Big changes coming for property owners at Friday Harbour
INNISFIL, ONT. -- Big changes are coming for property owners at Friday Harbour with Innisfil council removing occupancy restrictions at the resort.
The harbour's 1,000 slip marina on Lake Simcoe is the largest inland marina in the country.
Before construction began on the massive development in 2012, the developer and council agreed property owners could only live at the resort for a limited time.
"The reason for the 300-day rule was to make sure that it wasn't somebody's permanent home, and it became a settlement area," said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin.
On Wednesday, the town council agreed to change the rules, allowing property owners to become permanent residents.
Owner and realtor Olg Cohen said owners and prospective buyers have long complained about the 300-day restriction. She's pleased with the change.
"It will be a lot easier for the banks to lend on a property when it's a primary residence as opposed to an investment," said Cohen. "The property values will definitely grow."
However, some strict rules remain, including no access to Simcoe County schools for property owners' children.
"It's not meant to be where you live, where you raise children and a family. It's meant to be a resort community," said Dollin.
Friday Harbour said it is "extremely pleased with Innisfil Council's unanimous approval of their request to remove the occupancy restrictions at the resort." A statement from the resort said the decision would "allow our members, the owners of the resort units, to utilize their resort property more freely throughout the year."
The resort will have to build a hotel and convention centre and create a new amenity plan before phase three could begin as part of the town's phasing requirements.
A new formalized rental program must be devised by the end of 2021.