May 23, 2001
Re: Written Submission to Niagara Escarpment Plan Review
THE ONTARIO PROPERTY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ALLIANCE (O.P.E.R.A.)
OPERA is not qualified to comment on this Discussion Paper and, having reviewed their initial presentations, we support the position of the Ontario Grape Growers’ Marketing Board and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture in this matter.
Local municipalities should administer the Niagara Escarpment Plan, an alternative, outlined in the original Act and endorsed in 1983 and again in 1994 by Review Hearing Officers, which could, by harmonization, improve rural tourism on the Escarpment.
Escarpment signage should be determined by regulations already in place under provincial legislation and/or municipal Official Plans, not by command-and-control intervention by NEC staff who, we understand, have unilaterally erected oversize Biosphere Reserve signage on a municipal road allowance.
We do not support this Plan Amendment since it lends credence to otherwise unspecified NEC management “obligations” to an international organization promoting global governance and ignores social and economic monitoring “indicators” required under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.
Intensive Recreational Development in Escarpment Parks / Status of Land Trusts:
OPERA does not endorse this proposal since its alleged benefit, the concept of vastly expanded tourism on the Escarpment, has not been publicly debated. And we are, in addition, opposed to awarding any non-government organization “public body” powers.
New Plan Maps, Plan Errata & Plan Test (Housekeeping)
Most Escarpment landowners are unaware of land class boundaries and restrictions within the Plan Area, a deficiency NEC staff should immediately make good. Pond prohibitions are unjustified because neither of two consultant pond studies authorized by the NEC support them.