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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 Programming

CC:  Honorable Brian Pallister, Premier of Manitoba

CC:  Honorable Sarah Guillemard, Minister of Conservation and Climate

Sept. 15, 2020

RE: Proposed Storage Site at Star Lake

 Dear Dale,

I am writing in opposition to the proposed storage site at Star Lake.  We have owned a cottage at Star Lake for 20 years.  During this time, we have used the road in the back area of Star Lake, and site for the proposed storage sites, for walks, bike rides, walking dogs, and blueberry picking.  It is a convenient, easily accessible trail for these activities without the need of using fossil fuel to get there.  As well, the five-minute walk allows us access to a natural area without cars and people.  The area is also habitat for wildlife including bears and wolves. Over 20 years, we have watched the boreal forest reclaim itself after past use as a sand pit source, dump and logging operation. 

Although I understand the need of local businesses to obtain storage for their businesses, I do not think that the proposed site at Star Lake is appropriate.  Your letter to cottagers does not tell the nature of the use of these sites.  We do not know if there will be storage of materials that could be dangerous for cottagers or boreal forest.  The proximity of these sites to cottagers could prove hazardous in case of fire as there is only one road for escape from Blocks 4, 5, and 6. 

Further any breakdowns of heavy equipment on the road to the storage site, shared by cottagers and day trippers as well, would impede any traffic in and out of the cottage blocks.

As well, use of the already poorly maintained, washboard road into Star Lake Blocks 4/5/6 by heavy equipment would further deteriorate the road, making it extremely difficult for regular car traffic to negotiate.  The steady flow of day trippers to the public beach with their many boat trailers has already created a lot of traffic on this road, creating unsafe conditions for children and pets as well as cottagers who use that road to cycle or walk to the Trans-Canada Trail. These visitors already drive at unsafe speeds and those who operate trucks and large equipment for local businesses generally drive faster than is safe.  Adding many business vehicles who will daily use the road will make the road even more torturous to drive upon.

Lastly, noise from the storage sites would be a disadvantage to the cottagers.  If businesses open at 7 am., the noise from increased traffic  and the starting of engines and whatever other activities which may occur at the sites would interfere with cottagers morning peace and disturb those on vacation who use the time and quiet of the Whiteshell to sleep in.  The closest cottage is only 300 meters from the commercial site.  Noise tends to travel long distances early in the morning.

A site for businesses to store their vehicles and other business needs is not disputed but should not be located near homes and cottages.  Another site needs to be located.  If one of the reasons for choosing this site was the ready access to a road, then perhaps storage should be located near the Whiteshell Transfer Station which already has a road and lots of space without cottages around it. 

I hope that you will see fit to look for other alternatives that will accommodate needs of both cottagers and businesses.

Patti Cohen, Block 6, Lot 31.


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