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County to examine issues surrounding ‘secret’ beaches

Prince Edward County municipal staff will be exploring issues arising from the use of unofficial beach areas in the municipality.

“Our beautiful beaches and stunning shoreline attract thousands of people every year. We must ensure, however, that we encourage responsible and sustainable visits that limit the impact on both the environment and residents,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson.

The beaches at Sandbanks and North Beach are overseen by the province and Wellington Beach is managed by the municipality. As they reach capacity, beachgoers look for alternatives.

There are several areas where the public accesses the shoreline off of municipal roads and lanes.

These unofficial beach areas are neither part of a provincial park nor maintained by the municipality.

“As word has spread about these ‘secret’ beaches in recent years, more people have gathered, leading to concerns around trespassing on private property, traffic congestion, parking, and waste disposal,” said Ferguson in a statement.

The municipality is taking action in one such area ahead of the weekend.

Staff have put in place barriers at the end of Bakker Road to prevent vehicles from driving down to the shoreline. Signs are also in place indicating where parking is permitted.

A report is coming forward to the July 21 council agenda, with options on how to increase enforcement and options to better manage these types of shoreline areas at the end of municipal roads.

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  1. Rob #2 says:

    As far as the litter is concerned, it ain’t all coming from tourists. I make the trek along my quiet road in the spring and fall and collect a couple of oversize garbage bags each time, over a distance of about 2 km – and there’s plenty left over the winter when they aren’t visiting.

  2. Fred says:

    I agree the rules are to protect us. The $20.00 gouging locals for boat ramps and parking however is not acceptable.

  3. Diane says:

    I understand all of these tourist complaints. But I don’t understand why people are so reluctant to call the County or the OPP when they see all these illegal things happening! DO SOMETHING!!
    Stop whining and make our world a better place. We live here and deserve to be comfortable and safe. Please take it upon yourself, as I do, to speak up or ask for help when you see something that is obviously wrong. I have no trouble asking politely for people to give me six feet of space when I’m waiting to go into a store. They have always complied. Consider that you can make a difference without causing grief. Be kind. The rules are here to protect all of us.

  4. MissP says:

    “A report is coming forward to the July 21 council agenda, with options on how to increase enforcement and options to better manage these types of shoreline areas at the end of municipal roads.”

    How about some signage regarding litter, some cans where litter can be disposed of and the County maintains and collects (I’m tired of picking up the trash and paying to have it disposed of), some signs warning against illegal overnight camping (a huge issue when parks are full) enforcement by OPP or County staff. This is trending to “out of control”. It is now common place to see campers and mobile homes lumber down dead end roads that end at a lake and they don’t reappear until the next morning or several days later. This is having a negative impact on the quality of life of the full time, tax paying residents of these areas.

  5. Dennis Fox says:

    I’m not sure why the municipality would implement a $20 parking fee for Wellington Beach and not implement an on street parking rate like they have in Picton. If capitalizing on tourists is the goal, then go for it all the way – parking meters in Wellington and Bloomfield too!

  6. Chuck says:

    Council needs to get out of over governance and meddling in the every day lives of residents. New parking fees, new brush fees and now preventing residents from accessing their right to water on a municipal roadway. This is not right.

  7. Dennis Fox says:

    I find this new parking tax an odd one for our Council to implement. As we all know, tourism has been a controversial topic for a long time in PEC – until this parking tax, we locals have never financially benefited from tourism – but our taxes have certainly paid for it. Over this past year, our Council decided to implement the STA tax – short term accommodation tax – which would have been paid by tourist. Due to COVID and the supposed hardship this would place on landlords, this tax has been postponed. So if our Council can afford to lose the STA tax, why charge everyone (including full time residents) $20 for parking at the Wellington Beach? Perhaps PEC resident should receive a car window sticker, so we are not charged???

  8. JennyD says:

    The locals are fed up with being over run by tourists. The county has marketed and promoted tourism for years, and now their efforts have proven disastrous to the environment. As a tax payor I will continue to access any public area I wish. The county has made it impossible to enjoy the very county landscape I, and others, support financially. Don’t block us and don’t charge us. Should’ve thought about this when you decided to promote the county so widely. Don’t make the locals the bad guys here. It’s the visitors and tourists the county should be worried about. You can’t have it both ways – either promote the county and deal with the negative consequence, or provide some relief and support for locals.

  9. Mark says:

    I find it amazing that the County can place barriers in a day to stop residents from reaching water, but they allow a contractor to dig at the busiest intersection of Main and Lake Streets every day for over a year.

  10. Michelle says:

    With 9 days in a row of +30, local residents are now cut off from favorite water sites. Can’t get to our Sandbanks anymore and really who would want to. I might add these municipal roads leading to a shoreline are taxpayer roads. Taxpayers have a legal right to access them.

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