Township Watch - January 2015


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Appointments

The MRA would like to congratulate Ward B District Councillor Allen Edwards on his appointment as chair of Committee of Adjustment and the Planning Committee, Ward A Councillor Donelda Kruckel on her appointment as Acting Deputy Mayor and Ward C District Councillor Phil Harding on his appointment as chair of the District Engineering and Public Works Committee.

Municipal Meeting Schedule

At the council meeting of December 12, 2014 a draft municipal meeting schedule was brought forward and councillors were asked to consider amending the current meeting schedule.  On January 16, 2015 the meeting schedule was re-discussed with four potential schedules being presented, and two further ones added during the discussion.  With a two-thirds vote of council the meeting schedule was amended.  Beginning in March 2015 municipal meetings will be held in the second week of the month.

  • Committee of Adjustment - Wednesday at 9 AM,
  • Planning Committee of the Whole - Thursday at 9 AM,
  • Committee of the Whole - Thursday at 1 PM
  • Council Friday at 9 AM. 

This change will allow municipal and district meetings to be held on separate weeks.

Strategic Plan

With the new term of council comes a new strategic plan.  A subcommittee formed in December has put together a communication plan including four public meetings to identify what strategic priorities are important to the taxpayers.  For those who are unable to attend any of the sessions, a community survey is available on the Township website at the following link - TML - Community Survey.  Hard copies are also available at the Township offices.  The meeting schedule is as follows

  • Port Carling Community Centre - Wednesday Feb.4 from 7 to 9 PM,                       
  • Windermere Community Centre - Thursday Feb.5 from 7 to 9 PM,
  • Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Vaughan - Monday Feb.9 from 7 to 9 PM 
  • Torrance Community Centre - Saturday, Feb.14 from 10 AM to 12 PM.

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law

Draft 6 of the Comprehensive Zoning By-Law (Comprehensive Zoning BylawComprehensive Zoning Bylaw) was presented at the planning meeting on Monday, January 19, 2015.  A delegation was present to ask the committee to revisit the section of by-law 2014-14 that removes all development rights on small resort properties.  As resorts are recognized in the official plan, the delegate asked that small resort operators have some ability to adapt their properties to changes.  After a short discussion the committee decided against revisiting the issue.  The comprehensive zoning by-law will be on the agenda Friday, February 13, 2015 for council’s consideration of approval.

Complete Planning Applications

Director of Planning, David Pink, asked committee that the planning department be permitted to circulate planning applications that are deemed to be complete rather than having to place them on the planning agenda.  The process used by the Township of Muskoka Lakes is uncommon and Mr. Pink wishes to streamline the process.  Mr. Pink agreed that if the new process was not working it could be reviewed again.  The resolution was carried at a vote of five to three (two councillors were absent).

North Bala Small Hydro Project

As reported in the December 2014 Township Watch, interim CAO Clayton Harris was asked to prepare a report on the presentations given at the December committee of the whole meeting regarding the North Bala Small Hydro Project.  Mr. Harris provided a clear, objective and balanced report (CAO Report - North Bala FallsCAO Report - North Bala Falls) reviewing each delegations’ requests.   Following the report, committee members raised concerns about entrance permits, how any revenue will flow to the Provincial government when Swift River Energy Limited (SREL) is privately owned, the wording of the report, fencing, water rescues, among other points.  One of SREL’s requests was to set up a working committee that would include Mayor Furniss, two councillors, the CAO, four representatives from SREL, a representative from MNRF and an independent chair person to try to alleviate community concerns.

After much debate Mr. Harris was directed to:

  1. Look at the make up of the working committee,
  2. Draft a letter to transport Canada as requested by Mr. Shnier regarding the impact of the proposed hydro plant,
  3. Draft a letter to Premier Wynne enquiring about project revenues being available to the Township, and
  4. Research the entrance permit off Bala Falls Road.

The resolution was read and passed at a vote of five to four (one councillor was absent).

District Municipality of Muskoka

On Monday, January 19, 2015 district clerk, Debbie Crowder gave an informative presentation on the District’s Procedural By-Law.  This was followed by district solicitor, Jamie Clow, who reviewed the Code of Conduct which highlights accountability and transparency.  To read the entire document click here - District - Procedural By-law and Code of ConductDistrict - Procedural By-law and Code of Conduct.

The Muskoka Airport was discussed at length at the district council meeting on Monday.  The discussion was regarding an offer to purchase lands from the airport in order to build a business.  This was and has been a contentious issue.  An amendment to the resolution was suggested stating that the lands be leased not sold, this amendment was defeated.  The resolution to sell a piece of the airport's forested land was then read and passed.  The four Township representatives at the district council table voted against the resolution.

Process

It is unfortunate that a delegate who was scheduled for 11 AM at the committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, January 20th was kept waiting until 12:15 PM, at which point she offered to reschedule her presentation.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes has once again advertised for a Treasurer and will soon be advertising for the positions of Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Public Works.

 

Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

MRA - Board Meeting
Nov 25, 2017 9:00am to 1:00pm
TML - Committee of Adjustment
Dec 13, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Committee of the Whole
Dec 14, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Dec 15, 2017 9:00am to 12:00pm
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