Smaller Waterfront Back Lots Approved by District Council
Latest Update on Lake of Bays Official Plan – July 5, 2016:
On June 20th, The District of Muskoka Council approved the updated Official Plan for the Township of Lake of Bays, including an amendment to reduce the minimum size of waterfront back lots from the current standard of 10 acres to 7 acres (4 hectares to 3 hectares). The Lake of Bays Association (LOBA) has advocated strongly against changing the current back lot size standards and will be appealing Council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Our appeal will relate only to the matter of waterfront back lots.
By voting in favour of smaller waterfront back lots, District Council has chosen to reject the recommendation of both the District’s and Township’s Planning Departments and the recommendation of the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and housing. This amendment was approved by Council without a clear policy basis for the change or any analysis of how many lots this would result in, where they would be located or how this might affect municipal servicing requirements. LOBA believes strongly that changes to planning or other policies that impact the natural environment need to be carefully studied and evaluated so that the short and long term impacts may be understood to ensure they do not individually, or in aggregate, unintentionally degrade the economic engine and unique quality of Muskoka – its natural environment. Our concerns were submitted in a letter to District Council prior to their June 20th meeting.
LOBA has reported on the status of the Official Plan amendments, and in particular the proposal to reduce the size of back lots, throughout the Official Plan Review process and we have received strong support for our position from our membership. We will continue to keep our members informed and will seek further member endorsement as appropriate. For more background information on this issue, please see our June 15th Newsflash here.
Any individual or group who made oral or written submission at a public meeting or written a submission to council, may appeal a council resolution. A notice of appeal to the OMB on Amendment No. 16 to the Lake of Bays Official Plan must be received by the District Municipality of Muskoka on or before July 14, 2016. For information on how to file an appeal, contact Debbie Crowder, District Clerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org (District Municipality of Muskoka, 70 Pine Street, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1N3).