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Proposed special events bylaw draws ire, questions

Meetings seeking public input on a proposed special events bylaw are drawing social media ire and many questions – calling the draft a money grab full of barriers, and confusing wording for anybody planning special events on private property.

The County’s draft bylaw terms “special event ” to mean a cultural, recreational, educational or similar event including fairs, festivals, carnivals, concerts, races, competitions, public entertainment, parades, carnivals or circus events whether held for profit or not.

Two consultation sessions were set to help determine parameters to allow and regulate occasional and temporary events on private properties.

The draft states no permit would be required for events at a farm where it is related to production, or at theatres, churches, or halls on private property where zoning permits.
Providing that a special event is permitted in the zoning bylaw, no permit would be required for events taking place the the hospitality space of wineries, in any zone that permits holding special events, or for sporting events, including golf tournaments.

A private property would be allowed one event per year, permitted to run a maximum of three consecutive 24-hour days.

On top of an application review fee of $500, the applicant must provide proof that surrounding neighbours have been notified, anestimated number of guests and a complete description of activities, food or alcohol sales, washrooms, sound, generators, vendors, vehicles, exotic pets, signage, camping, temporary structures and highway closures.

Depending on the event, emergency, fire, traffic safety, security, waste management and other plans and permits will be necessary as required.

If the event has an expected daily attendance of more than 2,000 people, a insurance requirement of not less than $5 million would be required.

Picton’s meeting was Wednesday. A second meeting is set for tonight at Wellington’s Town Hall at 7 p.m.

Click below to see the draft bylaw:
Special Events By-law Draft Aug 9 clean

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  1. Craig says:

    Even without the steep fee which is considerably higher than any community hall rental, this seems to be far over reaching. Many events are break even at best, and this bylaw aims to hit culture at it’s most grass roots level. Catching a fly with a sledgehammer indeed.

  2. Gary says:

    I agree Dennis. I am disappointed as well. They seem more focused on side issues and further regulating the residents i.e. trying a yard sale bylaw, now special events. They will go down on a record for tossing over whelming public opinion aside in the Council downsize debacle! You are right it will cost us dearly! But we likely will see change from the OMB that will finally deliver voter equity. As for your comment on fired employees, you are correct again. This has been going on for years and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lack of talent and morale rests at the feet of the Commissioners but they are never held accountable. Prince Edward is not a preferred landing spot for smart municipal professionals. We deserve better.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Our council has greatly disappointed me. I was hoping for better things from this new bunch, unfortunately my hopes were misplaced. Due to some pretty large errors on their part, they are scrambling for ways to make money. Anther 4.5% tax increase this year, more mega bucks spent on firing the CAO, more lost money on hiring a consultant to tell them what to do after firing the CAO, a money crab with their water rates and now this. Also let’s not forget the upcoming OMB hearing (January is the last date I heard) – maybe another $200K on that for them to save the size of council? If we ignore them, will they go away? Probably not, but hold on to your wallet when they are around! When is the next election?

  4. Chuck says:

    So if you had a family picnic on a Saturday afternoon with 50 guests and some music you need to spend $500 to apply for a permit? Is that correct?

  5. Olmanonthemtn says:

    Based on the scuttlebutt part of the motive for this nanny state cash grab was a complaint by one neighbour about a music event to be held by another neighbour. Apparently this person(s) had discussed the event with their other neighbours who were fine with it proceeding. If so why are we swatting a fly with a sledgehammer?! Does one complaint justify penalizing a whole community which up to now has shown it is responsible and capable of organizing and delivering events that benefit its own citizens and visitors ? I grew up on a farm in this community we did not go to government on an impulse when we had differences between neighbours we worked it out that is part of living as free responsible citizens at best council could act as a mediator. What we are doing here is giving up our responsibilities to government which will expand its size and control e.g.. the Ontario Liberal government!

  6. Marnie says:

    What is this county coming to? This proposed bylaw is a wonderful way to sabotage charity events and make volunteers throw up their hands in disgust. It is an poorly disguised money grab and nothing more. How low will council go these days?

  7. MI says:

    I would suggest that all of the work that Neil Carbonie has been doing will be wasted if this exercise is not trashed. Who wants to invest or live a community that tries to implement such restrictive, money-grabbing bylaws. If planning did indeed spent a year working on this rubbish, who is monitoring this waste of time and money. Is it that the fiefdom of planning has a vendetta and something to prove, or are they not accountable to council or anybody else?

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