The Council heard a report from two groups regarding Beatty’s Trail, a private road used for cottage access that had suffered damage due to the removal of surrounding trees by Adjacent property owners..
Brian Morley and Ryan Jolicoeur reported first, citing their frustration at the removal of the trees and the damage it caused to the access road.
Jolicoeur said that the homeowners had spent over $5000 on gravel to maintain the road and their own time to maintain the trees.
“We just want to express our concern for the township’s approval for this clearcutting of trees.” Morley said.
He said that the path was considered private, and that the cottage owners performed tree and road maintenance over the
“The trees were beautiful. They provided a natural umbrella to the road and helped reduce maintenance cost.”
He said that the road had been damaged by the cutting and wished for it to be repaired, as well as the stumps left behind to be removed.
He said the snow removal will no longer be feasible and will have to be contracted out, requiring “multiple clearings per day” to comply with emergency access guidelines.
“This will cause us great expense, which we don’t feel is fair or reasonable.” he said. “We were all extremely proud of this entrance to our lakeside entrance and we all took care of it as it if it was our own for forty years.”
“We feel that the Township has taken ownership of this difficult situation, [and] This has made several of the owners reconsider their ownership.”
Larry Shroeder spoke next, who owns the adjacent properties, explaining that he had sold his farm, and that the new owners, the Weavers had requested the removal of the trees as they were inhibiting movement between the two fields.
He said he advised them to contact the Township and was informed that removing the trees from a private access was their perogative.
“The comment that this took place for financial gain is totally wrong.” he said. “It actually cost us money.”
He said Parks and Recreation head Lane Cleroux sent them a Stop Work order, and told them that there was ‘no documentation’ and they would have to use access that did not damage the trees.
“It seems silly.” Shroeder said, saying that they “could not comply” with the order..
He said he was told he had to survey the road allowance, to which he said “if you think I’m crossing Township land, then you can survey it.”
“That’s not the way it’s done anywhere else. Farmers farm over unmarked road allowances all the time.” Shroeder said. “The road allowance is not marked. It’s not surveyed. It’s not there.”
“I think there’s a lot to unpack here.” CAO Robert Trembley said. “Access or removal requires a more formal process.”
“What I would suggest is that staff come back with a report.”
He said that “no work should continue regarding the road allowance” until the matter was resolved.
He said the report will likely come back “in May” and that it would show on the next agenda.
Councillor Nicholson asked if Shroeder’s bush-lot ‘straddles’ the road allowance, to which CAO Trembley said it went on either side.
Councillor Mackay asked about including other roads, such as Sam’s Road at McLacey’s, and Nicholai Road.
Mayor Moore also said Fletcher’s road would also require an issue.
CAO Trembley said that Lane Cleroux was aware of the “escalating issue” of the roads in Asset Management.
No other discussion occurred on the matter.