(Editor’s note: This letter was sent to Janis Metscher, regarding her October 3 letter to the editor, Democracy dead in Seguin, reader, and a copy was provided to the North Star for publication).
Dear Ms. Metscher,
I read your above noted letter to the editor and feel it is my responsibility to respond to a particular portion of your letter which provides inaccurate information to the reader.
You wrote, and I quote: “When the meeting opened to the pubic, our mayor would only allow one person to speak in regards to the objections of this application and this lady was cut short while speaking to council. Seguin Mayor David Conn also cut short the time allotted for homeowners to speak up against this rezoning and voice our concerns.”
As the municipal clerk, I am responsible to provide council with advice on various matters including processes required under legislation.
I normally would not respond to letters to the editor, however, your above-noted statement is directly related to a legislated process upon which I advise council as to proceedings, and, respectfully, in my opinion yours is an inaccurate account of the events.
At the meeting of council held on September 24, council held a public meeting for a number of matters, one of which was a rezoning application for Rosseau Road Powersport and Marine Ltd.
When council came to the rezoning application for Rosseau Road Powersport and Marine Ltd., the mayor advised the pubic, as required by Ontario Regulation 545/06 under the Planning Act RSO 1990, c. P13, “if a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the Township of Seguin before a bylaw is passed, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of council of the Township of Seguin to the Ontario Municipal Board and the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Ontario Municipal Board unless, in the opinion of the board, there are reasonable grounds to do so.”
The mayor then advised the public that council would now hear Rezoning Application No. R-2012-0018-F (Rosseau Road Powersport and Marine Ltd.) for the lands at 25 Blackstone/Crane Lake Road.
The mayor explained the proposed zoning bylaw amendment is to the existing Rural Commercial Exception Four (RC-4) Zone to allow an additional accessory boat storage building of 511-square meters.
The Planning Act RSO 1990, Chapter P.13, Part V Land Use Controls and Related Administration, Zoning bylaws Section 34 (12) states before passing a bylaw under this section, except a bylaw passed pursuant to an order of the Municipal Board made under subsection (11.0.2) or (26),
(a) the council shall ensure that,
(i) sufficient information and material is made available to enable the public to understand generally the zoning proposal that is being considered by the council, and
(ii) at least one public meeting is held for the purpose of giving the public an opportunity to make representations in respect of the proposed bylaw;
Section 34. (14.2) of the act requires that every person who attends a public meeting required under sub clause (12) (a) (ii) shall be given an opportunity to make representations in respect of the proposed bylaw.
The mayor asked if there was anyone present who wished to speak in favour of or in opposition to this application.
Mr.. John Jackson, of John Jackson Planner Inc., agent for the applicant addressed council and explained the reasons for the application and answered questions for council on the application.
Mrs. Theresa Bondrager then addressed council to explain her reasons for objecting to the application. Mrs. Bondrager submitted her comments in writing, along with a petition against the application.
No other person present rose, or in any way that I am aware of, made an attempt to speak on the application. Nor did the mayor or any member of council prohibit Mr.. Jackson or Mrs. Bondrager from speaking or finishing their comments.
In summary, with respect, in my opinion, your inaccurate account of the proceedings of council are misleading to the readers of your letter. I believe council followed the requirements of the provincial legislation for a public meeting for the rezoning application.