Monday, 14 October 2013

Boathouse or Aerodrome - Superior Court Decision favours Seguin By-laws

Much as I watch MNR rules and regulations around wildlife (Moose cow harassed in Northern Ontario), illegal hunting, and other MNR  enforcement reports, another aspect to this is the protection of our shorelines.

Much damaged can be caused to shores by the addition of buildings, as well as boat wash. This is as true on our rivers as well as on our lakes. 

Marine laws are specific about boat speeds near shores.

Habitat is so easily destroyed and damaged. Many cottages are still on old septic systems, which further pollutes the water.

Zoning by-laws, such as those in Seguin Township:

By-laws are created in order to address issues and concerns of the local community. They are created to protect the environment, public health, public safety, or to maintain an orderly appearance in your community.
Multi-million dollar 'properties' in cottage country

Conflict arises when citiots move in and decide that they can get around these bylaws, choosing to believe that theirs is an important reason to flaunt said by-laws.


 in cottage country are big business, as this report states that the values of boathouses built in Muskoka, between 2000 and 2009, were valued at over $135 million dollars.

Not only that, but take up valuable Supreme Court time protesting local by-laws.

The Seguin Zoning By-law No. 2006-125 (PDF 3.78 MB) governs the manner in which the Township implements the policies laid out in its Official Plan and controls the use of land in the township, such as:
  • How land may be used
    Older cottages, dating from the 60s.
  • Where buildings and other structures can be located
  • The types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used
  • The lot sizes and dimensions, lot coverage, building heights and setbacks
  • Shoreline buffer areas, landscaping areas, planting strips, parking requirements
This dude, with more money to throw away in the courts, decided that his illegal boathouse could be called an aerodrome, and this would allow him to go around the provincial laws, as well as the municipal building, planning, zoning and environmental laws and by-laws. He felt that if he could call it an aerodrome, he could do what he liked.

Zoning By-law 10-04 - Town of Gravenhurst

The setback minimum for new cottages in Gravenhurst, is 30m. Existing cottages are grandfathered, but many of the older cottages exceed this and should they be rebuilt, thse new bylaws apply.
“Boathouse or Aerodrome” - Superior Court Decision 
What do you think?
Boathouse or Aerodrome?

Jack Hepworth | Seguin Councillor Ward 6 report

- J.S. O’Neill of the Ontario Superior Court has ruled in Decision 2013 ONSC 5788 Oct. 2, 2013. Excerpt from Judge’s decision
While the structure can accommodate only a small, ultra-light plane, in every other way, as others have acknowledged on the facts, it looks like a boathouse, and at all material times it was utilized only as a boathouse on a lake. The facts which I have an analyzed seriously erode and call into question the Respondent’s sincerity in his position that at core, the structure is an aerodrome and not a boathouse.  There are simply no facts, events or circumstances on the record before me that the structure was essential or integral to aeronautics or to aviation.  At its simplest, this is because I find that the decision to register and aerodrome was an attempt by the Respondent to evade and circumvent zoning and planning by-laws.  The facts here do not demonstrate that the Respondent had any real intentions to operate an aerodrome or to use his structure for aeronautics related purposes.
An order shall forthwith issue as set out at para. 156 (a) and (b) of the Applicants’ factum. However, the period of time to demolish and remove the structure as described in para. 156 (a) shall be increased from 30 days to 90 days.
This decision ensures that development of Seguin’s shoreline structures must follow provincial, and municipal building, planning, zoning and environmental laws, by-laws and regulations. You can see what boat wash does to a shoreline. If the shoreline isn't allowed to remain natural, it further weakens the entire ecosystem of a lake, e.g., the Riparian zone. We left Muskoka due to the boat traffic; the disrespect for neighbours and wildlife. Many rent out to citiots who have no reason to care for the environment, only to be able to pay for property taxes. Such a shame.

Resort giant appeals zoning bylaw one day late

MUSKOKA LAKES - The former owner of Red Leaves is trying to win his way in Muskoka Lakes despite being late on the draw to appeal a zoning definition.
In October Muskoka Lakes changed the definition of a tourist resort to require each resort property to have onsite management, in part to reduce partying on the premises.

Ken Fowler, of Ken Fowler Enterprises and former owner of bankrupt Red Leaves, has long had big plans to create a resort village in the town of Minett. 

Boathouse Background Report - Muskoka Lakes (PDF)
 The Township of Muskoka Lakes’ Official Plan limits the coverage of buildings and structures to 10% of the area within (60 metres) 200 feet of the shoreline.

 In Gravenhurst, lot coverage within the first 20 metres (66 feet) of the water is based on the amount of water frontage. In all cases, the maximum permitted lot coverage within the first 66 feet of the water is 232 square metres (2,497 square feet). Gravenhurst’s Official Plan also requires that 75% of the shoreline remain in its natural state. Boathouses are further restricted on the smaller lakes, specifically Kashe Lake, Bass Lake, Three Mile Lake and Muldrew Lake.

Even real estate agents brag about grandfathering:

Big Selling Point: Though new cottages in the area are required to be set back 30m from the water, this cottage was grandfathered in under old regulations, allowing for its cantilevered position directly over the lake.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I love that image of the geese taking off!!!!