RLLAC Meeting Summary May 12, 2022
CRCA (Cataraqui Regional Conservation Authority) Holly Evans introduced a Lake Reporting Dashboard. This Dashboard holds lake environmental information in the CRCA area. It’s a great reference tool to check on the water etc. on your lake. A link is also provided on the Township of Rideau Lakes (TRL) site.
RVCA (Rideau Valley Conservation Authority) Micheal Yee reported on the Sustainable Drainage study initiated at the previous meeting of RLLAC. It deals at this point with the storm water runoff at two points around Portland as an initial study. No report currently as the study is in progress.
For further information and details on the above, please consult the webpages of the desired Authorities.
Item 7, Business Arising
7.1 Campgrounds Study: The Study conducted for the Township is on going with the RLT (Rideau Lakes Township) exploring various effects on the OP (Official Plan). The details of these effects will be listed in the Minutes of the RLLAC meeting when available. The Land Use Study should be available in early June.
7.2 TRL Website Update: The Landing Page has been updated and made more inclusive. All Lake Associations are asked to submit their websites to the Township for linking to the main Township website. The CRCA website mentioned above is already linked.
7.3 Update on the Official Plan (OP): The OP has been accepted by Council and is now at the County for approval or revisions. There still seems to be some concern on minimum lot size requirements (1 acre or 1 hectare). Stay tuned for clarification.
Item 8 New Business
8.1 Floating Accommodation: There are concerns around Ontario over the recent introduction of floating homes on waterways. It seems the Ministry of Natural Resources and Northern Dev. is looking into it. Parks Canada (PC) position is that Transport Canada (TC) is spearheading an investigation. The feeling is that if TC gives these floating homes a Marine Vessel License, they would be legal. It seems to be another jurisdictional quagmire? Stay tuned. The PC Enforcement Officer now has a boat that is currently “going through trials”. I have requested the Officers name and contact information.
8.2 TRL Aquatic and Terrestrial Breakdown: This was briefly covered. The RVCA website has all the information in detail. It was noted the TRL has 17% of our area covered by water and 17% is wetlands.
I have noted that in some cases “stay tuned” has been used to await for further clarity. Allot of the details contained in some of the technical studies presented at these meetings, is lengthy, and covered in the various Conservations organizations for those who wish further details.
RLLAC Meeting Summary July 7, 2022
Item 6.1: Source Water Protection Program and Investigation: Advised by a presentation to RLLAC by Ms. Maren Catt concerning a survey of the source of resident’s drinking water whether taken from the lake, well, and surface. This is for information purposes only with some residents being contacted soon.
Item 7.1: Fishing Tournaments: Brought up by the Mayor in response to the many complaints received by Council and RLLAC representatives to the recent tournaments held on our lakes. Issues raised involved noise, boat speed, effects on wildlife, interactions with landowners, use of “jack plates” on motors, problems of fish returning to their original areas, the mounting numbers of tournaments, etc. It was stated that the BRLA and Mississippi Lake Associations will be holding a joint meeting with tournament organizers at some point soon to discuss. It was pointed out the permits are issued/require by TRL. Footnote: it appears that Fishing Tournament concerns are common in the Rideau Lakes area. Further discussions are scheduled to be held soon.
7.2: Sustainable Drainage Study: Two sites have been set up for this study and are proceeding, but it is too early for results.
7.3: Interim Control Bylaw on Campgrounds: The Interim Control Bylaw has been extended for another 6 months to February 2023 and could be extending beyond should it be required. The Consultants, Fotenn, will be holding a public forum session in August or September for the public particularly dealing with the density of Lots issues. This issue will not be regulated until further study by Fotenn. TRL Council decided that they will not take a stand on the number of lots allowed. The RLLAC members reaction was that Council must take a stand/position. This is a contentious issue with the Lake Associations.
7.4: Official Plan (OP) Status: The OP has now been accepted by County Council. One change was that any waterfront property less than 2 acres could be subject to a hydrological assessment if requested. It should be noted that the OP is subject to review every 5 years.
RLLAC Meeting Summary August 18, 2022
Item 6.1: Visit by Parks Canada Officials: Steve Braham, Associate Director and Nathan Byington, Parks Warden. Our guests reviewed the authority Parks Canada has and their roles. (Job Descriptions and Responsibilities):
- National Parks Act governs their activities and responsibilities. Wardens are special constables under the Act and act similar to a police officer to enforce regulations, places, peoples, and permits. They look after certain compliances on land and water-based activities. They can issue infraction tickets, warnings, fines (as high as $400), and law enforcement.
- The Public Transport Act is exclusive to navigation activities. Such things as speed, wakes and wash, fishing tournaments. They are also regulated by the Canadian Shipping Act.
Some observations from the Q&A session:
- It was noted that the 10 Km speed limits are not only for designated signed areas, but also along all shorelines when 30 meters or less from the shore.
