Township Watch - August 2014

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Muskoka Woods Camp

The owners of Muskoka Woods Camp continued to work with Township staff and neighbours since they were last in front of Council on their 20 year expansion plans.  Director of Planning, Mr. Pink, explained to Council that the restrictions that were in place were more stringent than those that were circulated.    After a brief discussion, the zoning by-law passed third reading.

Development Charges 

Council had grave concerns regarding the suggested level of non-residential development charges, which at $22.46 per square metre made the Township of Muskoka Lakes the highest in the District of Muskoka.  One of the concerns discussed was the high portion of fire department fees.  Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Harris explained that part of those costs relate to the fire department having to navigate around the many lakes in Muskoka.  After much discussion it was decided to reduce the charges to $11.00 per square metre.  The by-law was passed as was necessary before September 2nd, 2014.

Villas of Lake Muskoka

The former Tamwood Resort property on Lake Muskoka is to be redeveloped as a small boutique resort known as Villas of Lake Muskoka.  The resort will have seven single units, four duplexs, one fourplex, a club house, an office with on site management, a gazebo and docks.  As the development conforms to the properties zoning, they were before the planning committee for site plan agreement, which was granted.

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law 

The comprehensive zoning by-law was on the planning agenda but due to the lengthy meeting and a busy meeting week, it was decided to defer the review.  A special planning meeting was held on Monday, August 25th to review the changes made by the committee and Jones Consultants.  Among issues that were discussed are front yard setbacks, grandfathering rights, front yard frontages, tent and trailer parks, maintaining a balance between building and nature on shorelines, setbacks for septic systems, multiple docks and boathouses on single properties and shoreline buffers.  The President of the Muskoka Builder’s Association spoke requesting that the information be accessible and that a timeline for the implementation be set up.  It was suggested that 90 days would allow their stakeholders time to learn and implement the changes.   The committee set a schedule that will see the comprehensive zoning by-law return to the planning committee on September 15th at which point the public will once again be permitted to speak.  Then it will be on the Council agenda in October for first and second reading and hopefully approved at the November council meeting.

Treasurer Interviews 

With last months resignation of Treasurer Stephen Rettie a committee was formed to interview potential Treasurers.  The Townships procedural by-law states that the Mayor appoints members of council to the committee.  Councillors Furniss and Burgess were asked to sit on the committee with Mayor Murphy and CAO Mr Harris.  With three seats at the council table being vacated while some councillors run for different positions in the upcoming municipal election, as of September 12th, 2014 the council will be a “lame duck” council, the clerk confirmed that legal advice was being obtained regarding whether or not the committee could hire a new Treasurer.

Procedural By-Law/Code of Conduct 

The Code of Conduct (the “Code”) was on the Committee of the Whole agenda on August 15, 2014 with CAO Mr. Harris giving a brief verbal report.  Mr. Harris had reviewed the Districts newly adopted “Code” and presented it verbatim to council as a starting point.  As it had been a busy and full week of meetings councillors admitted they had not had time to digest the document fully but one pointed out that he was please to see that an Integrity Commissioner was included.   Councillors are to forward their comments to Mr. Harris and the “Code” will return to another Committee of the Whole in the upcoming months.

The MRA found it interesting that Mr. Harris wishes to expand the Townships Procedural By-Law to be less reliant on Robert’s Rules as he is unfamiliar with Robert’s Rules, and is sure members of council are not familiar with them either.


The MRA is holding an All Candidates Meeting at 10 AM on Saturday,

September 27, 2014 at the Port Carling Community Centre.


Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce will be holding All Candidates Evenings:

WARD A Monday September 22, 7:00 pm Bala Community Centre

WARD B Thursday September 18, 7:00 pm Raymond Community Centre

WARD C Wednesday September 17, 7:00 pm Port Carling Community Centre


Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

TML - Committee of the Whole
Apr 11, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Apr 12, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
MRA - Board Meeting
Apr 27, 2019 9:00am to 1:00pm
MRA - AGM 2019
Jul 20, 2019 10:00am to 12:00pm
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