Muskoka District’s Proposed New Lake System Health Policy

Lisa Noonan, General Manager of the MLA has forwarded this reminder to cottage associations.   Brandy Lake is in the program and we are looking forward to the testing.   Your BLA Exec..has spent several months in talks with the District on this.  Several members of the BLA Exec . will be attending this meeting as well.

Brandy Lake is in the program and we are looking forward to the testing.   Your BLA Exec..has spent several months in talks with the District on this matter.


We thought it relevant to advise you about changes taking place at the District with regard to lake classifications and sensitivities.  These changes may affect your lake and so you should endeavor to research any potential changes.  Please find below an excerpt from the most recent version of MLA NewsBites referencing these changes.


District’s Proposed New Lake System Health PolicyOver the summer months Summer Valentine, District’s Director of Planning and Christy Doyle, Director of Environment and Watershed Programs, met with many interest groups, municipalities and lake associations to explain the District’s proposed revisions. The District will continue phosphorous testing. The old planning policy, based on the Recreational Water Quality Model, focused solely on phosphorous concentration but the new policy is to require the implementation of “best management practices” for all new development or redevelopment of shoreline properties. Best management practices means all new development and redevelopment of shoreline properties will be subject to site plan control as enacted under the jurisdiction of  the local municipality. Site plan control includes requirements for vegetative buffers, storm water management, enhanced setbacks and shoreline naturalization.


Whereas the existing water quality model, in place for the past ten plus years, was based on lake sensitivity and lake classification, this new policy proposes to eliminate those classifications. This new policy is a major change in the District’s Official Plan and will require an amendment to the Official Plan. Policies, once finalized, will go to District Council for approval and then on to the province for its approval. The MLA met with Summer and Christy on several occasions to fully understand this new water quality model and its implications to local area planning applications and municipal planning staff. The MLA still has concerns regarding the protection of all Muskoka’s lakes, especially those lakes identified as over-threshold and currently experiencing problems of blue-green algae blooms. The District will be holding a statutory public meeting on October 20th at 9 a.m. in District Council chambers. The MLA urges all interested parties to attend and those with concerns to make a request to speak at this meeting. If you choose not to speak or provide a written submission at this meeting, you may forfeit any opportunity to provide further comments or to appeal this matter or take part in any appeals at the OMB.


Should you have any question on how this change could affect your lake, please contact either Summer Valentine or Christy Doyle at the District of Muskoka at 705-645-2231.


Lisa Noonan

General Manager

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