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Guelph-Eramosa set for new zoning bylaw

Grand River Source Protection Plan for Guelph-Eramosa.

Guelph-Eramosa set for new zoning bylaw

by Jaime Myslik

GUELPH-ERAMOSA - Guelph-Eramosa is set for a township-initiated zoning bylaw amendment to implement source protection areas through the township.

The amendment is a result of recent changes to the Wellington County Official Plan and the province’s Clean Water Act and Grand River Source Protection Plan, explained township planning consultant Dan Currie at the Feb. 5 council meeting.

“When you say township-initiated bylaw, it’s a township initiated bylaw as required by provincial legislation,” Mayor Chris White clarified.

The Grand River Source Protection Plan is a comprehensive plan that covers the entirety of the watershed across municipal borders.

“The important part is that it results in a change of how we manage our land use in relation to source water,” Currie said. “So what it does now is it identifies use or activity that would be a potentially significant threat.

“And the implementation relies on the risk management official, their powers, and moves away from land use regulation.”

Currently the zoning bylaw deals with wellhead protection areas. The land areas around wells in the watershed are identified and restricted depending on how vulnerable the land is to contamination, according schedule C of the bylaw.

Now, the township is revising the portion of its zoning bylaw that deals with wellhead protection areas, and removing the land use regulatory component.

The county created a new, more detailed, schedule C that maps out the Grand River Source Protection Area.

“Anything within that area gets identified as a potential area that’s got some level of vulnerability to groundwater and those applications are reviewed by a source water official,” Currie said.

“Basically all the zoning bylaw amendment does is add the regulations that state any use or activity must conform to the Grand River Protection Plan and that’s implemented through the risk management official.”

The township will be holding a public meeting to discuss the bylaw at an upcoming public meeting.

“When the province says you have to do something ... what’s the purpose of having the public meeting,” councillor Corey Woods asked. “In the normal sense a public meeting is to take information from the public and if a whole bunch of people show up and say you should change something or something’s wrong we would implement that.

“In this case the chamber could be filled with every person in this township that say ‘don’t do this’ but we’re required by law to do this.”

Currie said that while council doesn’t have much “wiggle room” to change the bylaw, the public meeting is a requirement and it allows anyone who doesn’t understand the amendment to have a first-hand presentation and ask questions to help understand the potential impacts.

Council accepted the application as complete and will schedule a public meeting in the near future.

 

February 9, 2018

 
 

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