Staff with the Township of Muskoka Lakes have looked into tree removal and site alteration happening at two properties on Lake Joseph and issued stop-work orders.

They found that the work was going against the township’s Site Alteration and Tree Preservation by-laws. The separate orders were issued on June 8th. Director of Development Services and Environmental Sustainability David Pink says an investigation is ongoing.

He asks that if any further contraventions are spotted, to reach out to the township through its website. “The public is, however, reminded that if landowners have open building and septic permits, work is permitted to continue in accordance with those permits,” Pink adds.

“We all need to be respectful of our properties, protecting the natural environment and ensuring a natural vegetative buffer between cottages and the water’s edge,” says Muskoka Lakes Mayor Phil Harding. “Ignorance is not an excuse. If you are not 100-percent sure – call before you cut or dig.”

Pink notes that in the township’s 2021 budget, increased by-law enforcement service was approved by council. There are now three members of the department, which allows for extended enforcement hours during the summer.