Council approves reduced development setbacks and smaller waterfront back lots.
On November 10, Council voted to amend the Official Plan to allow a standard shoreline setback of 20 metres for new development on all lakes in the Township. Currently the standard is 20 metres for larger lakes and 30 metres for smaller more remote lakes that are considered to be more sensitive to development (Category 3 lakes). Council also voted in favour of reducing the minimum required size of waterfront back lots from the current standard of 10 acres to 7 acres, while maintaining the requirement of a minimum of 440 feet of frontage on a year-round maintained public road (a waterfront back lot is a lot situated behind a waterfront lot and within 500 metres of the shoreline). In voting for these amendments, Council rejected the recommendation of the township’s planning staff, the recommendation of the professional planning consultant hired to facilitate the Official Plan Review and input from the public. The Lake of Bays Association advocated strongly that the current standards for development setbacks and lot size be maintained. The current standards were established with intention to ensure the environmental integrity and natural character of Lake of Bays is preserved. A well informed rationale for these changes was never presented and LOBA is disappointed with this outcome.