By Chad Ingram
The Township of Algonquin Highlands intends to embark on a public education process surrounding the licence of occupation system it is creating for docks, staircases and other privately owned infrastructure located on township-owned road allowances across the road from residences.
Councillors continued to discuss the matter during a July 15 online meeting, reviewing an updated draft policy from planner Sean O’Callaghan. Aimed at addressing concerns around liability as well as maintaining healthy shorelines, the draft policy stipulates that residents would be required to put down a $2,500 deposit to cover legal fees associated with the creation of the licence, as well as an application fee and an annual fee, meant to recover to the costs of administrating the system.
Under the draft policy, residents would be required to provide proof of $2 million worth of liability insurance annually. The licence of occupation would be registered on title for the property and would be transferable. Should the property change hands, the new owners would then be required to provide proof of liability insurance.
The draft policy stipulates that licences would be issued for a period of not more than 10 years.
Deputy Mayor Liz Danielsen said she’d like to see some of the proposed fees lowered if at all possible, since she was concerned residents might view the creation of the system as a cash grab.
“This is not a money grab,” Danielsen said. “We are not making money on this.”
“There are real and legitimate reasons [for the creation of the system],” said Mayor Carol Moffatt.
O’Callaghan said it would be in the best interest of residents to enter into the agreement, since it would allow them to rebuild infrastructure should it be damaged.
“I do think there’s value in doing a lengthy education process,” said chief administrative officer Angie Bird.
A further revised version of the draft policy will come back to council.