Excerpts from the New Town of Huntsville Official Plan

Submitted by lwrawebmaster on Sun, 12/15/2019 - 14:27

NOTE: The new OP was enacted after the Lake Plan was published. The LP is currently under review with consideration of the following:


2.6.1 Effective community development requires the participation of a broad spectrum of residents, local organizations

and governments. The Town will provide a leadership role in the future development of Huntsville, and will

encourage the cooperation and active involvement of community organizations, ratepayer groups and various

governmental agencies to expand and develop the infrastructure required to enhance the quality of life in


2.6.2 The quality of life throughout Huntsville will be enhanced through the adoption and support of "stewardship ethics"

that focus on the preservation and enhancement of the urban, rural and waterfront living environment.


3.3.1 The Town recognizes the importance of maintaining and improving the quality and quantity of groundwater and

surface water. As such, the function of watercourses and sensitive ground water recharge/discharge areas,

aquifers and headwater areas will be protected or enhanced. Such sensitive areas may include:

a) lakes, rivers and streams;

b) wetlands;

c) areas with high water tables;

d) recharge/discharge areas;

e) areas with soils which are unable to sustain sewage disposal systems;

f) areas of exposed bedrock; and,

g) municipal intake protection zones and wellhead protection areas.

3.3.4 Development and site alteration will be set back from the lakes, rivers and streams within the Town in order to

protect their natural features and functions, provide riparian habitat, and minimize the risk to public safety

and property. The setback distance shall be determined on site in consultation with the appropriate approval

authorities. In general, development and site alteration should be set back a minimum of 20 metres (66 feet)

from watercourses.

Recreational Water Quality

Definition and Application The Town recognizes the importance of the recreational water quality of its lakes and rivers. Recreational water

quality is modelled and monitored by the District of Muskoka as one measure of a lake's capacity to sustain

development. The Town has a significant interest in the water quality of its lakes and watercourses, and supports

the Recreational Water Quality Management program. The District has classified lakes as having high, moderate or low sensitivity to phosphorus. The sensitivity of a lake

to nutrient inputs can change over time and is dependent upon the responsiveness of a lake to phosphorus and

the mobility of phosphorus within the watershed. Where phosphorus loading to a lake exceeds 50% of the natural

background phosphorus load, the lake is considered as being "Over Threshold" for phosphorus loading. Lake classifications as of September, 2006 are as follows. Any lakes not listed are assumed to be of

moderate sensitivity to phosphorus unless otherwise identified by the District of Muskoka. The symbol

"(OT)" denotes that the lake is also over threshold for phosphorus loading. This symbol may be added or

deleted without amendment to this plan.

Moderate Sensitivity

Axe Beatty Bing Buck Chain Chub Clearwater (OT)

Devine Dividing Dunn Fairy Fawn Fleming Fox

Groves Harp Henderson Jessop Lake of Bays Lamberts Lancelot

Lena Little Arrowhead Long's (OT) Lynch Lynx Mainhood

Mary Mathews Montgomery Muskoka River Onawan Otter Oudaze

Pallette Palmer Penfold Peninsula Perch Ripple Rose

Sims Slocumbe Skeleton Spider Stinking Toms Tongua

Upper Twin Vernon Waseosa (OT) Weeduck

3.5.2 Provisions Affecting All Lakes In addition to the provisions of Section 8, on lands adjacent to all lakes in Huntsville, the following mitigation

measures are encouraged in order to protect water quality:

a) Public lands, including Crown lands, should not be disposed of to facilitate new development, except as

specifically provided for elsewhere in this Plan; and

b) The use of enhanced septic systems with demonstrated ability to bind phosphorus is encouraged. On all lands adjacent to all lakes in Huntsville, a minimum 30 metre setback will be required for septic tile beds

and mantles. Where this is not feasible, an enhanced septic system with demonstrated ability to bind

phosphorus will be required.

3.5.4 Provisions Affecting Over Threshold Lakes Lot creation and development of lots that require rezoning for the proposed use shall comply with the following:

a) Prior to the consideration of any lot creation or the development of lots not zoned for the proposed use on

lakes determined to be Over Threshold, a site alteration and tree conservation by-law will be in effect.

b) Where municipal services are not available on High Sensitivity Lakes, further lot creation will not be permitted.

c) On Moderate and Low Sensitivity Lakes determined to be Over Threshold, lot creation on private services may

only proceed by way of official plan and zoning by-law amendment and where a water quality impact assessment,

undertaken and implemented to the satisfaction of the District of Muskoka and the Town of Huntsville

demonstrates that the development can proceed without impacting water quality and outlines under what

circumstances the development should proceed.

