Township of Muskoka Lakes Re: Shipping Container Buildings - May 12, 2021
The Environment Committee of the Muskoka Lakes Association (“MLA”) has become aware of two applications being considered by Township Council for buildings made from used shipping containers: a 1,600 square foot retail building at 75 Joseph Street; and 3 shipping containers at the Boatworks site on Indian River to be used as retail space for a 4-year period.
Ontario Bill 245: Accelerating Access to Justice Act - March 12, 2021
The MLA has reviewed Bill 245: Accelerating Access to Justice Act, 2021 (the “Bill”), and is of the view that Sections 6 and 10 should be withdrawn from the Bill for the reasons described below.
Draft Official Plan Amendment XX (Resort Village of Minett) - February 10, 2021
We are attaching a chart that we hope will help you visualize how the development review has progressed through its various stages. Our chart compares a number of attributes of the current conditions with
Township of Muskoka Lakes 2021 Municipal Budget - February 10, 2021
Any discussion of budgeting must be prefaced by acknowledging that in 2020, a worldwide pandemic was and still is having a profound impact on the economy, with the service industry being particularly hard hit. It is unlikely that the summer of 2021 will be much different than the summer of 2020. As of January 30, 2021, only 0.30%  of Canadians have been fully inoculated, while widespread reports of reduced vaccine shipments and the threat of new virus variants makes it doubtful life will return to normal in 2021.
Muskoka Lakes Association letter to MMC - January 15, 2021
As input for District Council’s ongoing review of Municipal Modernization (MM), this letter provides comments on behalf of the members of the Muskoka Lakes Association, Friends of Muskoka, and the 14 community associations who have endorsed the principles and recommendations in this letter, whose members are both permanent and seasonal waterfront residents across the District of Muskoka. Together our position is supported by approximately 62,000 (77%) of the District’s estimated 81,000 seasonal community which makes up 57% of the District’s population. We have been following the MM process closely, and we trust that you will find the positions articulated herein both helpful and informative.
Dr. Williams Letter re District Council Meeting - January 14, 2021
It has come to my attention that District of Muskoka Council has not yet completed the requirement in the Municipal Act, 2001 (s. 218, (6)) to review the number of members of its council that represent the lower-tier municipalities. I have seen several of the documents prepared by District staff and other interested parties to this review and would like to provide to members of the District Council, through you, with some observations about several of the matters still being discussed.
MLA_FOM_MM Coalition Letter - January 8, 2021
As input for District Council’s ongoing review of Municipal Modernization (MM), this letter provides comments on behalf of the members of the Muskoka Lakes Association and Friends of Muskoka whose members are both permanent and seasonal waterfront residents. The signatories to this letter represent a significant share of the District’s estimated 81,000 seasonal community which makes up 57% of the District’s population.
MLAFOM Letter re Legacy Condo - December 15, 2020
Friends of Muskoka and the Muskoka Lakes Association extend our sincere appreciation to Council and Planning Staff for the extensive time and effort that has clearly been made to improve the Township’s condominium agreement with Legacy Cottages. A number of the concerns we expressed to you in our previous submissions and delegations have been addressed in the revised agreement, which we acknowledge and appreciate:
MLA Letter to TML minor variance McGlynn property - December 13. 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association has been advised of a minor variance application being considered at tomorrow’s Committee of Adjustment meeting, Agenda item 9g. The applicant is seeking permission to construct an addition to its existing boathouse to create an area that is identified on its drawings as a ‘storage area’, which will exceed the permissible lot coverage and boathouse width limits in the applicable zoning by-laws.
District Council Composition Review - December 3. 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association and Friends of Muskoka have been following closely the District’s Municipal Modernization review process. We appreciate the Committee and Council’s efforts to keep moving this review along.
Mainland Parking and Docking Facilities for new Water Access Properties - November 27, 2020
The MLA agrees that marina letters are insufficient proof of mainland access for the reasons set out in the White Paper, and also agrees that the Township should not be delegating to marinas the task of determining whether mainland access meets the OP requirement of being ‘secured’ and ‘long-term’. I
Servicing Options for Minette - November 20, 2020
Both the MLA and FOM have been involved in the Minett file for the past 2 years. We strongly supported the recommendations of the Minett Joint Policy Review Steering Committee (MJPRSC) that density needed to be reduced, that residential land uses should not be permitted on the waterfront and that Minett is not an appropriate location for a settlement area. Hence, we recommended that any further development proceed on Private Communal Services (PCS) as they would be purpose built to serve one resort development.
