The purpose of the municipal reserves policy is to provide direction for the ongoing management of County reserve lands, how to deal with existing encroachments on reserves, the potential disposal of existing reserve lands and the acquisition of reserve lands in new subdivisions.
Use & Management of Municipal Reserves (MR)
MR lands are intended to provide a suitable land base for the provision of recreation facilities for the use and enjoyment of County residents and the general public. MR may provide important access links to other lands, including water access, and can also offer undeveloped green spaces that act as buffers between different land uses.
The County supports the following uses of MR lands:
- Recreation facilities such as sports fields, play structures, skating rinks, and associated facilities like parking lots and washrooms
- Public trails
- Natural green spaces
- Winter storage of boat docks and boat lifts
Use & Management of Environmental Reserves (ER)
ER lands are intended to protect the natural environment, protect people and property from hazardous conditions (e.g. flooding) and provide public access to or along lakes and rivers.
The County will manage ER lands as follows:
Encroachments & Unauthorized Structures on Reserves
Private facilities and structures, such as sheds, fences, gardens, driveways and buildings, are occasionally found to be located on MR lands. On ER lands, especially along lake shorelines, unauthorized private structures such as pathways, stairs, decks, lawns, fire pits and sheds are frequently found.
In order to address the problem of private facilities on County reserve lands, the following policies will apply:
Encroachments on MR
- Landowners will be asked to remove unauthorized materials and structures.
- In unusual or extenuating circumstances, the County may consider allowing a structure to remain on reserve lands, with a license agreement.
Encroachments on ER
- Landowners will be asked to remove private facilities such as lawns, decks, fire pits, and storage sheds.
- Existing trails, pathways and stairs may be licensed.
- License holders will be required to maintain access facilities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner, and provide liability insurance.
- Stairs must meet building code safety requirements or be certified by a professional engineer.
Reserves in new subdivisions
As new subdivisions are proposed, the County has the opportunity to acquire new reserve lands, money in lieu of land dedication, or a combination of land and money. The following policies will guide the County’s actions with regards to reserve requirements.
New Municipal Reserves
- In new industrial and commercial subdivisions near towns and villages, the County may require MR land dedication to set aside lands for community or regional recreational facilities.
- Linear corridors may be taken as MR to provide connections to adjoining subdivisions, lands or other reserves where a demand for trails or pathways is anticipated.
- The County may consider dedication of MR in a rural residential subdivision where a demand for recreation facilities can be anticipated
- Near lake shores or along rivers, MR dedication will be required to provide land that is suitable for development of recreation facilities and public access to water.
New Environmental Reserves
- The County will require dedication of ER in new subdivisions to protect natural features such as shorelines, steep slopes and drainage courses.
- Dedication of new ER may also be required to provide public access to lakes and rivers.