Huntsville Zoning By-Law
The Council of the Town of Huntsville passed the new comprehensive zoning by-law at its meeting of June 2, 2008. The LWRA Board of Directors participated in the public input process, guided by the existing Lake Plan, and are pleased that most of our suggestions have been incorporated in the new by-law.
A significant change was been made with regard to residential zoning. Previously, properties were zoned as either "Residential" or "Seasonal Residential". Under the new by-law there are 6 categories of residential occupancy and 5 categories under the new "Shoreline Residential" class, with SR1 being the least restrictive and allowing the highest density of development and SR5 being the most restrictive. Residential properties fronting on the four lakes have all been zoned SR5.
The general requirements of SR5 zoning are as follows: The minimum size of a lot is the size of that existing lot as of June 2, 2008. That is, no further subdivision of properties will be allowed, no matter what the size of the existing property. Development will only be allowed on existing vacant lots provided they are greater than 1,350 sq. meters (14,530 sq. ft).
Preserving the existing mix of lot sizes meets the requirements of the District of Muskoka Official Plan by averaging the overall human impact on the lake:
"D.19 The Area Municipalities will establish a variety of lot sizes and frontages reflective of environmental constraints. In particular, waterfront lots should be of sufficient size to accommodate the use proposed, related structural requirements and private individual services. In addition, waterfront lots should be sized and designed to recognize environmental, man-made or other influences including soil, terrain, water quality, fish habitat and waterbody constraints among others."
The minimum frontage allowed for a lot is the frontage that exists on that lot as of June 2, 2008 and development will only be allowed on lots with frontage greater than 29 meters (95')
In all cases, the minimum setback from the water is 30m (100'), which contains the "shoreline buffer zone". A shoreline buffer extends across a minimum of 75% of the waterfront at a minimum depth of 15m (50') measured from the shoreline. The lands located within a shoreline buffer are to be maintained in a natural state except for the removal of dead and decaying vegetation and a 2m. (6.6') wide pedestrian pathway from the dwelling, building or structure, to the shoreline.
Setbacks from the side lot lines are 6m (20'), from the rear is 10m (33'), from cold water streams is 30m (100'), and from warm water streams is 20m (66').
Maximum building height is 9m (30'). Maximum lot coverage is 5%, including no more than 3 roofed accessory structures (eg: boathouse, bunkie, woodshed, garage, etc.) The permitted uses are a single detached dwelling or an artisan's studio. A home occupation is also permitted provided that the use is at least 30m (100') from any waterway and a Bed and Breakfast is permitted on lots over 1 hectare (2.5 acres), provided it is located at least 30m (100') away from any waterway. Other commercial uses are prohibited.
A dock must comply with the minimum required side yard of the zone or the projection of the lot line perpendicular to the shoreline where it meets the shoreline, and have a maximum projection into the water of 15 metres (50') from the high water mark.
A boathouse or boatport is permitted provided it does not exceed 100 square metres (1,076 sq ft.) in floor area, 10m (33') in width and complies with the minimum required side yard of the zone, as above. If it is covered by a flat roof used as a private open sitting area, it must be located twice the minimum side yard requirement from the lot line and have a safety railing or partial wall not exceeding 1.5m (4.9') in height. The private sitting area may not contain any other walls or other structures. A dryland boathouse must be set back at least 30m (100').
A pumphouse may be located near the water, provided it does not exceed 2m (6.6') in height or an area of 9 sq. m. (97 sq. ft.). An unenclosed deck is permitted within the required yard abutting a shoreline, provided it does not exceed 30 sq. m. (323 sq. ft.) in floor area, is located no closer than 5m (16') from the shoreline (except where such deck is attached to a dock) and the deck floor is no more than 1 metre (3.3 feet) from the grade below it. The maximum cumulative width of all shoreline structures (eg: boathouse, pumphouse, deck, dock, gazebo, etc) is 15m (50') or 25% of the lot width, whichever is less.
One freestanding gazebo is permitted within the required yard abutting a shoreline, provided it does not exceed 15 sq. m. (161.4 sq. ft.) in floor area and may be located on a dock. An outdoor sauna or hot tub is permitted provided it is a minimum of 20m. (66') from the front lot line,does not have a total floor area greater than 9 sq. m. (96.9 sq. ft.). The minimum side yard requirement is twice the minimum side yard requirement.
The maximum number of shoreline structures shall be limited to a dock and boathouse/boatport and one additional shoreline structure. However, a shoreline structure may include more than one use in combination (e.g. a hot tub within a gazebo or a pumphouse within a boathouse). A second dock may be permitted as the second shoreline structure. The maximum height of an accessory building is 4m (13') except a garage which may be 2 stories, provided the upper story does not exceed 60 sq. meters (645 sq. ft), the height does not exceed 7m (23') and the setback is at least 6m (20') from the side and rear lot lines.
The upper story of the garage may serve as a bunkie, or "private cabin", and as such may contain sanitary facilities, but not cooking facilities. One such private cabin is allowed per lot, provided the lot is greater than 4,000 sq. meters (1 acre). A bunkie may not exceed 60 sq. meters (645 sq. ft.) and may not be closer to the shore than the main building.
A walkout from a basement that is 1.5m. (4.9') below the finished grade to a maximum width of 20% of the building width or 4m. (13') is not included in when considering usual height requirements. Put another way, if your walk-out exceeds 20% of the building width or 13' or is more than 4.9' below grade, the height is considered part of the total building height. Radio/television towers and flag poles are not subject to any height restrictions.
Where a legal non-complying building is damaged, destroyed, or demolished, the reconstruction of the building is restricted to its original footprint, building size, height and location provided reconstruction occurs within 2 years. After 2 years, the new structure must comply with the zoning requirements. The expansion of or addition to a legal non-complying building is permitted provided it is not more than the height of the original structure and it complies with all other provisions of the by-law.
Similarly, legal non-conforming uses may continue provided that they are restricted to the existing size of the facility.
Where a lot is in a Shoreline Residential Zone and abutting or traversed by a seasonally maintained public or private road, a use, building or structure may be used on such lot in accordance with the provisions of the zone.
A trailer, recreational vehicle or boat must be stored at least 100' back from the waterfront. The use of tents, trailers and recreational vehicles for human habitation is prohibited except for the occasional accommodation of guests, provided that a detached dwelling exists on the property. Tents for children's play, picnics, weddings, family reunions, or other similar private functions are permitted.
No parking is permitted within 3m (10') of a street line.