Muskoka Lakes Mayor Alice Murphy has released a statement on the Hannah’s Landing agreement that was recently reached between the Township and the Developer.
It appears below:
I am taking the opportunity to set the record straight with respect to the recent successful settlement of Hanna’s Landing.
Current Council was committed to the best outcome for Port Carling. From 2010 to 2013 we sought and received very consistent input from the community and the Muskoka Lakes Association regarding the protections required for this large acreage fronting a very narrow waterbody.  We worked extensively with the various parties to best articulate the Official Plan OMB decision with specific application to the property.  It was the overriding objective of Council to address the valid concerns of the community while also recognizing the property rights which had already been granted by previous Council.  As a matter of practice Council does not circulate planning applications until such time that Council is satisfied that the application has merit and reflects good planning.
We recognized that the size and significance of the property was well beyond our typical planning applications.  Accordingly, we engaged the services of an expert planning consultant, who was then tasked with providing direction to Council, and ultimately negotiating the settlement with the respective parties.
The agreement, to which all parties, with full support of Council, agreed, relates specifically to the zoning of the property and is now final. No further zoning approvals are required from Council, however, the planning approval process will still require a Plan of Subdivision, a key planning tool that will provide the community with further input, and will allow Council to secure the Knoll, highly prized by the community, as passive parkland for the Township.  Site Plan Control will follow the Plan of Subdivision. The Plan of Subdivision will also be the first opportunity to define the final lot count. We have agreed on the maximum, now it will be subject to terrain constraints and other site requirements such as storm water management, before the final total will be determined.
I believe all parties to this uncontested settlement are very appreciative that Council took the initiative to hire the experts.
It is disappointing that Councillor Furniss is on record stating that a better deal could have been had, which is simply not supported by the facts. I have asked Councillor Furniss if he has met privately with the Hanna’s Landing developer but have not received a response.
The negotiated settlement ensures that the final outcome reflects the very clear and prioritized wishes of the community as consistently presented to Council over the course of three years.  All costs were approved by Council.  We did receive the best possible advise available, and as such Council is satisfied that this investment in our community was worth every dime.