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Objection Raised to Gun Club Noise
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Matthew Campbell

For the first time an affected Lynhurst area resident raised an objection to the St. Thomas Gun Club's semi-annual application for an exemption to the Noise By-law on the Sunday during two of its fundraiser events. Matthew Campbell said Sunday mornings are the only day time hours that area residents are not subjected to noise from the gun club.

Delegations

1. Noise Exemption By-law 212 - St. Thomas Gun Club:
Matthew Campbell was in attendance to voice concern with Noise Exemption By-law 212 request from St. Thomas Gun Club. said Sunday mornings are the only day time hours that area residents are not subjected to noise from the gun club.

"In regards to the Application for Exemption to the Noise By-Law No. 212 by the St. Thomas Gun Club, I would like to convey my concerns to Council, as well as other residents' concerns, in regards to allowing the discharge of firearms beginning at 9:00 a.m. on four (4) Sundays throughout 2014," said Campbell. "I feel that it is inappropriate to permit gunfire on lands in proximity to residential areas during the requested time period. Sunday mornings are currently the only time that gunfire is prohibited. Should the exemption be passed, gunfire would essentially be permitted during all daylight hours of the week."

"While report CAO 57-13 indicates that no complaints have been received so far regarding the noise exemption, I can assure you that other landowners are not happy about it. The Gun Club is a popular topic of conversation among neighbours when it is in operation, particularly the barrage of gunshot noises we are subjected to and how early in the morning they begin. I must admit though, that prior to the notice of the present application, I was unaware of the specifics of the Noise By-Law and assumed that no exemptions were necessary for the operation of the Gun Club. However, as I now know that the operation of the Gun Club on Sunday mornings requires an exemption, I feel that it is inappropriate to grant it," Matthews continued. "the noise that the gun club generates during operation is such that voices need to be raised significantly when speaking outdoors in my neighbourhood. That volume of noise is detrimental to the indoor and outdoor enjoyment of my property."

"Currently the permitted times for the discharge of firearms is 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on Sundays, leaving Sunday mornings as the only time they are not permitted to operate during daylight hours. The result is that Sunday mornings are the only time that the residents in the area are guaranteed a respite from the overbearing noise of the Gun Club. ... At least one of the requested Sunday exemptions falls during a long weekend, a time when residents and their families expect to enjoy their personal property without a barrage of gunfire being heard."

"I understand that the proposed exemption to the Noise By-Law is for shooting competitions. Considering the fact that Sunday mornings are the only daylight hours where gunfire is not permitted, perhaps the competitions may be held during weekdays; this would result in the noise being emitted while some residents are away at work, thereby reducing the number of people impacted by the noise. I believe this is a fair and reasonable solution to the issue at hand. ... I feel that it is inappropriate and undesirable for the neighbourhood to allow the exemption, and encourage the Mayor and Council to deny the application," Campbell concluded.

A member of the St Thomas Gun Club who was present at this council meeting informed Council that the club was established in Cowan Park in 1946 and depends on these four fundraisers each year to generate the money to continue operating.

Report CAO 01-14: Application for Exemption to the Noise By-law 212, as amended:
The St. Thomas Gun Club is seeking an exemption to Noise By-law 212 to hold trap shooting competitions commencing at 9:00 a.m. on the following dates: January 19th, 2014 and May 18th, 2014; allowing for the discharge of firearms prior to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays. The additional noise will only occur four times in 2014. The applicant was granted the same exemption for several years and no complaints have been received by my office, writes Leitch.

This complaint is reminiscent of the complaint Sparta residents raised about the drag strip noise in that community. Like the drag strip, the gun club has been in this location longer than most of the area residences. In fact, Mayor Walters said this issue was no different than the drag strip noise issue in Sparta, but this was the first-ever complaint re the St. Thomas Gun Club Noise By-law Exemption. Councillor Martyn wanted to hear from gun club members as to why they need this exemption and to defer making a decision until that could be arranged, but Walters was unwilling to allow the time for that to happen on this night and said the decision could not be deferred as the first date request was for this coming Sunday. Walters told Campbell there was nothing they could do to resolve the issues this year and would grant this year's exemptions, but would begin talks to see about mitigating the noise for next year. That's when Perrin made Walters aware this first exemption application was only for the January 19 and May 18 dates as exemptions cannot be granted more than six months in advance of the event, so another application will occur later in the year for the other two dates of July 30th and August 31st. Deputy Mayor Marr said there had been no complaints in 10 years and the club had been granted exemptions every year, but he was willing to review the issue for future years.

In the end, Council granted the exemption for January 19th and May 18th, 2014.

