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The things in life that matter, they aren’t things

The best things in life, aren’t things.

Do I feel that way just because I have lived decades and seen the changes within the world and humankind?

Is it just because I have accumulated “things” and raised a family that I see where true value lies?

I have been coming up to Collingwood and surrounding areas since the early 70’s. We windsurfed at Northwinds Beach, swam at the shale water front of Wards Road, hiked the trails of the escarpment, participated in the Beaver River Rat Race, and picnicked at Slab Town. All the while, knowing this was where I wanted to retire. What I didn’t add to the dream back then was the exponential population growth. In Wasaga Beach alone, population has doubled to now ~24,000 people since the year 2000.

Why is it a priority to a few people to build a structure offensive to most of their neighbours, squeeze in an overflow of people, obliterate a natural habitat that once was full of trees, reptiles, birds, animals and a necessary wetland needed to keep our rivers, lakes and bays clean? Why force a development with the one proposed for Lot 82 near Shore Lane and 74th St. that brings no value to the community, does not help any small businesses, and harms adjacent existing single family homes through water damage or flooding, straining the current archaic infrastructure. If allowed to build they will dump 650 people into a 14-acre area, easily four times as many as the current number of people living in adjacent properties. Where will these people go when they walk out their doors? There is nothing here to support that many people – no grocery stores, no health services, only a few feet wide of public beach. Shore Lane is barely wide enough for two cars to pass, without sidewalks, and designated as a recreational trail. Even Beachwood Road could not accommodate the additional 204 proposed lots across the street, then the 55 proposed lots next to them, and another condominium just up the road with 419 proposed units.

If this first development goes through, we are quickly facing a much bigger issue: 885 proposed units – home to 2,655 people – 2,034 exiting onto Beachwood and 621 onto Shore Lane. Beachwood Development’s proposed plan for Lot 82 will set a precedent! All the other lots can even increase in their proposed density if this plan is approved.

Who would want to give so much power to these developers? Why would Beachwood Development Inc. even have the audacity to suggest building this ?

What Wasaga Beach Council needs to do is take back the reigns and come up with their own Land Use Plan for the West End. To quote the Ontario Municipal Councilors Guide:

Community or land use planning can be defined as managing our land and resources. Through careful land use planning, municipalities can manage their growth and development while addressing important social, economic and environmental concerns. More specifically, the land use planning process balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider needs and objectives of your community, and can have a significant effect on a community’s quality of life.

How did we get here? And why?

Just for money – for “things” that don’t matter.

Let us focus on the things that matter. Make a change, one by one, and voice your opposition to high density development.

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