Central Huron Council removes wake park holding provision
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Central Huron Council has lifted a holding provision on Bluestone Wake Park southwest of Clinton, which will allow it to operate without restriction.
Council held a special meeting to discuss the issue on Monday, June 27, just before the Mayor’s Mingle was set to begin on Clinton’s main street.
This comes after council had granted the new wake park permission to operate, but with a holding provision that limited its hours to weeknights after 5 p.m. and weekends and holidays, so as not to interfere with the operations of Teeswater Aggregate Limited and VanDriel Excavating Limited, both of which operate on the neighbouring property. As a result, the wake park, which is to be owned and operated by Andy Oke, will be able to operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, regardless of its neighbours’ operations, from May until the third Sunday in October.
Huron County Planner Nathan Garland recommended approval of the motion and removal of the holding provision as a result of the successful completion of a noise impact study, a traffic impact study and a dust and air quality study.
He told council that his department had the opportunity to review the completed studies and didn’t have any concerns. He stated that no improvements on either Telephone Road or Parr Line would be necessary, according to the traffic impact study. He said the noise impact study recommended the removal of a picnic area on the site, direction that was also supported by the dust and air quality study.
As a result, Garland recommended relocating the viewing area at the wake park and removing the picnic area, as well as including an eight-foot berm along the property between the aggregate pit and the inclusion of a fence along the Central Huron aggregate operations site.
In speaking with council, Oke said the associated studies were estimated to cost him about $30,000, though he had yet to receive his final invoice, and that the construction of the berm would cost about $20,000.
Several councillors lamented the high costs associated with the studies and related mitigation measures, with Mayor Jim Ginn saying it was cost prohibitive for a young person simply trying to start a new business.
Councillors Alison Lobb and Marg Anderson agreed. In fact, Anderson suggested seeking a delegation at a future conference with provincial government officials to discuss the burdensome nature of the studies and the impact they can have on young people trying to start a new business.
Council approved Garland’s recommendation, clearing the path for the business to operate for the rest of the summer.
After the decision was made, Ginn also thanked Central Huron’s staff for moving quickly on the matter and creating the opportunity to host a special meeting to allow Oke and his business to move ahead. He said that with a seasonal business like a wake park, even a week can make a big difference, so he was grateful that staff was able to speed things along and help a new business.