Two applications were before committee requesting return of securities that were taken for plantings and stormwater management. The first application was carried with little discussion. However, the second application elicited a discussion as the site plan had originally been signed in 2008 but the work had not been completed until June 2018. Committee members were displeased that it had taken 10 years for the subject property to plant 15 trees. Director of Planning, David Pink, explained that most property owners who enter into site plan agreements do complete the required conditions in a timely fashion. This property owner had been sent two letters requesting that the required work be completed. Mr. Pink explained that although the Township does hold securities for work that is not completed, staff do not like to hire individuals to complete work on someone elses property. Mr. Pink then explained that although the site plan agreements state that the work is to be completed in two to three years, the enforcement of these agreements are difficult as each year another 100 or so are passed. The second application was returned their securities less 10% in case the trees need to be replaced due to the dry weather conditions this summer.
Cuyler Conway, from the Peninsula Lions Club, was present to ask the committee to exempt them from the Interim Control By-Law (ICBL) in Minett so that they can rebuild their gazebo. Mr. Conway explained that the gazebo was approved in the Township's budget and they wish to proceed with its construction this fall. A representative from Friends of Muskoka informed committee that they had no concerns with the construction of the gazebo and encouraged council to approve all site-specific appeals for minor builds. Another Minett resident explained that the ICBL was a pause on development but that the gazebo “makes sense”.
Committee then discussed the request with Councillor Baranik reminding the committee that this was the reason why she asked for the ICBL to be reviewed in June as there are people in the community who want things done. (Township Watch - June 2018) Councillor Baranik emphasized that she agreed with the ICBL on the waterfront, but if it was an issue with development then it should only be on the development area.
Director of Planning, David Pink, explained that the ICBL was never intended to stand in the way of reasonable matters. He stated that his department could prepare a by-law to exempt the requested property but was unsure if it could be written for the following day.
There was no resolution regarding this matter and no vote was taken.
A land donation policy - Land Donation Policy - was brought forward by CAO, Steve McDonald, as a private citizen offered the Township a piece of property for passive recreational use and wanted to ensure that the property was never developed. Mr. McDonald explained that although the policy could be put in place, this council cannot bind future councils on what the do. Committee voted, and the resolution was carried.
Rob Clark, from the East Bay Cottagers' Association, came to committee to request permission to submit an application to apply for the closure of a road shore allowance. Mr. Clark explained that he was representing the 40 members of the association all of whom had water based properties and their mainland 50 year old docks needed replacing. Township Clerk, Cheryl Mortimer, explained to committee that this request has been received before and prior Councils had denied it. Committee voted to allow the East Bay Cottagers' Association to submit the request.
(Ed Note: The request to submit the application had to be made as Township policy does not allow for the closure of road allowances leading to water. The application will be discussed and voted on once it is heard by committee.)
Jane Shrestha, a public health nutritionist from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit presented to the committee an overview on food insecurity, its implications and what municipalities can do to help with the issue. The formal definition of food insecurity is an inadequate/insecure access to food due to financial constraints. Although not a visible problem, this is a problem in our area and effects 1 in 8 individuals. Food insecurity affects health care services as the higher the food insecurity the higher the use of health care is. If those in need are not worrying about where food will come from perhaps their time and energy will be spent looking for a job. It was explained that it takes more than just food to solve hunger. Urgent needs are covered by food banks and soup kitchens but only 1 in 4 will use those services.
Municipalities can help by providing affordable housing, living wages and quality jobs. As per the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan the Township of Muskoka Lakes has been working on affordable housing. Municipalities can further help by advocating that Ontario's basic income pilot is a priority and not allowing it to be cancelled, as well as encouraging good jobs with regular hours and benefits.
The entire presentation can be seen here - Food Insecurity
As reported above, staff were requested to return to Council with a by-law that would exempt the Peninsula Recreational Centre from the Interim Control By-Law in Minett and allow the Lions to construct a gazebo. The by-law was prepared, read and carried.
(Ed Note: In our June Township Watch we reported that “Mr. Pink further stated that in his opinion Section 38 of the Planning Act does not allow for variances but does allow for the reduction in area or repeal of the by-law. “ We would like to emphasize this information was clarified with Mr. Pink. Although not opposed to the building of the gazebo, the MRA was surprised when permission was granted. Following the site-specific exemption, the MRA spoke to planning staff and obtained clarification that the Planning Act gives no guidance on what can be done with an Interim Control By-Law except to reduce the affected area or repeal the by-law. It was therefore determined that the affected area could be reduced to exempt the Peninsula Recreational Centre, but no formal zoning by-law amendments can be submitted to the Township.)
The Council meeting agenda was comprised of individual planning applications, on which the MRA does not report.
Please mark your calendar. Our All Candidates Meeting is at 10 AM on Saturday, September 29th at the Port Carling Community Centre. As circulated by the District - “Replacement of the Black Lake Culvert on Muskoka Road 169 will commence on September 4, 2018 until the end of September 2018. Muskoka Road 169 will be under a full road closure starting September 10 for a maximum of 19 days. At this time a 1.7 km detour will be available through Torrance Road West and Torrance Road East.“
Ratepayers - AGM 2019
Jul 20, 2019 10:00am to 12:00pm
Official Plan Review
Aug 16, 2019 9:00am to 12:00pm