• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Burl’s Creek fined by conservation authority

In Council Watch
Mar 27th, 2015

By Roberta Bell, Orillia Packet & Times

Burl’s Creek has put a construction project on hold after it was warned and fined by the local conservation authority, but the newly expanded park will still reopen this summer as planned, says a vice-president.

“I can 100% guarantee that the work stoppage will not impact the development of Burl’s Creek or the events this summer,” said Ryan Howes, who handles venue operations.

Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority (LSRCA) issued notices of violation for “development activities that are taking place without approval,” conservation authority spokesperson Susan Jagminas confirmed in an email, and has laid related charges.

“We issue a notice of violation when someone does work in a regulated area without our permission. We lay charges under the provincial offences court when our notice of violation is not adhered to,” Jagminas wrote.

Howes said Burl’s Creek, located off Line 8 South in Oro-Medonte, isn’t fighting the conservation authority.

“We’re definitely going to be working in tandem with the … conservation authority and making sure that we (meet) their expectations and any alterations we may have to make will fall within those expectations,” he said.

The area the conservation authority is concerned about about is half an acre located in the Maple Forest off Line 9 South of the 700-acre grounds, Howes said.

Water pools near there in the spring and fall, he said, and the conservation authority — which Jagminas said will not speak further to details as it is an ongoing enforcement issue — is concerned that Burl’s Creek’s work was “encroaching on the area that they oversee.”

The notices of violation were issued under Ontario Regulation 179/06, which deals with interference with wetlands and alterations to shorelines and water courses. It’s specific to the conservation authority’s jurisdiction and is enacted under the Conservation Authorities Act of Ontario.

Howes said Burl’s Creek has been working with the conservation authority since it came under new ownership in November.

Two months ago, he said, Burl’s Creek submitted applications and payments related to the construction of the laneway in that area.

About a month ago, Burl’s Creek was advised of the violation, Howes said, but the specifics are still a little unclear to him.

“We’re still waiting to receive more information,” he said.

Burl’s Creek, which has doubled in size under its new ownership, is on track to complete its renovations by June 1, Howes said.

This summer, it will host two large, multi-day music festivals — WayHome and Boots and Hearts — hold the Barrie Automotive Flea Market in the spring and fall and work with the local soccer clubs that have traditionally played on the property.

Howes acknowledged the redevelopment of the park has been contentious.

“There’s been a lot of surprises and a lot of roadblocks, but we’re taking them in stride,” he said.

“We’re meeting all agency and township expectations and needs. We’re following all processes as per any other new owner or new business,” he said.

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