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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Big Bay Point Resort will actually assist in protecting Lake Simcoe?

The proposed Big Bay Point Resort will actually assist in protecting Lake Simcoe – and support the province’s proposed Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the County of Simcoe says.
Introduced into the legislature by Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop, the act is designed to restore and protect the watersheds of the rivers that flow into Lake Simcoe.
Simcoe County’s corporate services manager Rick Newlove explained phosphorous runoff puts the lake at risk. Phosphorous results from agricultural runoff, as well as from detergents, shampoo and toothpaste residues.
In extending servicing into Big Bay Point, developer Geranium Corporation will assist as many as 1,600 homeowners to connect to municipal services – and get them off septic systems, which are not sustainable in the long term, he explained.
“They’re getting people off septics and getting people connected (to municipal services), which will help the lake in the long-run. We all know septic systems are not reliable in the long-term,” he said.
Further, he said, Geranium has had to meet some of the most stringent standards in Ontario.
“They’ve met the provincial, the county’s and the town’s criteria, (done) anything we’ve asked. They’ve worked to ensure the environment is protected and worked diligently to meet government requirements.
“With the Big Bay Point Resort, the province wouldn’t have signed off if they weren’t satisfied everything possible had been done to protect the environment,” he said.
Earlier this year, an extensive OMB hearing was averted when the county approved the resort. A hearing is still slated for Aug. 8, with the opposition including a group of local residents and Nexnine Limited; Nexnine had put forward a competing bid for a parcel now included in the development plan. Since the county approved the plan, the opposition has lost its high-profile lawyer.
Geranium spokesman Jim Maclean said the new act falls in line with the environmental direction his company had received from the province as it refined its development proposal and his company endorses the act.
“The premier has announced the Lake Simcoe Protection Act to protect the lake and its resources. Geranium is fully supportive of that,” he told The Advance. His company worked closely with the province in planning a large recreational resort featuring a marina, golf course and as well as retail and cultural amenities, such as a theatre.
“We’ve passed all the (environmental) requirements presently in place. The County of Simcoe, Innisfil, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing have all signed off. They’re satisfied the resort will not impact (the lake adversely).”

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