A private Lake Kashagawigamog retreat has reached a settlement with the Township of Minden Hills so it can officially operate as a recreational commercial establishment.

The Haliburton Post House said a deal was reached before the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) on April 26, and means the property can now be rezoned from seasonal residential.

Post House managing director Heather Milstein said the settlement included “a favourable oral decision” from the OLT.

Minden Hills mayor Bob Carter confirmed the settlement, but declined to comment on why or how it was reached. He would only say, “we wish them the best of luck in their new endeavour.”

Milstein said the agreement means The Post House is now officially designated as a tourist resort establishment.

“We are thankful and grateful to the many community members and businesses who have welcomed us and have been very supportive during the rezoning process,” she said. “We look forward to building on these relationships and steadily forging new ones in the Highlands and beyond.”

Owner Joel Baker, operating as Glencedar Inc., acquired the property in 2018. It had begun as a single-family cottage near Ingoldsby almost a century ago. In 1947, a post house was built.

Baker said with the matter settled, “we look forward to collaborating with many stakeholders to provide memorable experiences and exquisite fine dining to corporate and leisure groups, as well as to local community members and businesses, year-round, in the beautiful Highlands setting.”

The file had already dragged on for about 14 months before the initial council decision to refuse rezoning in August 2022.

Despite their contracted planners, and an environmental review by Hutchinson Environmental, in support of the rezoning, councillors unanimously voted against. At the time, they expressed concern about The Post House operating before rezoning was permitted, and its impact on the lake community. However, The Post House told The Highlander in a Sept. 1, 2022 story they’d followed the rules set out in the township’s official plan – the same rules that allow property owners to operate short-term rental businesses from their properties.

Hutchinson Environmental said the development would not negatively impact the lake’s phosphorus levels. In addition, they suggested collection of groundwater samples and monitoring of a new and improved septic system, as well as keeping an eye on the property’s vegetative buffer.

“We believe The Post House fits well into the fabric of the community,” Hutchinson Environmental said during an August 2022 council meeting. They added The Post House was “on the same side” as the community in their wish to preserve the nature of the lake.

See more about this business at haliburtonposthouse.ca.