Correspondence (Action)

1. Waterfront Access for Rental Purposes:
Email correspondence received from Eric Salin, Sport in Port - Adventure Outfitters, seeking permission for waterfront access for rental purposes for kayaks and stand up paddle boats.

Sport in Port will be renting kayaks as part of its business operations in 2014 in Port Stanley. We would kindly like to discuss how Sport in Port would deliver our products to our clients in Port Stanley. In principal we would like to lock up Kayaks and Stand up Paddle boards at both main beach and little beach. Customers would pay for these products at our retail outlet located at 301 Carlow Road, Port Stanley and gain access to the water boats. We will not or ever be renting gasoline powered boats. We will have trailers that would deliver the boats every morning (6am) and return them every evening back to the retail store (9pm). So overnight consideration is not required but not limited too.

Please advice how we might work together to help make this activity and healthy fitness activity a success, Salin wrote.

The resolution on the table was to defer the matter to the User Fee Committee. Councillor McNeil thought it should be sent to the Blue Flag committee regarding such a beach uses being allowed or not allowed in relation to a Blue Flag beach. He definitely thought it would interfere with swimmers at these beaches. Leitch said staff was viewing it as a business on the beach, and Councillor Martyn said it was the User Fee Committee charged with he responsibility to look at all possibilities of businesses on the beach. In the end it was deferred to the User Fee Committee.

Correspondence (for Council's Information)

  • Taken and received as information collectively
  • 1. Kettle Creek Conservation Authority: Copy of minutes from Kettle Creek Conservation Authority meeting dated November 20, 2013:Green Lane Discharge Event: The immediate batch discharge which commenced on October 4, 2013 is expected to be completed soon. Green Lane has conducted an internal review that indicates that the root cause of the elevated levels of TSS is most likely due to sediment accumulation from extensive work being done in the area, surface runoff and the existing colloidal clay soil environment of the storm water management pond. To reduce levels of TSS Green Lane is proposing to implement a comprehensive maintenance program for storm water management pond 3 including upgrades to the associated roads and slopes. MOE has indicated to KCCA that this is a good first step. Staff will continue to monitor the situation and report back.
  • 2. Elgin County Land Division Committee: Correspondence received from County of Elgin Land Division Committee advising of deferral of application E84/13 - Karl & Donna Crocker
  • 3. County of Elgin Land Division Committee: Copy of Decision for County of Elgin Land Division Committee respecting applications E75/13, E78/13, E80/13 and E81/13.
  • Notice of Decision - E75_13: Aretusi severance granted
  • Notice of Decision - E78_13: Corner severance not granted because proposal does not conform with the policies of the County of Elgin Official Plan and is not consistent with the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement. The municipality has filed an appeal of this decision and is waiting for a date for when that appeal will be heard.
  • Notice of Decision - E80_13: Prespa severance on Centennial granted
  • Notice of Decision - E81_13: Prespa severance on George Street granted
  • 4. Military Service Recognition Book: Correspondence received from the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command thanking Council for their pledge to the "Military Service Recognition Book", a project of the Royal Canadian Legion.
  • 5. Section 10 Provincial Police Billing: Correspondence received from Ontario Association of Police Services Boards respecting Section 10 Provincial Police Billing consultants.
  • 6. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing: Correspondence received from Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing respecting Draft Plan of Subdivision - 34-T-01002, Draft Plan of Subdivision - 34-T-06003, Plan of Subdivision 34-T-04002, Plan of Condominium 34-CD-13002, Plan of Condominium 34-CD-13001, and Plan of Condominium 34-CD-07001.
  • 7. OPP Billing Model: Correspondence received from several municipalities seeking support to have the Provincial Government step in and abolish the proposed 2015 OPP Billing Model.
  • 8. OPP - Conducted Energy Weapon: Correspondence received from Ontario Provincial Police respecting the amended Use of Force Guideline for Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW).
  • 9. Source Protection Municipal Implementation Fund Time line Extension: Correspondence received from Lake Erie Source Protection Region respecting Source Protection Municipal Implementation Fund Time line Extension.
  • 10. Thinking Beyond the Box Stewardship Ontario: Correspondence received from Thinking Beyond the Box Stewardship Ontario respecting Industry funding for Municipal Blue Box Recycling for 2013 Program Year. Packaging and printed paper companies, represented by Stewardship Ontario, fulfill their responsibilities to fund 5O% of the net cost of the residential Blue Box recycling program by making cash payments to municipalities on a quarterly basis. Stewardship Ontario is pleased to enclose the third quarterly payment for 2013: $32,170.72
  • 11. Port Stanley BIA Board of Management: Copy of minutes from BIA Board of Management meetings dated October 21 and November 13, 2013.
  • BIA minutes October 21: Dicken's Days: Fred Heintz spoke about the weekend event last year. There was a little success but was generally disappointed with the turnout at the Glover Park events. Although the weekend wasn't as successful as was hoped, it is necessary to continue to build and promote the event. Eric Stalin expressed interest in heading up the committee. Fred Heintz also expressed his interest in helping along with Greg Selway. There is concern whether there is enough time to make the weekend a big event. $1,300.00 was spent last year to market it ... Permanent Paid Parking - BIA Consultations: Carol Gates expressed her frustration with the municipality in not consulting with the BIA in regards to parking decisions, as these decisions impact the business community. Councillor Dan McNeil acknowledged the BIA should have been consulted. Vendor allowed in Port Stanley: Carol Gates suggested a board member go to council to propose a policy where if a vendor was interested in setting up in Port, council should notify the businesses to allow them the first right of refusal. Councillor Dan McNeil indicated that council was already heading in that direction, though he acknowledged a committee has yet to be formed.
  • BIA minutes November 13: ... A significant proportion of Merchants expressed their strong hesitation and concern regarding retaining S. Lechner as the event planner. ... Christmas in the Village: Fred Heintz had correspondence with The Lake Erie Beacon regarding advertising. Linda Hibbert suggested the BIA either take a full page advertisement at a cost of $720.00 plus tax and then resell spots to the membership for $70.00 each, or for the BIA to place a 5x5 ad for $268.. 00. A motion was made for the BIA to place a 5x5 ad in the Lake Erie Beacon for $268.00 ...
  • 12. Small, Rural and Northern Municipalities Infrastructure Fund: Copy of correspondence sent to Premier Wynne from The Municipality of East Ferris respecting Small, Rural and Northern Municipalities Infrastructure Fund. ... Municipalities individually and collectively through AMO and ROMA/OGRA have provided honest and quantitative input to your government over the past year regarding the best method to distribute these monies. We have all put a great deal of effort into this process but obviously the consultations were a complete waste of everyone's time and energy. We are back to the hat in hand/lottery system for the distribution of funds. This is a total disregard for the input of the municipalities of this province ...
  • 13. Appointment to Port Stanley Sewage Lagoon Capacity Committee: Email correspondence received from The Township of Southwold advising that Councillor Ian Chard has been appointed to Port Stanley Sewage Lagoon Steering Committee.
  • 14. Notice of Poll - OGRA Board of Directors: Correspondence received from OGRA Board of Directors respecting Notice of Poll.

