The lakeside lounge you were planning for the first floor of your boathouse? Forget it.
Want to create a small lot next door for your children to have their own cottage? Don’t count on it.
Looking for seclusion on an island or other water-access only location? Better plan on spending a lot more than you originally planned.
Planning to add a Muskoka room? it may mean moving the whole cottage further back on the property or applying for a variance. And it won’t matter when the cottage was built or if it has been there for many years.
The Our Muskoka Stakeholders Association explains these are the very real impacts of a variety of proposed bylaw changes coming forth during the ongoing Official Plan Review in the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
Made up of cottagers, full-time residents, and business owners, Our Muskoka wants to see balance to the proposals that recognizes the rights of property owners while respecting and caring for the natural environment.
The group came together to share information with the public while themselves raising questions and commenting on proposals brought forth during the OP Review; each person in the community has a right to comment on or outright oppose proposals they don’t like during this process.
“We all agree we need to protect the environment, but it can be done responsibly while allowing people to get the full enjoyment of their properties,” the group said in a release.
Those wanting to learn more can visit their website, which has more information, surveys, links to official documents, petitions and more. The website is continually updated as each draft of the Official Plan comes to fruition.
And you don’t have to agree with everything that Our Muskoka believes to get involved. The stakeholders’ group is more interested in having all affected parties informed on all the potential changes, because chances are at least one will have a personal impact.
That’s why it’s essential to learn about the proposed changes and express your opposition to any you disagree with by writing your councillor about it. As well, with a municipal election around the corner, there is no better time to have your say.
“Get involved by learning more and ensuring your opinion is on the record. Your councillors need to hear from you.”