District Council Composition Review - November 11, 2020
We would like to address two issues: the number of seats on District Council, and weighted voting. We agree with the philosophy espoused by several members of the Municipal Modernization Committee (MMC) at your November 4th meeting that all lower tier (LT) municipalities be allowed a fair voice in District Council decisions.
MLA Letter re Seguin OP - October 26, 2020
Thank you for this opportunity for the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) to provide comments in connection with Seguin Township’s Official Plan review. The MLA represents more than 2500 families within Muskoka, extending from Seguin Township in the north to Gravenhurst in the south, as well as Bracebridge and the Township of Muskoka Lakes. Our association includes residents on the three big lakes and the numerous small lakes within Muskoka. This letter outlines our comments which we hope will inform your deliberations regarding policies to be included in Seguin’s new Official Plan.
Amendment to the Commercial Site Plan Agreement - October 26, 2020
The MLA is concerned that the draft SPA as written is inadequate. Our concerns are based on the long-standing mission of the MLA of protecting the unique Muskoka environment and promoting conservation and responsible use of the waterfront.
We remain concerned for the scope and scale of development that is proposed for this largely natural area. The EIS prepared on behalf of the proponent and other documents prepared by consultants for the Town and the South Bracebridge Environmental Protection Group have identified the presence of wetlands, potentially significant terrestrial habitats as well as the presence of or potential for a number of Species At Risk. Wetlands are important landscapes for water management and biodiversity. Careful assessment and mitigation of adjacent land use changes need to be incorporated into any development plan.
Release of the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group Report - September 23, 2020
In August 2018, Ontario announced a $5 million Muskoka Watershed Conservation and Management Initiative to better identify risks and issues facing the Muskoka Region. A year later it appointed the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG) to provide advice and recommendations to you to help protect and conserve the Muskoka Watershed and support the economic growth of the region.
District of Muskoka Municipal Modernization Review - September 22, 2020
The MLA's views on the Municipal Modernization review currently taking place in the District of Muskoka. This information and our views on the matter have previously been shared with District Chair John Klinck and the 22 District Councillors. It is our view that the fundamental electoral and resulting governance model of the District of Muskoka is broken as the chart below illustrates. We believe the current antiquated model is inconsistent with modern representation by population democratic principles.
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) and Friends of Muskoka (FOM) are writing in connection with the draft condominium agreement between the Township and TRG-KFH (Lakeside) Inc. (“Legacy”) that is being considered at tomorrow’s Planning Committee meeting.
Request for Community Input for Short-Term Accommodations/Cottage Rentals - September 7, 2020
The MLA recognizes that Seguin’s existing zoning does not permit any rental of residential waterfront cottages, and supports Council’s review of its rules in light of the increasing numbers of short term cottage rentals – both directly by cottagers, and through commercial cottage rental businesses.
This significant pause in development in Minett provides all of us, including the Mayor, Members of Council, Township Staff, the Property Owners, other stakeholders and the wider community with an extraordinary opportunity to replace what is no longer viable with a sustainable successful model for resort development that we, and the generations that follow, can be proud of for the next one hundred plus years.
Official Plan Review of Resort Policies Council Agenda Item 8.k - August 11, 2020
The Township lost its three cases at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) when it tried to prevent residential development on commercial resort properties, because LPAT stated that the Township’s resort policies are too ‘vague’ and ‘unclear’
District Review of Resort Commercial Condominium Applications - July 15, 2020
We are writing in connection with the resolution being considered at today’s Council meeting to recommend to District Council that applications relating to resort commercial condominium descriptions for lands in the Township of Muskoka Lakes be referred to District’s Community and Planning Services Committee (CPSC), rather than being delegated to District staff.
In its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province has made some difficult decisions in the interest of long-term public health protection that have taken a toll on peoples’ lives and the economy. There have also been unexpected consequences to the environment and natural greenspace resources in the province as more people have descended on our parks and open spaces.
The MLA strongly supports policies that enable establishment of zoning regulations where lakes are near or over capacity based on the RCC model as a guideline on small and medium-sized lakes. The example of lot development on Maryjane and Camel Lakes brought this to light recently
We are writing in support of the recommendations made by the Director of Development Services and Environmental Sustainability in his June 11th 2020 report regarding the Resort Village of Minett Joint Official Plan Policy Review, which appears as item 5(h) in the Agenda for the June 11th Special Council Meeting.
