MUSKOKA - The District of Muskoka is hoping its voice is heard by the province on the issues of land use and planning.
The district made five recommendations for changes to the Provincial Policy Statement
The district made five recommendations for changes to the Provincial Policy Statement that governs how provincial land is used.
The list includes concerns regarding endangered and threatened species, aggregate resources, flood plains, servicing hierarchy and private communal services, and mapping and other data.
Of particular concern to the committee of planning and economic development is the provincial official plan’s requirement that aggregate resources are protected from being used residentially.
Samantha Hastings, director of policy and programs for the District of Muskoka, said much of Muskoka sits on aggregate resources, which include bedrock and granite.
“We want to make sure that we can continue to permit, especially in waterfront areas for example, residential and tourist commercial uses which are also important to our economy, and also in the rural areas to continue to allow limited residential and other uses to continue as well as resource-based activities such as aggregates,” Hastings said.
In 2005 the province issued the current Provincial Policy Statement which provides direction in land use planning and development. Under the Planning Act the statement must be reviewed every five years to determine whether any revisions are needed. A notice of the review of the draft policy was released by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on Sept. 24 requesting comments from municipalities.
The district previously sent the province 13 recommendations, some of which were addressed in the draft policy. The District of Muskoka has provided comments to the province twice in the five-year review.