Highlands East plans to work alongside the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) in its consultation to dispose of the provincial Crown Reserve on Centre Lake.

Council passed a resolution March 2 to take part in the ministry’s process. It comes as the province considers two applications for development at Centre Lake that seek to use its 200-foot Crown reserve, including a 60-suite resort called Granite Shores. Planner Chris Jones said the MNRF will want municipal input – and whether council supports the Crown land disposition.

“If council is ultimately going to be tasked with rendering some decision of support or non-support,” Jones said. “Take the bull by the horns and as far as a consultation process, create an opportunity for people and stakeholders to provide comments directly to the municipality.”

The motion indicates consultation will include notice by direct mail to landowners within two kilometres of Centre Lake, Cardiff shoreline associations and Indigenous groups. The municipality will also notify local trail and recreational organizations such as the Paudash Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club by direct mail or email.

In addition, the municipality is proposing a virtual open house as a special meeting to provide an opportunity for public comment. There will be further notification in local print media and on the municipal website.

“Pick a date and schedule a special meeting of council for the sole purpose of allowing for public input,” Jones said. “That becomes the salient aspect of this disposition that council can use to inform themselves.”

Granite Shores launched its own website in February detailing its project and soliciting feedback, but it is separate from any government consultation to come.

“We aim to provide all the information on this exciting development in Haliburton Highlands in an open and transparent fashion,” the development said on its website.

No timeline has yet been set for the meeting or the MNRF’s consultation process. Regional planner Pauline Capelle said it is difficult to predict but could be posted for input in the coming months.

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