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Ice rink anyone

IPlan

Cyburbian
Messages
60
Points
4
Well, did it again... Upset this person.


http://www.woolwichobserver.com/headline_news.htm#news1

Township threatens end of local rink
By Casey Lessard
OBSERVER STAFF
It’s been featured on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, but Woolwich Township could close Rod Townsend’s rink on Listowel Road this winter.

For Townsend’s part, it won’t close without a fight.

“This is something community people use,” he said. “If [they] want to make a big deal out of it, bring it on, because I would have so many thousands of people in this town that would be all over them.”

Townsend and Woolwich planner Jeremy Vink have seen a lot of each other for the last five months because of zoning issues. First, there was concern over a minor variance for converting a shed into a pool house. Then there was concern about his parking transport trailers on one of his properties. Now the rink on his residential property east of Floradale Road is an issue.

“We advised the owner (Townsend) that the ice rink must remain accessory to the dwelling unit,” Vink said, “and shall not be used as a community ice rink, basically similar to an arena, where it’s open to the public. Minor hockey teams shouldn’t be practicing out there.”

“I asked him (Vink) to write down the definition of a community rink,” Townsend said, “and he said there is no definition that currently exists on the township books. This isn’t being logical anymore; I believe it’s a personal vendetta from my other zoning issues. I asked him to put what he told me in writing, and he told me he could not do that without his boss’ permission.”

The rink has been used for various community events over the five years that the Townsends have had it.

“We have different teams come out and practice,” he said, “the fire department has been out there, a couple of church groups have been out there for skates. We do the 3-on-3 tournaments twice a year. Those are always a success.

“We’ve never had any trouble; we’ve only had good things said about it.”

He said he does all this for the community, and spends thousands of dollars of his own money for maintenance and insurance.

“One year it cost me an extra $3,000 for insurance just to have the rink. And when we did make some money in a couple of the tournaments, I donated to the defibrillator fund in Elmira, as well as Woolwich Minor Hockey.”

These are the rules set out to Townsend by Vink: no more than two or three neighbourhood kids at a time; can’t have enough kids to play a game of hockey; parking and traffic must not become concerns; Woolwich Minor Hockey is not allowed to use the rink; and community members, such as Beavers, Brownies, Woolwich Fire Department, and church youth groups, can’t use the rink.

“I said I guess we’ll have to close down the Three Bridges school rink and the other Mennonite rinks that exist in the township,” Townsend said, “and he wasn’t aware that Three Bridges even existed.”

“When you change it from your typical backyard ice rink,” Vink said, “where you, the residents, use the rink and some of the neighbours’ kids come over once in a while, when you go beyond that – where you have change rooms, a zamboni, you let community teams use the ice rink or you’re renting it out – that goes beyond what is typical to someone’s backyard.”

“I take pride in the rink,” Townsend said, “and I’m proud that I can provide some extra ice time for people or hockey players or whatever. It just makes me sick – it’s ridiculous as far as I’m concerned,” he said of the township’s issues.

So what will he do this winter?

“I’ll put my rink up and carry on. What are they going to do? Come and melt my ice?”
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
It seems to me this is a question of the intensity of the use. A backyard ice rink is intended for the personal use of a small number of people. As this one is set up, it is commercial in nature, and in fact, the owner even refers to "profits" from some events. Commercial or public rinks are located in parks or in buildings in appropriately-zoned locations, they are subject to plan review, and are constructed to certain standards for the safety of the people using the rink or attending an event.
 

IPlan

Cyburbian
Messages
60
Points
4
Oh, I do not agree with how they use the rink, based on what he has stated about it. All I did was warn him that the nature/scale of how he uses the rink could be an issue.

We have some other on going issues on his property that we are still resolving too.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
IPlan? said:
....We have some other on going issues on his property that we are still resolving too.


First, you should be handling all of these issues with him at one time. If you are tackling these issues one at a time only, he may very well have a legitimate argument that you are harrassing him.

If you can't put things in writting to him, you are hiding your intentions and harrassing him.

We need more information. How big is his lot, what percentage of his lot is taken up by the ice rink. What type of surrounding uses does he have (density issues, urban, suburban, rural).

Is there a way to look into incorporating this into your park system? How is a zamboni qualitativly different from a monster ford explorer, especially when it won't leave the property.