d) Water quality impact assessments shall consist of the following main elements, at a minimum:

o Site condition analysis to determine if the required conditions exist on site so that development can occur

in a manner that will ensure the protection of water quality and shall include analysis of the site and

surrounding area, soil characteristics where a private septic system is proposed, and vegetation cover;

o Identification of recommended building and, where applicable, septic system envelope and mitigation

measures, including but not limited to, detailed construction mitigation plans, shoreline setbacks and

buffers, measures for protecting natural vegetation, stormwater management and monitoring of the

vegetative buffer and stormwater mitigation measures until such time as construction is complete and an

occupancy permit is issued and every three years thereafter until the lake is no longer classified as being

Over Threshold.

e) The recommendations of the water quality impact assessment are required to be implemented through the

zoning amendment, in 51(26) agreements under the Planning Act and site plan agreements.

f) The use of an enhanced septic system with demonstrated ability to bind phosphorus will be required. Development of vacant lots zoned for the proposed use on private services shall comply with the following:

a) The development of existing vacant lots on private services that are zoned for the intended use may only

proceed provided that a site evaluation report is submitted and implemented to the satisfaction of the District of

Muskoka and the Town of Huntsville that identifies the recommended building and septic system envelope and

mitigation measures, including but not limited to, detailed construction mitigation plans, shoreline setbacks and

buffers and measures for protecting natural vegetation and stormwater management.

b) Recommendations of this report will be implemented in site plan agreements or development permits.

c) The use of an enhanced septic system with demonstrated ability to bind phosphorus will be required. Redevelopment where lots are zoned for the proposed use on private services shall comply with the following:

a) Redevelopment on private services will only be permitted where it is demonstrated that no further negative

impacts will result on water quality.

b) Where the requirements outlined above cannot be met, an overall net gain shall be achieved through the

reestablishment of buffers and setbacks and the use of phosphorus abatement septic system technologies, where

an existing private system is required to be expanded or replaced.

c) Site plan agreements or development permits will be required to implement buffers, stormwater management

techniques and to identify building envelopes.

3.7 Fish Habitat

3.7.1 Fisheries and fish habitat are recognized as a valuable resource in the Town and protection of habitat is


3.7.2 Development and site alteration shall not be permitted in fish habitat except in accordance with provincial and

federal requirements.

3.7.3 Appropriate planning tools shall be used to protect and ensure that the integrity of fish habitat is maintained, as

well as to implement the recommendations of any required fish habitat impact assessments. Among various

approaches, these may include:

a) increasing lot frontages and areas at the time lots are being divided or through zoning requirements;

b) imposing increased building setbacks through zoning;

c) specific siting of buildings and structures, driveways and pathways through site plan control;

d) requiring the retention of shoreline and riparian vegetation in site plan or other agreements;

e) requiring that shoreline structures including floating and post docks, or other structures be approved by the

authority having jurisdiction;

f) improvements to the habitat; and

g) limits to dredging, filling and removal of aquatic substrate.

3.7.4 Development will be set back from a cold water stream or creek a minimum of 30 metres (100 feet) in the Waterfront

and Rural designations and 20 metres (66 feet) in a settlement area designation, unless a fish habitat impact

assessment recommends a greater setback or demonstrates that a lesser setback would not have a negative

impact on the habitat. A minimum 15 metre (50 foot), natural vegetative buffer located directly adjacent to the

shoreline will be maintained within this setback. Cold water streams have been identified on Appendices 1 to 4;

more may be identified on specific lake plans or by future research.

3.10 Forested Lands

3.10.1 The forested landscape and tree/ridge lines should be preserved to the greatest extent possible. A healthy

forested landscape is promoted.

3.10.2 Restoration and tree planting that would create or re-establish natural corridors, such as river and stream riparian

areas or wildlife corridors, is promoted.

3.12 Steep Slopes and Erosion Areas

3.12.1 Development will be set back from areas exhibiting steep slopes or active erosion. The setback distance will be

determined on site in consultation with the Town.

3.12.3 Where slopes greater than 20% exist on a property or a portion of a property, natural vegetation will be

substantially retained on slopes, before and after construction, particularly those adjacent to a shoreline, on a

ridgeline or skyline, in areas where there is minimal soil and vegetative cover, or in areas of unstable slopes or

potential erosion.

3.12.4 The following principles will be implemented for development where slopes are between 30% and 40%:

a) development on slopes should blend into the natural landscape without substantial site alteration, particularly


b) development will not be permitted on a slope where it is subject to erosion and would represent a potential

hazard to life or property;

c) natural environmental features will be protected;

d) scenic slope faces and cliffs should be preserved;

e) visual impact should be minimized;

f) structures will be setback behind the existing tree line;

g) lots will have sufficient frontage and area to accommodate the development proposed and should be larger

than the minimum lot size permitted;

h) road access can be located in a manner which is safe, minimizes visual impact, minimizes site alteration and

addresses storm water management during and after construction;

i) where only water access is proposed, suitable access will be provided for construction equipment, and

where feasible, construction/access corridors should be provided;

j) a docking location and an access pathway to the dock is available and identified on a shoreline lot; and

k) tolerance for engineered solutions which affect the natural landscape may be greater for property

within a designated community.

