Agreement reached on Lake Manitou subdivision

BIDWELL—A settlement has officially been reached by developer Doug McLay and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) regarding Mr. McLay’s proposed Lake Manitou subdivision.

“The secretary-treasurer (of the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB)) advised that Rick Hunter, planner on behalf of Doug McLay, had provided a copy of the minutes of settlement executed between Davis and McLay and the MMAH,” stated the January 27 MPB minutes. “Mr. Hunter, within his email, advised that the ministry is going to be in contact with the Lake Manitou Association to advise them of the settlement and they will be working with the ministry to bring the matter before the board for a decision at an early opportunity.”

“The minutes of the settlement contemplate development on the property, with a six lot ‘pilot project’ to cover the first six lots in the proposed subdivision, re-alignment of the two existing lots of record as two shoreline lots (by consent), and a future phase (contingent on the successful outcome of the pilot project) for the balance of the property,” the MPB minutes add. “The minutes of the settlement provide details on how matters may proceed once the board approves the settlement. There are also requirements for zoning provisions to regulate the phasing of the development.”

Conditions of the pilot project include septic systems that must be monitored for up to 10 years, and more if development takes place.

The project is situated to the north of Red Lodge Resort and the properties will be accessed via Red Lodge Road.

“This has been a long process, but I am happy the project is moving forward,” commented Mr. McLay.

It was almost a year ago (March 2014) that Mr. McLay first shared with The Expositor that he had received an initial green light on his proposed 21-lot subdivision on Lake Manitou at Green Bay.

At that time he told The Expositor that he had verbal agreements in place with the MMAH, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE), but that he was still in negotiations to “get everything in writing and finalize the agreement.”

The MNRF and MOE have both opposed the project in the past, supported by the Lake Manitou Association, although the Northeast Town had given the initiative its blessing some years ago.

Mr. McLay had requested an Ontario Municipal Board hearing into his case, but this has since been set aside in favour of negotiations among all concerned parties.

Now that negotiations have concluded, the issue will go to the OMB in the near future for a final decision.

“I have been working on this for six years,” Mr. McLay previously commented to this newspaper, noting how long the complicated Official Plan amendment has been going on. “So I’m pretty happy that things will be moving forward.”