Open letter to Mayor and Council: beach should be protected not commercialized

To the Editor:

Open letter to mayor and council Re Proposed Waterfront Proposal

 Mr. Mayor, and councilors,

Our waterfront is an enviable asset, that has been attracting people for many years. Everyone keeps returning because of its undeveloped, unspoiled, uncommercialized, natural appeal. We are lucky enough to live here and enjoy it at any time; visitors make large financial contributions to our economy to stay her for just a week or two. I’m not alone in stating that any large commercial addition, as proposed, will not improve its charm.

The multilevel proposal on the table absolutely contravenes everything that Port Elgin has ever stood for! Our beach should be protected, not developed and commercialized

 People have been coming here for generations to escape business, noise, chaos. Our beach gives them the simple pleasures they hunger for. They seek the old fashioned kind – sand castles,  beach pails, children playing, swings, slides, ice cream, beach fries, snacks that are accessible in bare feet. We are a bare foot beach. Access isn’t a problem; the elderly, the children, and their parents can walk from their vehicles easily to the waterfront and carry their things.

I agree, wholeheartedly, that our beach is desperate for a good cleanup, but this proposal is far too ambitious and far too large for our waterfront. This proposal belongs in the commercial district uptown or on the perimeter of town. Also, I don’t understand the rush to get it approved, and why other proposals aren’t even on the table for review!!

Locals and visitors, alike, come here for sunshine, simplicity, and serenity. I think that this proposal will upset the delicate balance and relationship that we have with our waterfront.

I don’t know the condition of “The Station”, but if it can’t be restored, what is wrong with replacing it?? It’s an embarrassment in its present condition.

Why take away business from the already struggling main street?? A convention center, if necessary, would certainly be appropriate, and more visible on our main street and would complement other amenities like eateries, and accommodation. Probably one of the planned new hotels already has convention facilities and dining in their design!

Some years ago, someone was complaining about the carnivals. How do you think they will now react to a commercial enterprise of this magnitude with the potential increase in (convention and dining) traffic, and the commercial construction and supply vehicles rumbling through our already congested residential neighbourhoods?? What about the children on those streets?

Development and renewal is necessary, definitely, but on a much smaller scale – about a fifth of what is proposed.  A little general/service/novelty store, like “The Station” would service the boaters, and perhaps some cottagers.  A concession stand of sorts, perhaps tied to the general store – maybe. Some miniature golf or other entertainment – probably. A large restaurant/dining facility – no.  A convention center – no!


Peter Little