Township Watch - September 2015

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The Muskoka Ratepayers' Association welcomes Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Steve McDonald to the Township of Muskoka Lakes.  Mr. MacDonald started in his new position on Monday, September 14th, 2015.  The MRA wishes interim CAO Clayton Harris, who will leave at the end of September, all the best in his future endeavours.

Septic Setbacks

As was reported in the July 2015 Township Watch (July Township Watch) the Planning Committee had been discussing moving septic setbacks from 50 feet to 100 feet from the high water mark.    This by-law was before Council on Friday, September 18th and was carried.  As was pointed out during the meeting if your septic system is already within 100 feet of the high water mark it will be considered legal non-complying.

Solar Farms

As reported in the August 2015 Township Watch (August Township Watch) EthoSolar and Muskoka SaniSolar wish to construct solar farms in the Township of Muskoka Lakes.    A representative from EthoSolar was present at  Council on Friday, September 18, 2015 to ensure that the support they received at the Planning Committee in August was enacted by Council - which it was.  EthoSolar who wish to place a solar farm at 1691 Muskoka Road 169 was present asking that Council vote to issue a municipal council support resolution for the project.  The resolution passed.

A new solar project located at 3385 Muskoka Road 169 on Bush's Watersports Park property was before council.  The proposed roof top solar project would be located on a storage structure which is to be constructed where unused tennis courts currently exists.  The applicant requested that council pass a resolution in support of the rooftop solar project.  The resolution was carried.

Southwood Road

Southwood Road at Jevins Creek Bridge will be closed from October 5th, 2015 at 12:00 AM to December 18th, 2015 at 5:00 PM for required bridge repairs. A six kilometer detour will be in place.  (Editorial note: Updates on this closure will be posted on our website as they become available.)

Windermere Road

Following public concerns which were raised at the district level regarding safety on Windermere Road, the District of Muskoka passed a resolution to lower the speed limit from 80 km to 60 km.  This change will be in force from Muskoka Road 4 (Raymond Road) to Rostrevor Road.

Peninsula Road

For safety considerations a one meter paved shoulder is being added to both sides of Peninsula Road from Muskoka Road 118 to the Port Sandfield bridge.

Tondern Island Road

The Township of Muskoka Lakes received a petition with 67 signatures requesting that the speed limit on Tondern Island Road and Beaumaris Road be reduced to 40 km due to pedestrian traffic concerns.  The resolution passed and the speed limit from Beaumaris Road to the end of Tondern Road and from Milford Bay Road to the end of Beaumaris Road will be reduced to 40 km.  The speed limit on Beaumaris Road from Milford Bay Road to Muskoka Road 118 West will remain at 50 km.

Proposed North Bala Falls Small Hydro Project

During council on Friday September 18th, 2015 it was suggested that the lake bed under the Bala Falls bridge on Muskoka Road 169 is owned by the District of Muskoka and therefore the Township had the opportunity to request that the District of Muskoka not lease these lands to Swift River Energy Limited.  As this item was an addition to the agenda and more information, specifically a “property identification number” was requested, the resolution was not read.  As was requested this item was added to the Committee of the Whole agenda on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 where further information was presented that confirmed that the lake bed is indeed owned by the District.  After a brief discussion the resolution was read (1510 - SREL Resolution.pdf Resolution) and was carried in a vote of 7 to 2.  The resolution will be ratified at Council on October 16th, 2015.

Camel Lake Subdivision

A plan of subdivision that includes six lots on Camel Lake and four rural lots off of Camel Lake Extension Road has been deemed as complete by the District Municipality of Muskoka and was before the Township Planning Committee for their comments.  The committee heard the applicant's agent explain that the original plan of having trails on one of the rural properties for the property owners to share has been abandoned.  The agent also requested that planning staff's recommendation to limit the rural lots to two, not four, not be voiced to the District.  A representative from Camel Lake spoke for property owners and voiced concerns regarding:

  • Camel Lake's change from a category 4 lake to a category 2 lake
  • That the property is a deer wintering area
  • The proposed private road which travels through and near wetlands
  • Fish habitat in the near area
  • Environmental impact during construction times
  • How Hydro One plans to service the lots.

In conclusion the presenter asked the Planning Committee to reject the application outright and recommend to the District that the applicant reapply once the significant issues they raised were addressed.  As the District was having the applicant's studies (Environmental impact study, Hydrogeological study and Archaeological Assessment) peer reviewed, the Planning Committee withheld comments until such a time as they have the reviews before them.  Prior to any approvals a public meeting, which has yet to be scheduled, will be held by the District regarding this application.


The MRA hopes that the new procedural by-law will address the problem of cell phone use around the council and committee table.

The MRA hopes everyone has been enjoying this wonderful Indian summer!!


Upcoming Events - Monthly Calendar

MRA - Board Meeting
Feb 23, 2019 9:00am to 1:00pm
TML - Committe of Adjustment
Mar 13, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Committee of the Whole
Mar 14, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
TML - Council
Mar 15, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm
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Jul 20, 2019 10:00am to 12:00pm
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