- Should a citizen observe any dangerous operation of a boater, they are instructed to call the OPP. Definite ID like vessel Registration number, date and time, and possibly video evidence should be taken.
- Parks Canada jurisdiction is confined to around Lock Stations for such infractions as speeding, dangerous operation, etc.
- Concerns were expressed that there was a lack of presence by Parks Canada Officers on the Rideau System. Our Warden has an extensive territory to cover including the Trent Severn waterway, Rideau Lakes, and certain portions of the St. Lawrence River System.
Item 7.1: Fishing Tournaments: Under the auspices of Carleton University, a meeting is being held in October between some RLLAC members, other affected lake groups (e.g. Mississippi Lake) and fishing tournament organizers. Concerns to be discussed include the negative interactions between fishermen and waterfront residents; speed and noise; and the effect on our wildlife and habitat. It was noted that Rideau Lakes Township is reviewing their options relating to possible governance controls.
Item 7.2: Sustainable Drainage Study: This initiative will wrap up by the end of 2022. An update Report will be forthcoming at the next RLLAC Meeting.
Item 7.3: Tourist Campground Land Use Study: We were advised of the upcoming open discussion and updated report to be held in the Elgin Municipal Complex on August 25, 6:00 PM.
Items 8.1: Planning Process: Official Plan and Site Plan Control: There is a serious shortage of trained Planners. Provincial Legislation is now designed to “speed up” the Planning process. Details can be accessed by contacting TRL.
8.2: Planning Approvals – Septic System Impacts: The TRL is now stating that the previously announced inspections of Island properties in 2023 have been amended. A decision on the 2023 Inspection schedule will be announced at a later date, possibly the next RLLAC Meeting. There was some discussion on the use of Tertiary systems (non-tile bed systems). If planning your septic system, you are advised to check with the TRL.
RLLAC Meeting Summary Thursday, October 6, 2022
6.1: Fishing Tournaments: The TRL is working on the existing Special Events Bylaw to be published on the TRL website October 7th. It was noted that a four-lake working group will be meeting with Tournament Organizers this November to discuss and hopefully settle on future events protocols. Subjects being covered are boat speeds, catch and release concerns, and the negative interactions between fishermen and landowners, as well as suggesting that catch and release should occur at the site of the catch using already created technology.
6.2: Sustainable Drainage Project Update: Two reports have been submitted to TRL with evaluations being made through the winter. Results will be released in 2023. Special Filters will be installed in the Portland area and studied for contents through this winter period.
6.3: Parks Canada Enforcement Statistics: These statistics will be sent to TRL when compiled. It was noted that Legislation has been given to Parks Canada to allow them to write their own regulations (Bill C-26?)
6.4: Tourist Campgrounds Land Use Study Update: TRL Council has passed 3 Bylaws implementing Fotenn Consultants’ recommendations. (Please consult the TRL site for details) They deal with shoreline buffers, light pollution, set-backs, trailer sizes, and groundwater recycling. These Bylaws have been sent to the County of Leeds Grenville for approval. All felt that enforcement was key to the success of these Bylaws.
6.5: Short Term Accommodations: Covers rentals and AirBnB’s. Council has decided not to regulate this area as its difficult to enforce and monitor jurisdictionally. The only areas that TRL can get involved is when septic issues are a concern (e.g., large groups overwhelming a small septic system). There will be an inspection held as quickly as possible.
6.6: 2022 Septic Re-inspection Program: there were 300 septic inspections performed in 2022 in the Delta and Lower Beverly Lake areas. The inspections in 2023 will complete the Lower Beverly Lake area spots. (See 7.1)
7.1: 2023 Septic Inspections: The group strongly recommended that Islands in our area require immediate septic inspection. The starting point will be Chaffeys Locks area and then onto adjacent lakes.
7.2: Skycroft Campground, Proposed Expansion: It was decided that Brittany Mulhern, Manager of Development Services (TRL) should meet with her counterpart at Township of South Frontenac (TSF) to advise her of the actions taken by TRL during our recent experiences with campgrounds. It was hoped that this would be very helpful to TSF. Your CALA Representative announced that the CALA Board recently confirmed our wish to sponsor the 3 Universities Application to the TSF for a grant to cover investigation/studies of certain water areas on Opinicon Lake.
7.3: Dock Bubblers System: This discussion concerned the safety aspects of having and using a dock bubbler during the winter months around the shoreline. Because of possible legal issues, all users are urged to post a sign warning of OPEN WATER.
7.4: Term Recaps: Each person involved with RLLAC were given the opportunity to summarize their reflections on the past year of our committee. It was unanimously agreed that the RLLAC was a success by allowing the Lake Associations and the TRL to exchange ideas and concerns. All committed for this committee to carry on in 2023.
Respectfully submitted by