Obviously there is a need he is filling.

Do his neighbors actually complain or are the "complaints" if any, being dug up? How long has he been supporting this ice rink?

Safety? The guy spent money to insure his assets by getting insurance, if the rink wasn't in safe order, why would the company give him the insurance.

By looking at the location in map quest, you look to be a small town, is this the case?

The following is pretty draconian, I have 2 kids, they can have only 1 friend come to play? No information for us on traffic concearns.

"no more than two or three neighbourhood kids at a time; can’t have enough kids to play a game of hockey; parking and traffic must not become concerns; Woolwich Minor Hockey is not allowed to use the rink; and community members, such as Beavers, Brownies, Woolwich Fire Department, and church youth groups, can’t use the rink."

whats the real beef with this guy? It seems to me like you have a wonderful community asset that you are detirmined to destroy? I would hope you could find a creative solution. You may also have a political price to pay if its not lopsided in your favor. As per another thread on cyburbia where the town was trying to tear down the volunteer fire department building, even if you are right you may still end up on the loosing side.
 

IPlan

Cyburbian
Messages
60
Points
4
I wish to clarify, I never stated how many people he could have on the rink. They demanded something in writing that day. I explained I could not do that right then and there, but would provide it.

We have been trying to address all of the issues for months now. It has been a long process back and forth with information betweent the two sides. He was just advised about how the rink should operate, when it is in use.

His lot is a few acres in size, just outside of the settlement, in lands designated Rural (for agricultural and agricultural related uses only, although a dwelling unit is permitted). A large portion of the lot is treed.

I just want to point out that I am not looking for help, just frustrated. We are doing what we can to reslove the issues, and just trying to avoid future issues with the ice rink before the winter starts.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
IPlan? said:
.....I just want to point out that I am not looking for help, just frustrated. We are doing what we can to reslove the issues, and just trying to avoid future issues with the ice rink before the winter starts.
Ok, I sense you are frustrated. Its hard to side with you on this one though. He is zoned agricultural on several acres of land. If the man can put up a safe place to play hockey, and that does not seem to be in dispute, it should be ok. It is clearly a rural zoning so the traffic issues are limited. Short of trying to bring him into the park system, whats the goal of limiting the ice rink? It sounds like he is financially covered.

Profit? you would let him make money by growing potatoes, you would let a restaurant build, a manufacturing plant go in if possible more than likely. It seems the land use of outdoor ice rink would be seasonal. Does this mean farming would fall under the same thinking? If he kept a flat space of grass would you prevent a soccer or baseball field?

These are the gems that make a community more livable and provide quality of life. Without a clear reason to prohibit, I believe it should be encouraged. I would encourage this, not even from a property rights issue (don't know what Canada has for property rights), but from the standpoint of community enrichment. It could be used as a draw for your community.

Could use info on other "issues" going on with site that could change the outlook as the rink is the only real issue we have on hand.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
This sounds like one of those tricky cases where upholding the ordinance makes planners seem bad. Essentially, sounds like what he's doing is using an ag/residential lot commercially. It's an overintensification, even if he does have a few acres. but he could just apply for a variance and a commercial license if need be. or even a rezoning. basically, not to be too euclidean here, but he isn't using the site for what it's zoned for. so it's wrong, even if the use is great and a community asset, which it sounds like it is. i'd encourage him to find a way to legitimize the rink and incorporate it into the community somehow.

just my 2 $ worth (keyboards don't have cents symbols anymore).
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Plannerbabs said:
This sounds like one of those tricky cases where upholding the ordinance makes planners seem bad. Essentially, sounds like what he's doing is using an ag/residential lot commercially. It's an overintensification, even if he does have a few acres. but he could just apply for a variance and a commercial license if need be. or even a rezoning. basically, not to be too euclidean here, but he isn't using the site for what it's zoned for. so it's wrong, even if the use is great and a community asset, which it sounds like it is. i'd encourage him to find a way to legitimize the rink and incorporate it into the community somehow.

just my 2 $ worth (keyboards don't have cents symbols anymore).
Agreed. Rezone and comply with the requirements of the district (and building code) regarding safety, traffic, sanitation, etc. Keep up the struggle Iplan, you are right. (Just my 2¢, or $2 Canadian)
 
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