Strategic Plan 2015-2019
April 17, 2015
At the April 14, 2015 meeting of the Committee of the Whole (COW) the Township’s Economic Development Officer brought a report recommending the four year old Strategic Plan for the Township be reviewed. After much discussion COW has recommended that the process be led by a yet to be selected Consultant and that consultation include Council, a Community Advisory Group and the public. Staff will make a suggestion on the Groups to be included in the CAG. Dates for the public meetings will likely be July 17th in the south and July 18th in the north. Staff will apply for a $28,000 matching grant from FEDNOR making the budget for this process $56,000.
Dark Sky Bylaw - April 17, 2015
At the April 13, 2015 Council meeting a public meeting was held to hear comments from the public on the proposed Dark Sky Bylaw. The bylaw applies to residential outdoor lighting, street lights, commercial lighting and sign lighting. A summary of the bylaw and "what it means to residential property owners is below":
- Only applies to outdoor lighting installed after the passing of the bylaw
- Is not retroactive to existing lighting unless a light is modified, moved or changed out
- All light from new light fixtures must shine down and not up
- Exempt from the requirement that light fixtures must shine down are low wattage lights used for decoration purposes such as Christmas lighting and property ornamentation lights (this would include solar deck, dock and landscaping lights)
- Lights may be used to illuminate a property but must not cause light trespass
- Light trespass is defined as "the shining of light produced by a luminaire beyond the boundaries of the property on which it is located".
- very concerned with the issue of light trespass
- leaning towards applying a bylaw retroactively but would give non-conforming lights some leeway if used minimally or for safety
- split on the management of low wattage lights on decks and docks
- concerned with the effect of lighting on navigation
The CCA requested input from the membership by way of an online survey which asked following questions:
1. Should the Dark Sky bylaw be retroactive to all outdoor lights for shoreline residential and island properties?
2. If the bylaw is applied retroactively to all outdoor lights for shoreline residential and island properties how long of a grace period should there be for changing non-conforming lights?
3. Should the Dark Sky bylaw restrict the use of low wattage lights on decks and docks?
4. Should non-conforming outdoor lights be permitted only when on a switch or timer and used for safety purposes only?
The survey received 176 responses and comments from 66 respondents. The survey results can be found HERE. The response rate and the responses paint a very clear picture that the waterfront community is:
The CCA Comment presented at the public meeting can be found HERE.
Following the public meeting Council voted to defer the proposed Dark Sky Bylaw and directed staff to bring a report recommending the makeup of a Committee to review the bylaw and make recommendations.
Zoning By-Law Review - February 17, 2015
At the Nov 10, 2014 meeting Council adopted the new Zoning Bylaw 2014-75. The updated text and schedules can be found on the Township's website. Several site specific and general OMB appeals still need to be dealt with.
Official Plan - June 15, 2014
The Township has posted the partially approved Official Plan with portions that are under OMB appeal highlighted. It can be found at here and also on the Official Plan Review webpage at http://www.gbtownship.ca/content/official-plan-0
February 17, 2015
At the February 9th, 2015 meeting of Council, the 2015 Capital and Operating Budgets for the Township were adopted. The budget as adopted represents a tax increase of 3.78% to the average residential property - an additional $184,007 of lower tier revenue. This is inclusive of a 1.5% increase to the "Capital – Repairs & Replacement" dedicated levy. The final tax increase will not be known until the District of Muskoka finalizes a budget.
The budget presentation by the CFO provides a good overview and can be found HERE. All of the budget materials are listed below.Budget Presentation Feb. 9, 2015 - a. PRESENTATION.pdf
Budget Presentation Feb. 9, 2015 - Attachment 1 (Ont. Reg. 284.09 Statement).pdf
Budget Presentation Feb. 9, 2015 - Attachment 2 (Reserve & Reserve Fund Continuity).pdf
Budget Presentation Feb. 9, 2015 - Attachment 3 (FTE Summary).pdf
Budget Presentation Feb. 9, 2015 - Attachment 4 (Budget Guidelines & Schedule with Resolutions).pdf
Budget By-law 2015-34 - BY-LAW.pdf
Budget By-law 2015-34 - Schedule A (Township Operating & Capital).pdf
Budget By-law 2015-34 - Schedule B (Capital Fund Project Listing).pdf
Budget By-law 2015-34 - Schedule C (Street Light Fund).pdf
Budget By-law 2015-34 - Schedule D (Library Fund).pdf
March 14, 2014
The final 2014 budget presentation was made to and approved by Council on March 10, 2014. The presentation may be found here and the detailed budget with comparison to 2013 may be found here . Approved by Council was a 7.05% increase to the Township’s tax levy. If the District of Muskoka tax levy increase remains at 1.19% and the Provincial Education tax levy remains at 0% then the average increase in Georgian Bay will be 2.47%. Where assessed value of a property value has increased more than the average for the Township the percentage increase will be greater than 2.5%.
