The current zoning bylaw does not allow food trucks in any zone. (Trial food truck operations were conducted in the summer of 2019 but were a clear contravention of the zoning bylaw. There was serious negative impact on some residents.)
Council will put a bylaw amending the zoning bylaw on an upcoming council meeting agenda, probably May 5, 2020. That bylaw will amend the zoning bylaw to allow food trucks to be located in Commercial zones, as well as in parks and road allowances owned by the town. This means food trucks would be permitted on the beach at Sauble, on other beaches (Oliphant, Red Bay, etc.), in Pine grove park and in other parks.
Food trucks would be permitted on the street in front of your house. (Think of a noisy, smelly food truck parked right in front of your home for the full summer. Think of the garbage and the traffic).
The proposed amendment is completely contrary to the purpose of the planning act.
The Ontario Government Zoning by-law Guide says that a zoning bylaw “protects [residents] from conflicting …..land uses in [the] community.”
The Town’s amendment proposal, in contrast to the Guide, does exactly the opposite. The Town proposal supports and enables (rather than protects from) “conflicting …..land uses in [the] community.”
The proposal is unfair and is in contravention with at minimum the spirit and intent of the planning act regarding zoning bylaws.
The planning act requires the town to involve the public in the zoning bylaw amendment process. While it appears that the town may have followed the letter of the law in this case, it is clear that they have in fact done everything they could (within the law) to shut the public out. The intent of the law (to inform and involve the public) was clearly breached.
One example to illustrate this breach:
Mayor Jackson in the press and on the town website (and maybe elsewhere) has asked that “seasonal residents” do not come to their summer cottages. It was not a simple request. It was a guilt trip, sending a clear message that any seasonal residents that came to their seasonal homes in TSBP would be judged harshly as increasing the risk of COVID19 infection to local residents and would be judged harshly as putting a strain on emergency resources. Jackson was characterizing seasonal residents as unwanted guests, and saying “stay away” — “we, (the genuine residents), don’t want you around”. It was more an order than a request.
Then Jackson scheduled a public meeting for April 21st for residents to come to town hall and speak about the food trucks proposal.
Seasonal residents who decided to attend this public meeting would be putting themselves at risk and would by attending the meeting be putting others at risk of getting COVID19, and would be judged negatively. (Council members attended remotely, an option not provided to residents).
Few seasonal residents would take that risk. None did. (Two permanent residents attended.)
There are no benefits of food trucks sufficient to warrant or justify the resulting harm to residents and businesses.
That some residents want food variety within 500 meters (but not in front of their house) is not sufficient reason to harm other residents or established businesses.
There was no urgency to have the zoning bylaw amended. The matter should have been deferred until the COVID 19 crisis is past.
The law is that notice is published in a newspaper that ”in the opinion of the clerk …., is of sufficiently general circulation in the area to which the proposed by-law would apply that it would give the public reasonable notice of the public meeting” (regulation 545/06).
Notice of the public meeting was put in the Wiarton Echo and the Sun Times in March.
By inference, in this time of COVID19 crisis, when Jackson was telling seasonal residents to stay away, and was telling all residents to stay home, it was the clerk’s opinion that she had given all residents “reasonable” notice. Her position is preposterous.
The town could have easily mailed a notice to each resident, or enclosed a notice with tax bills.
Only those people who, before the zoning bylaw amendment is passed, make oral submissions at the public meeting or make a written submission to the council are permitted to appeal the amended zoning by-law to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), formerly the OMB.
So if you don’t want food trucks in front of your house or in your park across the street, or even if you want to support those negatively affected, please write to council before May 5 indicating your objection to the proposed bylaw amendment.
A letter to council could be as simple as this:
To: Council TSBP via clerk firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Zoning bylaw amendment to allow food trucks – Planning case Z-2020-029
I object to the proposed zoning by-law amendments.
Or you could add reasons.
Please pass this to your contacts.