John Inglis | Jul 31, 2019

If you’re visiting the area north of Highway 7 and east of 41 you’ll find beautiful forests, lakes and hills, but no motels or hotels, very few bed and breakfasts. You’ll find a restaurant and a bakery in Plevna, restaurants in Cloyne and Myers Cave. In general, the common knowledge around here is that things are full in the summer, closed in the winter. The great majority of visitors either own waterfront homes or have booked campsites and cottages months in advance. Not much available for the casual visitor in a car or on a motorcycle: and we’d like to change that.

The township has a committee looking at ways to increase economic activity- as do most municipalities of any size and this one is right now trying to do something to create more rental accommodations for visitors. We’ve just had a big boost in our efforts from a new zoning bylaw. It becomes legal on August 7, and has some rules in it that are new in Frontenac County, still novel in most of Ontario.

If you own an acre or more of non-waterfront property, you can now put a second dwelling on your property, limited to 45% of the floor area of an existing house. No need to sever off a separate lot or get any kind of a zoning change. Our idea in promoting this is to encourage some residents to build a single rental unit to supplement their income. It’s a bit of a gamble for us on Council, in that there may be no uptake of the idea. It’s a completely opposite approach to the accommodation problem from the initiative of finding an entrepreneur to build a hotel. You can advertise this ‘secondary building’ on Airbnb or simply put out a sign on the road. My own experience in travelling new parts by car is to look for roadside appeal in a place to stay.

Let’s say you try this, find that your rental cabin is solidly booked, and want to build a couple more. Now you will have to get a zoning change on your property, and even that is a bit easier than it used to be. It still takes an application, some thousands of dollars and some months to get through the process, but township staff will be able and willing to help along the way.

Call the North Frontenac Township office at 479 2231 if you want to know more. The new zoning bylaw is of course on the website.

by John Inglis, Ward 3 Councillor

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