Moody Bay Application Defeated by Town Council!

We are very happy to tell you that the Moody Bay Development Application to build 30 townhouses on Gull Lake was rejected by the Gravenhurst Council last night.

 Over 100 people filled the Gravenhurst Council Chambers for the Planning Council meeting – there are usually less than 10 and normally they are people asking for slight amendments or variances.

 The Planning Staff had recommended to defer the application to a later date.  The rationale for deferral was pretty weak  – “to allow sufficient opportunity to hear and consider public comments, and to review the supporting documentation”. We successfully argued that an overwhelming number of comments opposing the application had been received by the Town, the Council Chamber was filled with people opposing the application, and the developer had held a well-attended public meeting, so the public had spoken loudly regarding the application.  We also pointed out to the Council that the Planning Department has had the application for seven weeks and in order for the application to become an agenda item, the Planning Staff is required to conduct a thorough review and deem it “complete”. An application is deemed complete after the Planning Department reviews the information in the file and is satisfied that all the information they require to write a report is contained within the application.  So the point was made, what additional supporting documentation did the Planning Staff need to review.

After some discussion among the Council members and some Council questions to the developer and staff, a vote was taken on the motion to defer.  It was defeated 4 votes to 2 votes.  Mayor Donaldson, Councillor Randy Jorgensen voted to defer and Councillor Lorenz, Eiter, Kelly and Pilger  voted against deferral.

After the motion to defer was defeated, Council was forced to vote on the application with the only options being approve or reject.  The vote to reject the application was 6 votes to reject, 0 votes to approve.

What we learned last night:

  • If the lake associations in Muskoka continue to work together, we can have considerable influence on important decisions by Town Council.
  • If we give the Councillors a clear path and a strong political reason to do so, they will reject the advice of staff and act in the public interest.
  • Numbers matter in politics.  The number of residents at the Council Meeting and the number of written comments (over 40) filed with the Town was a wakeup call to the Council – we will not accept high density development on our lakes.  We reached out to 15 other lake associations and many of them filed objections to the application, and came to the meeting, and it made a big difference.

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO JIM DAVIS – JIM PUT IN MANY MANY HOURS ON THIS INITIATIVE. HE SPOKE TO EVERYONE HE COULD, WITH PASSION AND CONVICTION. HE WAS WELL PREPARED FOR THE MEETING AND BUOYED UP BY ALL THE WELL WISHING AND ENCOURAGEMENT THAT CAME FROM OUR MEMBERS, THE MLA, THE FRIENDS OF MUSKOKA AND MANY OTHER LAKE ASSOCIATIONS, HE CARRIED THE DAY.

Another shout out to Frank Beynon, Dave Stephens and Paul and Leslie Gibson who hand delivered flyers.  Many of the recipients came to the Meeting last night and we have a number of new members.  Bravo helpers!

It’s a good day for those of us that believe that Muskoka is worth preserving and fighting for. 

Hope everyone can make it to the All Candidates Meeting Tomorrow night – 6:00pm at the Terry Fox Auditorium

See you on the dock!

Donna McLean

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Update: Moody Bay Development

Last night, 50+ persons attended an information session regarding the potential Moody Bay, 30 townhouse development project.  Attendees included 4 GSLRA Executive members, seasonal and permanent waterfront residents, current Ward Councillors some standing for election in October, including the acclaimed Mayor Paul Kelly.  The current land owner,  Mr. Merv Smith and his planner Steve Fahner  gave a brief presentation and a lengthy question and answer session with the attendees, followed.  

The actual plans are still evolving. There were a lot of details “to be decided” later in the process. Your Executive has serious concerns about both the plans so far and about the “undecided” plans going forward.

Documents from the Meeting: 

Next Steps:

  • the owner/developer has applied for a change in the zoning and that must be approved
  • the Town is currently reviewing all submissions for the development and at the conclusion of its review then it will be presented to the Planning session of Council.
  • at the moment the timing for all of this is earmarked for late August.  Certain notices must be given to comply with procedure.

Your Executive will apprise you of all updates via email and the website. We encourage you to check both regularly. It is paramount that the GSLRA has current email address of all of our residents to fully inform and engage them in this issue! Send all your email addresses of all your household to ensure everyone is informed!

And for heavens sake, sign up to vote.  Every vote in the October election will matter.  Your Executive will be involved in interviewing all candidates to determine how their views align with those of our membership.  You can sign up by calling into the Town.  See Election item below.

Stay tuned…

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Municipal Election

What am I voting for?

  • To Stop Residential subdivisions on the Waterfront (Moody Bay development on Gull is on our radar)
  • To Protect Muskoka’s Natural Character for Future Generations
  • To Ensure Responsible and Sustainable Development and Economic Growth

What do I need to do?

  1. If not already on the Voters List phone the Town Municipal Office during regular business hours at 705 687-3412 to enroll you and one other person in your household.
  2. Go to the MLA and Friends of Muskoka and read about the issues and understand what is at stake.  We need to ensure that our next Town and District Councils are committed to working with waterfront residents to respect and save the Muskoka we all love. We want our elected officials to uphold and abide by the very planning and environment rules that they created instead of rubber stamping glaring variances and courting developers.
  3. This group of Associations, I like to call the Waterfront Warriors are committed to:
    1. recruiting candidates whose views of key issues are aligned to ours
    2. interviewing and assessing registered candidates, both new and incumbents, to determine who shares our values and you will be strong leaders in matters related to fiscal accountability and responsible and appropriate development on the lakes
    3. holding an all candidates meeting in late August so all voters can hear what the candidates have to say – Let’s show we mean business and their future depends on their alignment to our issues
    4. prior to Election day, this group will produce a report card with their recommendations to help inform the waterfront association members where the candidates rank on our common issues.

Fiscal accountability, responsible and sustainable development, One Community – not lake vs in town residents but one Muskoka – working together to preserve what we love and ensuring the same wonderful place we treasure, for future generations.  It’s never been easier to have to your say and it’s never been more important that you do!!

PS Please make sure we have all your emails, and that of your family and neighbours so that we can keep you up to date on the issues. Talk this up on the dock or at the parking lot.  This is our future!

Questions?  Comments?  Email or call us – our contact info is available on the About Us page

Donna McLean,  President & Jim Davis, Development Chair GSLRA

Categories: Election 2018 | Comments Off on Municipal Election