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Friends comments on the official plan

Here are the comments submitted by Friends of Muskoka to TML Council’s Planning Committee on the Official Plan Review August 16, 2019 

DRONE FOOTAGE OF FORMER LAKESIDE LODGE PROPERTY

Legacy Cottage plan to build 43 residential lots on 470 feet of Lake Rosseau.  

With over 100 commercially zoned properties in the District, (including resorts, camps and marinas), there is huge risk of over-loading the lakes from the stand point of safety, our continued enjoyment, and water quality. Friends of Muskoka are working hard to stop this reckless development to protect Muskoka for future generations.

Something has to be done.

Our lakes simply can’t handle the amount of burden that we are putting on them.

Between the spring flooding, the recent resort sewage spills and some developers relentless attempts to build high density waterfront residential subdivisions masquerading as resorts across Muskoka, when will we as a community finally push back hard to stop bad planning from degrading our lakes?

Our lakes simply can’t handle up to 10 units per acre on waterfront property. The water can’t take the nutrient flow. The bays can’t handle the boat traffic. The character of the Muskoka Lakes will change.

People will choose to go elsewhere if they no longer feel the Muskoka Lakes are clean, clear and safe to swim, play and boat in. There is a reason why we have long standing density limits on waterfront residential development. Sensible limits on development protect lake health and help to make the area safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

For more than 150 years, our clean, clear and peaceful lakes have been the primary attraction that brings people to Muskoka. Traditional tourism from the travelling public makes an important contribution, but the economy of Muskoka is driven primarily by the local spending of seasonal cottagers.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes has over $10 billion of assessed residential property value. If cottagers / homeowners spend just 2% of their property value per in annual maintenance and operating expenses, that is more $200 million being spent every year in support of local businesses. And this economic impact does not even consider the tax base for municipal services, etc.

All of this value is based on the natural environment and the unique character of Muskoka. The environment has to be the first priority in Muskoka and the best way to grow our economy and grow our tax base is by doing a better job of preserving and protecting our environment.

Please support updating the Official Plans to ensure sustainable development and effective enforcement of the rules in Muskoka. We need to do this now for future generations. 

Frank Pottow

Director and Founding Member, Friends of Muskoka