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Gravenhurst planning council denies the Starboard Cherokee Lane amendment
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Gravenhurst planning council denies the Starboard Cherokee Lane amendment

Posted: 2023-09-01 10:06:44 By: thebay

Gravenhurst Council denied the request by The Rosseau Group for an amendment to the official plan for
the Cherokee Lane development at the Wharf, in the August 29, 2023, Planning meeting.
Since the deferral in the last planning meeting, so that more information could be gathered, the
applicant proposed changes, including reducing the boat house from 104 meters to 90 metres, which
would automatically reduce the seating size at the shoreline by two thirds, and reducing the south dock
size from 104 metres to 103.5 metres.
The Friends of Muskoka (FOM) expressed concern about the overall project. President and Director,
Laurie Thompson, representing 3600 supporters advocating responsible shoreline development in
Muskoka, highlighted two issues and caution to Council.
The first issue was the boat house and other structures being in front of a public park, and that the
structure shouldn’t be more than 60 metres (197 feet) in length. Thompson added that she didn’t
understand the goal of the features and the south end of the boat house or dock at the north side. She
said, “We can only surmise that these are placeholders, possibly for secret application which could
include a restaurant or boat house.”
The second issue related to the unused portion of the water lot. Thompson indicated, “The Official Plan
says unused portion of the water lot should be deeded back to the Town.”
Thompson cautioned Council, “I’d like to make it clear that FOM has grave concerns with the overall
project. We’re very disappointed that staff did not take into consideration the potential impacts of
flooding on the structure and the result of envelope damage that can ensue in Muskoka Bay should toxic
substances be used or stored in these structures.”
She also referenced a government report on climate change and flooding. “That municipalities very
carefully rethink their policies around building in flood prone areas.” She quotes the report as saying,
“With a change in climate, damages to boat houses and other structures in a flood plan as a result of

flooding and ice movement will continue to occur and most likely at an increased frequency. It’s not a
question of if those lakes and river systems will flood again, it’s only when.”
Resident, Gord Locklin, expressed concerns about the impact of traffic on Muskoka Bay, including from
boat rentals, steam ships, ski and boat shows, parasailing, and other activity from cottages and resorts.
Locklin also expressed concern about the shoreline. He said, “The large boulder in front is not a property
marker of any sort. It’s a runaway from the blast activity which occurred up above it, and some of the
shaving of the water is actually stone that was pushed into the water during the attempt to redistribute
the blast activity.”
He referred to the grant from 1888 and 1901 that deemed the purpose of the land and shore was to be
for logging activity and expressed concern about the lakebed potentially being compromised.
Councillor, Peter Johnston, indicated that he was pleased with the process and that the public had a
chance to share their views. He added, “I also want to commend the developer, Mr. Moffat and the
Rosseau Group for their willingness to consider concerns that people have and amendments.”
Councillor, Randy Jorgensen, expressed the importance of growth for the Town. He said, “I am on the
side of growth and development of the Town. We need growth and development in the Town. We don’t
get a lot of opportunities like this to have a major project come forward.”
Councillor, Penny Varney, indicated that she supports the condominium, however, is “not in favour of
the docking and the boat houses and the number of boat slips.” She added, “I find it absolutely
unimaginable how the Bay is going to handle the three main big boats that will be there next summer.”
Varney also expressed concern about the boat rentals in the area. “I do know the history of the boat
rental down there where they’re not looking after there clients appropriately and letting them go out in
boats when they really don’t know how to handle the boat.”
Councillor, Jo Morphy, indicated that 90 metres is 295 feet of dock “unprecedented by anything else.”
She continued, “Of that is 74 metres or 242 feet will be a two storey, and the fish habitat… Just because
you give a little bit of thought about loosing the shorelines and that rock face, and just bring it down a
level… We’ve said the same things over and over and yet the same two storey boat house stands.”
Morphy continued, “They’ve gone from 104 metres to 90 metres. But this is not very much in the
scheme of things, and I think the structure isn’t keeping with the character of the shoreline… So, I can’t
support that structure and I hope the shorelines win on this one.”