While the Lake Louisa Property Owners Association ( LLPOA/APLL) has noted on more than one occasion that it is highly irregular for a Municipality to provide a prospective developer/proponent a summary of comments before a project plan is deposited, and to present feedback “collected as part of the public hearing process”, we have none-the-less reviewed the report.
Respectfully, the LLPOA/APLL asks that the Counsellors of Wentworth decline to publish, distribute or make available this report in the June 23, 2019 format for the following reasons:
1. The Summary Report fails to fulfill its mandated purpose as noted clearly on the cover page and the introduction. Specifically the Summary Report does not make any reference to the community organizations that contributed feedback in person and in writing outlining the concerns and comments of Wentworth community members and stakeholders. The two obvious omissions refer to the LLPOA/APLL and the Dunany Community Association (DCA), and these community organizations represent the views of the largest Wentworth community groups, as well as the views of the majority of Wentworth community. These organizations have conservatively held over 100 meetings in 2019, and consistently communicated opposition to golf and the large scale development envisioned by WITRD for zone RU6. In fact, the Summary Report also failed to communicate that these organizations represent a significant portion of the population that support and “welcome development when done thoughtfully and according to the rules and regulations in place from all levels of government that doesn’t in any way compromise the environment” – as noted in the DCA and LLPOA/APLL submissions. Further, the Summary Report mentions individual names and anonymous feedback, and quantifies that 18 briefs and 11 verbal presentations were made; and in contrast the Summary Report does not mention that the President of the LLPOA held up over 270 signed petitions from community members documenting wide-spread opposition to golf and the large scale WITRD concept.
Note: In Section 1, Introduction, it is stated that the “purpose of the public hearings was to provide the municipality’s citizens and community organizations with a forum to comment on WITRI’s recreational tourism development concept”. Reference to the petitions should have been included in the summary, and reference to anonymous feedback should not be included in the summary.
Bottom Line: The Summary Report does not meet its mandated purpose, and it is unacceptable to exclude the feedback and contributions from the two largest Wentworth community organizations, it is also unacceptable to not make mention of the 270 petitions from LLPOA/APLL, and it is unacceptable to include references from anonymous individuals in the summary. Before publishing or making the Summary Report available to the WITRD, all contributors should be offered the protection of anonymity – if anonymous content is included in the summary, appendix and verbal testimony.
2. The Summary Report fails to put into context the widespread public concern that resulted in the hiring of a consulting firm to help the council manage the unexpected volume of letters, emails, etc. As the mayor said on a number of occasions, when asked why they had not replied to the residents’ letters within a reasonable delay, he indicated that it was because the staff and councilors had been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of concerns and inquiries expressed by the community.
Note: At several of the public meeting held in 2019 the Mayor promised that the early letters and phone calls received expressing concern and opposition to the WITRI concept would be included in the overall assessment of community support. It appears only some letters and comments submitted via the FAQ portal of the Wentworth website have been included – regular mail and email directed to Wentworth and Councilors have been excluded.
Bottom Line: It is unacceptable that the context outlined above was not included in the summary. Reference to the widespread expression of concern from the Wentworth community and the unmanageable volume of calls and email inquiries, resulting in the hiring of a communications consulting firm must be noted in the summary.
3. The Summary Report also fails to make mention of the significant visual indication of community concerns represented by hundreds of red signs installed on the streets and waterfront of private residences of Lac Louisa, Wentworth and bordering communities.
Note: The Mayor was recorded at a recent meeting stating “You would have to live under a rock to not know about the Red Sign Campaign” (…. in opposition). ]
Bottom Line: Reference to the hundreds of red signs in opposition to golf and large scale development, as well as red signs urging increased protection of the heronry, must be included in the summary.
In summary, the LLPOA/APLL respectfully asks that the June 23, 2019 Summary Report be considered a DRAFT or preliminary report, and if it is shared with the Wentworth community that DRAFT watermarks be clearly visible on each page of a PDF format document.
Please confirm in writing or via email to the LLPOA/APLL, how Wentworth plans to proceed to address the concerns outlined above.