Lake Capacity Study Update?

Feb 20, 2021

Lake Capacity Studies attempt to estimate how much “human load” a lake can be saddled with before its trophic status declines. The CLPOA had a lake capacity study done in 2008/09. See the 2009 MIchalski Report. A questionnaire was sent out (2004) to which about 400 cottagers replied. On page 87 is a table summarizing the responses to how much a cottage is used, in terms of “person-nights” per year.

My sense is that the results would be different today. Even though not many vacant lots have had new cottages built on them, there are:
– more people living here full time.
– there is a trend towards “working from cottage”
– many cottages are being enlarged or replaced by larger ones,
– the number that are being rented out has increased.

These factors have likely significantly added to the number of “person-nights” being loaded onto the lake. It would be informative to have another questionnaire to see what the actual load increase has been. It could well be 25% higher in 2020 vs 2004.

One of the concerning factors is the jump in short term rentals. Renters obviously want to get full value for their money, and so their “loading” is likely higher than that of a typical cottager. In addition, many cottages are rented out when the owner would normally not be at the lake. Although it is certainly everyone’s right to occasionally rent out their place, the concern comes when it becomes a business; eg, owning multiple properties for the purpose of “air-bnb’ing”.

Perhaps there should be zoning bylaws to prevent this type of commercial activity. A permit to rent would be required. If the owner (or corporation) owns more than one property, then in any given season only one property can be rented at any given time. Unless there are special circumstances, then the number of days per year that any owner can rent is limited (say maximum per property of 50 days).

The Township of North Kawartha would administer the permit process. The costs could be covered by charging a permit fee, plus a special levy against all cottage owners on the tax bill. (all cottagers benefit)

Another comment is that we should probably have stricter regulations regarding Gilmour Bay, as it is pretty much at, or over capacity, as compared to the rest of Chandos Lake.

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