Couchiching Conservancy examines implications of shooting centre proposed for Carden Alvar
Carden Alvar -Ontario Parks / Wasyl Bakowsky photo
Background information on the proposed development by Premier Shooting Centre in the Carden Alvar
Premier Shooting Center wishes to purchase the 1,350-acres Cedarhurst property at the centre of the Carden Alvar and construct a 4000 sq.ft. clubhouse, a small retail area and café, a campground, a rifle range 1.0 km in length with 18-ft high berms along its sides, plus several shorter ranges, a skeet shooting area for shotguns, a target area for handguns, and a “five-story building” for simulated commando-type “raids”.
The City of Kawartha Lakes has now confirmed that they will require an Official Plan Amendment, a rezoning, and site plan controls for the project; we had previously been expecting rezoning only. City staff won’t share much information because they have not yet received an application, but they assure us they are requiring a long list of background studies.
Mark Bisset and Ron Reid of The Couchiching Conservancy met briefly with Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham to explain why there is so much opposition to this proposal on this site; he claimed that he was told by the proponent that the shooting range would be located in an old quarry site, and agreed that the proponent’s claims that the City was fully supportive needed to be corrected.
With the help of a couple of local quarry companies, we were able to estimate the amount of imported fill needed for berms at the shooting centre – at least 5000 truckloads, which is a major operation and will require large-scale road improvements even before construction.
Local Councillor Rob Macklem says he has received over 100 messages of concern about this proposal, and the Mayor and other Councillors would have received this volume as well. We clearly have their attention, which was our first goal. Note that messages or comments will have to be re-submitted during the official comment period for the planning applications.
We have letters to the City already sent or committed from Ontario Nature, Wildlife Preservation Canada, Ontario Field Ornithologists, Bird Studies Canada, Field Botanists of Ontario, and at least a half-dozen naturalists clubs.
Carden Field Naturalists has produced a one-page flyer which has been distributed widely throughout the local community, and has set up a special fund to hold donations towards the costs of mailings. Ron Reid is doing a similar flyer for visitors to the birding blind on Wylie Road or for hand-out to naturalists.
For now, the proponent has gone very quiet – not responding to our invitation to meet again, not commenting to the media, and no recent contacts with the City. No one seems to know when they will actually submit their applications.
Premier Shooting Centre: here
Podcast: Modern Rifleman Radio podcast. Interview with Derek Jones (proponent) starts at approx. 30 minute mark.
Podcast: “Canadian Patriot: interview with Derek Jones begins at 15 minute mark:
In the News:
Kawartha Lakes This Week: Carden residents worried about proposed shooting centre
The Villager, May edition: New threat arriving by the truckload? (page 9)
What You Can Do:
The City of Kawartha Lakes has already received more than 100 submissions of concern. Although these submissions have an impact, none of them go into the official record. If and when an application is submitted by the proponent, that will be the time to officially voice your concern. We will keep you updated on the situation and inform you if and when the time comes. Your concerns and voice are vitally needed.
If you wish to contact Mayor and Council in the meantime to voice your concern, their contact information is below.
City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor and Council:
Care of Office of City Clerk, 26 Francis St., P.O. Box 9000, Lindsay, ON K9V 5R8 or phone 705-324-9411
Mayor and Council Members:
Major Andy Letham, 705-324-9411 ext 1320
Councillor Rob Macklen, 705-878-2031; email@example.com
Councillor Emmett Yeo, 705454-9531
Councillor Gord Miller, 705-934-4152
Councillor Andrew Veale, 705-439-2434
MPP and MP:
MPP: Laurie Scott, 705-324-6654; firstname.lastname@example.org
MP: Jamie Schmale, 705-324-2400; email@example.com