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Have your say on concepts to revitalize Wellington Beach

The County is seeking public feedback on three concepts for the revitalization of Wellington Rotary Beach – ranging from significant financial investment in ‘Big Move’ changes, to modest ‘Tweak’ improvements and ‘Naturalize’.

The concepts were developed by community members of the Wellington Waterfront Task Team, formed in the spring of 2022, at the request of council and the Community and Economic Development Commission.

The team was charged with developing a revitalization plan that addresses identified challenges such as parking, pedestrian access, accessibility, outdated amenities and more. In May, the team engaged landscape designers from The Planning Partnership to work with a group of 25 community members to co-create three different concepts for the future of Wellington Rotary Beach.

The Task Team includes Mike Harper (councillor, Wellington), Lesley Lavender (CEDC), councillor Janice Maynard (CEDC), Phyo Kyi and John Inwood (both from the Rotary Club of Wellington) and citizen members Jennifer Armstrong, Corey Engelsdorfer and
Dan Leeming.

The concepts have been illustrated and presented on the municipality’s Have Your Say website. At this stage, the team seeks feedback to understand what the community likes, and does not like, about the concepts. The public is invited to provide feedback through an online survey before Aug. 1.

Feedback is to be used to inform a longer-term plan for the beach, which can then be used to seek funding for capital projects and beach improvements. As the project progresses, there will be further public consultation and work to ensure alignment with the Quinte Conservation Authority Shoreline Management Plan and other relevant plans.

Additional information is posted on the County website. The survey is also available in paper format upon request to Julianne Snepsts, Community Programs Supervisor, at 613.476.2148 extension 1008 or email jsnepsts@pecounty.on.ca.

The ‘Big Move’ concept represents a picture of how the beach could be developed over a longer period of time with significant financial investment and major infrastructure improvements. This includes:
– Reconstruction of the road and boardwalk to minimize the impacts of the rising lake levels
– Locating paid parking on the north side of the road
– Constructing a new pedestrian bridge to Belleville Street to create a connected pedestrian walking loop
– Constructing new, centralized, all season buildings to house park facilities as well as vendors/concessions.
– This concept focuses on ‘active’ beach uses and vehicular activity within the west zone while maintaining access to boating activities within the east zone. An access gate between the two zones is meant to help limit vehicular traffic to this portion of the park during the busiest times of the year. However, pedestrian access will continue to flow throughout the park year-round.

The ‘Tweak’ concept represents a picture of how the park could be improved in the immediate and interim time frame, with less financial investment and infrastructure improvements. This includes:

– Reconstruction of the road and boardwalk to minimize the impacts of the rising lake levels
– Moving vehicle parking to a central location that also serves as a drop-off / turnaround
– Providing new structures to house vendors / concession
– Re-organizing the boat launch area to provide some trailer parking while re-naturalizing the area on the beach side with native and dune plantings
– This concept maintains all of the existing infrastructure in the beach, while re-organizing circulation and parking to prioritize pedestrian movement and experiences. The looped walkway network includes a sidewalk along Beach Street, a raised boardwalk along the beach and trails within the wooded areas. Additionally, existing gravel driveways and parking areas are replaced with naturalized landscaping at the east end of the park and on-street parking is re-instated along Wellington Main Street.
– An alternative design for the ‘Tweak’ concept has no structures for vendors / concessions in the central are; these are to be seasonal / non-permanent structures located on the north side of the parking / drop-off area. In addition, the launch area includes a new canoe / kayak storage facility along with an upgraded boat launch.

The ‘Naturalize’ concept represents a picture of how the beach could be developed as a natural environment where vehicle access is strictly limited to access and drop-off only. The concept contains elements that may be implemented in the immediate term and over the longer time frame, with modest to significant financial investment. This includes:
– Narrowing of the road
– Removal of the existing washrooms and the construction of new shade pavilions along the boardwalk
– The most significant elements of this concept are the pedestrian bridge crossing of the channel to connect to Belleville Street and the introduction of a shuttle to connect to off-site parking facilities.
– This concept focuses on the natural environment and the facilities and activities that fit within and complement this environment. Most importantly, it seeks to restore a naturalized dune landscape.

