At the December 16, 2014 Township of Muskoka Lakes Council meeting, the proponent’s presentation included the drawing below (click on it for a larger view). This shows the proponent would like to “preserve” Margaret Burgess Park by being allowed to instead use the following Township lands for their proposed construction (which would be at least two years):
- Portage Landing (the land south of the proposed construction site, labelled “staging area” below)
- Precambrian Shield parking lot
- Don’s Bakery parking Lot
We’ve heard this before from the “Probity” group (who even had green “Save Margaret Burgess Park” buttons made for the municipal elections last October). Let’s look at what the proponent’s “deal” would really mean for Bala.
As shown by the southbound red truck turning from Muskoka Road 169 into the “staging area”, the proponent desperately wants to fill Portage Landing with 15′ of blasted rock, so they could drive dump trucks into it to reach their proposed construction site (shaded red below).
But it is fact that Portage Landing is all trees. So to dump their blasted rock and to get their dump trucks into it, the proponent would first need to cut down all the trees in at least the north 95′ of Portage Landing. We’ve counted, this means the proponent would cut down more than 100 trees in Portage Landing to “Save Margaret Burgess Park”.
So let’s look at Margaret Burgess Park. Below is an overlay of two drawings from the proponent; one shows the trees in Margaret Burgess Park and the other shows the path of the gravel the proponent would dump into Margaret Burgess Park to make a ramp up to their proposed temporary bridge over the Bala north falls (they would use this bridge so their dump trucks could reach their proposed construction site).
As highlighted by the red arrows we’ve added to the overlay drawing below (click on it for a larger view), the proponent would need to cut down two trees, maybe three in Margaret Burgess Park.
So which is the better deal, the proponent’s current plan to cut down two or three trees, or what they’re now asking for, to cut down over 100 trees from Portage Landing.
It is obvious, the Township should not “make a deal” with the proponent. The proponent’s current plan to cut down only two or three trees in Margaret Burgess Park would be far better for Bala than their “deal” of instead cutting down over 100 trees on Portage Landing. But this is even more clear if we look at the bigger picture of the two “choices”:
- Proponent’s current plan:
- Cut down two or three trees from Margaret Burgess Park.
- Dump some gravel in Margaret Burgess Park to make a ramp (they would later remove the gravel).
OR, proponent’s “deal” …
- Proponent is asking Mayor Furniss and the Councillors of the Township of Muskoka Lakes to agree to “Save Margaret Burgess Park”, so the proponent would instead:
- Cut down over 100 trees in Portage Landing
- Fill Portage Landing with 15′ of blasted rock
- Occupy the Precambrian Shield parking lot for at least two years
- Occupy the south half of the Don’s Bakery Parking lot for years
We think the proponent would already be making enough of a mess of Bala (in both cases they’d also be; occupying all of Diver’s Point, driving dump trucks into the Bala north channel beside Purk’s Place, and of course, blasting the Crown land south of the Bala north falls down 60′ and filling the entire site with a 70′-wide x 100′-long poured concrete powerhouse that would rise 30′ above Muskoka Road 169).
Let the Mayor and Councillors know that the Proponent’s current plan is mess enough. We don’t want them cutting down 100 trees at Portage Landing to save a few trees in Margaret Burgess Park.