As of March 2, 2017, the Municipality of Chester and the Municipality of Lunenburg agreed to enter into a formal Memoradum of Understanding to address concerns of public access to property purchased by MODL on Sherbrooke Lake. Once the agreement has been signed, it will be posted here.
Council for the Municipality of Chester held a public meeting to discuss terms of a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the municipalities concerning the development in February 2017. As a bit of a background, after public consultation, MODL purchased a piece of property in the Municipality of Chester to develop as a park. The property, located at Sherbrooke Lake, was chosen to promote lake access to the public in response to requests from MODL residents.
In response to this, and as a result of concern over the impact of such a development on our community, Council announced First Reading of amendments to the Municipality’s Land Use By-law which would provide Council with control over how the land was developed. After a public meeting/hearing hosted by MODC in November of 2016, at which the amendments were presented, it was clear that our residents shared our concerns of excessive traffic, noise and environmental impacts.
In an effort to preserve a valuable working relationship MODL, Council proposed an alternative to the Land Use By-law amendments, being a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MODC and MODL that would give MODC input into the development of property. Council agreed to put on hold the final approval of the amendments (Second Reading), to give time to explore the MOU option.
If the terms can be agreed to, MODC will have better control over how the land is developed, including whether there is boat access and the type of boat access (motorized; non-motorized). Boat access cannot be effectively controlled under a Land Us By-law. Council, however, does not have an unlimited time to explore this option. Under provincial legislation known as the Municipal Government Act, once Council completes First Reading of Land Use By-law amendments, no development can occur that is contrary to the proposed amendment for 150 days for public notification (the date the ad went in the paper advising the public). The 150 days is up on March 6, 2017; thus, either an MOU has to be finalized and signed, or Second Reading of the amendments have to be approved by Council before then.
There were a significant number of presentations made to Council on this matter, both written and verbal, and this input has been useful to us as we proceed with negotiating terms of an MOU. Both municipalities have worked on possible terms, and have reached a tentative agreement. Council committed to seeking public input on these terms prior to approving it, and will hold a Public Meeting on Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m.at the Forties Community Centre in the New Ross area. To read the key terms of the MOU, please click here.