The proposed project would make all this too dangerous to continue …

Apr 152015
 

Summary

In a Letter to the Editor in the April 15, 2015 issue of What’s Up Muskoka, the proponent states: “It’s important to note there have been no changes to the project since we issued our 2012 Addendum to our Environmental Assessment.”

But the proponent’s 2012 Addendum showed their building’s roof would be at the level of Muskoka Road 169, so passers-by could see down the Moon River:

  • However, the proponent’s building would actually rise more than 20′ above the road, completely blocking the view of the water with a huge concrete building. People get that in Toronto, so they wouldn’t bother coming to Bala to see more concrete blocking the view. Bala’s economy is all about the water and the natural beauty, not concrete buildings blocking the view.

To make such a major change requires the proponent to submit an Addendum to the Ministry of the Environment. Apparently the proponent hopes that by claiming there are “no changes” the Ministry of the Environment will actually believe this and excuse them from this environmental assessment requirement.

That is, the proponent is making this incorrect and deceptive “no changes” statement in an attempt to mislead the Ministry of the Environment. This is desperate, self-serving, and inexcusable.

Detail

The proponent’s 2012 Addendum (which describes their current Alternative 1A proposal):

  • States that because the site is smaller than their previously-proposed Option 2, that a vertical turbine would need to be used (Sections 4.6.1, 6.2.2, and 6.2.3).
  • Therefore, the building for their proposed Alternative 1A would be higher than their now-abandoned Option 2 building.
  • This is shown on pdf page 29 in the Appendicies of their 2012 Addendum, where you can see the roof of Alternative 1A would be 30′ above the Moon River (which is the level of Muskoka Road 169) and Option 2 would be only 16.6′ above the Moon River.

Alternative 1A, as proponent presented in their 2012 Addendum

But the proponent has now stated that their building would be 6.2 m above Muskoka Road 169, which is shown by the horizontal red line we have added to the drawing they presented at the December 16, 2014 Township of Muskoka Lakes Committee of the Whole meeting. This shows a vertical cross-section, looking south, with Muskoka Road 169 on the left and the Moon River on the right. The green arrow highlights a person apparently trying to look through the 2-storey high building.

  • This would be more than 20′ above Muskoka Road 169 and more than 49′ above the Moon River (click on the images for a larger view).

Vertical cross-section, as presented to the Township of Muskoka Lakes Committee of the Whole, December 16, 2014, red dimension lines added

We therefore sent this letter to the proponent. At least for the month after it was sent, they have not responded.

Conclusion

The propoent’s 2012 Addendum to their 2009 Environmental Screening/Review Report showed that the roof of their building would be 30′ higher than the Moon River, which is about the height of Muskoka Road 169.

But the proponent now states that the roof of their building would actually be:

  • More than 20′ above Muskoka Road 169, not at the same level.
  • More than 49′ above the Moon River, not 30′.

These are significant changes, yet the proponent incorrectly states: “there have been no changes to the project since we issued our 2012 Addendum”.

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