New modular park development approved by Council

Seasonal residents of New Fairways Campground located immediately south of Port Elgin (Saugeen Shores) are angry. For some, the park has been a summer home for more than 20 years.

The land however, was recently sold to Westcan Inc. and will be developed into a modular park by Cedar Grove Limited Partnership and will become known as the Villages of Port Elgin.

Saugeen Shores Town Council approved the site plan that will allow 10-month residency but, if services that include water and sewer are installed, it could become a year-round, four-season community, as is currently being promoted by the developer.

Current summer residents received a letter from the developer that an open house would be held on the weekend of October 5th for site tours.

Westcan said that the first five campers or registrants to make a $1,000 deposit would qualify to buy a 680-square-foot four-season cottage for $99,000. The pre-launch price is $115,000, and the market price is $120,000.

Many of the residents have made the campground their permanent summer homes and cannot afford to move their units, if there were other campgrounds available to move to.  Many in Bruce County however, do not accept units older than 10 years.

Westcan-designed units feature two and three-bedroom models with two baths, modern beds, appliances, washers, and dryers and landscaped 50 X 80-foot lots. Future development of the area calls for walking/hiking trails, town water and sewer services, and a community centre.  Once developed, the monthly fee will be $550 along with hydro, water and taxes.

The site plan was approved by Council on September 23rd.  Affordable/attainable housing is a major focus of Saugeen Shores Council and Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt suggested future plans could include affordable housing.

There are many people in this community who would like to get their hands on a $100,000, to $150,000 or $200,000 park model,” he said.

Councilor Dave Myette asked for clarification of the permitted land use and Jay Pausner,  Supervisor of Development Services, reiterated the site is currently zoned for a seasonal recreational facility, not year-round use.

Mayor Luke Charbonneau said the focus should only be on what the developer asked for, that is, seasonal use, instead of what he had not asked for.  He pointed out that Council has been telling developers that affordable housing is a high priority.

“We expect all developers across the municipality, whatever they are developing, to offer us affordable housing options … no one should come to the town wanting development approvals without offering affordable housing in the plans,” the Mayor added.

The new development is to take a phased-in approach with the first phase being 32 units and, eventually, replacing all 332 units currently in the location.