Frequently Asked Questions about the Raven Lake Landing
Q1. Why are changes being proposed at the Landing?
A1. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) has notified the RLCA that the landing is owned by MNRF and that all of the stick docks are “an illegal occupation of Crown Land”. Since 2007, the MNRF has consistently informed RLCA that we are at risk of having the docks removed at any time. Status quo is not an option.
It is the RLCA’s opinion that if changes are to be made, any solution must be of a scale to accommodate the boats of all water access residents who wish to have one.
Q2. What has been RLCA’s mandate to negotiate with the MNRF?
A2. At the RLCA AGM on August 12, 2012, the following motion was passed:
“Be it resolved that:
This Association endorses and approves the actions of the Board of Directors to date with respect to the landing, and directs the Board to develop and advance a long-term plan to ensure that safe and secure docking and parking is available at the landing to the Raven Lake community, including opening discussions and negotiations with the MNR, townships, and others having jurisdiction. Further, the Board is authorized to draw up to $3000 of the Association’s funds as may be necessary in connection with expenses related to the development of this plan.”
The motion was carried unanimously by the membership at the meeting.
Q3. What has RLCA been doing to respond to MNRF?
A3. The RLCA has been in discussions with the MNRF in an effort to represent the interests of landing users and cottage owners since 2012. The goal being to negotiate a resolution that would be presented by the RLCA to water access residents for their approval and transition to a situation with the appropriate rights and tenure to install docks attached to the MNRF-owned Raven Lake Landing,
Q4. Where is the process at now?
A4. In 2015, the MNRF requested and the RLCA submitted a proposal for discussion to the MNRF. This proposal suggested that MNRF offer to the RLCA a shoreline lease which would allow for a new docking system to be installed to accommodate up to 120 slips (one for every water-access property), pending approval and permits from the Township of Lake of Bays. The proposal asked that along with the shoreline lease, we be granted the right to park vehicles overnight in the parking area.
No final offer has been received from the MNRF and no decisions have been made or agreed to by the RLCA.
In 2017, the MNRF responded by saying that it would “not be opposed” to the proposal pending the outcome from the following steps:
- Consultations with First Nations;
- Environmental Assessments of both water and land portions of the Landing area;
- Support for the new docks from the Township of Lake of Bays and potentially Algonquin Highlands;
- Completion of a Public Comment period with the local community, primarily the residents of Raven Lake
At this point, the MNRF has undertaken a number of environmental studies which have concluded that “no significant adverse environmental effects are expected” to the lands and waters at the Landing. We are presently in the middle of a Public Consultation with residents. Please see the “MNRF Public Notice Requesting Input to a Screening Process” posted on www.Ravenlake.org and on the bulletin board at the Landing. No decisions have been made but it has been determined by the MNRF that the status quo is unacceptable and that the existing docks could be removed by the MNRF at any time.
Q5. How much will this cost?
A5. The exact costs are unknown at present given that no final decisions have been made by MNRF or the Townships. It is expected that in order to issue building permits for the docks, the Township will prescribe that the docks be built to meet the Building Code for a public docking area. In addition, RLCA will want to ensure that the docks be designed and constructed in a manner to minimize ongoing maintenance costs and ensure longevity. The costs will be divided on a pro-rata basis between Raven Lake water access cottagers who wish to have a dock at the landing. There will also be an annual rental and maintenance fee which would include the cost of indemnifying the MNRF and RLCA through liability insurance.
Q6. Has there been any feedback from the Townships of Lake of Bays and/or Algonquin Highlands?
A6. The RLCA has met with the mayors (and others) of both Townships. Both responded in the same way. That we have been smart to get ahead of the situation with the MNRF and that they are surprised that our situation has been allowed to continue for so long. Also, that with all of the changes that are being made at the provincial level to existing personnel and programs, we should aim to get the matter settled as soon as possible.
Q7. What will happen to my dock?
A7. At some point we expect that it will be ordered to be removed by MNRF along with all stick docks.
Q6. How will I get access to a new dock?
A6. Once the RLCA has agreement from the MNRF that it will issue a shoreline lease, application will be made to the Townships for permits to install new docks. Of course, the RLCA will offer slips to all water access residents along with detailed costs to purchase, install and estimates of annual maintenance fees prior to proceeding. Making a deposit will establish a resident’s right to have a slip. Since no decisions have been made by MNRF the dock allocation process is unknown.
Q7. When will we know and when will new docks be installed?
A7. The timing is up to MNRF and the Township of Lake of Bays. There is no exact timeline at this point. It may take another year or more.
Q8. How can I learn more?
A8. The number one way to learn more and stay engaged is through the RLCA website and Facebook page and attending the RLCA AGM (this year held on August 17, 2019) where this is discussed each year. Periodic updates will be posted at the Landing Bulletin Board and on the www.RLCA.org website