Chippawa shores development clears final hurdle with township

BARRY’S BAY – It has been a long process to bring in a large property development along the Chippawa Shore area of the Madawaska River, half-way between Barry’s Bay and Combermere.

Over time, the project has had to contend with a number of hurdles, such as environmental impact studies. It was even forced to scale back from 54 lots to 44, and still continues to face some strong opposition in the area.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 7, a lengthy agenda confronted the Madawaska Valley Town Council (MVT). The largest amount of time was to be devoted to the Chippawa Shores development.

A number of people joined the virtual meeting that was broadcasted to Youtube.

Included in this number was Doug De La Matter, who was representing the Friends of the Madawaska Watershed group, who are against the development. De La Matter gave a PowerPoint presentation to the mayor and councillors that lasted just under 30 minutes.

He began with an objection, since he felt that appropriate notice had not given for the meeting, which meant, he said, that he had not been able to properly prepare for it. He requested that the discussion of the purchase of the shoreline road allowance by Chippawa Shores, Ltd. by the council be rescheduled to a later date. Town CAO Sue Klatt replied that, in fact, appropriate public notice was given via previously held public meetings. Further, she said, this matter has been going on for well over a year.

De La Matter’s argument against the development focused on a few points. He said that increased usage of the river in that area will bring about increased erosion of the sandy shoreline. The run-off of erosion leaches off nutrients that can lead to harmful algae blooms. He pointed to the fact that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) norm for waterfront development is to have a 30-meter minimum shoreline buffer.

Another issue at stake was that of ‘recreational crowding’ along the thin passageway of the river. He stated that an expert had concluded that Green Lake was already at recreational capacity.

He concluded that the Friends of the Madawaska Watershed is not opposed to development per se, but would like all of these considerations kept in mind in any case.

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