3.12.5 Where development is proposed on slopes between 30 and 40%, the Town will undertake a preliminary site

inspection and evaluation of the property. Where appropriate, planning tools will be used to implement any

necessary mitigation measures. Where necessary, and as determined by the Town, a site evaluation or

technical report will be prepared by the proponent to ensure that the property is suitable for development and

identify any necessary mitigation measures. All development proposals will, at a minimum, address the


a) establishment of minimum setbacks from the slope or the top of the bank;

b) locations for a shoreline activity area and particularly a dock;

c) natural vegetative buffers and vegetation to be retained;

d) storm water management and construction mitigation measures;

e) location of building envelopes which meet setback requirements defined in the Comprehensive Zoning


f) adequate area, depth and suitability of soils for supporting an appropriate on-site sewage system;

g) the availability of a potable water supply; and

h) the provision of access to an appropriate standard.

3.12.6 Where slopes of 40% and greater, or unstable soils exist over the majority of a property, or where development or

site alteration is proposed on the portion of a property which has slopes of 40% or greater or unstable soils, a site

evaluation or technical report will be required by the Town, to confirm that the lot is suitable to accommodate the

development proposed. Any site evaluation or technical report will identify any mitigation measures that are

necessary, including those noted in 3.12.5, above.

3.12.7 Where slopes of 40% and greater, or unstable soils, exist on a portion of a property, a site inspection and

preliminary evaluation of the property will be undertaken by the Town. Where development or site alteration will

not occur on or affect these slopes or unstable soils, development may proceed.

3.12.8 Development should be setback at least 15 metres (50 feet) from the top of a defined bank. A greater or lesser

setback from the top of the bank may be provided where recommended in site evaluation or a technical report.

3.12.9 Significant slopes or rock faces may be identified and protected from development.

3.14 Muskoka Heritage Areas Program

3.14.1 Heritage areas and sites are portions of the landscape or features that exhibit natural (i.e. biological, geological

hydrological or landform) or cultural (i.e. scenic or historic) attributes. These attributes are important on a

regional scale, for their environmental or social values, or as an attribute of the Town's landscape.


8.1.1 The Waterfront includes those lands outside the Huntsville Urban Settlement Area, Hidden Valley and Port

Sydney Settlement Areas, which generally extend inland 150 metres (492 feet) from any waterbody greater

than 8 hectares (20 acres) in area, including the Big East and Muskoka Rivers, and the canal between Fairy

and Peninsula Lakes. The Waterfront includes:

• all islands and lands which form the bed of any lake or river, and

• all lands that physically and functionally relate to the shoreline, even though they may extend more

than 150 metres (492 feet) from the waterbody.

This designation may exclude lands that do not physically or functionally relate to the waterfront, even though they are

located closer than 150 metres (492 feet) from the waterbody.

8.1.2 In determining which lands are to be included in the Waterfront, the following guidelines shall be used:

• the physical relationship of the land to the water is the most important factor in identifying the land which is

oriented to or away from the shoreline, and will be based on factors such as slope, drainage and visual


• small isolated parcels beyond the 150 metre (492 foot) distance, such as those on a peninsula, will be included in

the Waterfront;

• both sides of a road running parallel to a shoreline shall be included within the Waterfront, unless terrain

provides a physical separation, and depending on the distance from the shoreline;

• where a commercial property extends inland beyond the 150 metre (492 foot) distance, the whole property shall

be included in the Waterfront, unless it is clearly not functionally related to the operation the physical

relationship of the land to the water is the most important factor in identifying the land which is oriented to or

away from the shoreline, and will be based on factors such as slope, drainage and visual connection;

8.1.3 The Waterfront limits may be shown on a land use schedule as part of a Lake Plan in Section 8.12

8.1.4 Except where the Waterfront is mapped as part of a Specific Lake Plan in Section 8.12, the extent of the

Waterfront will be defined through zoning.

8.2.3 Development in the Waterfront will be based on a balance between utilizing the recreational resource and protecting its

natural features.

8.2.5 While in general development on each lake tends to exhibit a similar character and orientation to the water, most

waterfront areas have evolved with a particular character which varies as a result of its location, lake or river size,

physical and natural attributes and historic development patterns.

8.2.6 Most of the lakes and rivers in Huntsville already have extensive amounts of development around their shorelines, and

have varying amounts of vacant or undeveloped land. The focus of development on many of the lakes will be more

on the redevelopment of existing properties rather than on new lot creation or development of vacant lots.

8.2.9 New development and the redevelopment of existing properties will maintain a low structural profile with limited visual

impact in relation to the tree line.

8.2.10 Naturalized shorelines will be substantially maintained and such uses that do occur at the shoreline will be

minimally obtrusive, and have limited impact on the natural and aesthetic environment.

8.2.11 The open space, natural character of the shorelines will be enhanced through efforts by the Town and by lake

residents to increase the amount of land that is either in public ownership or is permanently preserved for

conservation purposes, through parkland acquisition, establishment of conservation easements and acquisition

through land trusts.

