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Boathouses

  1. Boswell v. Seguin (Township)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    This variance hearing was uncontested. On Lake Joseph, there are many substantial boathouses with upper living quarters. Some are larger than what is permitted by today’s zoning – which was sometimes adopted years after these structures were built. Boswell (Applicant) owned on of those non-complying structures in the Township of Seguin. The Applicant proposed a boatlift apparatus, intended for the boat moored under her awning. Although these devices spend much of their time underwater, By-law 2006-25 treats any “in-water shoreline structure or facility” in much the same way as a building. The Applicant applied for three variances: to reduce the sideyard setback; to allow a corresponding increase in width of the boathouse; and to allow an adjustment in the allowable shoreline frontage. The Committee of Adjustment received letters of opposition and the Committee turned down the variances. The Applicant then appealed to the Board.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    Although there are many instances where concerns would be justified, the Board was not convinced that they apply to the fact situation here. In terms of visual impact, and respect for the water and the shoreline: at present, the view is of a boat at water level, under a cantilevered awning; under this proposal, the only change to that vista would be that the boat would be propped, instead of being at water level. The Board was not persuaded that, in this specific case, the incremental act of propping the boat under the awning would represent a significant visual digression – as viewed from the lake. The Board concludes that the evidence makes the proposed variances minor, for the purposes of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  2. Mehlenbacher v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal for two minor variances to expand an existing two storey boathouse by adding a 198 square foot covered deck to the second storey. The variance would allow relief for the cumulative width of 15% whereas the by-law permits 13%.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the addition to the boathouse will have an impact on the views from the lake and the covered deck would fundamentally change the view from the water. The OP sets limits for the development of waterfront structures based upon the size of the lake, the coverage of structures, and the frontage of the lot. The evidence clearly demonstrated that a significant area of natural shoreline would be blocked by the new roof and would increase the dominance of the man-made environment as opposed to the natural environment. Therefore, the Board finds the scale of the variance to be excessive because it transfers the rights of larger lots (over 400 feet) to a much smaller lot.


    Document(s):



  3. Train v. Weir

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Leave to Appeal, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Superior Court of Justice


    Application/issue:

    Train moves under s. 96 of the Ontario Municipal Board Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.28 for leave to appeal the decision to the Divisional Court on a question of law. The original appeal was granted to Mr. Weir resulting in the Board declining the building of a boathouse by Mr. Train.


    Held:

    Leave to Appeal declined


    Reasons:

    The moving party has not satisfied the Court that the Board failed to adhere to the underlying principles in having regard to council’s decision. Therefore, the Court does not find that the Board’s application of the principle is open to substantial doubt as an error of law. The Court also finds that the argument of possible abuse of hearsay evidence is not something that would ordinarily meet the test for leave to appeal to the Divisional Court, and does not so in this instance.


    Document(s):



  4. Davis v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Official Plan Amendments, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal to the Board of the refusals of the Township to approve an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit a two-storey boathouse. The OPA will permit lot coverage of 11.9% whereas maximum is 10%. The ZBLA will permit side yard setback of 42 feet rather than the required 45 feet.


    Held:

    Appeal granted


    Reasons:

    Settlement was reached and appeal of OPA was withdrawn. Further, the ZBLA conforms to the OP and represents good planning, will have no adverse environmental impacts, and the built-form of the boathouse will not dominate the natural environment and it will maintain the existing character of the shoreline. In addition, the proposed development will only cover 16.3% of the actual shoreline, as compared to the 25.0% limit contained in the OP.


    Document(s):



  5. Train v. Weir

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal to the Board of Town council’s decision to pass Zoning By-law 2011-157, permitting the construction of the boathouse, as it does not conform to the town’s Official Plan; it does not comply with the spirit and intent of Comprehensive ZBA 2010-04; and the matter was previously dealt with by the Town.


    Held:

    Appeal granted


    Reasons:

    The Board’s reasons have to do with the natural environment and culture of the area, as there are not many boathouses near Portage Bay, and therefore maintaining a natural shoreline environment with the construction of boathouse becomes challenging. Further, the Portage Bay constitutes a narrow waterway by the definition of the zoning by-law, however the distance from shoreline to shoreline is approximately 90 metres, less than the 150 metres required to remove it from this definition, and therefore the boathouse is not permitted.


