Mehlenbacher v. Township of Muskoka Lakes
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%.
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.