Township Watch - December 2013


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Guests at Council on Friday, December 13, 2013

The MRA would like to take the opportunity to welcome Mr. Michael Duben, the new CAO of the District of Muskoka.  Mr. Duben took time from his schedule to attend Council on Friday December 13, 2013 to introduce himself to municipal councillors, as he had done in the rest of the municipalities.  Also in attendance was grade 5 Glen Orchard Public School student Mackenzie Hall, who was the winner of the Student Mayor for the Day contest.

Fluoride in Municipal Water System

Council received much correspondence on the issue of fluoride in the municipal water system.  An overwhelming majority of this correspondence requested that fluoride be retained.  In a recorded vote of seven to one (two councillors were absent) council voted to retain fluoride.  According to District Chair John Klinck the ultimate decision remains a district issue.  As stated by Chair Klinck in Thursday, December 12th Weekender “the November resolution does not empower area municipalities regarding fluoridation decision-making, but instead seeks their input.”

Comprehensive Zoning By-Law 2014-14

Many of you may not be aware that the Township of Muskoka Lakes has been reviewing their Comprehensive Zoning By-Law.  A public meeting was held on November 16, 2013 and since then the MRA has had many enquiries as to the changes.  We suggest that you visit the Township web site (go to the Township of Muskoka Lakes, Government, Departments, Planning and scroll part way down on the left side to Draft Zoning By-Law 2014-14) and read the by-law to see if your property is affected.   Some of the concerns that have been brought forth are the redefining of narrow water bodies from 250 feet to 400 feet which will restrict the building of two storey boat houses, number of boats being stored on a property and home based businesses.  If you wish to submit comments and/or concerns about the comprehensive zoning by-law please do so to zoningbylawreview@muskokalakes.ca or mail your letter to the Planning Department at 1 Bailey St, Port Carling, ON P0B 1J0.  All submission must be received by January 6th, 2014. A comprehensive set of documentation regarding the proposed zoning bylaw may be found on the Planning department page of the Township web site by following this link Draft Zoning By-Law 2014-14

“Draft” Public Water Safety By-Law

In the November Township Watch we reported that the MRA had delegated to the committee of the whole on the topic of bubbler systems.  The MRA welcomed the opportunity to work with the Township on developing regulations on bubblers to restrict the amount of open water.  Much to our surprise a draft water safety by-law was presented at the planning meeting on Monday, December 16, 2013.  This draft by-law did NOT include any participation from the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association and was NOT what the MRA has presented to committee.  To look at the Ratepayers' delegation to the Committee of the Whole on Bubbler Systems, please follow this link Bubbler-Systems. To view the MRA’s response to the draft by-law please go to our web site at Draft By-Law.

Township lawyer Harold Elston presented a “draft” public water safety by-law to the planning committee in which he “tried to capture things that have come up over the years, Safe Quiet Lakes, Muskoka Watershed, bubblers…”  The thrust of his presentation was to say “we want to have a look at” this issue and to establish standards for the Township of Muskoka Lakes water bodies.  He suggested an application fee of $1,500.00 per property as well as exorbitant fines for persons who operate a system without municipal approval.  A number of the councillors were concerned as they did not recall a resolution being made to request that the by-law be drafted.  It was suggested that the by-law is premature, that more information needs to be provided, more work is required and with steel dock/boathouse guarantees there will be other issues.  It was recommended that a committee be struck  establish some guidelines for bubblers and that, representatives from the MRA and MLA as well as dock builders be invited to participate.

Community Improvement Plan

According to Mayor Murphy, most municipalities in Ontario have a ‘community improvement plan’.  The Township of Muskoka Lakes is the only municipality in the District that does not have one.  Such a plan is a two staged process.  In stage one, areas that the Township council wish to improve are identified and a by-law is passed.  In stage two, a plan is established.  Mayor Murphy and Councillor Nishikawa drafted a 15 page community improvement plan for Bala, which was presented to council.  Several of the councillors voiced their concerns as the document had not been made available prior to the meeting.  These councillors felt that they could not support the document without having a chance to read and digest it prior to a vote. 

Budget Meeting Schedule

The budget meeting schedule has been set and is as follows:

  • Friday, January 10, 2014 Special Committee of the Whole Meeting at 9 AM.
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 Special Council Meeting at 7 PM.
  • Thursday, January 30 Special Committee of the Whole Meeting at 9 AM.
  • Friday, February 14, 2014 Council to adopt the budget at 9 AM.

What’s Up Muskoka

Following the council meeting on Friday, December 13, 2013, What’s Up Muskoka reporter Corey Wilkinson announced that he would no longer be covering council sessions as he was moving to Regina.  The MRA would like to wish Corey all the best in his future endeavours.

More news at What’s Up Muskoka ~ Publisher Don Smith has announced that he is leaving to explore new challenges. The MRA thanks Don for all his assistance in the past and wish him all the best!

 

THE MRA WISHES EVERYONE A HAPPY AND SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON

 

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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