Yesterday was gorgeous. The sun was hot and the sky was clear. A beautiful day to be on the lake. Words to paint a picture for your cottage daydreams as you read this in your office in the city.
We hear the weather forecast for the weekend may be changing people's plans for the weekend. This would be unfortunate -- we have a robust population of blackflies and they will be very disappointed if you don't come.
For those that do come - this would be the weekend to dust off the mesh fly hats and jackets. For those that don't have this gear - it is the spring fashion statement of Cottage Country and you could probably find it at Home Hardware.
Many years ago, our first home was in the beaches, it backed onto a beautiful ravine and we also had a long hedge of forsythia shrubs that separated our property from our neighbours.
Every spring, there was a day when we returned from work to find a long row of yellow edging our property that had been green when we had left early that morning. Though June 21st is the official start to summer, the day when the forsythia bloomed each year is when it really felt like the first day of summer.
Yesterday was beautiful in cottage country and looking at the many trees surrounding the property, it seems like it must have been forsythia day, all the trees seemed to begin their seasonal bloom.
Perhaps in the landscape plan that we don't have for the marina, we will have to somehow incorporate a forsythia or two in the future design.
In addition to the Legend line of new boats, we also have used boats available for sale including 3 Four Winns that won't last long. Let us know what you are looking for.
So our UPS delivery guy came in one day two weeks ago...he is very friendly and always chats for a few minutes as we sign for deliveries. How are you doing I ask. It's been getting busy lately he says. Why is that I ask. He tells me that the tourists have returned and they are all ordering things like new patio furniture and mosquito machines from costco.
Whats this? Mosquito machines...hmmm...we get lots of mosquitos. I tell him with skepticism that I've heard they didn't work. Oh they do he tells me. He knows because he has one. He gives one warning - they must be set up very early in the season.
Hmmm. After he left, costco.ca appeared on my screen and very my own mosquito machine was in my online basket.
A few hours later, with buyers remorse, I call the mosquito machine manufacturer. The skepticism was back. Does it really work? They convince me it was a wise purchase, it works well. Skepticism now gone, I am once again looking forward to my new bug machine. ...Maybe I'll need a second if it works really well.
Later in the week, while I'm in the office, I hear someone come in the door. The UPS man had a delivery. I then hear "did you order a mosquito machine????". A non believer. Yup, I sure did. The UPS man looked at us both and tried to defend my purchase. Though I didn't actually see the 'rolly eyes'...I'm pretty sure it happened. Yes, the same skepticism I had. Mr UPS tried to reassure me that it would work, he did warn that it needs 4 'c' batteries, of course, batteries not included. "C" being an odd size, took a special trip to home hardware. As I write this it still hasn't been assembled/set up but now that we have the batteries, we will do soon.
Guess we'll find out soon whether they actually work. Here's hoping.
Well if it is time to launch the boats, John has a pattern of a work stoppage every year at launch-time like clockwork. John Deere that is. This year it is the tires. We had a tire 'blow' yesterday. That put an abrupt halt to pulling boats out of the barns. New tires are here now and awaiting install so should be back at it soon. Ouch, if you think a car's tires are expensive...
Caroline has reopened her coffee shop, Standard 28, for the season. Standard 28 is located on hwy 28 between Anstruther Lake Rd and Burleigh Street (the first entrance to Apsley).
If you're not wanting a coffee beverage, she also makes awesome homemade lemonade.
Many cottages on Anstruther are still 'originals' to the lake, meaning that many were built 40-50 years ago. Calling them 'original' is the kind and gentle way of saying they are old. Not all have aged well so some owners have replaced the original dwelling with a newer building. Often when this happens the newer building is redesigned to conform to the 2016 lifestyle which includes a larger building in comparison to the tiny cottages of the 50's and 60's.
Today, an Anstruther Cottager went to Town Council with an application to replace their existing cottage with a new one.
The Cottager's application went forward for the first time in January and even though the Cottager made concessions requested by the Chief Building Official and reached the point where the Chief Building Official was comfortable with the overall plan, the Cottager's faced an objection. The objection was based on the replacement cottage being larger and it would require removal of some trees. Council asked that the Cottager to reconsider whether they could incorporate possible changes.
The Cottager consulted with the architect and adjustments were made. Because of the landscape, the original cottage was built many years ago and like many cottages built back then, was positioned 30' from the high water mark. The Chief Building Official advised that the only feasible location for the new cottage to go would be where they planned to put it - almost the same footprint as the original cottage.
At today's Council Meeting, Lee attended as an observer and spoke in support of the application. If rebuilding will make them happy, great. How does their cottage really impact all of us? It doesn't. Throughout the meeting, there was a reference to runoff. Any runoff issue for the new cottage would be an issue for the old one. There's already a cottage there, they are just replacing it. Size...The replacement cottage that is of issue today, is 1,600 sq ft, this is more than what the original cottage is but it is still in the range of very 'normal' for a cottage. Uhhh --- not even close to the 4,000-6,000 sq ft that can be found on other lakes.
