No her­itage des­ig­na­tion for Sauble Beach

Wiarton Echo - - NEWS -

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.”

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