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Small Islands and Lots

There are a large number of small islands and lots throughout Georgian Bay which create certain issues with the increasing development pressures being experienced. As one would expect these issues are more prevalent at the southern end of the Bay. Coastal municipalities have regulations in place to prevent the development of islands under a certain size, usually I hectare or 2 acres. However certain islands have historically been zoned for residential use prior to minimum island size regulations being enacted.

Small Islands and Lots fall into a few categories:

Undersized Private Islands currently zoned natural state or equivalent designation: Many owners seek to have these islands rezoned to allow for a residence, despite them being undersized. Sometimes owners will install a dock and/or a cottage without permission. It is the opinion of GBA and our associations that the integrity of Official Plans (OPs) and comprehensive zoning bylaws (CZBs) must be protected and development of these undersized islands should not be permitted.

Undersized Private Islands that are zoned for residential use: Whether or not these islands have a cottage in place, many owners seek to build structures that exceed the maximum coverage permitted under OPs and CZBs. In some cases they look to get approval for two homes. It is the opinion of GBA and our associations that the integrity of Official Plans (OPs) and comprehensive zoning bylaws (CZBs) must be protected and over-development of these undersized islands should not be permitted.

Private islands or lots that contain significant areas of sensitive on-land and fish habitat: Usually the issue here is that the owner believes they have a right to build even if the land is not zoned for residential use. No such right exists, and it is the opinion of GBA and our associations that the integrity of MNRF regulations, Official Plans (OPs) and comprehensive zoning bylaws (CZBs) must be protected and sensitive habitat preserved.

Usually, GBA associations address these minor development applications, such as those situations set out above, but, increasingly, GBA has been called upon to comment both in writing and at discussions.

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