Kincardine council has gone from no support to full support for the formation of a multi-municipality coalition to draft a nuisance noise bylaw to regulate industrial wind turbine developments.
Jan. 9, after a presentation by Warren Howard of North Perth, outlining the formation of such a coalition, council made no decision and no commitment to the proposal.
At the Jan. 15 meeting, council agreed to defer a motion by councillor Kenneth Craig directing staff to contact legal counsel to advise Kincardine on matters concerning a multi-municipality nuisance noise bylaw.
Wednesday night (Jan. 22), council passed two motions, offering strong support for the coalition and the proposed generic noise nuisance bylaw.
The first motion was Craig’s from the Jan. 15 meeting.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said she is unsure what Kincardine would have to send to legal counsel right now, other than a proposal in general terms.
Councillor Randy Roppel said that before the coalition were to proceed, it would likely come up with a firm capable of representing all municipalities in the coalition. However, he agreed that a report would have to come back to council before approving anything.
Craig said his motion went to a more fundamental matter – protecting Kincardine.
“This coalition is a ground-breaking idea,” he said. “So, I’d like some legal advice about our participation in it. I want a lawyer to tell us what our municipality should do with regard to joining this coalition.”
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said it depends on each individual’s comfort level. She noted there are already several municipal coalitions in place, regarding various issues. In fact, Kincardine is involved in a municipal coalition in bringing natural gas to the area, she said.
“I agree with Ken (Craig)’s comments,” said councillor Maureen Couture. “I’d like legal advice before we enter into this commitment.”
Council approved the motion for staff to contact legal counsel to advise the municipality on the nuisance noise bylaw coalition, with a report back to council by Feb. 19.
Faubert brought forward the second motion which states the municipality strongly supports, in principle and in practice, the forming of a coalition to investigate and draft a generic noise nuisance bylaw as outlined by Howard, Jan. 9
And further, that Kincardine support forming a coalition with other municipalities to develop a noise nuisance bylaw.
And further, that Kincardine pledges $15,000/year for two years for funding the development of such a coalition.
And further, that no money will be paid to the coalition until:
• An acceptable threshold for membership funding is achieved
• A Memorandum of Understanding is agreed among members which includes a written pledge for funding from each member
• A plan is presented that includes the basic steps necessary to move the process forward, decision-making and administrative structures and methods of accountability in terms of handling funds
“I’m not asking council to join a coalition to ban any type of industry,” said Faubert. “Just acknowledge that we are empowered by the Municipal Act to have some control over noise and nuisance.”
Couture said her only concern is committing a future council to the second year of this two-year agreement. “As long as we get commitment from other municipalities, I’m fine with this, but for one year, not two.”
Roppel noted that this council has already put restrictions on future councils. “A future council could always say no at budget time to funding this,” he said.
“Two years is likely the time needed to do this work,” said councillor Candy Hewitt.
“It’s a manageable amount of money,” said Eadie. “A two-year term is best.”
Craig said he would prefer council have a discussion with legal counsel before agreeing to support the coalition.
Mayor Larry Kraemer agreed, saying it’s too much money and will scare off a lot of smaller municipalities from participating in the coalition.
The vote was called and Faubert’s motion was approved.
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