Minnow Lake Development: Parks, Roads, Commercial, Residential etc.
Following the last meeting of Restoration Group (November 2012) the following media release was issued indicating the groups intention to take affirmative action to protect and restore the lake..
The Minnow Lake Restoration Group met with lakeside property owners this week to discuses possible courses of action to be taken by the organization to protect the lake from further contamination and to consider methods by which lake water quality could be improved
Brad Bowman, a Senior Environmental Scientist with over 30 years experience in government regulatory agencies and with NAR Environmental Consultants, spoke to the over 30 citizens in attendance and explained that the lake has deteriorated to a critical level and that according to provincial guidelines and policies the lake should not be degraded further and "all practical measures should be taken to upgrade the water quality".
With a number of new residential developments now underway or planned there is no evidence that there will be sufficient control measures in place to present additional storm water loading to the lake which according to studies has reached its assimilation limit. The small lake with large public areas drains directly in Lake Ramsey, a major source of drinking water for Sudbury residents.
According to Mr. Bowman, at just one of three storm sewer outlets there is an estimated 1,500 cubic meters of contaminated sediments extending out into the lake. New studies confirm that metal levels in the sediments currently exceed provincial regulations and that phosphorus levels at are unacceptable limits with weeds covering almost 100 percent of the lake with the possibility of increased algae growth. The lake is unsuitable for virtually all recreational activity including swimming, boating and fishing. It is the reason that lakeside property is not assessed at any higher level than non lakeside properties in the area.
Measures under consideration are appearances before the Ontario Municipal Board with respect to new developments in the area, and also possible legal action under various government legislation including the Fisheries Act with respect to the discharge of deleterious substances to water's inhabited by fish.
It was felt that after over 30 years of attempting to improve water quality in the small lake and with the groups responsibility in this area the following motion was approved.
That the Minnow Lake Restoration Group take any action necessary in respect of its mandate to promote the restoration of Minnow Lake to an aesthetically pleasing and recreationally useful body of water including possible legal means with respect to municipal authorities.
Further information: John Lindsay, Chair Minnow Lake Restoration Group - 705-525-7526.
Long neglected Minnow Lake is growing with many new developments commercial and residential .. the big box stores and many new subdivisions are evidence. However this has resulted in increased demands on services and infrastructure, particularly our streets and roads. Recently the city turned down a development project for Howey Drive (near the curling club) as the resulting increase in traffic was more than the current limits for the roads (Howey, Bellevue and Bancroft) and cost to increase capacity would be prohibitive.
A meeting on Tuesday May 29th of the Minnow Lake CAN was held at Minnow Lake Place (click here for minutes of meeting) with those in attendance expressing the general feeling that no access onto Bancroft would be preferred and click here for minutes of follow up meeting on June 16th and decisions taken with respect to this matter. Also a short (4 minute) video was created to illustrate the concerns (see below)
Despite our concerns the city has approved the development, however the Restoration Group has appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) on environmental concerns. We are also considering other actions to protect our local water resources and in particular Minnow Lake and Lake Ramsey. We will also be present at the OMB hearing with respect to another (Dalron) development on Howey Drive which would contribute to traffic loading in the area. See below for similiar concerns with respect to the Silver Hills Development (Interpaving).
Of current concern is a new residential development planned for between the big box stores and Bancroft Drive. This development will have access to the Kingsway but requires another access and this would be to Bancroft Drive through a street planned many years ago by the city which would have this road exit at the current intersection of Bancroft and Bellevue (see pictures below). The new road (street) would go through the new residential development and link through to the Kingsway. A number of questions:
1. How much additional traffic will this new route generate on the Howey, Belleveu, Bancroft corridor? Already the city has indicated that this corridor is near or at capacity.
2. What form will the new intersection take? If a traffic circle (currently being suggested) allowing for continuous flow of traffic how will this effect pedestrian traffic and allow for breaks in the traffic flow to access local side streets, residents and businesses.
3. What is the cost to create this new intersection taking into consideration property acquisition and challenging topographic features?