    Document(s):



  6. Slater v. KRH Holdings Inc. & Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from the decision of the Council for the Township of Muskoka Lakes that enacted Zoning By-law Amendment No. 2009-140, which permitted a sleeping cabin above a boathouse in the Community Residential (R1) Zone. The ZBA also placed a maximum floor area size restriction of 650 feet squared for the second storey of the boathouse and in addition restricted the maximum permitted lot coverage.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that there are no consistency issues with any Provincial Planning policies resulting from the application and that the proposed ZBA would be in conformity with the OP policies. There would be no negative impacts resulting from the relief being requested beyond what one would anticipate from a structure built in full compliance with the Zoning By-law’s regulations.


    Document(s):



  7. Brown & Orrett v. Town of Bracebridge & Benson

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal of a variance to Zoning By-law 2006-120 in order to construct a boathouse. Authorization of the variance would increase the permitted percentage of the shoreline to be developed from 25% to 36.52%, resulting in a boathouse of 48.69 feet in width as compared to a permitted 30.08 feet.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the Committee of Adjustment gave the application a thorough review, stating that the application is minor and is appropriate as the boathouse will meet all other requirements of the Zoning By-law. The Board rejects the appellant’s submissions that the application would affect his property value. The Board agrees with the applicants that the general purpose and intent of the ZBL is maintained through the limitation on waterfront structures in that the proposed structure is less extensive than the existing docks and is located some 61 feet from the appellant’s property.


    Document(s):



  8. Hanmer v. Town of Gravenhurst

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from the decision of the Committee of Adjustment for the Town of Gravenhurst, which refused his application for relief from the provisions of the Zoning By-law 94-95, for an increase in the height of his one-storey boathouse. The permitted height is 3.9 metres and the Appellant requests an increase of 0.7 metres, to 4.6 metres. The Town’s position is that it would have negative aesthetic impact on the shoreline when viewed from the water.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the Appellant has discharged its burden to meet all four tests under Section 45 of the Planning Act for the application to be approved. The height variance is minor both in size and impact and the applicant has demonstrated that he intends that structure to be used solely for storage and not habitation. Further, there would be no adverse effect on the aesthetic quality and natural environment of the waterfront.


    Document(s):



  9. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Littler

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from a decision of the Corporation of Muskoka Lakes’ Committee of Adjustment not to support a requested variance from By-law 87-87 for a proposed gazebo with the following variances: to permit a two storey no-complying boathouse to be increased in volume through a restoration to a roofline and the addition of a dormer; to permit a gazebo over water. The Committee of Adjustment recommended that the first variance application be approved but denied to permit a gazebo over water.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part


    Reasons:

    The Board finds the requested variance for the gazebo does not meet the four tests of Section 45(1) of the Planning Act. The variance does not maintain the general purpose and intent of the operative Official Plan and that of the applicable Zoning By-law; it must be minor and be desirable for the appropriate development of the land. Therefore, the appeal is allowed in part and authorizes variance 1 to Zoning By-law 87-87.


    Document(s):



  10. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Water and Ice Limited

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An amendment to revise the Zoning By-law 87-87, which would alter the maximum permitted width of the boathouse, the maximum permitted extension, the maximum permitted height, and permitting the number of storey’s in the boathouse to two.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board agrees that the proposal was not in general conformance with the Township and District policy framework and more specifically, contravenes the spirit and intent of Township of Muskoka Lakes By-law 87-87. The number, significance and requested scope of the required exemptions were, in his opinion, not supportable. The Board finds that the Municipality of Muskoka Lakes dictates that a principal building must come first and accessory buildings such as a boathouse must be subordinate to an established principal use.


    Document(s):



  11. Township of Seguin v. Gagnon

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from a decision of the Township’s Committee of Adjustment, which denied the application for variances from the provisions of the Township’s Interim Control By-law Z200-97 to replace a recently demolished boathouse. The variances were for maximum width and maximum length extensions.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that variances cannot be authorized unless they meet all four requirements of Section 45(1) of the Planning Act; maintain the general purpose and intent of the operative Official Plan and that of the applicable zoning by-law; and they must be minor and desirable for the appropriate development of the land. For these reasons, the Board allows the appeal, but with the conditions that the boat port width be reduced from 1.83 metres to 1.52 to satisfy the maximum requirement and the railing be installed along the upper perimeter of the port.


    Document(s):