailer sites on land at Quinte’s Isle Camp Park.

“At the specific direction of the County, the proponent is hosting a ‘by invitation only’ closed-door meeting about the development Thursday at 4 p.m. in Cherry Valley at the Athol Town Hall,” said Nina-Marie Lister, County resident and registered professional planner working with Friends of the South Shore. “As they haven’t invited everyone who will be affected by this new development, we encourage (people) to remind the County and demand participation in the meeting to get the facts, ask questions and help protect the South Shore.”

Time is required to perform a number of technical environmental, natural and cultural heritage studies to understand the full extent of this proposed development’s impact on our community,” said Lister. “Friends of the South Shore believes that as this development requires a change to the Official Plan, it is of interest to all residents and that the planning process should be a conversation open to everyone.”

In May, council approved a motion seeking a staff report on proposed official plan and zoning amendments to be brought to a future meeting.

It was noted the Ward family has operated Quinte’s Isle for 30 years, and their project would contribute $300,000 annually in tax revenue and $800,000 in charges and development fees to the municipality. Construction costs, council was told, are in the range of $2-$3 million and no additional services are required from the municipality.

The official plan amendment would see land at Quinte’s Isle re-designated from rural, to a shoreland designation to permit seasonal camping at 337 park model trailer sites on the proposed ‘Pebble Beach East’.

There are now 600 serviced seasonal trailer and camp sites. Council was told the increase to 956 sites suggests a peak population at the park to 2,400 – 2,900 people – larger than the population of Wellington.

The site is about 80 acres of farm land. East of the site is the Soup Harbour provincially-significant wetland. At council’s meeting in May, a planning report in support of the application (servicing design, archaeological assessment, stormwater, traffic and environmental impact) had been completed.

However, the question was raised about the amount of public consultation, and several public concerns were voiced about enviromental impacts, traffic, increased pressure on wells, the hospital, garbage, exhaust and sewage.

Lister says the project contravenes the County’s stated vision for rural character and recommends people attend the meeting to demand they be included.

“This is definitely an election issue as it has to do with the County’s lack of transparency and due process, procedural fairness in planning decisions that affect us all,” said Lister. “A newsletter went out in print to neighbours along the South Shore (Salmon Point, Point Petre and Soup Harbour) and it also went out via mail chimp to about 50 folks who expressed interest in these issues after the last council meeting on May 16th.”

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  1. Dee says:

    Mr. Rogers – The Wards came here in the early 80’s – that is close to thirty years. I think that is enough time to warrant not calling them city folk. They took a crazy out of control business and cleaned it up. Thank you. They grew their business from 40 to 600 sites. Congratulations. Let us stop making it about personalities. This is a re-zoning application and the article that brought this whole conversation on was about an application for an amendment to the official plan and a by invitation only meeting the Ward’s consultant was arranging, stating the County directed them to do so. Subsequently I have heard people talking about increased water taking and the effect on neighbours’ wells, traffic and safety on Salmon Point Road and the entrance to it, the fact that the property is adjacent to a Provincially Significant Wetland. These are community concerns, not personality issues. Perhaps more in depth investigation into the proposal is needed, after all, those people attending that meeting are part of our community as well.

  2. Old Local says:

    From 40 campsites to 956 would perhaps be considered a little more than “maintaining” by some people .

  3. Paul Cole says:

    I agree with your point Mr. Rodgers in the past there were many Family operated camp grounds in Prince Edward County it seems the Ward Family has continuing that tradition. Quinte Isle had established a reputation of sorts before the Ward Family took over. So with the Ward Family wanting to grow their Family run campground business wouldn’t they in fact be maintaining what is left of the Real County ??

  4. ron slatter says:

    Mike Rodgers the Ward family purchased the failing KOA and turned it into what it is today.They have invested millions in their property to make it worth while.They have water ,sewer,hydro 2 swimming pools for the people to enjoy at no extra charge.there is a store on sight,sites for campers to go in for a weekend if they choose.I f you check the prices at various KOA camp grounds or other private camping areas their prices are comparable.

  5. Mike Rodgers says:

    Mr. Cole have you checked out what it cost to stay at Quinte Isles, it is not cheap. At one time it was reasonable and a lot of county folks would rent a site for a week or weekend. But now the cost is to high. FYI the Ward family are not from the county, they are city folks. They came here some years ago. They are nice people and I wish them well but I have to say enough is enough we need to try to maintain whats left of the real county.

  6. Chuck says:

    WPD was not a business trying to do partnership with the County. They excluded the public, sneaked in destruction of landscapes and were on a steady course for the pot of gold at the end of the wind farm. Darn right they were treated with no respect!

  7. Gary Mooney says:

    There’s an update saying that all County residents are invited to the meeting on Thursday, Aug 2 at 4 pm at the Athol Town Hall.

  8. ron slatter says:

    Paul you are so right Quinte Isle purchased this property some time ago people new what their intentions were but they don’t have much else to cry about

  9. Paul Cole says:

    Why are they meeting behind closed doors maybe they fear another mess like Picton Terminals and the WPD court battles. It seems every time a business wants to expand or open up shop here in The County a Save the Whatever group steps up and things get nasty….

  10. Paul Cole says:

    Dee the lack of places to stay in The County for tourist in the summer months has created a huge opportunity for landlords to switch from long term rental to short term rentals. If there were more cottages and campsites for tourist to stay when they come to The County there may be less demand for landlords to switch over to STA’s that and regulating Short Term Accommodation just like any other accommodation business. STA’s are not zoned properly either Dee they don t have the regulations a campground or a bed and breakfast have to adhere to either..

  11. Dennis Fox says:

    The “affordable” housing issue is being compromised by developers who are taking advantage by pushing the “heartstrings” button – don’t buy into their money grab! If this development was well intended and had any kind of credibility, then the public would have been invited to be part of the process.

    By not inviting public input, our Council is acting just like the Liberals did with the GEA! Sorry, but there is something very wrong with Council’s latest action – but does it really surprise anyone?

  12. Dee says:

    Paul this is a seasonal development on farm land asking for an amendment to the official plan. Seasonal housing is not going to assist the affordable housing issue. Do you think those in need of affordable housing can afford to rent by the week? I think this more than the development. I got more out of the article.
    Process for official plan amendments…why have an official plan if you don’t follow it? If you are asked for an amendment, then due diligence should be done by Municipality. I don’t think it is just about the development, I think it is about the process.

    I disagree that we are not a caring supportive community. I believe we are a very supportive and caring community.

  13. Paul Cole says:

    With the lack of affordable rental housing in Prince Edward County and the impact Short term accommodation are having in that sector this project should be seriously considered. But I’m afraid a special interest group will jump in under the guise of environmental destruction or wild life habitat destruction when we all know its about Nimbyism and property values. Another County Person trying to grow their business here in The County and they find themselves in the fight of their lives. I don’t think we call this place The County anymore and the reputation that existed as a caring supportive community those days are long gone….

  14. ron slatter says:

    maybe a justice of the peace

  15. SueB says:

    …revenue revenue revenue – exactly how will this so called revenue generated going to be spent?…… certainly hasn’t been on infrastructure…..why continue developing if the county refuses to upgrade and repair existing infrastructure? the current infrastructure must be addressed if it is going to be relied upon to support ANY new development in this county, regardless of where…..and as for the typical closed door meetings, well you know, it’s all about he money and hand shakes.

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