In developing the changes to expand the environmentally protected areas in rural Clarington, the Municipal staff reported that they had consulted with the Clarington Agricultural Advisory Committee in 2016.
Years later, here is an excerpt from the Advisory Committee meeting held on July 11 of this year:
From the Minutes of the Clarington Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting on Thursday, July 11, 2019
Eric Bowman, Brenda Metcalf, Les Caswell, Councillor Zwart, Richard Rekker, Ben Eastman, Tom Barrie, John Cartwright Henry Zekveld Ted Watson Don Rickard
Regrets: Jennifer Knox
Staff: Faye Langmaid and Amy Burke, Planning Service
Council has received a number of delegations with regard to the mapping of the Environmental Protection and its impact on agricultural lands. Members of the committee share many of the concerns voiced by the delegates. Committee members provided Staff with the following additional comments on this component of the draft zoning by-law:
Future implications of EP expansion, concern that the CAs will increase the 30 metre buffer beyond 30 metres, many question the science behind the 30 metre buffer distance and its application to spring run-off ditches. Why are these EP, let alone have a 30 metre buffer and 90 metre environmental review area – “if I build a shed in this area and it floods that is my problem”.
The area that CAs are enforcing their authority seems to have expanded beyond the CA regulatory limit.
Man-made features such as irrigation ponds are shown as EP.
Buffers set out by the Pesticides Management Regulatory Agency are not as large for some fungicides and insecticides; some pesticides have specific setbacks others do not require them. Typically the application criteria gives a specific setback from aquatic areas, which are defined as marshes, permanent creeks, estuaries, ponds, etc. The applicator is to know and judge what aquatic areas are.
Farmers do not have the same means and resources to do detailed environmental studies as developers do.
Engineering requirements (geotechnical and storm drainage) compounded with environmental studies are making it very difficult to afford new farm buildings.
Construction of rural roadways by Clarington and Region often disrupt local drainage, surface and sub-surface flows. There should be greater care taken with how these projects affect the adjacent farmlands and tile drainage outlets into ditches.
Tile drainage improves agricultural yields and changes the drainage regime. This is encouraged through other levels of government programs. There appears to be a disconnect between policy making at the different Ministries.
A small rural residential lot with scrub brush in the backyard should be allowed to erect a shed, garage. Regulation should be practical and use common sense.
Imposition of regulation from early 1970s when no permits where necessary to what is required now is alarming. Greater balance is needed.
Frustration in community that common sense/practical application is going by the wayside, not just with draft zoning by-law but other regulation areas.
Direct notification to all landowners is needed, similar to Planning Act notifications for rezoning and minor variance.