Port Elgin Beach Preservers present alternate CCV layout plan

Port Elgin Beach Preservers, a group that has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed Cedar Crescent Village commercial development on Port Elgin’s main beach, now for the most part, support the recent changes that have been recommended.
“Although there are those in our group who don’t want to see any commercial development at the waterfront, overall we feel. that there have been compromises made to make the concept plan fit the site,” says Beach Preserver organizer, Patricia Corrigan-Frank. “I also thank the town’s Councillors for their thoughtful questions during the discussion of the new concept plan at their meeting on Monday (Nov. 22nd).”
The almost 400 online views of the Council meeting on Youtube speak to the involvement of the community in an important decision.
Among the areas that have been re-considered include:
  • The site has been moved back to the original RFP site which, as pointed out by Mayor Charbonneau, was the location chosen for commercial development in the Waterfront Design Concept of 2014.
  • The square footage of the footprint has been decreased by about 30%.
  • The development includes a restaurant, a marina shop, washrooms, and a pavilion, all of which were amenities requested in the Beachers’ May 2021 survey and the 2019 Town survey.
  • The event/conference hall has been removed from the concept plan so that a zoning change is no longer required. As many Councillors commented, the event hall had been a major sticking point for many residents.
  • The development will be completed in Phases, allowing for some adjustments if needed.
“One of the concerns that remain however, is the proposed height of the buildings that will block the lake vistas and that was an important aspect of the both the Waterfront Master Plan of 2013 and the Waterfront Design Concept of 2014,” adds Corrigan-Frank.  “Thirty foot high buildings will directly impact this vista for all who  visit and the homeowners who reside on Harbour Street.”
As a result of the height concern, the Beach Preservers have suggested an alternative design concept.  Under their plan, the restaurant would be placed at the northwest end of the property at the foot of Elgin Street.  As a result the second floor Whitefish Grille and possible outdoor patio area would have an unobstructed view of the lake (Lake Huron) and its renowned sunsets.
For larger view, Click on Image
According to the Beachers, the re-design would also provide parking for customers along Elgin and Harbour Streets in both summer and winter.  As a result of the parking change, proposed businesses would be more accessible and winter salt usage would be reduced along with road maintenance on the parking area and the sand area.  In addition, delivery trucks with supplies would have improved access to the facilities.
The Beach Preservers have presented their alternate design plan to Council for consideration during the site plan process.