Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 21, 2024
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Shoreland Shuffle

10 different parcels are candidates for removal from tourist-commercial designation
<p>Shorelands are in blue. Red and yellow areas designate Shorelands that are candidates for<br />
re-designation, either to Agricultural (red) or Rural (yellow). (Prince Edward County)</p>
Shorelands are in blue. Red and yellow areas designate Shorelands that are candidates for re-designation, either to Agricultural (red) or Rural (yellow). (Prince Edward County)

Council’s Planning and Development Committee  voted last week to extend the review of the Shorelands Designation in the Official Plan for another year, to May 2025.

The move prepares the way for an Official Plan Amendment to remove ecologically sensitive lands from the development-friendly designation.

A staff report prepared by planner Scott Pordham recommends removal of 10 shorelands parcels “as soon as possible,” and another look at the designation itself.

Mr. Pordham notes that, as a holdover from the 1993 Official Plan, the Shorelands Designation is due for review in light of changing priorities around the preservation of the County’s shorelines and natural heritage.

The designation was meant to encourage tourist-commercial development along some of the most attractive corridors of the County, those running along the shore.

“The main purpose of this exercise is to protect environmental areas and features by reducing the area subject to the generally more permissive development policies of the Shorelands Designation,” as the report puts it.

Many areas designated Shorelands overlap with the County’s 11 Natural Core Areas, which are not open to development.

In a deputation to the Planning and Development Committee, Amy Bodman of the Ontario Field Naturalists noted, “our Natural Core Areas and their linkages are areas whose protection from major development is identified in the Official Plan as in the County’s best interests.”

“The Shorelands Designation allows for major development in Natural Core areas and linkages, which goes against the intent of the Official Plan.”

“Prince Edward County is facing immense pressure from tourism and development growth. Nowhere are these pressures more evident than along the County’s shoreline.”

In May 2023, an Interim Control By-law prohibited development on Shorelands that form part of the Natural Core Areas, or have Significant Woodlands, Areas of Natural & Scientific Interest, or other special features, for one year, to enable a review of the lands with contradictory zoning.

It also gave Council an opportunity to review the Shoreland designation and assess its role and future within the Official Plan.

The proposal for the TRAE Resort on the Adolphus Reach was difficult for Council to turn down, in part because it was proposed for Shoreland, currently zoned for such tourist-commercial development.

An earlier eco-resort proposed for the Cressy area, IRTH, on the other hand, was in a designated Natural Core Area. The proposal never got off the ground.

Critical Decisions

Staff divided the review of the Shorelands designation into two phases so the most important work could be undertaken first: the mapping of land that falls within both the Shoreland Designation and a Natural Core Area.

  Area  No.  Where  What
  Hillier  1  Natural Core Area A  Huyck’s Bay/Pleasant Bay/North Bay
  Ameliasburgh  2  Natural Core Area B Natural Core Area C  Carrying Place/Weller’s Bay Massassauga Point
  Sophiasburg  2  Natural Core Area D    Big Island East End Green Point/Grassy Point area
  North Marysburgh  2  Natural Core Area I  Cressy Point North Shore Cressy Point South Shore  
  South Marysburgh  2  Natural Core Area K  South Bay South Shore Half Moon Point area
  Hallowell  1  Isaiah Tubbs Resort  Golf Course proposal

Parcels of land that are designated both Shorelands and are in a Natural Core Area or are otherwise unsuitable for tourist-commercial development.

Staff found 10 parcels of land it recommends re-designating as quickly as possible. 

“A redesignation, to either Rural or Agricultural zoning, as appropriate, will protect such land from potentially adverse development,” reads the report. 

Of the parcels, two are not in a Natural Core Area, but are still not appropriate for Tourist-Commercial development. Land designated Shoreland on Cressy Point has no frontage on a public road. In the other case, a proposed golf course close to the Isaiah Tubbs Resort, approved 30 years ago but never built, is on what could be farmland.

Redesignation requires an Official Plan Amendment and public consultation.

Phase 2 of the review will consider land designated Shorelands outside of the Natural Core Areas and recommend policy changes as appropriate. 

This text is from the Volume 194 No. 18 edition of The Picton Gazette
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