Copy of my Facebook post re process for considering and approving a Lake Plan Update

August 21, 2022 2:01 PM | Anonymous member

I posted the following on the "Muldrew Lake is My Second Home" Facebook page a week ago. An Administrator of that Facebook page cut off any further comments on this post and suggested that they be posted, instead, on this Association page, which I am now doing, although it will likely be seen by very few members, nor by any non-member cottagers:

August 14, 2022

I am writing this post to express my objections to the timing and approval process being followed by the Board of Directors of the Muldrew Lake Cottagers’ Association, with respect to a proposed Lake Plan update, which it intends to submit to the Town of Gravenhurst for incorporation into the Official Plan and zoning bylaws of the Town.

The Board has, no doubt, spent countless hours and considerable effort to develop a Plan update, publicize it, and solicit feedback. I believe, however, that the majority of cottage owners on the lake are still unaware of, or do not fully understand, the impact that the proposed Plan Update would have. I have no doubt that an even greater percentage of non-members are similarly unaware or do not fully understand it.

On July 9th, an open house was held at Memorial Pines to review a draft of a Lake Plan update, as proposed by the Board. Immediately following that open house, along with many others, I submitted in writing my concerns with this proposal and looked forward to the discussion that was next scheduled to take place as part of the Annual General Meeting of the association, yesterday. I presumed that there would be an amended draft presented at that meeting.

As it turned out, the Board had not yet had time to consider all of the submissions that came out of the July 9th meeting and no revised draft was distributed. There was, however, further discussion of the Plan update, as previously distributed, although there was no summary of the concerns that had been submitted to the Board, following the July 9th meeting. It was clear that not everyone at yesterday’s meeting had a good understanding of the impact of the changes. Despite the best efforts of the Board to publicize its work and solicit feedback, many members have not paid close attention to the proposed changes. While many of the members in attendance, yesterday, were likely in favour of the proposals, perhaps with some modifications, by my guess, there were only 60 to 70 people in attendance and some of those were couples representing a single property.

My understanding is that there are some 400 cottages on the Lake and that the association represents less than half of the property owners (as the 203 association members may not represent 200 cottage properties.) Of the cottages represented by the Association, I am guessing that only 30% to 35% were represented at the meeting, with many of those representatives still unclear as to the impact of the proposed changes to the Plan.

During the discussion of the proposals yesterday, it was indicated that a revised draft would be circulated prior to the final, scheduled Open House to discuss the plan, which is to be on August 26, less than two weeks from now. It then came out that the Board, after taking into account whatever feedback it received from yesterday’s discussion and will receive from the August 26 Open House, will then finalize a Plan Update to submit to the Town without submitting the final document to the Association members for ratification.

First of all, I believe it is wrong for the Board to distribute what may or not be a final proposal to the members, just one week before Labour Day weekend, after which many cottagers close up for the season or come back to the lake few more times before winter. This makes it very hard to communicate with other association members, in person, about whatever becomes the final proposal.

Secondly, I believe that the proposal will have such substantial impact on the members that it should be submitted to the full membership for ratification and that this should be done at a time of year when it is easy to canvass cottagers in person, on the lake.

Thirdly, without being able to show the support of a majority of cottage owners for the proposed changes, a strong argument will likely be made to the Town Council that the Plan Update, adopted by the Board, does not represent anything close to a majority of the property owners on the lake.

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