8.2.12 This Plan endorses and promotes a stewardship ethic for shore lands that will include landscape

naturalization, improved on-site retention and treatment of pollutants, improved compatibility with the natural

environment, where development will co-exist with the surrounding natural environment.

8.2.14 The character of the Waterfront will be maintained by retaining the traditional mix of land uses and the overall

low density of development, as well as preserving the natural environment, particularly related to water quality,

topography and landscape, vegetation, natural shorelines and significant natural areas and habitats.


8.3.1 When viewed from the water, the visual impact of development is an

important consideration in maintaining the character of a waterbody. The natural environment is intended to be the dominant

landscape feature around a waterbody. Disturbance on lots should be limited and minimized and the maximum

amount of vegetation should be retained on a lot. Vegetation should be maintained on skylines, ridge lines or adjacent

to the top of rock cliffs. Additional natural buffering or screening should be provided to supplement existing vegetation

along the shoreline. Terrain alterations should be minimized. Structural development that would create a new skyline

or ridgeline above the tree canopy will not be permitted.

8.3.2 The following design principles will be adhered to for development in the Waterfront, as appropriate for the

specific use and the area:

a) the natural landscape should prevail with built form blending into that landscape and shoreline;

b) natural shorelines will be retained or restored;

c) lot sizes will respond to the natural landscape, topographic features and the character of the lake or


d) rock faces, steep slopes, vistas and panoramas should be preserved and vegetation should be

maintained on skylines, ridge lines or adjacent to the top of rock cliffs;

e) native species should be used for buffers and where vegetation is being restored;

f) buildings and structures should be low profile and should not exceed the height of the tree canopy. A

prominent building may be considered for resort commercial development only if it is designed as a

landmark and is in keeping with the building style and environment of the surrounding area;

g) building mass and coverage should be limited in relation to the size and frontage of the property and shall

be in keeping with the character of the surrounding area;

h) lot lines should follow existing features and terrain and should be configured so that conflicts between

abutting properties are minimized, particularly at the shoreline.

i) setbacks from roads shall be sufficient to provide and maintain a natural buffer between the

development and the road, in order to maintain a vegetative character along the roads, however,

the waterfront setback should take precedence when a lot has insufficient depth to provide a buffer

at both the shoreline and the road.

j) building envelopes and the associated activity area should be defined and located in the most

appropriate area on the property, with the remainder of the property generally remaining in its natural


8.3.3 The shallow near shore area in the water in front of lots is a significant component of the "ribbon of life" around

the lakes, and is a key component in preserving the health of the lakes. This shallow near shore area is

generally located within 20 metres (66 feet) of the shoreline, and/or in shallow areas that are generally less

than 2 metres (6.6 feet) in depth. Development within and adjacent to the shallow near shore areas shall be

restricted and shall have minimum impact on the near shore.

8.3.4 A shoreline activity area is the portion of a shoreline frontage of a lot located within the required setback from

the shoreline where accessory shoreline structures are located and where there is access to the water for

activities such as swimming or boat launching. To maintain an appropriate balance between a natural

shoreline and built form within the Waterfront, structures in shoreline activity areas should be focused within a

defined area of the shoreline frontage and be limited in extent. Such activity areas may be developed in more

than one location on a property, where appropriate. The extent of shoreline activity areas will be considered

within the following targets:

a) 25% of the shoreline frontage or up to 23 metres (75 feet), whichever is the lesser, for linear shoreline

residential development;

b) 25% of the shoreline frontage of the open space block or up to 30 metres (100 feet) whichever is

the lesser for residential cluster development;

c) 33% of the shoreline frontage for tourist commercial and institutional accommodation, waterfront

contracting operations, and waterfront landings; and

d) 50% of the shoreline frontage for marinas.

8.3.8 The portion of the shoreline frontage not required for shoreline activity shall be retained or restored as a natural

vegetative buffer in order to protect the riparian and littoral zones and associated habitat, prevent erosion,

siltation and nutrient migration, maintain shoreline character and appearance, and minimize the visual impact

of development. Within the natural vegetative buffer, meandering pathways or access points to the shoreline that

are constructed of permeable material, pruning of trees for viewing purposes, or the removal of trees for safety

reasons may be permitted. The principle of development in the vegetative buffer shall be minimal disturbance

of the ground, shrub and canopy layers.

8.3.9 Where existing shoreline structures do not meet the requirements of this Plan, they may be rebuilt or replaced

provided the new structure better meets the requirements of this Plan.

8.3.10 Buildings and structures extending beyond the controlled or normal high water

mark of a waterbody shall be designed and located in a manner which:

a) do not create a hazard to navigation as defined in the Canada Shipping Act;

b) do not have a significant detrimental effect on abutting property;

c) do not significantly obstruct the natural flow of water;

d) minimize, to the extent possible, potential damage from flood and ice heaving; and

e) do not have a detrimental effect on fish habitat and wildlife habitat as determined by the authorities

having jurisdiction.

