The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority has Announced an ABCA Special Board Meeting on the ABCA SMP 2016 (Shoreline Management Plan).
Note from the Author
This brief post is a follow up to my initial ABCA article concerning the negative economic effects generated by the published contents of the ABCA SMP 2016 Draft Shoreline Management Plan Update Consultants’ Recommendation Report to update my readers on what has transpired in recent days. It is also to announce and remind everyone of the ABCA Special Board Meeting to be held on November 1 – find details herewith.
– Mike Sloan
Happy Halloween! It couldn’t be more fitting that I am writing this post on Halloween as this is looking to be a very scary week for shoreline property owners in the areas regulated by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). Pending the conclusion of an ABCA Special Board Meeting scheduled for Thursday, November 3 at 11am at the South Huron Recreation Centre, the fate of Grand Bend lakefront property owners, like my sellers in Beach O’ Pines, is still uncertain. This is because, while ABCA staff and board members continue to verbally declare that they do not support the contentious recommendations from the ABCA SMP 2016 as detailed in my previous article covering this same topic, there is still no official proof of this informal declaration.
After much discussion with several members of the ABCA Board of Directors plus various municipal leaders, I am feeling more optimistic concerning the future market value of Grand Bend Lakefront real estate. In fact, I’m feeling more optimistic about the future market value of all lakefront properties in the shoreline areas regulated by the ABCA, from Port Franks to Bluewater. I’m experiencing these feelings because my conversations with these sources have continued to reinforce previous verbal declarations that the ABCA is not in support of removing private property rights from existing residential homes. A primary talking point in these conversations was my (continued) testimony that the mere existence of certain language included in portions of the ABCA SMP 2016 is preventing my clients from completing the sale of their home – right now, in real time. Situations like this have influenced the ABCA to schedule an ‘ABCA Special Board Meeting’ this coming Thursday, November 3.
Pursuant to such discussions, Doug Cook, deputy mayor of Lambton Shores and board member of the ABCA, agreed that waiting until November 24 to address this issue may not be in the best interests of the public at large. November 24, 2016 is the date when the ABCA plans to deal with a motion that might officially clarify the ABCA’s position on certain portions of the ABCA SMP 2016. Now, on Thursday, November 3 at at 11am at the South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter, ON, the ABCA Board will hold an ABCA Speical Board Meeting to address the following motion as proposed at the ABCA Board Meeting on October 20, 2016:
RESOLVED, THAT the ABCA Board of Directors declares that it does NOT intend to implement the ABCA Shoreline Development Guidelines of Section 7.8 in the report (pages 113-117) in its proposed form and does not endorse the underlying principle of “managed retreat” and the unilateral prohibition of any shoreline protection works.
Today, on Halloween, I had several more scary discussions with ABCA Board members concerning the wording used in this motion. Gradually, throughout the day, the discussions became less scary as I continued to hear the informal declaration that “no one on the board is okay with these regulations or the ‘managed retreat’ solution”. Nonetheless, I am troubled that the language in this motion may not be strong enough to satisfy the buyer for my clients’ lakefront property in Grand Bend. As it pertains to my anxiety over phrasing such as ‘does not intend to’ and ‘in its proposed form’, multiple ABCA Board members have assured me that they will do their best to improve or alter the wording in a way that should satisfy current and future owners of lakefront property in our region. I am hoping that the ABCA Special Board Meeting on Thursday demonstrates this sentiment.
Please do your best to attend this meeting! They are holding it at the South Huron Recreation Centre specifically to allow room for public observation. Based on the numerous examples of well-researched and well-written commentary from area land-owners, associations, and other interested parties that I have seen in the wake of the announcement of this ABCA Special Board Meeting, I am feeling very strongly that the ABCA Board of Directors will officially resolve this situation on Thursday.