Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Voice your views on over-water development, Lindsay Histrop urges.

An Open Letter from Lindsay Histrop

Dear Lake Simcoe Neighbours,

This is an update regarding two Ontario Municipal Board (“OMB”) appeals initiated by an Innisfil lakefront resident, Andrew Rivkin, in connection with his proposed plans to build a 2,500-square-foot over-water boathouse in Lake Simcoe. There are two separate hearings scheduled for January.

The first, scheduled for a three-day hearing January 7th to 9th, 2019, concerns Andrew Rivkin’s appeal of the entire Our Shore initiative – being Official Plan Amendment 23 (“OPA 23”), which sought to create a new set of rules and a permit planning process for the Innisfil shoreline (# PL170811).

The second appeal, scheduled for a pre-hearing January 21, is in respect of the Andrew Rivkin zoning bylaw amendment application (“ZBA”) for the massive over-water boathouse which was denied by Town Council in February 2018. (# PL171326).

Note that these two appeals are brought under the old OMB rules such that the adjudicator has sweeping powers and can overrule Council. The new more restrictive LPAT rules came into force after these two appeals were filed.

Although the OPA 23 appeal hearing is scheduled for three days, an adjournment may be requested to allow the boathouse ZBA appeal to go ahead first. There is an element of double jeopardy for those who oppose the Rivkin boathouse ZBA, for if Rivkin loses this ZBA appeal, he will then have an immediate second chance by proceeding with the appeal of the new OPA 23 boathouse bylaws.

This is a unique situation because we are dealing with two sets of bylaws – the old boathouse bylaws (under which Rivkin’s boathouse ZBA was based) and the new proposed boathouse bylaws (which are part of the broader OPA 23 content adopted by Council on April 5, 2017, but are not yet law as a result of the appeal filed by Andrew Rivkin).

If you are able to attend the hearings (details are below), you may register as a Participant. If you cannot attend but wish to register as a Participant you may send someone to the hearing with a letter confirming your request to be registered as a Participant. A Participant cannot call witnesses, but can give their own evidence.

Although the January 7 hearing may be adjourned, if you do not register as a Participant that day you will not be entitled to make submissions at the OPA 23 hearing when it proceeds at some date in the future.

The January 21 hearing is a pre-hearing for the Rivkin boathouse ZBA appeal, which ZBA was denied by Council in February 2018, and again, if you do not register as a Participant that day, you will not be entitled to say anything at the actual hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

It will be very important that the affected and interested public are able to voice their views on over-water development at both these appeals.

Both the boathouse ZBA appeal and the OPA23 appeal present a real threat to the future of cottage life on Lake Simcoe. Whether Andrew Rivkin succeeds in the ZBA appeal or the OPA 23 appeal, it will set a precedent for the future development of the shoreline from which there is no turning back.

If you have any questions, you may wish to contact Ryan Co who is the case coordinator/planner at the OMB responsible for both these matters. He can be reached at:

Ryan Co, OMB Case Coordinator

Telephone: 416 326-8946 or 1 866 448-2248

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



January 7, 2019 at 10:30 am: Appeal of the Town of Innisfil Official Plan Amendment 23 – (OMB/LPAT Case # PL170811 & PL171326)

January 21, 2019 at 10:30 am: Appeal of Over Water Boathouse Zoning By Law Amendment Application (OMB/LPAT Case # PL180564)

Town Hall Council Chambers

2101 Innisfil Beach Road, Innisfil, L9S 1A1

Photo by Tony Bellissimo

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