A cottage that is 1,600 sq ft will blend in just fine with every other property on Anstruther. Pleasantly fine actually.
Another observer attended in support, I didn't catch his full name, I think he may have said "Charlie" ... he did have a remarkable resemblance to former mayor Jim Whelan.
The Cottager who had submitted the Application, attended with an architect as well as a Planner that they retained to ensure their interests were communicated. The Planner was articulate and explained the plan well.
Ambrose Moran, local real estate agent was another observer and he raised his hand when the Mayor asked if there were any objections.
Ambrose began by saying that he couldn't read the official drawings ... so Ambrose Moran made his own drawing and gave them to Council. He spoke to Council. I was only an observer, I really didn't understand what he was trying to communicate, it didn't make sense -- it sounded like he questioned whether the existing cottage was 'legal non conforming' and it also sounded like he was questioning the measurements from the high water mark on the professional legal documents.
This Application took at least FIVE times longer than the first three. The good new is...the Cottager's application was granted by Council, three in favor and two opposed.
This is good for the Cottagers who want to rebuild but also good for the rest of us on Anstruther - it will mean that we will have an 'improvement' on the lake which should help the value of all of our properties.
Ambrose Moran is not a resident of Anstruther Lake as far as we know so it's not clear how replacing an old cottage on Anstruther Lake is a concern to him. It's also not clear why a stranger to Anstruther would take so much time to make his own drawings and attend a Council meeting to object to an Anstruther Cottager replacing their cottage.
While we have zero spare time to spend at Town Council on issues that do not have a direct connection to us, we felt it was important that Council knows that there is support for improving Anstruther.
Council of the Township of North Kawartha has a difficult task, they must create a bylaw for 'In Water Structures' (docks and boathouses). There is no choice, it's a result of a decision from the Supreme Court of Ontario.
Council has the challenge of considering the concerns of the 'tree hugger', the neighbour who doesn't see a need for 'YOU' to have anything bigger than what your cottage had when it was built in 1965 - was big enough then so should be now, then there's the guy who lives the life of 'police thy neighbour', then there's your average 'joe cottager' -- the guy who dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on paradise. He wants to relax, he wants family time, he wants adventure - he wants to enjoy his cottage/dock/waterfront to its fullest, have a dock big enough to secure his tinny, his tow boat, his PWC, all well distanced from where his younger kids swim and enough decking to allow his daughters to stretch out to enjoy the sun. While back in Joe's parent's day, that smaller dock would have been just fine but they just had a tinny -- this is 2016 -- the cottage and dock need to adapt!
Area Dockbuilders know what most cottagers want and need. Area Dockbuilders know Joe Cottager quite well. For months dockbuilders tried to convey many points to Council; the size of dock that cottagers want, what they need that dock to do and the challenges that must be overcome in design. They need it to accommodate the number of boats they own, they need it to allow for a safe swim space, some need it to provide social sitting space if their shoreline does not, others are in a situation where there is a significant drop of the water level, thereby requiring a wider ramp and longer to ensure the steepness is safe.
Area Dockbuilders concerns were acknowledged but the size that the Town Planner had written into the first two Bylaw drafts were still not reflective of the needs of many cottagers. Area Dockbuilders felt that cottagers were not aware this was even happening and felt we had to tell cottagers or they may return to a surprise restriction. Had the size in the bylaw been a size that would not restrict most dock orders, it would not have been so concerning, but the dock size in the drafts was substantially too small. Area Dockbuilders informed our clients via email & Facebook. As a result, MANY emails were sent to the Town to express disappointed with the size but also to express concern that they were not advised directly of such a significant issue. Council now had a new understanding of cottager concerns as well as recognition of issues not previously considered and has delayed a decision to allow for a public meeting after the May long weekend so that cottagers could attend.
This public meeting is scheduled for Saturday May 28, 2016 from 10am-12pm at the Community Centre in Apsley, 340 McFadden Road. See the Township of North Kawartha website for more information. On the main page, click on 'News' which will take you to a link about the issue.
If you are unable to attend, you can send your views to the Township via email to email@example.com
If you didn't go to the cottage this weekend, you didn't miss anything today and many who did come got an early start home.. Yesterday was a little 'crisp' but beautiful, today was damp, cold and windy and gave the bones a chill not to mention the lake was very choppy.
We hope to make a bit of progress this week but the forecast isn't looking good, there is much rain in our future. Boathouse "A" has been move out of the way to allow for the installation of the main dock that will replace it. Though some fingers have been installed, there are still many to add and it is still not ready for use. Very hopeful this will be done by the May long weekend. We have given "A" cottagers temporary slips for their boats, if you haven't yet been up and are normally in "A", let us know when you arrive so we can get you a spot.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.