On March 8 The Current published an article describing the proposed Combermere Lodge Limited condo development that was discussed at the Council meeting on March 5. Click HERE to read that report. Over the Easter weekend, The Current was provided with copies of two letters sent to the Mayor complaining that leasehold rights to properties on the Chippawa Resort were being ignored by the developer.
One of the leaseholders, Cathryn Farbiak, who states that she has been a cottager at Chippawa Resort since 1961, wrote as follows:
31 March 2018
Ms Kim Love, Mayor
Else Lee Faith Archer, Chair, Property and Development
Ernie Peplinksi, Vice-Chair, Property and Development
TOWNSHIP OF MADAWASKA VALLEY
PO BOX 1000
BARRYS BAY ON KOJ 1BO
Dear Ms Love, Ms Archer, and Mr Peplinski:
RE: PROPOSAL BY COMBERMERE LODGE LIMITED
Combermere Lodge Limited has put forward a proposal to you for a condominium development on their property which is currently the site of Chippawa Cottage Resort. It is my understanding that property owners in the area were made aware of this by the municipality at the beginning of March, but those of us who have leases on the property, which are registered on title, have only just become aware that this proposal has gone to council. My lease is in effect until 2032.
My family and I, which now comprise a very large group, have spent time each year since 1961 on Lake Kamaniskeg. Although we are only part-time residents we consider the area to be home and support a lot of businesses in the area, especially in Combermere, Barry’s Bay and Wilno, and talk it up constantly with everyone in our circles. Not only is it the most beautiful area in Ontario, we especially love the culture. In fact, everyone got a Wilno Express CD for Christmas this year. We are currently looking for accommodation in the area for future years as there is the next generation to consider (who are now between the ages of 0-6 years) as we want them to love the Valley, even though something closer to our homes would make more sense such as Kawartha or Muskoka. But they just won’t do.
I realize that you consider development to be good for the municipality, but there are unresolved legal issues that Combermere Lodge has yet to address with its leaseholders despite correspondence from myself and others and more lately our lawyer. I am asking we be allowed the time to get this issue resolved before any approvals are given to the development and change in use of this property.
Leaseholders Lindsay and Marilyn Fleming have also written to express similar concerns. The Flemings said none of the leaseholders attended the March 5 meeting because they were not informed of it. They were unaware of the meeting until one of them read The Current’s report.
The Current subsequently learned that the Mayor has referred the leaseholders to Charles Cheesman, Manager of Planning Services, County of Renfrew.
This morning David Hunter, President of Combermere Lodge Limited, through his lawyer provided The Current with the following statement:
I am authorized by the developer to suggest that you inform your readers that the leaseholders have engaged a lawyer and that the matter is a civil legal matter that will be resolved, if necessary, by the court, and is irrelevant to the municipality’s consideration of the proposed development.
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The new owner / buyer will have to honor the leases but I don’t think he will be obliged to renew. He can also try and buy lease holders out if they are receptive to his buy-out.
He can also ask the current owner to serve notice if there is any sort of cancellation and demo clause in the lease.
I did not know that if there was a lease registered on title of a property that the same property could be subdivided and potentially sold to someone. That just seems rather bizarre to me.