8.3.11 Boathouses and boat ports shall be limited to one storey in height. No accommodation facilities are permitted

in a boathouse.

8.4.3 Development of shoreline lots with only water access may be permitted where:

a) road access is not available;

b) road access cannot be provided by way of an extension from an existing road in the vicinity; and

c) adequate docking and vehicle parking facilities are secured by the property owner on the mainland to the

satisfaction of the Town.

8.5.1 In general, development or redevelopment in the Waterfront will be serviced by private individual water and sewage

systems, with the exception of tourist commercial development where private communal services may be

considered, as provided for in Section This Plan supports the increased use of sewage systems with proven

ability to mitigate phosphorus.

8.5.2 New leaching beds and mantles are encouraged to be located as far back from the shoreline as is reasonable and

possible, and shall be located a minimum of 30 metres (100 feet) from the shoreline. Where it is not physically possible

(due to terrain features, lot depth or design features) to locate the leaching bed and mantle at such a distance, a

lesser setback may be permitted based on the recommendations of a Site Evaluation Report and in accordance with

current legislated minimum setback requirements. Advanced septic system technology may be required in this


8.5.3 Owners of existing properties are encouraged to upgrade their existing sewage systems to current standards if

inspection suggests that those systems are not performing up to the levels achievable with new installed systems. Back lot development consists of lots that are physically separated from the shoreline by a legally conveyable

parcel of patented land that has development potential. Back lots are usually located in a linear fashion along a

road which is generally parallel to the shoreline, but may also be located on a road which runs perpendicular

to the shore.

8.8.2 Shoreline Residential The minimum lot area for all new lots shall be 1 hectare (2.5 acres). The minimum required shoreline frontage for a linear residential lot shall be 60 metres (200 feet). The

frontage may be increased beyond 60 metres (200 feet) on a particular lake where the character of the lake

warrants such increased standard, where development or environmental constraints dictate the need for a larger

frontage, or where the characteristics of the particular lot require an increased standard. Notwithstanding the requirements established above, where a property owner proposes to convey a significant

portion of lakefront land to a land trust or the municipality for conservation purposes in perpetuity, shoreline lots

with smaller frontages may be recognized. A minimum lot frontage of 45 metres (150 feet) would be required for

any residential lot considered in this instance, as long as an equal minimum 45 metres (150 feet) of lakefront is

conveyed for conservation for each residential lot created. Wherever possible, existing, undersized shoreline lots should be merged to create larger parcels. This would

help preserve the character of the lake, and reduce the overall amount of development on the lake.

Development of existing undersized lots for residential use may be permitted where it has been demonstrated to

the satisfaction of the Town, that the lot is suitable for development and all other applicable policies of the Plan are

satisfied. Existing vacant lots of record that are below 30 metres (100 feet) of frontage and 0.3 hectares (0.7

acres) in area may be considered for development subject to the processing of a zoning amendment or variance

application which establishes site specific regulations. A site evaluation report may be required by the Town to

confirm the suitability of the lot for development. Setbacks provide room for buffers and are utilized to attenuate phosphorus loadings from storm water as well

as to maintain the natural integrity of shorelines, including fish and wildlife habitat. Setbacks are also utilized to

reduce or soften the visual impact of development on a lot. Vegetation within the setback should be disturbed as

little as possible. Similarly, alterations to the soil mantle should be minimized. Except as identified elsewhere

in this Plan, the minimum setback for all structural development (including redevelopment on existing properties)

except refurbishment or modernization of existing dwellings shall be 20 metres (66 feet), measured horizontally

from the high water mark. A septic tile field shall be a minimum 30 metres from the high water mark. This

provision does not apply to docks or boathouses or other approved shoreline structures or to heritage

structures. A lesser setback may be permitted only if:

a) it is not physically possible, due to terrain or lot depth features, to meet the required setback, or

in the case of redevelopment of a property, the imposition of the new setback would result in a more negative impact

on the property than allowing reconstruction at the existing setback. A site evaluation report and a site plan agreement shall be required by the Town in support of requests to

reduce the setback beyond that which is established in the zoning by-law. The site evaluation report will

clearly identify the compensating features that justify the reduction in the setback and will propose mitigation

measures to further reduce the impact of the development. The size of a dwelling, combined with its location on a site, may have a direct effect on the visual impact of the

development. As such, the zoning by-law shall provide standards to regulate dwelling size. Dwelling size may

be regulated through a combination of restrictions on the total footprint, floor area, width, or height, combined

with setback and landscaping considerations. Parking areas on a lot shall be located as far back as possible from the shoreline, and should not be located

between the dwelling and the shorelines.

8.8.3 Back Lot Residential New residential back lots will have a minimum lot area of 4 hectares (10 acres) with a minimum of 135 metres

(440 feet) of lot frontage on a year round publicly maintained road. Development on back lots will be setback from the public road a sufficient distance to provide a buffer which

will address visual impact. Within the buffer area, vegetation will be substantially retained and will not be

completely removed. Where previously removed, vegetation should be restored using native species. The creation of new access to the water by right-of-way over existing waterfront properties to accommodate

shoreline access by a residential back lot shall not be permitted.

