Sir: For those who are not aware, the draft Lambton County Official Plan is scheduled to be reviewed for the final time – and possibly passed — on November 30th at the 9 a.m. council meeting. Unfortunately, public’s questions have not been answered. There are many troubling aspects to this plan. If you are a landowner in this County, this can impact you and you need to attend this meeting. The following questions have been sent to Lambton County staff but have not been answered after several days.
- Is it true that there are new and/or extended Primary and Secondary Corridors in the draft Official Plan’s Natural Heritage System map and if so will this remove farm land, extend beyond road allowances and interfere with farming operations?
- Is it true that there are new provincially significant wetlands, and Significant Natural Areas, identified in the draft maps, and in those areas will there be no development allowed except for government? Will these areas really take up 120 meters (400 feet) and will people be forced to pay $10,000 of dollars for studies?
- Is it true that the Source Protection Plan, Significant Ground Water Recharge Areas, Highly Vulnerable Aquifers map is new in this draft Official Plan, and will these area (hundreds of acres) be restricted from development and use?
- Is it true that the existing Woodland Conservation Bylaw will be required to conform to this Official Plan if/when passed, and is there a map of these woodlands; will these areas be restricted for “educational value”; and are these areas merely restricted instead for “wild-life habitat” dragging in non-significant areas?
- Is it true that local municipalities are directed to develop an Environment Protection Overlay to identify and further identify and protect/control corridors, aquifer areas, woodlots, surface water features, etc., with 400 foot buffer zones?
- Is it true that meadows, prairies and shrublands may also be considered “significant” and require protection?
- Is it true that “surface water feature” is not defined in this draft OP but that they will be protected by this document, and will these features include man-made ponds?
- Is it true that this OP encourages the creation of engineered (man-made) wetlands?
- Is it true that Lambton intends to increase forest cover in the County, and will the forest cover objectives be only applicable to “public property,” and not “private property”?
I urge you to read the Official Plan for yourself. A link to the document is found on the Home Page of the Lambton County website. The maps (w/ significantly increased protected lands, corridors, linkages, vulnerable aquifers, groundwater recharge areas, etc.) are particularly disturbing.
Please do what you can to ensure that our economy in Lambton County will not be irreparably damaged by this draft Official Plan.