Recent beach development proposal resembles a shopping mall says reader

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our displeasure at the latest proposal for the Cedar Crescent Village development on the beach in Port Elgin. For some reason, the size of the buildings has increased, to the point that it now resembles a shopping mall.

While the mayor and other councilors have consistently maintained the project is the result of extensive public consultation, and in keeping with the 2013 Waterfront Master Plan, neither is the case.

One of the cornerstones of the Waterfront Master Plan was for annual surveys to provide council with input from citizens as to needs and wants in beach development. This was ignored, and annual surveys were not done. The biased, limited, single survey which was conducted by the town, gave no indication whatsoever that what was proposed at that time was what the public was asking for.

What was proposed at meetings, where the public was involved, appeared to be a restaurant, a small marina store to sell groceries and other necessities to boaters, and rental space for retailers, such as an ice cream shop. Now, we see something much larger, much more obtrusive than ever, based largely on the ideas of the proponents, not the public.

We would urge you to get proper, meaningful,  public input  before you accept any proposal for a complex on the beach.  This is on public land, and therefore the public needs to have a proper say, particularly in a project of this size, to ensure this is what is actually wanted by the stakeholders, the taxpayers, the citizens of Saugeen Shores.

The character of our beach depends on what council accepts. The beach belongs to all of us, not just the proponents and members of council, and public interest cannot be subservient to proposals for private enterprise that can change that character forever.

How can one speak of a private-public partnership if there is no proper public input? Remember to whom the beach belongs. Everyone’s interest is at stake here.

David and Susan Glass
Saugeen Shores