Question: Officially, who cares the most for our Waterfronts?
Answer: “The Waterfront Owners”.
Recently, upon researching the rules regarding ‘Our Waterfront’. I read our Townships’ Official Plan. Surely, a guideline of the Townships’ future, and plans for the ‘Waterfront’ of the Community, will have some answers.
The Townships’ Official Plan covers various topics such as: ‘Waterfronts, Waste & Disposal , Roads & Infrastructure’, and much more. These topics, I think the residents, owners, & visitors of the area, would find important topics for discussion, & should be informed of some of the content, in our Official plan.
For the interest of Aylen Lake cottagers, and other ‘Waterfront’ owners in the community. Inside, the ‘Official plan’, in the Waterfront section; Article #5.4.4 that states; any Buildings, Structures, and Sewage Disposal Systems, be setback at least 30m (100ft) from the high water mark.
First, I wish to state that I agree 100%, with Septic/Disposal systems being setback, for obvious reasons. However, to place this setback/restriction on ‘Any’ building or structure, within that area? That could greatly affect our individual property plans, and the ‘Economy’ of, the area. (An ‘Economy’ myself, others, and the municipality depend upon).
‘Aylen Lake’ alone, has an extremely high percentage of cottages, already constructed within this setback distance. How will these homes & cottages be affected by the bylaw? Can we add a lakeside deck, an addition, or renovate on our cottages? How about the shoreline allowances? How about our docking areas? especially the ‘Lake access’ lots? By definition a ‘Beaver house’ is considered a structure! … And, 100 ft. is a long way back to call yourself a Waterfront owner!
How will our future ‘Real Estate’ value$ be affected by such Setbacks or Restrictions? What about New development?, or Renovations?, & Shore area projects? For reference: The neighboring municipality of ‘Hastings Highlands’ has a bylaw, requiring a natural vegetative buffer of 15m(49.2ft.) for waterfront residential.
Maybe you agree with the setback limit, or maybe you don’t, either way I feel we should have ‘a voice’ on the matter. Or better yet, maybe even ‘a vote’ on an issue such as this, which could directly effect, all the waterfront property within the community! Does, ‘This Plan’ have the endorsement of the majority of the community? Were you made aware of ‘All’ the ‘details, & individual by-laws’ within the plan? Like the one listed above? And, there’s lot’s more, and more to come!
Now, those of you who reside in larger urban centers’, may say ‘Oh well, I’ll just apply for a Variance?’ … Sorry!!! There is no mention of Minor Variances in the plan, at this time! …. Also, no mention of ‘Grandfathering’, or will these restrictions only be imposed on New development? The document raises many questions, but provides few definitive answers!
I urge all my friends, and neighbors of the Aylen lake community, and other Waterfront owners’ within the Township, to please read the Townships’ Official Plan. …a copy is available at the Townships’ website: http://www.township.southalgonquin.on.ca/index.php or try (the link below).
Keep yourself informed! It’s coming folks. ‘Our’ Township Official Plan is coming!…. and although, it’s not quite ’Official’ yet!, all that remains, is for the Township to pass a comprehensive ‘Zoning By-law’: Article# 12.6.1 and the policies within the plan, will be implemented.
If you wish to voice your opinion, for this topic, or for your beautiful ‘Waterfront!’ Please leave a comment here (below),… or start a conversation on Social media….Communication is a key part, of community.
In Cottage country, it’s good to be Berry Aware, & Stay Informed!
Thank you for reading, & your interest. More to come..
References: The Township of South Algonquin, Official Plan, Ministers’ Modified Copy
Please Note: All postings here, are created … out of interest, or concern for the area of Aylen lake, Ontario., and the surrounding community . Being a direct descendant of the Dennison family, and early settlers to Aylen lake. I have family heritage, and a love & commitment to this area, I call home! I take pride in advocating for issues of importance regarding ‘The Lake’ and the community. I hope to bring awareness to other residents, owners, and visitors of the News and the goings’ on, around ‘The Lake’ & in the local area.
I hope to entertain, inform, and maybe provide some dockside reading enjoyment with the posts. Maybe start some discussions with some articles, or create an informative forum, for communicating within the Community.
& a Love for ‘The Lake!’
Aylen lake, Ontario.