8.8.5 Residential Compounds

Residential Compounds Where more than one dwelling exists on a property in a residential compound type situation, the existing

development may be permitted but the addition of any further dwellings on the property should not be permitted

unless the development complies with the standards in Section, above, and an appropriate individual

water supply and sewage disposal system location can be confirmed. Expansion of existing buildings or

structures or the addition of accessory structures should only be permitted where the intent and principles of

the plan will be addressed. Any lot division of a residential compound shall comply with the applicable provisions of Section 8.8.2, 8.8.4 or

11.5.5. Waterfront commercial uses include:

a) Tourist commercial uses;

b) Institutional camps;

c) Marinas;

d) Existing Contractors' access operations;

e) Existing tent and trailer parks. Institutional camps are a form of tourist commercial activity that contribute to the tourist social and

cultural base of the Town. Areas traditionally used as Institutional camps, such as religious resorts, children's camps or other

establishments providing common use of recreational or waterfront facilities may be expanded and

redeveloped for similar use provided there is no negative impact on the property or surrounding lands, or the

water quality of the waterbody. The expansion of institutional camps shall be based on appropriate limits for the upgrading, expansion or

redevelopment of each existing use and will be established in the zoning by-law for individual sites. Such limits

will ensure that:

a) the location, size, characteristics and capacity of the property is suitable for the proposed use;

b) any increased density of development or intensity of use (buildings, structures and facilities, floor area,

accommodation units, boat slips, lot coverage, recreational and leisure facilities, etc.) will be appropriate for the


c) adequate access and services, including water supply and waste disposal will be available;

d) compatibility with surrounding properties will be addressed; and

e) the phasing of development can be accommodated, where appropriate. The conversion of institutional camps to other tourist commercial uses shall require an amendment to this Plan.


8.10.1 Open space and conservation uses are encouraged throughout the Waterfront. The predominant use of

lands shall be for passive and active recreation and conservation purposes.

8.10.2 Permitted uses shall include public parks, portages and access areas for hiking, picnicking, cross-country

skiing, snowmobiling, angling, or other similar outdoor recreational activities, and conservation uses and areas

including nature study and wilderness areas.

8.10.3 Public open space and conservation lands will remain in the public domain for public use.

8.10.4 Currently used portages will be preserved or new trails made to provide another suitable route.

8.10.5' Only buildings and structures incidental to the principal permitted recreational uses shall be permitted.

8.10.6 Recreational uses shall be compatible with adjacent land uses and, where necessary, such facilities shall be

designed in such a manner so as to provide adequate spatial separation, buffering, landscaping and/or fencing

to ensure that any adverse effects associated with such uses are minimized.


8.11.1 A narrow waterbody is defined as a navigable lake or river where:

a) The distance from shore to shore is 150 metres (500 feet) or less; and,

b) In the case of a bay in a lake, the length of the bay is also greater than 100 metres (330 feet).

8.11.2 Development will not be permitted on a narrow waterbody where a hazard to navigation would result, as

confirmed by the authority having jurisdiction.

8.11.4 In the case of an existing lot located adjacent to a narrow waterbody, a variety of other techniques, such as

increasing building setbacks for primary buildings, limitations on the location and size of shoreline structures,

retention of vegetation and night sky sensitive and safe lighting will be considered in order to address issues

associated with specific narrow water bodies.

8.11.5 Where only a portion of a lot is located on a narrow waterbody, the requirements for narrow waterbodies may

be applied to the whole property, unless the siting of development and other appropriate measures can be

implemented to the satisfaction of the Town in order to properly address the issues associated with

development on a narrow waterbody.

8.11.7 Where development is proposed along a narrow waterbody located along a river, the following policies shall


a) Development will be a backshore or cluster form of development, with no individual lot having direct or

exclusive access to the shoreline, and will be subject to the provisions of Section 8.8.4.

b) Any shore road allowance shall be retained in public ownership and where practical, be used for

recreational trail purposes;

c) Additional lands required to enhance the public usability of the shoreline shall be provided;

d) Where the features and facilities noted above are provided, lots shall not be required to have increased

lot frontages as contemplated for lots on narrow waterbodies, and shall be subject to the provisions of this plan

for cluster residential development.


8.13.1 Lake Plans provide more detailed land use policy direction for specific lakes in the Town, and are intended to

go beyond the more general policy framework of both the Town of Huntsville Official Plan and District

Municipality of Muskoka Official Plan. Such plans are intended to identify, reflect and respond to the character

and physical capabilities of particular lakes.

8.13.2 Each lake possesses its own character that is a result of its location, size, physical attributes, access and

historic development. The mix of uses, extent of natural features and constraints, and individual historic lot

standards all combine to generate the uniqueness of a given lake. Lake Plans may be developed for specific

lakes in Huntsville that address different minimum lot standards for new lot creation, regulate redevelopment

activities, support improved public access to the lake, or recognize special needs (e.g. for waterfront landings

where there are extensive "water access only areas").

