Remove red tape barriers to protecting shoreline property from Lake Ontario spring floods.

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High Lake Ontario water levels are highly likely to cause catastrophic Spring floods and erosion along the shorelines of Quinte West, Prince Edward County and Brighton, Ontario. This causes extreme distress for shoreline property owners; puts shoreline recreation, enjoyment and access at risk for everyone; damages our hospitality and tourism industries; and will negatively affect municipal tax revenue in the long run. 

Shoreline property owners are extremely worried and doing everything possible to prepare for the worst. These worries are multiplied by the high cost and unreasonable time intervals required to obtain engineering reports for Conservation Authority approvals for shoreline work to repair previous damage or to mitigate the possibility of future damage.

We are requesting immediate, emergency action from our elected Municipal and Provincial officials, along with their appropriate staff and agencies, such as the Lower Trent Region Conservation Authority and the Quinte Conservation Authority, to remove as many roadblocks as possible that delay or prevent shoreline property owners from preparing for and mitigating the potential impacts of high water levels in the Great Lakes.

This petition requests immediate elimination of red-tape and unreasonable delays in getting approvals for urgently needed shoreline work. The petition also requests  assistance with the costs of getting shoreline engineering work completed including relief from Conservation Authority permit fees. Specific requests are as follows:

(1.) Assist with allowing, under certain conditions, more than 20 cubic metres of fill to be placed on a shoreline without requiring engineering studies. This has been done selectively and after the fact in the case of past emergencies. We respectfully request that  the limit should be increased now so property owners can take steps without breaking the law to mitigate risk ahead of the emergency.  The amount allowed should vary with the amount of shoreline in question. Other conditions could be placed to maintain the objectives of  Ontario Regulation 163/06 in the face of this emergency: Perhaps the material should be the same material as already placed, Or/And if the Conservation Authority had previously approved placement of similar materials on that shoreline/property.

(2.) Assist with an expedited emergency engineering report process for Conservation Authority shoreline work approvals needed under Ontario Regulation 163/06. Given the urgency, we’re recommending a specific process be considered that allows Coastal Engineers to rapidly issue engineering reports and conduct remote inspections via a templated approach that uses remote technologies such as Google Earth and video conferences with individual property owners, or ideally with groups of adjoining property owners. Any alternative, better approaches as can be offered would be very appreciated.

(3.) The provision of funding to establish an emergency coastal engineering process to rapidly issue engineering reports to satisfy Ontario Regulation 163/06, at low or no-cost to property owners.

(4.) Immediate financial assistance to help shoreline owners help each other with mitigation and preparedness work.:
The immediate suspension of permit fees for placement of materials on at-risk shorelines.

(5.) Provision of funding for neighbours to immediately establish self-help organizations and preparations. This should include funding for Sand Bag filling equipment and other emergency items that will assist homeowners in an area.

Given that spring flood conditions could begin in three short 3 short months from right now, we respectfully request these actions be undertaken in the shortest possible time.