Wednesday July 18, 2018

Township of Algonquin Highlands Introduced its new, 5 Year Official Plan

June 6, 2011

This spring The Township of Algonquin Highlands introduced its new, 5 year Official Plan.  This Plan will direct the Township over the next 5 years in matters mainly related to property development.

This process has taken a year to complete and must meet a number of Provincial objectives including the protection of endangered species, significant wetlands, and natural heritage. Your Association has been active in attempting to influence the Policy over the past year.  We were effective in bringing about changes in the Policy which we hope will lead to zoning and by-law changes. The areas we successfully argued for change were:

  1. The requirement that the Township ensure there is public access to their water lots on Big Hawk Lake and Little Hawk Lake (the lots are currently leased by Little Hawk Resort, Oakview Lodge and Big Hawk Marina).
  2. The addition of light abatement to the official plan and consideration for environmentally sensitive lighting at Township locations.
  3. For there to be no change in the current noise by-laws.

We were unsuccessful in achieving an increase in the required frontage for any new property development.  Our reasoning for such a change was to limit future development as our Lakes are very near capacity.  By capacity we mean the carrying capacity of the Lake to continue to support our Trout populations. A number of local Lakes: 18 Mile, Kabakwa, and parts of Kushog, are now at capacity, and as such there can be no further development.

Some other significant changes (I have left out many items affecting town residents) are:

  1. The recognition of Lake Plans and the commitment to register them. The intent in the future appears to be the possible creation of By-Laws that are Lake specific and created from Lake Plan recommendations.
  2. The increase amount of shoreline area that structures which are part of Marina’s and commercial properties may occupy..
  3. The prevention of development that changes the lake horizon or extends above the tree canopy..
  4. The restoration of natural shoreline in Township parks.