8.13.3 Lake Plans prepared for individual lakes often go beyond land use planning considerations. The land use

planning components of a Lake Plan are intended to be implemented through policies in this Plan. Other

features of a Lake Plan will be implemented through the efforts of individual ratepayer organizations.

8.13.4 It is recognized that environmental, physical and social factors other than recreational water quality may also

present limits to the amount of development that would be desirable for a particular lake. Therefore, the

preparation of specific Lake Plans in consultation with waterfront communities is strongly encouraged to

address these matters on an individual lake basis.

8.13.5 The following matters should be addressed where appropriate through a specific Lake Plan:

a) definition of the characteristics and character of the Lake;

b) place in the watershed, drainage basin and related waterways;

c) topography, landscape, shoreline features and hazards;

d) areas of constraint to development such as steep slopes, narrow waterbodies and wetlands;

e) allocation of water quality capacity;

f) cultural heritage and historic development;

g) identification of current land use on lake with distinct areas and neighbourhoods shown and type

of vegetation cover around lake;

h) sensitive boating issues/areas;

i) public and private open space, recreation areas or trails; j) public access points;

k) development potential and capacity;

I) natural areas or landscape features to be preserved; and

m) specific policies and standards for development.

8.13.6 Development will be encouraged to have regard for the values, principles and stewardship features of

individual Lake Plans.

8.13.7 Those provisions of the lake plan that are related to municipal planning policy and that may vary from the general

provisions of the Huntsville Official Plan are carried forward as specific policies applicable to the Lake.

11.5 Existing Land Uses

11.5.1 Any land use existing at the date of the approval of the Zoning By-law that does not conform with the provisions of this

Plan should cease to exist in the long term. In special instances, however, it may be desirable to permit the extension

or enlargement of the non-conforming use on the property owned on the above noted date, in order to prevent

unnecessary hardship. Such extensions or enlargements will require the approval of the Committee of Adjustment or

approval of a Zoning By-law amendment.

11.5.4 Existing lots which do not meet the specific lot standards of this plan with respect to minimum lot frontage

and area may be recognized for development in an implementing Zoning By-law provided that:

a) specific minimum site standards for such lots are detailed in the by-law; b) the lot is generally in character with the

surrounding area,

c) the lot is large enough to support a potable water supply and sewage disposal system except where connected

to municipal services;

d) the general intent of this Plan is maintained; and

e) a site evaluation report may be required to confirm the suitability of the lot for development prior to any lot being

so recognized in a zoning bylaw.

11.5.5 Exceptions to minimum lot size requirements maybe considered by the Town where more than one primary,

free standing, substantive and structurally sound building legally exists, and provided that the general intent and

policies of the plan are respected.

11.7.2 Significant natural features may be designated Open Space, and potentially acquired as public open space. Where

any lands under private ownership are designated as Open Space, this Plan shall not be construed to imply that

such lands will necessarily be purchased by the Town. If at any time, proposals are made to develop any such

lands, and the Town does not wish to purchase the lands in order to develop or maintain the Open Space,

then an application for the redesignation of such lands for other purposes will be given due consideration by the


11.7.7 Where possible, municipal lands adjacent to water bodies will be kept in a natural state.

11.8.4 Natural areas, including hazard lands, creek valleys, other environmentally sensitive areas, or significant ridges

will be set aside as permanent open space and shall not necessarily constitute part of the statutory dedication

for public open space use. The Town may consider acquiring natural areas where it is in the public interest to do

so and where such lands contribute to the character of the area.

11.8.5 In order to increase the amount of public or conservation lakefront lands around the lake, the Town will acquire

lakefront land where appropriate as the 5% parkland dedication rather than requiring a cash-in-lieu contribution.

As an alternative to this requirement, particularly in more remote areas or where limited parcels would be

created, consideration may be given by the Town to taking a cash-in-lieu contribution and/or a lake front

conservation easement.

11.9.1 Where a land use change or new residential lot creation is proposed that is likely to adversely affect existing

uses or be adversely affected by existing uses, a feasibility study that assesses the impacts of odour, noise,

vibration, particulate or other emissions may be required in accordance with provincial guidelines. Some uses (e.g.,

residential) may be sensitive to the odour, noise, vibration or other emissions associated with facilities such as

highways, arterial roads, railway corridors, pits and quarries, various types of industries and sewage treatment

facilities. The feasibility study shall include recommendations on how impacts can be mitigated. The approval

of the development proposals shall be based upon the achievement of adequate separation distances

between land uses and other mitigation recommendations.


