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Charges follow Oro-Medonte staff investigation

Andrew Philips

By Andrew Philips, Special to Postmedia Network

Burl's Creek event grounds in Oro-Medonte Township are pictured.

SUBMITTED PHOTO Burl's Creek event grounds in Oro-Medonte Township are pictured.

Oro-Medonte officials have laid charges in connection with two major summer music festivals last summer.

Township Mayor Harry Hughes said Burl's Creek Event Grounds has been charged with two counts stemming from 2016's editions of the WayHome and Boots & Hearts music festivals.

The charges were laid recently in Orillia provincial offences court with the case put over to May 8.

Hughes said the charges follow a staff investigation into the two festivals that identified municipality zoning bylaw and licensing violations by allowing camping and vendors on a certain portion of the large site off Highway 11.

"There were zoning infractions," Hughes said, noting the charges had to be laid in court since the infractions don't fall under the municipality's schedule of fees and charges.

"It's no different than a parking ticket. We have bylaws and if people violate the bylaws (they) would be charged."

In a statement, Burl's Creek said it fully expects to be exonerated.

"We appeared before provincial court, the matter has been adjourned and we anticipate being cleared of any charges," the emailed statement reads. "We're looking forward to bringing world class events to the region in the 2017 season."

Hughes said the township's bylaw department earlier investigated the Barrie Automotive Flea Market, but found the outdoor market operated on appropriately zoned lands and, therefore, no charges were or will be laid.

For 2015, Burl's Creek was fined $200,000 following charges after events that summer.

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