Gravenhurst council temporarily freezes Muskoka Regional Centre land use

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GRAVENHURST — Councillors have taken action to temporarily lock down land use at the Muskoka Regional Centre property.

Gravenhurst Mayor Paul Kelly said town council issued an interim control bylaw at its planning meeting held July 23, in an effort to freeze land use and prompt a conversation with anyone who may purchase the 70-acre property on Lake Muskoka, should the province list it for sale on the open market.

The bylaw will last one year.

“We’re concerned that what might be placed on that property wouldn’t necessarily fit in with what the community has been looking for, which has been specifically focused on employment opportunities for Muskokans, and some kind of institutional use, as opposed to a housing subdivision,” said Kelly. “(The interim control bylaw) gives us an opportunity to work with the individual.”

Council’s decision comes shortly after the town’s withdrawal from negotiations to acquire and transfer the property after repeated attempts.

District of Muskoka council also recently voted to ask the province to delay listing the property and allow a discussion with the premier and applicable minister on alternate disposition options for the property, rather than open-market sale to the highest bidder.