Adam Ager, Gravenhurst’s manager of planning services, feels like the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) “sufficiently addressed” a number of the town’s concerns about floating accommodations.
In a March 28 report to the town’s Planning Council, he writes the proposed changes by the MNRF, which were released on Feb. 24, include reducing the number of days a person can camp on water over public land from 21 to seven per calendar year, increasing the distance that a person camping on water must move their unit to be considered as occupying a new location from 100 metres to one kilometre, and adding a condition that prevents camping on water within 300 metres of a developed shoreline.
Ager writes he’s happy with the changes, specifically mentioning defining what a vessel is, where it can go, and the reduction in consecutive days it can camp over water.
However, council approved allowing staff to write another letter to the ministry asking them to address having Transport Canada require all vessel greywater, the wastewater that comes from boats, to be discharged into a holding tank and disposed of as mandated by the provincial regulations and that the MNRF should not allow camping on the water in any narrow waterways.
Both of the requests were included in the town’s April 2022 to the MNRF during the ministry’s initial consultation with municipalities about floating accommodations.
Ager notes staff have until April 11 to submit another letter.