My name is Cheryl Anderson and I am speaking today on behalf of the South Shore Joint Initiative.

My comments are in response to the presentation by Mr. Harari for the Bel Air development at Half Moon Point.  The plan is for a residential and resort development composed of 42 houses, a hotel, a health centre and spa and 75 “pods”.

This development is incompatible with the natural features of the Area, it is in the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and in a Natural Core Area in the draft Official Plan. 

Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory annual surveys have documented Eastern Whip-poor-will, a species at risk in the threatened category in the area since 2016. The surrounding cliffs are Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Rough-winged Swallow and Bald Eagle foraging habitat.  15 species of warbler have been documented using the area including the Canada Warbler classified as threatened on the federal and Ontario Species at Risk list.

The wetland and pond are documented Blanding’s Turtle habitat, and the pond is a documented Blanding’s over wintering site.  As many as 20 Blanding’s Turtles have been seen from the road in and around the pond on one occasion in the fall.  Blanding’s Turtles are classified as endangered federally and threatened provincially.

I believe this is a blatant attempt to quickly get your approval before the new official plan comes into force.  The development is in a draft Natural Core Area.  In the new Official Plan page 16 “New development applications on a property that includes or is adjacent to a natural heritage feature and area identified in the Plan or in the Zoning By-law shall generally be accompanied by an Environmental Impact Study that will ensure that the natural heritage feature and area and its associated ecological functions are protected from any negative impact related to the proposed development “. 

In the new plan the County has recognized its unique ecology and established an objective (page 20) to “Maintain, restore and enhance the health and biodiversity of the County’s natural heritage features and their associated ecological function and protect them from incompatible development”.

I believe this development is against the spirit and policies of the new official plan. I believe that an Environmental Impact Study of the development would prove that siting of this development in species at risk habitat, in an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and in a draft Natural Core Area would prove the development incompatible with the area’s ecological functions.

I urge you to deny the application.  Thank you.