It appears that The Mayor of Muskoka Don Furniss is using slight of hand to try to trick concerned Muskoka residents about the real plan being pushed through Council. Don is saying; Look over here… “zoning density for resort commercial properties has not changed in 25 years. It is currently set at 10% lot coverage, the same as waterfront residential on the large lakes.” You have nothing to fear!
That’s not the issue, Don. The issue is The Villas property is zoned “waterfront resort-commercial”, which means the units are required to be available to the travelling public and cannot be used as residential/cottage property by the owners of the units. The changes Don is supporting will allow owners of these commercially zoned properties to use them as their own personal residence/cottages – and this will lead to a massive de facto increase in the number of cottages on the Muskoka Lakes. No more 200’ of frontage per cottage to protect the lakes, Don’s plan will have as little as 11’ per unit.
These changes would be scary enough if this were just one or two properties, but if commercially zoned properties in Muskoka are permitted to sell properties as ‘residences,’ there will be housing projects popping up all over the 87 ‘resort/commercial’ properties around the Muskoka Lakes.
The District has made no effort to determine the long term effect of allowing these changes, including environmental, higher intensity boat traffic, water/sewage problems, pollution et al. No wonder these meetings are held in November after the season – too many unanswered questions!
We must STOP The Villas of Muskoka’s application for changes to the zoning allowing residential style ownership of commercially zoned properties.
That’s the issue, Don – smoke and mirrors can’t conceal it anymore.