AH looks at property purchase to expand parking at Little Hawk
By Chad Ingram
Algonquin Highlands township is considering the purchase of a parcel of private land to provide more parking for water-access residents along Little Hawk Lake Road.
Back in February, council directed operations manager Adam Thorn to investigate options for increasing parking capacity along Little Hawk Lake Road and Big Hawk Lake Road, both of which become cramped with parked vehicles and boat trailers during the summer months. Both roads are dead ends which end at docking facilities where water-access cottagers park to access their properties. While the township maintains parking lots in both areas, they do not have the capacity to handle the amount of traffic. During the Labour Day weekend last year, there were some 350 vehicles parking along the two roadways.
During a July 18 council meeting, Thorn told councillors that a private property owner is willing to sell about an acre of property to the township, which would allow the current parking area to be enlarged to between 1.5 and two acres, housing approximately 150 to 200 vehicles.
“They’ve offered up some property for us to take a look at, which we did,” Thorn told councillors.
A report from Thorn indicates that while the property contains a mix of small and large trees as well as some rock outcroppings, it would be suitable for the parking expansion.
Council was supportive of pursuing the property purchase.
“I just see nods all around the table,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt.
Another option would be leasing Crown land from the MNRF, an extensive process that would take at least two years to complete, and would involve the township paying an annual rental rate of fair market value, currently six per cent.
“It’s complex and complicated,” Moffatt said of the MNRF process.
Staff were directed to obtain quotations on the value of the property, and those quotes will come back to the council table.