13.1.4 The plan may also be implemented through the development of more detailed planning policy such as specific

lake plans, an open space strategy, a capacity allocation strategy, or a community design strategy. Notwithstanding Policy 13.4.1, new lots for any permitted use may be created by consent provided:

a) it has been determined that a plan of subdivision is not required for the proper and orderly development

of the land;

b) the intent and purpose of the Official Plan and zoning Bylaw are maintained;

c) there is no extension of municipal services required, unless addressed through a development agreement;


d) the lots can be serviced with an appropriate water supply and sewage disposal system. Where the Town determines that it is appropriate, lot creation may occur through the use of Part Lot Control

Exemption by bylaw, in accordance with the provisions of the Planning Act.

13.6.1 All areas of the Town are designated as Site Plan Control areas under the provisions of the Planning Act. All

uses in the Town shall be subject to Site Plan Control, except the following uses, which may, at the discretion

of the town, be exempted:

a) low density residential development within the Huntsville Urban Area, Hidden Valley Settlement Area

and Port Sydney Settlement Area, with the exception of residential development located on the shores of a


b) low density residential development outside the Waterfront designation;

c) agricultural uses;

d) minor renovations or extensions;

13.6.2 Site Plan Control shall be utilized by the Town to ensure its compatibility with the vision and principles of this plan

and to ensure:

a) safe, orderly and functional development;

b) safety and efficiency of vehicular and pedestrian and wheelchair/scooter access;

c) land use compatibility between new and existing development;

d) the provision of functional and attractive on site amenities and facilities such as buffering,

landscaping, fencing and lighting, to enhance the urban design policies of this Plan;

e) the provision and appropriate placement of required services such as driveways, parking, loading facilities

and garbage storage and collection;

f) the provision of easements or grading and site alterations necessary to provide for public utilities and

site drainage or storm water management;

g) the proposed development is built and maintained as approved;

h) the proposed development is universally accessible; and

i) appropriate protection to the natural environment, including recreational water quality.

13.6.3 The Town shall not approve a site plan agreement until the District Engineer, or his designate has been

advised and afforded a reasonable opportunity to require the owner of the land to meet District requirements

where District interests would be affected.

13.6.5 The Town shall prepare and adopt Site Plan Guidelines that establish standards and regulations for

development. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Town may consider the use of density, height or other bonuses

and related bonusing agreements in order to foster more innovative and integrated development, projects with higher

standards of amenity and mixed use developments, while maintaining compliance with the principles and objectives

of this Plan.

13.8.2 The Town will encourage the use of innovative forms of tenure and ownership of properties to encourage their long

term conservation. These may include conservation easements, property acquisition by a local land trust, use

of available tax incentive programs, and potential use of cluster residential development on lots where large

holdings can then be preserved.

13.9.4 Where numbers or values are specified in the text, such quantities are intended as guidelines. Deviation from

these numerical requirements, where they are minor and restricted in nature, may be permitted provided the intent

of the Plan is maintained. In these instances, the land subject to a development application must have features

that compensate for the deficiencies from the requirements, and any issues must be able to be addressed

through appropriate development control techniques. Where required by the Town, such a request shall be

accompanied by a site evaluation report and site plan that demonstrates how the integrity of the area is


13.14.1 Where required elsewhere in this Plan or as required by the Town or other agencies through the development

review process, an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) shall be prepared in accordance with the requirements

of this section, in consultation with other appropriate authorities, and to the satisfaction of the authority having


13.14.2 An impact assessment may be required in order to determine the impact of development on natural or cultural

values, whether development is appropriate and to identify any necessary mitigation measures. When

required, such assessments will determine the impact of the proposed development on matters related to the

situation, such as the following:

• wetlands;

• fisheries habitat;

• wildlife habitat;

• natural heritage areas or sites;

• cultural heritage resources; or

• ground or surface water resources.

13.15.1 A Site Evaluation Report may be required by the Town to confirm whether a lot is suitable for the development

proposed, whether, development constraints can be addressed, and if so, the most appropriate manner in which

the proposed development should occur. When required, a Site Evaluation Report will evaluate the suitability of

a site related to matters such as the following:

• ability of a lot to accommodate and sustain the proposed

• development, including access;

• appropriate development on existing undersized lots;

• lot size and configuration;

• slopes;

• proximity to narrow waterbodies;

• access; or

• soil cover and vegetation retention.

13.19.1 Sensitive lighting which is oriented downward, is low wattage, energy efficient, and minimizes glare will be

encouraged, throughout the Town, in order to:

• prevent conflicts with abutting uses and preserve privacy;

• prevent impacts on wildlife and hazards to navigation; and

• preserve the night sky.

13.19.2 Lighting practices that help preserve the nighttime sky are encouraged for all development in the Town. The

view of the nighttime sky is important to tourism and worth preserving for future generations.

13.19.3 The Town, as part of its site plan approval procedures, shall require the preparation of a lighting plan that

incorporates night-sky sensitive lighting initiatives.

13.21.1 A boat impact assessment may be required when any of the following are proposed:

• A new marina;

• A commercial dock in a narrow waterbody;

• A dock to accommodate 15 or more boats.

General Release