Development of Sugarloaf Island on Lake Muskoka continues to make waves within the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
Last month development of the island made headlines after The National Post ran an article on the subject titled, Blight on the lake: The fight over a mega-cottage in Muskoka.
In the latest twist to the story, an application was put forward to the Township’s planning committee to sever a lot and build a 20 foot wide construction road on the south end of Sugarloaf Island.
The application was swiftly met with resistance from local cottage owners and the Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA).
The MLA explained its concerns in a letter to the Township:
“If the application to sever the lot were approved, it will create a new lot that has a rocky and steep slope up from the lake which is not suitable for residential development because it will require extensive blasting and site alteration to create flat surfaces for buildings and a septic system. This degree of site alteration will cause destruction to the character of the waterfront on this property and is contrary to the District and Township Official Plans.”
The MLA also asserted that there has been blasting work done on the property despite the fact that a stop-work order and a remediation order have been issued against the property.
“I find it incredible that we are considering this matter while there is an outstanding stop work order and remediation order on this identical property for essentially the same type of activity that we’re looking to sanction here,” said Coun. Peter Kelley. “I want to know we’ve consulted with our lawyer to ensure that what we are doing here in no way compromises our ability to continue the stop work or remediation orders, either on this property or the adjoining properties.”
Hugh Smith, a local builder and resident of Sugarloaf Island for more than 50 years also voiced his opposition to the proposal during the meeting.
“This was a beautiful rock face which showed a great example of Canadian Shield, which has now been turned into an absolute boulder field which still continues to fall into the water,” said Smith. “Why should someone with so little regard for our lakes be granted this severance?”
The planning committee voted unanimously to defer a decision on the application until all of the concerns were addressed and they were able to obtain legal advice.
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