Langmaid’s Island development has tricky planning ahead
(This version of the story clarifies some points made in the original posting.)
A multi-million dollar island development sitting inside the town border of Lake of Bays will require some concession from the town of Huntsville if it is to be successfully completed.
Langmaid’s Island was listed for $14.5 million last year but sold for less than the asking price. Now developers Langmaid’s Island Corporation is looking to create 36 lots on the long-abandoned 140-acre property that last saw occupancy by a descendant of the island’s owners in the mid-1990s. While it is in the early stages there appears to be some buy-in from Baysville residents, but what might be tricky is the creation of two parking lots, one for twenty cars, the other for over one hundred, that will require regulatory approval from the Town of Huntsville where the lots in question are located.
Nancy Alcock sits as the chair of the planning committee for the Town of Huntsville and also as a member of the District of Muskoka planning committee. She says listening to recent proposals made in a tri-lateral government and public presentation she was struck by the differing perspectives at play and that there was not a lot of tension from residents in the room:
Wearing her Town of Huntsville hat, she is unsure how she feels about the use of a lot that held a single family being turned into public parking, and feels more work needs to be done to explore the ramifications of that move:
She is also cognizant of the fact that Huntsville could really hold the controlling interest in Baysville decision making process because the parking lots are key to give access to the islands, using water taxis and some form of a ferry.
She admits it is all very early in the planning stages but there will be a lot to consider going forward. This could make for some tricky political manoeuvring as the whole development could hinge on having access to the two parking properties. Before that is a lot of oversight says Alcock, from environmental assessment, peer review and of course listening to stakeholders that will be affected by any decision to develop the island.
The next meeting for developers and key stakeholders has yet to be set and there is no firm proposed date for project completion.