Docks This will be the hot topic over next while in Cottage Country -..If a cottager does not intend to install or expand a dock -this is not of immediate concern.

Background--North Kawartha and Havelock Belmont Methuen townships in Peterborough County ---in the past have taken the position that their townships do/did not have jurisdiction to regulate in-water development. This lead to a legal claim against North Kawartha Township regarding the construction of a large dock and boathouse   built on Big Cedar Lake without any permits or authorization and in June 2015 Judge Perell issued a  decision that:
  • Municipalities do in fact have jurisdiction to regulate in-water development
  • That structures such as docks and boathouses over 10 sq meters require permits under the Ontario Building Code Act
  • Ministry of Natural Resources were not in compliance with the Public Lands Act by exempting through a Free Use Policy (FUP) certain structures from permitting requirements required under the Public Lands Act (PLA)
  • That structures occupying over 15 sq meters require work permits from MNRF under Public Lands Act
  • That structures occupying over 15 sq meters require Land Use Permits undert the Public Lands Act.

Little leadership has been demonstrated by North Kawartha (NK)  and Havelock Belmont Methuen  (HBM)  and MNRF since the June court decision  and cottagers and dock builders are likely to be facing frustrations delays and risk of being in non-compliance as clear regulations and administrative process are not yet in place. Beaurocratic grid-lock is inevitable as  MNRF scrambles to get their administrative processes in place all across Ontario and Municipalities such as NK & HBM  develop new zoning regulations to allow their Chief Building Official to issue permits under the Ontario Building Code.
In the past --in North Peterborough County no permits were required for docks and in fact very large in water boathouses were being built without any permits or inspections. Now for many lakes in North Kawartha township ---two  permits are required from MNRF
and
a building permit is required from Chief Building Official of township (But no reguations have been passed  by Council so no basis to issue a permit!)
and
On Chandos Lake --Crowe Valley Conservation may have permit requirements depending if dock  involves associated alterations to the shoreline
and
Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have some vaugue requiremments which may apply.

Many municipalities across Ontario have always recognized their statutory responsibilities to regulate in-water development and have dock zoning regulations in palce and are in the business of issuing building permits for in-water structures such as docks,

October 2015 Toronto Star Article ( click to Open)

Jan 11 2016 My Letter to Peterborough MPP and Minister or Rural Affairs Jeff Leal ( click to open)


Feb 2016  My Letter to NK Council re proposed Zoning regs for docks ( click to open )

April 2016  Parry Sound MPP takes an interest in the dock issue ( click to open)

APRIL 2016  FOCA  letter to Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry ( click to open)

April 28 2016 Article in Minden Times  ( click to open) with notations by Ambrose

May 28 2016  Ambrose Moran provided further written submission at the public meeting ( click to open)

June 21 2016  Council received furtyer planning report at their Council meeting from their consultant recomending a  totally different approach to regulating docks ... than was ever consdered at the statutory public meetings... which would allow for 2178 sq ft dock on 100 ft lots stating "he was influenced by a dock builder"..Council did not accept Consultants recomendation but increased dock sizes to  805 sq ft from 600 sq ft and passed a new in water zoning bylaw which is subject to appeal

July 3 2016   Letter to OMB ( Click to open)

Stay tunned