We are writing in connection with a recommendation from the Manager of Planning dated June 11, 2020 that certain planning applications for Consent (rights of way, easements, lot additions, lot creations and lot re-configurations) be delegated to the Director of Development Services and Environmental Sustainability rather than sent to the Committee of Adjustment (CofA) if no concerns are raised by the public and/or Staff concerns can be satisfactorily addressed. This proposal was already made to Council in February 2019 and was defeated. At the time, Friends of Muskoka submitted a letter disagreeing with the proposed delegation.
As you are aware, the Friends of Muskoka supported by the Muskoka Lakes Association have been challenging the premise for declaring several projects in the Township of Muskoka Lakes as resorts. We have actively participated in the Villas, Touchstone and Legacy LPAT hearings. Our objection is related to the definition of resort and ensuring that the District Official Plan provisions are upheld.
MLA Letter to TML RE: 2020 Budget- June 2020
Thank you for the opportunity to review the proposed budget for 2020. We understand how difficult it is to be trying to budget while in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which has changed so many of our assumptions virtually overnight. Nevertheless, it is now our reality and this review of your budget has been undertaken with that lens.
MLA and FOM letter re: Municipal Modernization Committee - May 26, 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) and Friends of Muskoka (FOM) commend Muskoka District Council for both its recent creation of a Municipal Modernization Committee ( the “Committee” ), as well as its leadership in raising the quality of the dialogue as we confront COVID-19 in our community.
MLA Letter to TML RE: 2020 Budget - April 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) is an active participant in municipal affairs across the District. Regularly, we comment on municipal budgets on behalf of our more than 2,000 member families consisting of both permanent and seasonal residents.
The Muskoka Lakes Association supports the initiative of the Planning Committee to review the minimum setbacks for sports courts and recreational surfaces from the shorelines.
Strategic Plan Comments MLA & FOM - March 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) and Friends of Muskoka (FOM) applaud Council for its initiative in engaging in strategic planning to establish the goals and priorities that will direct the activities of staff and Council over its term of office.
FOM & MLA Letter to TML Council Regarding Official Plan - February 2020
Friends of Muskoka (FOM) and the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) have reviewed the Director of Planning’s Report dated February 14, 2020 regarding the Township’s Official Plan (OP) review and draft vision statements produced by LURA Consulting for consideration at tomorrow’s Planning Committee meeting.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide additional input to the work of the Muskoka Watershed Advisory Group (MWAG). The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) represents over 2000 families and for over 125 years we have promoted the responsible use, enjoyment and conservation of the unique Muskoka environment.
TML Official Plan Vision Statement/ MLA Submission - February 2020
The Muskoka Lakes Association is following closely the development of the new official plan for the Township of Muskoka Lakes. In support of the plan, our executive brainstormed a vision statement that we offer to the Township of Muskoka Lakes as you craft the plan.
MLA Comments & Recommendations on 2020 Gravenhurst Budget - January 2020
The Town of Gravenhurst (the “Town”) is asking for a 5.8% increase in property taxes for 2020, compared with inflation rate of just 1.9% in 2019
MLA Submission on Mary Jane Lake Subdivision - December 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association is here to express our continued concern for the revised proposal that has been submitted to the District and Township of Muskoka Lakes.
MLA-FOM Submission on TML's Committee Structure - December 2019
Council approved changes to its Standing Committee structure in March 2019, and agreed to review them after six months and consider the public’s input. The MLA and FOM are providing our thoughts on the new structure, and hope they help with Council’s review.
Lakeshore Landing MLA Comments on Development proposal to expand - November 2019
Thank you for providing the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) with an opportunity to comment on the new zoning application by Lakeshore Landing Marina to expand its docks. The MLA represents more than 2,500 families in Muskoka, extending from Seguin Township in the north to Gravenhurst in the south, as well as Bracebridge and the Township of Muskoka Lakes. Our Association also represents residents on numerous small lakes within Muskoka.
MLA Submission on the Provincial Policy Statement Review - October 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS).
MLA Letter to Doug McNeil Special Flood Advisor - October 2019
Muskoka region has suffered an unprecedented 3 significant flood events over the past 6 springs. The impacts to our communities and waterfront property owners have been substantial and repeated.
Water levels in the Muskoka Lakes are controlled under the Muskoka River Water Management Plan (MRWMP). The MRWMP had an expiry date of 2016
Monitoring Compliance of Sewage Works in Muskoka | JW Marriott - September 2019
We received a copy of the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks Provincial Officers Order and Report and learned through it, that there have been other incidents with their sewage works that have not been acted upon after interactions with Ministry officials.
It is our understanding that the Applicant’s property at 1646 Juddhaven Road is located on a point of land extending into Lake Rosseau, a Category 1 Lake.
