Grey Highlands council has deferred an re-zoning and Official Plan application that would re-establish a campground at Lake Eugenia.
Council at its meeting on June 1 voted to defer the Hawthorne Cottages application until the proponents can complete a study that will examine servicing options for the property.
The application has been working its way through the planning process since 2019. A previous attempt to re-establish the campground was rejected by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) in 2018.
The property once was the location of a small campground, but it ceased operating a number of years ago. The application, if approved, would establish 13 campsites on the property located at the corner of 8th Concession and Hawthorne Lane.
Director of Planning and Building Services Michael Benner explained that the proponents have done a lot of work and completed a number of studies for the project and would like a decision on the application. Benner said planning policies require a Serving Options Study to be approved by both Grey County and Grey Highlands. Such a study would identify options for water and wastewater servicing at the proposed campground.
“We’re bound by these policies,” said Benner, who recommended the application be deferred until the study is submitted.
Benner told council the proponents have proposed the campground be serviced by portable toilets and holding tanks.
“They would like us now to call the question to defer or move forward,” said Benner.
The recommendation from staff generated a lengthy discussion around the council table. Mayor Paul McQueen noted that historically new development at Lake Eugenia has not been allowed as a Lake Carrying Capacity Study (LCCS) is required. McQueen asked if that study is also required for this application. Benner said the LCCS for a single proposed development would be too scoped to have an impact.
Coun. Dane Nielsen said the application has been at the municipality for some time and it was time for an answer.
“I feel like (the proponents) deserve an answer as to whether or not council can support a campground at this site or not,” said Nielsen.
Coun. Cathy Little preferred the deferral route.
“We will make a decision to give the applicants an opportunity to address these concerns. They have done a lot, they just haven’t done it all,” said Little.