Reader raises many questions about beach development

To the Editor:

I’m writing to you to express my concern of the Cedar Crescent Village (CCV) proposal. I am NOT in favour of it. I believe that things cannot stay as they were in time. I also feel that there needs to be improvement in Port Elgin main beach but it does not need to be commercialized as this proposal expresses.  I see no need for a convention center on the beach, no need for a viewing tower, a licenced restaurant open for 12 hours or more each day and the retail space. As I go on here, when I mention Town, I’m referring to Mayor & council, administration, and us as taxpayers.

A 50 yr lease:  I can understand why the investors would want this with their money investment. What guarantee does the town have for the quality upkeep and any discipline factors, for just a start.

No property tax collected or payments:  Why not?

They own the buildings and do improvements. If they want to make changes, what control does Town have? Only a building permit?

They have the right to sublet. Does the town have any control of retail businesses?

First refusal of leases for First Base (wrong name) and the Harbourlite restaurants. Why?

The businesses they control will be open 12 months a year. The word control bothers me and, if there is a beach apparel store, what does that mean to them? Open in February?

I will not get into the liquor licence as the permitting board should have some control of it.

Preparing the site for them. How intense? More costs for the town.

Town maintain beach and parking lots. Free snow removal in the winter, included?

CCV have control of any new businesses that want to open on the main beach, even to North Shore Park. They sure are having control!

The Town will remove existing tracks and create packed gravel pathways for a new train. Allow for extra paths, including to the downtown area. More costs to town. Who owns this train and gets the proceeds? CCV

Patios outside of the restaurants. We will be more like Sauble or Wasaga Beach. Is that what we want here ???

A rink in the winter. Who operates this and were do proceeds go?

This is just some of what I’ve seen about the proposal. It appears to me that we are “bending over backwards” for the CCV. This is all a commercial enterprise. To me it will not enhance our small town (also, small area) beach.

If this goes through, I feel control of the main beach and North Shore Park has been lost by the town and turned over to the CCV.  If it doesn’t work, what will we have sitting there?

Look at the abandoned amusement area, heading east out of Sauble Beach. Ugly. When will this lead to paid parking. Could this convention center lead to a gambling establishment? What controls does the Town have if they decide to sell? Does the parking area end up as more asphalt as existing parking would be too wet or sloppy? For the public-private proposal, I see the public part being … the Town pays.

As I have said in some articles I’ve posted, tourism is here because of water and sand. The water and sand has and will promote people to come here and spend dollars throughout the whole town. The CCV is wanting that money there, not for sharing in the town. A convention center can be built somewhere else. With some of the weather conditions we have experienced this fall, even before winter gets here, who would want a wedding or event there. Just picture it.

I have more thoughts but this covers a lot of the bases. I can not see the benefits to the Town but only to the Investors. I can not blame them for trying as they can see $ signs.

Before I leave, picture this. It’s a nice summer day at the main beach. The 300 seat convention hall has a large convention happening. How many parking spaces would it need? Also, this happens to be a Wednesday and the Flea Market is happening. How much space will it take up plus more parking spaces. Oh yes, how about the beach goers. Do you think that they want to come to this congested area? Will the people in suits be riding the train from downtown parking lots? You get “The Picture”.

My vote is “NO”

Let’s improve what we have.

Thanks for listening


Larry McIntosh
aka “The Stix Man”😊