We’ve got more good news to report regarding the Committee of the Whole (COW) Meeting this past Tuesday, Jan 16th at the Municipal Office in Port Carling.

The meeting notes are below, but the big news is that Council deferred providing comment to District on Legacy Cottages until the OMB decision(s) on Villas and Touchstone. This is great news. We are well organized and well represented to address our concerns about these developments to the OMB. We agree with the Township along with most of you, that no agreements should be made concerning residential use of commercial properties until after the OMB decision and until after these developments are reviewed as part of the Muskoka and District Official Plans. The process is working!

Approximately 15-20 Friends of Muskoka and other MLA supporters were present to show their support at the meeting and it made a huge difference. Our success keeping this issue alive is thanks to all of your support. And did I mention that the petition has got more than 15,000 signatures! Wow.

Here are Laurie Thomson’s meeting notes:


Villas was before council for information only. 4 delegations were made on Villas, all in our favour. 3 From Friends of Muskoka (FOM) and one neighbour to Villas, Brian Spence.

Susan Eplett asked for a copy of the TML’s legal opinion that differed from the MLA’s legal opinion and informed Council that we have applied for party status to the OMB hearing.

Phil Harding supported making the document public and Don Furniss stated that he personally has no problem releasing the opinion but would like a legal opinion on possible ramifications.

They are going to take the matter into closed session (in camera)


The Legacy application for condominium description was before Council for their input to District who is the condo approval body. This is just approved to gain condo status, not a negotiation of the actual condo use agreement. That happens later at Township.

5 delegations. Stefan from Planscape and 4 FOM.

Councillors Nishikawa, Harding, McTaggart, Edwards all commented in our favour. Don Furniss said he was prepared to wait in order to have agreement and consensus moving forward as to what we do and don’t have authority to regulate on these properties.

It appeared as if only one councillor was not in favour of deferral but there was no formal vote.