2014 Municipal Elections - February 17, 2015 Update
The 2014 Municipal Election was held on Oct 27, 2014. This was the first election held under the new Ward Boundaries developed in 2013.
The candidates elected for the 2014 -2018 term were:
Mayor– Larry Braid (re-elected)
Ward 1 Councilor– Cynthia Douglas
Ward 2 Councilor– Pat Edwards (re-elected)
Ward 3 Councilor– Brian Bochek
Ward 4 Councilor– Kathy Kay
Ward 1 & 3 District and Area Councilor– Paul M. Wiancko (acclaimed)
Ward 2 & 4 District and Area Councilor– Peter Cooper
We congratulate the successful candidates and look forward to working with the new Council. For the Council members not returning we thank them for their efforts and dedication over the past four years.
Honey Harbour Waterfront Plan - February 17, 2015
Plans are moving forward with the proposed redevelopment of the Honey Harbour Waterfront. The Feb 9, 2015 report to the Committee of the Whole by EDA Collaborative can be found HERE. From the report "The rationale for developing the Waterfront at Honey Harbour includes both the benefits which can be expected to arise to the existing community (year round and seasonal residents) as well as the economic impacts arising from higher tourism visitation to the Harbour area."
The redevelopment proposed includes (as shown in the image below):
1. Large Vessel Floating Dock Facility 2. Small Vessel Floating Dock Facility 3. Gazebo 4. Shoreline Revetment 5. Lookout Points 6. Waterfront Promenade 7. 'Activity Parkette' 8. Enhanced Paving 9. Sidewalk 10. Honey Harbour Visitor Centre and Delawana Inn Gateway Center 11. Vertical Feature 12. Parking 13. Signage Wall with Planting Feature 14. Removable Bollards 15. Conceptual New Private Road Options.
From the report "The large vessel dock facility is to accommodate large vessels and services such as the DayTripper, private water taxis and boat tour services to Georgian Bay Islands."
"The HH Visitor Centre is envisioned to be the central hub for tourists and visitors to Honey Harbour with potential tenants being • Parks Canada / Interpretation Displays • Georgian Bay Land Trust • Georgian Bay Association • Georgian Bay Forever • Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve • Muskoka Tourism • Explorer’s Edge • Chamber of Commerce • Honey Harbour Historical Society • Day Tripper Operators."
"The Delawana Inn Gateway wing is envisioned to be separate in nature from the Visitor Centre wing of the building, however, during hours when both facilities are open the linkage between the two wings will provide seamless access for guests of the Delawana Inn to learn about what Honey Harbour and the surrounding area has to offer and vice versa, providing tourists the opportunity to inquire about accommodations at the Delawana Inn."
The full capital requirement for the project is estimated to be approx. $5 million. The Township has notionally made a 10% commitment to the project at $125,000 per year for the next four years. Potential capital funders of the project include FedNor, private sector funders (the Delawana), the Province through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport as well as Muskoka Futures, Muskoka Tourism, Explorers Edge, Ontario Trillium Foundation. Operating deficits for the Visitor Center above an agreed amount are proposed to be covered by the Township.
At the Feb 9th Committee of the Whole meeting the report was received and resolutions passed to:
- undertake negotiations of a Memorandum of Understanding with the owner of the Delawana Resort, for the purposes of finding resolution to key issues identified within this report (potential land uses, land swap, land ownership, access, operations, and private sector funding opportunities for the total project)
- direct staff to proceed with preparing grant funding applications to FEDNOR for the capital requirement.
- direct staff to use the video (which can be seen on YouTube HERE) presented in Committee of the Whole to represent the Township of Georgian Bay as it relates to the Honey Harbour Waterfront Plan