HUNTSVILLE – Decisions on a proposed new lodge at Deerhurst Resort have been deferred to Huntsville town council after a public meeting was held on Sept. 5 at a planning advisory committee meeting.
Skyline Hotels and Resorts, owners of Deerhurst, is looking to build a 171-unit, 20-metre-high lodge.
The president of Skyline emphasized during the meeting that the development is necessary to keep Deerhurst economically viable and a contender among leading world-class resorts. He told the committee Deerhurst is trying to replace an old lodge on the property with something new.
“It’s not that we are adding more impact, we are actually replacing an old, outdated, condemned building to a nice, modern hospitality that weekenders and people coming to visit Huntsville are looking for,” said president Gil Blutrich.
Those in objection of the proposed new lodge don’t object to Deerhurst working to become a world-class resort, but instead oppose the height and linear mass of the building.
Robert Hurst, president of the Peninsula Lake Association noted that Red Leaves resort in Minett and Windermere House in Rosseau are four- and three-storey buildings, respectively. He said having a new, five-storey lodge at Deerhurst is a potential eyesore, as it would likely tower over the tree line.
The lake association’s lake plan, which was developed more than 10 years ago with representatives from the Town of Huntsville and Deerhurst, states the tree line should be respected.
Hurst told the committee he hopes council won’t repeat the same mistake another council made when allowing an extra story on a development on Legacy Lane, which can be seen from Highway 11 and Lake Vernon.
“We look to you to honour our lake plan,” he said. “If you don’t, what’s a plan for? Deerhurst is our neighbour. But sometimes neighbours want to build something that is too big.”
The planning consultants for Deerhurst, Lucas and Associates, have been asked to prepare photographic documents showing what the lodge would look like from the lake.
The proposal will come before council for discussion on Sept. 18. Anyone wishing to speak on the development will need to come forward as a delegation.