Reports

CAO 02-14: End of Year Building Report for 2013:
The Municipality issued 283 building permits for 2013 which has resulted in an all time record number of permits issued in a one year period. Fifty-one new housing starts have resulted in a 56.86% increase from 2012. The total value of construction increased by $3.7 million over 2012.

CAO 03-14: Technical Steering Committee, Elgin County Shoreline Management Plan:
Council appointed appointing the Chief Administrative Officer Don Leitch and Jim McCoomb, Planner to the Technical Steering Committee for the Elgin County Shoreline Management Plan subject to Council's funding approval of the Plan.

CAO 04-14: Tree By-law:
Council set up a steering committee of three members of Council to work with staff and the municipal solicitor to investigate the development of a municipal by-law regulating the destruction or injury of individual trees on slopes in built up areas further, to investigate service delivery and report back to Council.

By-laws:
By-law 1672: Confirmatory By-law
By-law 1679: Prespa, 140 St. George Street - Development Agreement
Taken and passed collectively

New Business:

Port Stanley Heritage Conservation District Public Meeting: February 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. upstairs at the Port Stanley Arena. The presentation will be as a panel (BIA,PSVA and Heritage Port) and Councillor Martyn asked all members of Council to attend.

Election signs not recyclable: Councillor Martyn noted that Francie Dennison had questioned why her election signs from 2010 were not picked up when put out with the Blue Boxes. Perrin said that although coroplast is recyclable, whether or not they take it depends on whether or not they have a market for the material. It is one of those items which falls outside the normal pick up of items bearing the triangular symbols with numbers 1 through 7 on them. He emailed London to find out if they will accept coroplast.

East side Development Project Woes: Weather continues to wreck havoc on Centennial Road and grading can only be done when the frost is out of the ground. With frequently shifting temperatures, this often means that it cannot be done until the weekend. As well, the project is not yet done with the directional drill work for pipeline. They are supposed to start back on this next week.

Unfinished Business: Nothing listed

Closed Session: None

Adjournment: The meeting which started at 7:30 p.m. was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.


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