Development & Land Use

Commercial and residential development is a hot topic throughout the District of Muskoka. In fact, requests for information about land use planning and development are among the most common reasons cottagers contact the Muskoka Lakes Association.

Our position

Under the guidance of a qualified land use planner, the MLA advocates for responsible land use planning and thoughtful development that protects water quality and respects the natural beauty of Muskoka.

What you can do

By understanding the land use planning process in your community, you can ensure your voice is heard in land-use decisions that affect you.
It's up to citizens and communities to speak up and protect what they care about.  Community engagement and open communication between individuals, organizations, community and government are the basis for sound planning decisions.
To contact the MLA about an issue, to learn more about our efforts, or to get involved, please send us an email at

Our process
The MLA political and land use committee meets monthly to discuss issues affecting the Muskoka community.  This committee also reviews and responds to member requests for assistance about precedent-setting political and land use issues (zoning issues, by-law amendments, etc.).  Here's how the process works:
1. Member to advise the MLA of a potential issue by email ( ).  Please provide a brief summary of the situation, as well as any official planning documents and/or notices from your municipality.
2. Within one business day, you will receive an email acknowledging your message.
3. The MLA will discuss the issue at the next meeting of the political and land use committee (typically the third Thursday of each month).  In the most urgent, precedent setting cases, the committee will review and discuss by phone or email in advance of this meeting.
4. The political and land use committee will appoint a representative to your file.  This representative will contact you after the political and land use committee meeting to discuss next steps.

Note: The MLA does not typically engage in disputes between residential neighbours, unless the proposed land use issue has precedent setting impact.