A/15/2010/HTE (Christie)

Lake Waseosa RAtepayers’ Association

www.lwra.net

c/o 21 Cottage Lane, RR#3
Huntsville, Ontario
Canada
P1H 2J4

 

 

June 6, 2010

Town of Huntsville,

37  Main Street East

Huntsville, Ont.

P1H 1A1

 

Attention: Jaquie  Tschekalin,

Committee of Adjustment

 

Re: A/15/2010/HTE (Christie)

 

The subject lands are composed of a large tract of land approximately 16 hectares in area with considerable waterfront of approximately 560 meters. The slope of the land to the water is approximately 15% in the area of existing development, but steep slopes of up to 40% predominate in the northern portions of the property. As a result, the shoreline north of the existing structures has remained in a natural state and is an important part of the natural ecosystem of Lake Waseosa. In fact, one of the sites selected by the District for Benthic testing of Waseosa is located along that northern portion of the shoreline. It is in the best interests of the Town, the District and the lake then that waterfront development on this property be focussed in the area of existing development.  In consideration of the need to protect this fragile lake, the property is zoned SR-5, stipulating a minimum setback of 30 meters from the water. The existing structure, constructed on the southern point jutting out onto the water is a legal non-conforming distance, varying from approximately 15 to 24 meters from the shoreline.

 

The application before you is composed of three components: The boathouse and slip, a deck and an addition to the enclosed living space. With regards to the proposal to cover the slip adjacent to the boathouse, while the resulting structure will exceed the permitted 10 meter width, it is based on the width of the legal, non-conforming existing dock and boathouse and can legitimately be considered a minor variance due to necessity. The LWRA is aware that the previous owners removed a similar existing roof during repairs to the dock cribs. Therefore this is effectively a replacement of the previously existing roof. We have spoken to the owners and they have committed to finish both the boathouse and roof in materials and colours that will blend with the natural landscape.

 

The proposed deck, facing the point will extend the footprint towards the water in all directions. The proposed area of 50.95 sq. Meters is well in excess of the permitted 30 sq. Meters and is in addition to an existing deck of unspecified area, as shown on the supplied drawing, such that the total deck area upon completion will likely be at least double the area allowed within the required setback. While this would undoubtedly form an attractive and useful feature, it cannot be considered a minor variance or a necessity.

 

Similarly, the proposed new foyer, projecting approximately 5 meters towards the waterfront from the existing structure, cannot be considered either minor or a necessity. It will provide a wider entrance way that could be useful as a wheelchair entrance should one ever be required in the future, but there are other, legal, ways to achieve that objective.

 

However, as stated previously, it is in the best interests of all to concentrate further development of the waterfront on this property in the area of existing development. The LWRA accepts the principle of an equivalent level of protection, therefore we would be willing to accept compromise within the required setback where mitigated by an increased level of protection elsewhere, with the caveat that as any approved variance becomes effectively irrevocable once constructed, any mitigation must be similarly irrevocable. This could be implemented through the site plan agreement process.

 

We have also discussed the possibility of re-zoning the northern portion of the waterfront to “Conservation” and the owners are willing to explore this possibility further. Unfortunately due to the very late notice of this application, there has been insufficient time to investigate this option further. Therefore we ask that if the applicants pursue this means of protecting the remaining waterfront, that any additional fees that might otherwise be applicable for such a re-zoning application be waived as it would properly be considered a part of this process.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Dwayne Verhey

Dwayne Verhey, Secretary, LWRA

secretary@lwra.net

788-3693 (Home)