Permitted legal uses may not be the same as wise uses say MW Friends

Editor’s note: The Current recently published a letter from David Hunter, President of Combermere Lodge Limited. Click HERE to read that letter. The Current has now received the following response from Friends of the Madawaska Watershed.

Dear Editor,

Friends of the Madawaska Watershed (MW Friends) is disappointed in the response of Combermere Lodge Limited (CLL) to community concerns about the Chippawa Shores development, as recently expressed in a letter to The Madawaska Valley Current.

We believe that Mr. Hunter has received legal advice to support his analysis of what a developer is legally permitted to do in the area presently zoned as Tourism Commercial and Residential One-Exception.

However, all possible permitted legal uses may not be the same as wise uses.

It is the responsibility of Madawaska Valley Township Council to consider the long-term effects of a project on its taxpayers and on the environment in which we live, before they approve the rezoning request.

Two public meetings were held in which responses to the plans of CLL were raised. Almost all comments highlighted problems with the plan and proposed solutions to environmental and other issues. However, no comment we can recall said that the project was illegitimate or should be abandoned.

We remain of the opinion that the development plan, appropriately modified to address the concerns of the Independent Peer Reviewer hired by the County, and the science-based concerns expressed at the public meetings can be successful.

A plan that makes long-term environmental sense will also make long-term economic sense, both for the developer and the township.

That is what our group will continue to lobby for.

Friends of the Madawaska Watershed

We encourage all readers to visit our website where we have articulated our concerns and posted links to township and county documents pertaining to this proposed development.



  1. Dan Olshen

    We concur with the observations of the Friends of the Madawaska Watershed for the follwing reasons:

    In his conclusions to the petition against the Chippawa Development (in its current format), Mr. Hunter seems to imply that the CLL route is the only option to be considered as viable, and negates the Commercial Tourism Development option for which the property is currently zoned for and has been for approx., the last 50 years.
    In his opinion, a suburbia type of development (with no tourism potential) is preferable to one where we would have sustained economic development vis a vis a short-term building spree for the 40 lots CLL hopes to liquidate and after the last septic is dug and flushing begins: Nada/not much.
    The Civic minded supporters of the petition deserve credit for highlighting the flaws in CLL’s argument as this being an eco-environmentally friendly project as well as the many public inputs from concerned residents of the MV at the 2 forums and deliberations forwarded to Cheeseman at the County.
    One might add that there is no strategic vision from CLL in their exploitation of one of last remaining property gems (as a lot sale) on Kamaniskeg. Furthermore, if one looks at the macro picture – it is difficult to envisage any long-term economic development as a result of this lot sale. The Twp. Of MV sorely needs to address the long-term employment prospects of local residents and especially our MVDH graduates who leave for the “big city”, as their employment opportunities here are marginal.
    IMHO, this is one of last remaining commercially viable tourism bona-fida tracts on Kamaniskeg and merits a status not as new suburb in the MV:
    BUT as a venue for eco-tourism which is on the hockey stick growth curve of the future, and especially after the Covid-19 epoch, where foreign destinations will have lessor appeal. With some creativity and imagination a “true” project developer could deploy or employ many personnel and provide some much needed Long-Term employment in the area as well as the project being an enabler to attract other businesses and ratchet up the area’s prospects as a great 4 seasons tourist destination, and as a debarkation point to the Algonquin Park. The present proposal postulated by Mr. Hunter provides very limited attributes to these objectives and to the sustainable future of the MV.

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