Recently the MLA participated in the District of Muskoka Official Plan process. We made a number of suggestions for their policies related to development and environment that must cascade through to the local official plans. Our comments today mirror those.
The development proposal takes a small lake, some 10 hectares in size, and lots out the entire lake. While the lots are big, they leave no room for the lake. No room for the environment.
We appreciate this opportunity to submit answers to various questions you raised during our presentations to you on the Regional Government Review on May 14, 2019.
As you may be aware, our community has been repeatedly devastated by spring floods, most recently in 2013, 2016 and 2019. Cumulative property damage caused by these three flooding events is now measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars and in many cases is non-insured or uninsurable.
05_14_2019_Regional Government Review.pdf - May 2019
The MLA has an excellent working relationship with both the District of Muskoka and the individual towns and townships in our area. We value the ability to be able to interact with councillors as well as the Mayors and Chair of the District.
04_11_2019_McCormick Letter.pdf - April 2019
It is our understanding that the Applicant’s property is at the end of Proctor’s Point on Lake Joseph, and that the eastern portion of the property is a restricted waterbody zone (WR4-R) (see attached zoning map from the District’s website).
At the Council meeting on April 12th you will consider a report recommending that the Interim Control By-law (ICBL) for the Resort Village of Minett be extended for 1 more year.
MLA Letter RE Muskoka Royale Development - April 2019
It is our understanding that the applicant intends to develop a boarding school and summer camp on the site that will provide educational, recreational and residential facilities for the students and staff.
Re: Comments on Regional Review.pdf - March 2019
The province has embarked on review of regional governance, including the District of Muskoka. It is our understanding that the Mayors and Chair are meeting with the review committee on February 20, 2019.
Regularly, we comment on municipal budgets on behalf of our 2,300 member families consisting of both permanent and seasonal residents. This year we have added Gravenhurst to our formal budget review.
TML 2019 Budget Letter vFinal.pdf - February 2019
As a matter of reflection, having witnessed the January 22nd introductory budget meeting, we are encouraged by the new Council’s determination in dealing with its fiscal challenges, and we are hopeful that this represents the “dawning of a new day”. Our comments on the 2019 Budget are presented below.
MLA - L-13-02-19_BalaBayInn-ZBLA.pdf - February 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) is providing comments on the proposed exemption to By-law 5.2.1 2014-14 to permit staff and contractors quarters at the Bala Bay Inn/Hostel as a permitted main use in the community commercial – resort commercial C1B zone.
MLA on Bill 66-Jan20-19.pdf - January 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association has deep concerns about many aspects of Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competiveness Act 2018 and more specifically with Schedule 10.
Sept 12 Letter RE Leonard Lake.pdf - October 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association previously provided comments on this application (December 13, 2016) to the Committee of Adjustment concerning and Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law amendment to allow for the creation of 5 new lots on Leonard Lake. Leonard Lake is deemed to be an over threshold lake by the District of Muskoka and thus new lot creation was not appropriate.
GSLRA Address to Gravenhurst Council.pdf - October 2019
I assume the members of Council have read the objections and concerns of the citizens and lake associations regarding this application, and I would like to acknowledge the comments the Muskoka Lakes Association, the Friends of Muskoka and the Kahshe Lake Ratepayers Association as being particularly on point.
MLA Moody Bay Submission.pdf- October 2019
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) actively participated in the development of the most recent Gravenhurst Official Plan to ensure that our values for Muskoka, the environment and especially the shoreline are built into policy.
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) requests that council defer approval of this application pending changes with respect to the building setbacks from the shoreline and satisfactory resolution of the capacity of the sewage disposal system.
Important Letter to Everyone Who Loves Muskoka.pdf - February 2018
The District of Muskoka is considering a policy change that will result in an alarming increase in the number of condos and residential communities on the Muskoka waterfront.
We have since attended the District open houses, stakeholders meetings, and have had the opportunity to consider comments from other participants. We offer the following comments on the District of Muskoka Official Plan Draft dated May 3, 2017 hereinafter called the OP
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) represents approximately 2300 families in Muskoka. While the majority of our members , reside on the big three lakes of Muskoka, Rousseau and Joseph, a significant number, own properties on over 22 of the smaller lakes in Muskoka. Most of our members are seasonal owners. But an increasing number choose to become full time residents and live on the waterfront or in the towns of Gravenhurst and Bracebridge
We agree with the District of Muskoka that “water is an essential part of Muskoka’s natural environment” and that “in the face of changing climate and the pressures of growth and development, continued strong action is needed to protect, maintain and where possible. enhance the health of Muskoka’s watershed for present and future generations.”
