So said a long-time Crystal Beach resident with regards to the so-called Bay Beach Study that has brought together a bevy of consultants, planners and facilitators to the village. They are currently holding court in the Crystal Ridge Community Centre where they have spent the past couple of days "gathering input from stakeholders." Holy Crap! It's déja vu all over again.
Even the expected outcome is a foregone conclusion. Just like back in 2002 or thereabouts. Here it is, folks:
The consultants will propose that a three or four story building be placed on the north side of the Bay Beach Properties that will either be residential or hotel/commercial.
They admitted as much this morning at a roundtable discussion with various representatives of government agencies.
Oh, and it was also revealed that the Molinaros still hold a Ministry of Natural Resources permit regarding the "Fowler's Toad Habitat" until 2027 which the town does not want to see revoked at any time in the near future. What this means is that nothing much can be done on the south side (lakefront) of the property until the permit is revoked and replaced with a new permit.
Also lurking in the background is the Molinaro inspired lawsuit and the still unsettled dispute over the property itself. There is a claim that there is an open road allowance running through the property as well as a path running along next to the breakwall parallel to the water.
So, last night we dutifully filled out poster-sized wish lists that were then placed on the wall of the banquet hall. They all said pretty much what has been said for almost twenty years regarding Crystal Beach. Same as the C.A.U.S.E. Study of 1996; the charettes in 2003-2004; the award-winning Crystal Beach Master Plan of 2005; and the general will of the people as evidenced by the election results in 2010.
But we know that certain people in town have had other plans for the Bay Beach Properties since they were bought from the Rebstock Family in 2001. And those plans are still there, despite what the majority of people really want for our last good piece of public beachfront property in Crystal Beach.
Once again, our public property is in jeopardy of being portioned off for "reasonable return on investment." For whom? If that were the case, then every park and playground should be held to the same standard. No, it's only Bay Beach that has this unwanted attention.
And this latest taxpayer-funded study is just another pile of you-know-what posing as community consultation.
PREDICTION: Once the final draft is presented to council, it will be shelved, along with the many other studies and suggestions from the past. The high cost of the improvements will be cited as the reason and the only way it can be afforded is if the north side properties are sold. There will be no attempt at improving the property in increments as money becomes available. The present council has no interest in Crystal Beach; never had - except during amalgamation when Crystal Beach had a very healthy treasury. So, now it will be payback for all the opposition to the Molinaro tower. The consultation brought forth a lot of great ideas for Bay Beach, few or none of which will be implemented. Council will vote as they have been programmed 5-2.
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