There are currently 287 private cottage leases in Rondeau Provincial Park. These cottage leases were originally established between 1894 and 1950 and terminate on December 31, 2017, pursuant to the terms of the leases, Ontario Regulation 347/07 under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006 (PPCRA), provincial park policy and the Rondeau Provincial Park Management Plan.
The Ministry is proposing a policy that would give existing private cottage leaseholders a one time opportunity to enter into a new lease, with new conditions, that would extend the existing private cottage leaseholder’s term of occupation until the earlier of the following: (1) the date of the existing private cottage leaseholder’s death; or (2) December 31, 2038.
It is proposed that, for the purposes of this policy, an “existing private cottage leaseholder” would be defined as:
(a) the leaseholder(s) registered on title as of 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on September 1, 2010; or
(b) the person(s) or entity to whom/which an existing lease would be transferred under an agreement of purchase and sale provided that both of the following conditions are met:
(i) the Ministry received an application in writing for its consent to transfer the lease, in accordance with the terms of the lease, prior to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on September 1, 2010; and
(ii) the Ministry provides, or has provided, its written consent to the transfer of the lease; or
(c) the surviving spouse of a person(s) captured by either (a) or (b) above.
It is proposed that a person(s) or entity who/which does not satisfy this definition of “existing private cottage leaseholder” would not be eligible for the new lease.
Terms and Conditions of the New Lease
It is proposed that the new lease would begin on January 1, 2014 and would contain conditions reflective of requirements under the PPCRA, including policy and regulatory provisions, and requirements under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 (ESA). It is proposed that the new lease would also include conditions such as the following:
no lease transfers are allowed except to a spouse on the death of the leaseholder;
the lease would be for recreational use only, not for use as a permanent residence;
the leaseholders would be required to remove buildings and structures and to restore lots to a safe and clean condition at their own expense, upon termination of leases;
septic and water systems on the leased properties would have to comply with the standards of the Ontario Building Code and any other relevant provincial standards, and leaseholders would be responsible for all related costs, including any inspections and repairs or improvements required to bring their system(s) into compliance;
the lease fee would be based on fair market value and the associated service fee would be based on cost recovery;
the Crown would retain the sole right to purchase the lease on a willing seller/willing buyer basis; and
any additional conditions that the Ministry considers to be necessary or appropriate to restore the ecological integrity of the park and protect species at risk and their habitat (e.g., native species planting, pesticide bans, restricting access to sensitive areas).
Subsequent Proposal to Amend Ontario Regulation 347/07
If, following consultation, the Ministry decides that it wishes to pursue new leases that would extend the term of the existing private cottage leaseholder’s occupation beyond December 31, 2017, an amendment would be proposed to Section 13 of Ontario Regulation 347/07 (Provincial Parks: General Provisions) under the PPCRA to reflect the expiry date of the new leases.
Leaseholders Who Do Not Enter Into the New Lease
For existing private cottage leaseholders who do not enter into the new lease, their existing lease will terminate on December 31, 2017, in accordance with terms of their existing lease.
This policy proposal is being updated to reflect policy adjustments being made in consideration of comments received on the 2010 proposal and to provide a link to seven environmental reports and one economic report on Rondeau Provincial Park. If there is a decision to extend the occupational authority of cottage lots in Rondeau Provincial Park until 2038, the three policy adjustments from the 2010 policy proposal are as follows:
• Enable cottagers to transfer the tenure agreement for their cottage lot to other individuals, subject to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) consent;
• Create a common expiry date of December 31, 2038; and
• MNRF would issue an extension to the existing tenure agreements (i.e., current terms and conditions with the exception of new rents and service fees) for a period of no more than five years, to allow time for cottagers to meet eligibility conditions (e.g., cottage lot survey, sewage inspections and remediation) and for MNRF to process new tenure instruments for each cottage lot.
MNRF is proceeding to evaluate the environmental effects of the project through the environmental assessment process to further inform a decision on this policy proposal.