Today, we wish to provide feedback on the issue of resort development, for your further consideration. We have met with other stakeholders to discuss resort development. We agree that it is one of the most complex issues to address.
Letter to Gravenhurst Re Budget 2017 - March 2017
The MLA has also participated in municipal and district budget deliberations for the four municipalities of interest to our membership: Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Township of Muskoka Lakes, Seguin Township, as well as the District of Muskoka. With respect to municipal budgets, our objective is to encourage responsible public expenditures and modest increases in spending, thus potentially reducing or at least restraining, property tax increases.
Letter to Twp Muskoka Lakes re PJD properties Feb 16 2017.pdf - February 2017
Two years ago, this council approved a new zoning by-law. By-law 2014-14 reinforced the belief that development on the waterfront in Muskoka needs careful regulation to ensure that the natural environment is protected and maintained. The new by-law re-stated that one dwelling unit per lot is permitted in a waterfront residential zone.
MLA-MNRF letter_re_MRWMP - February 2017
Since last we met in August of last year, the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has made further study of the water level control issue, including seeking advice from experts in neighbouring jurisdictions. We wish to modify our previous short term request to be more in line with the “tweaking” you had proposed at the meeting but subsequently removed from consideration in a follow-up letter dated August 24, 2016.
The MLA now wishes to advance a proposal that would assist in mitigating observed changes in regional climate, understanding that this proposal would not spare all lakeshore structures from flooding but may, hopefully, lessen the amount and duration of high water exposure
The MLA has carefully read and considered the DOM Official Plan Review report Towards Establishing Planning Policy Directions dated October 21, 2016. We also attended the DOM Official Plan Review Open House held January 18, 2017.
Mayor and Council Gravenhurst-Dec 2016 Final.pdf - December 2016
We were pleased to see that a number of our comments and suggestions have been incorporated into the draft Official Plan. For the benefit of council, we reiterate how important the environment is to the Muskoka experience – the water quality and the natural surroundings are essential elements of the Town’s economy.
Letter to Twp Muskoka Lakes re Noonan_McIntosh 131216.pdf - December 2016
The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) has met with representatives of Leonard Lake Association, the District of Muskoka staff and planning committee and Township of Muskoka Lakes staff regarding the District’s Lake System Health policy and proposed changes. During these meetings we became aware of the above referenced applications to create five (5) NEW lots on Leonard Lake and to rezone these lots for residential development.
Letter to Twp Muskoka Lakes re Centre West Management 131216.pdf - December 2016
The MLA understands that policy-making in such a unique area as Muskoka will always involve a measured balance of interests. Maintaining this delicate balance in the Township of Muskoka Lakes is everyone’s job: local politicians, assisted by their staff; residents and property owners, and local associations
District Lake System Health 121016.pdf - October 2016
Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) notes that there is a report on your committee meeting agenda of October 13th regarding the District of Muskoka’s proposed lake system health official plan amendment. We have a number of concerns with the District’s proposal. The MLA intends to address this item at the District of Muskoka’s Official Plan statutory Public Meeting next week.
Letter to Gravenhurst re OP 210916.pdf - September 2016
On August 23rd the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) delegated to Gravenhurst Planning Council regarding the Draft Official Plan. At that time we indicated that we may have more comments, especially regarding Section I Natural Heritage and Environment and Section K Implementation.
As you know, the MLA has met a number of times with other Gravenhurst lake associations to discuss the Gravenhurst OP review, the two questionnaires and the discussion papers posted on the website. On April 30th, the MLA presented our overall “high level” general comments to the OP Review Committee. We were pleased that a number of other Gravenhurst lake associations made a presentation on that day and referenced our joint meetings. We generally concur with their comments.
MNRF letter Bala.pdf - April 2016
We understand that: o A developer, Swift River Energy Limited, plans to build a generating station in Bala (see http://balafalls.ca ), and that when operating, there is fast and turbulent water exiting such generating stations.
Letter to Twp Muskoka Lakes re Cove Marina.pdf- April 2016
Maintaining this delicate balance in the Township of Muskoka Lakes is everyone’s job: local politicians, assisted by their staff; residents and property owners, and local associates. All have had their say over the years, and the result is a set of guiding documents that includes the District of Muskoka Official Plan, the Township Official Plan, its General Zoning By-Law, and its Strategic Plan. All of these documents speak clearly to preserving the natural environment as an essential overall priority.