No heritage designation for Sauble Beach
John Carter, who recently left his position as chair of the town’s heritage committee, asked council to consider recommending Sauble Beach for heritage designation at council’s Sept. 5 meeting. The request was defeated.
Carter said a Sauble Beach resident had asked the town’s heritage committee to make the recommendation to council, and further recommend that council ask the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to define the town-owned portion of Sauble Beach as an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).
Carter said, with the motion to recommend an ANSI was defeated by the committee, but the motion to request council move forward with an Ontario heritage designation adopted.
In his presentation to council, Carter said the dunes and beach vegetation – including rare plant species – and areas of significant social, economic and historical value associated with the beach could be included in the designation. The municipal heritage committee would provide the wording for the designation bylaw for council’s approval, he said.
The heritage committee felt it was important to pursue this designation to protect the beach and leave it as a legacy for future generations. The designation would also show council’s commitment to heritage and to the preservation of its own property, he said.
The process to receive designation would take approximately three months and cost $1,000 to $2,000, for which no funds were budgeted in 2017.
Councillor Matt Jackson asked if a heritage designation would “handcuff the town’s hands in terms of maintaining a beach?” Carter said, “In my opinion moving forward with this would not handcuff the municipality in any way. I see it as coming to a compromise for use and preservation.”
Mayor Jackson said, “I think the timing is unfortunate. I’d rather have this come up a year from now with all the battles we’re having.” In this case the designation was for natural heritage, Carter said in an interview. “I cited a number of reports that show that indeed Sauble Beach has at least 10 species of rare plants in the sand dunes. I suggest that in fact by passing this motion and proceeding that it would show stewardship and might even help with future land claims. I didn’t see it as an issue of restricting anything, because that’s not what designation does. But council felt that they wouldn’t support it and they didn’t.”