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Gravenhurst resident questions the Gravenhurst's vision regarding sustainability

Gravenhurst resident questions the Gravenhurst's vision regarding sustainability

Posted: 2023-05-23 07:30:38 By: thebay

Gravenhurst resident, Richard Sellon, questioned the Town’s vision regarding the Muskoka Bay development proposal, in the May 16, 2023, Council meeting.

Sellon indicated, “There’s no mission statement set from the Town regarding development.”

The resident advocated on behalf of a petition with over 1000 signatures on it regarding Rosseau Group Development on Muskoka Bay.

The developers are proposing a subdivision at 825 and 850 John Street, with 388 residential units. 186 will be apartments in four four-storey buildings, plus 202 townhouses.

Sellon expressed, “This is the wrong development for the land.” He added that the plans for the development are constantly changing, and questioned why By-law changes and modifications to the regulations are being allowed, indicating that Council should be upholding the Town’s policies and “turn the development down.”

Sellon expressed concerns about sustainability, and said the Town is “advertising natural landscape, yet allowing blasting and clear cutting.” He questioned the Town’s priorities over the next 20 years, suggesting that they have a mission for the future regarding water quality, biodiversity, and to consider these issues before approving development.

“A developer buys the land, planners tick off the boxes of the Planning Act and Official Plan…a public meeting is held… I’ve been told by Council past and present once planners give thumbs up the development is a done deal, said Sellon.”

Concerns on the petition include “negative impacts to water quality, fish/aquatic habitat, natural water course changes, flood plain mitigation, shoreline degradation, boat/car traffic and parking congestion, impacts on local property owners, continued public limited public access, to say nothing of the impact of the esthetic beauty of Muskoka Bay.”

The petition continues, “Gravenhurst should not be replacing Mother Nature with a concrete/brick monolith.”

Sellon expressed, “Profit will come at the public and environment expense.” He encouraged Council to “develop a vision and priorities to guide the Planning Department that are transparent and sustainable, and environmentally sound. And he referenced a song by Joni Mitchell, “They paved paradise, put up a parking lot.”

Once the development application is passed by Town Council, it will go to the District of Muskoka for final approval.