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Proposed: Commercial Light Industry and Storage Sites at Star Lake

Letters of Opposition sent to Manitoba Parks

To: Dale Sobkowich, Head of Commercial Policy, Planning and Programing, Parks

Cc: Sarah Guillemard, Minister of Conservation and Climate

Greetings Mr. Sobkowich and whomever it may concern, 

As a cottage resident at Star Lake as well as a former employee of a so-called “cottage-based business (CBBs)”, I have several concerns pertaining to the letter I received concerning the commercial light industry and storage site development proposed near my summer residence (see: attached). 

Firstly, the letter only SOME of the Star Lake residents received contains very little information and does not, in my opinion, satisfy the “consultation” required for such an endeavor. Myself, and members of my household, have the following unanswered questions:

Secondly, as a former employee of a CBB based on South Shore Road on Falcon lake as well as on Caddy Lake, I understand the need for such a development. I further sympathize with owner operators of local CBBs, as running a service business from a cottage poses significant difficulties. However, I dispute the notion that a “central” site for such storage and light industry lots is optimal. My commute to my former job (from 500 m away from the proposed development) was over 30 minutes. For CBBs operating on either South Shore of Falcon lake, or Caddy lake and the north shore of West Hawk lake, a development at the proposed location means an hour lost for travel time. This is incredibly inefficient when accounting for employee wages, fuel costs, and carbon emissions. I believe that locations in closer proximity to the CBBs requesting such spaces would be both in the best interests of said business owners/operators and the cottagers of Star Lake and South-East Whiteshell.

Finally, I find it misleading that you included a reference to this area as “the first proposed site is the ‘old dump’ near Star Lake…” as it is not the first proposed locale for similar development, as similar sites were proposed and ultimately rejected at locations both on Falcon Lake and Barren Lake. The second section of the quote mentioned above does not reflect the current state of the proposed site. Yes, it was a former transfer station location, however significant resources and time have been invested to rehabilitate and revegetate the proposed development area and surroundings. In my opinion, better vocabulary could have been used to reflect the current state of the site, as opposed to an outdated moniker which carries misleading connotations. 

I beg Manitoba Conservation and Climate to reconsider the viability of the proposed site for storage and commercial light-industry use, as it poses many concerns to the community, infrastructure, and environment, and does not seem to serve local businesses and industries in the best way possible. Furthermore, I believe that if the questions I have posed above as well as any inquiries by members of my community are not answered in a satisfactory and meaningful way, then the office of Commercial Policy, Planning, and Programming has not completed its duty to consult with those who will be affected by such a development. I hope your office will release additional information so myself and my neighbors may make informed decisions concerning the future of our community. 

Thank you for your time, 

Aiden Farrant 

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