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  1. B Wilder says:

    Like other full time residents I get frustrated from time to time by the sheer number of people that arrive here during the tourist season. When I do, I try to remember that without those visitors I wouldn’t be able to visit and enjoy our local craft breweries, wineries, restaurants, artists and crafts people….because without those tourists these places would not exist. I also realize that the clock cannot be turned back. So there is nothing gained by complaining.
    As to the purpose of this article, I prefer the third scenario although with the bridge. I have shared my thoughts on the County web page.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    I drove through Wellington on Saturday afternoon – not only was it very crowded with people walking out from between parked cars to cross the street – BUT the number of gawdy signs stating the “Beach Is Full” -“No Parking Available”, etc.. – all positioned along the sidewalk and shoulder of the road around Beach Street. If this is what some people call progress and believe this is good for business, then I think we as a community need to redefine our priorities. To me, the entrance to Wellington Beach looked like the CNE Midway! And PEC is looking at mega development of Wellington?? What a wonderful community it was.

  3. Ron and Kim says:

    We live on the west end of west lake. We have watched our small beach go from used by locals all day long. To them being turned away due to capacity limits. Granted our end is overtaken with lily pads you don’t get much more natural with geese, swans and ducks herons having their young. The frog and turtles also live here.It is shallow but we do own boats and would like to have access to the rest of the lake and the channel. A bridge would hinder this therefore option and 1 and 3 are not acceptable. As far as vendors go we have 2 local markets and several restaurants and businesses. We don’t need them on the beach as that is what it is not a midway. There are 2 trucks there already. Whatever happened to packing a picnic lunch and going to the beach for the day? Option 2 requires tweaking to make it the best choice. Maybe those proposing a change should discuss with those who this effects the most.
    .

  4. SM says:

    You ask why it is known as Wellington Rotary Beach. Perhaps knowing a little history will help. From Wellington Rotary:
    Wellington Rotary Beach
    Wellington Rotary’s first major project was a five year $150,000 Wellington Beach
    Improvement Project. In addition to funds generated by club fundraising, grants were
    obtained from The County of Prince Edward, PELA-CFDC, The Stark Foundation, Ontario
    Ministry of Rural Affairs, Scotiabank, and Rotary District 7070. The project consisted of
    Rotary volunteers building picnic tables, barbecues, a 1900’ boardwalk/pathway,
    benches, a sunshelter, and a washroom/changeroom. In addition 13 interpretive signs
    were created and installed along the boardwalk/pathway on history of the beach, and
    the birds, plants, and fish of the area. The improvements have resulted in increased
    usage and enjoyment of the beach by locals and visitors. The boardwalk gives access to
    the beach to people who previously were unable to enjoy it, including those with
    mobility issues, giving some the opportunity of seeing their grandchildren at play.

  5. Kelly says:

    The Wellington beach is beautiful just the way it is and doesn’t require any revitalization or beautification! Aside from keeping the debris cleared off the beach, picking up the garbage on a regular basis and keeping the bathrooms clean, nothing else is required to enjoy some time at this beach. Bring your picnic. Bring your chair. Bring your towel. Sit, swim, eat and enjoy. Its a sad day when even nature is seen as not good enough in its natural state and in order to enjoy it has to get a facelift and there has to be vendors, etc. Take a listen to Joni Mitchell’s song Big Yellow Taxi….she sings about exactly what is happening to this community. Maybe the money that is budgeted for these unnecessary changes could be spent on things that Wellington really needs like road and sidewalk repairs.

  6. angela says:

    It seems futile to have your day when apparently no one is listening. It’s just a clever way of trying to make us think that our opinions count.

  7. SM says:

    Hopefully those commenting here have also done so on the County Have Your Say page. I have.

  8. angela says:

    Revitalization? It is the destruction of a naturally beautiful beach to pander to our tourists. It s very sad to see this happen and unfair for the local residents who live near the beach. When we have successfully destroyed everything that once made our county unique perhaps this madness will end.

  9. Dennis Fox says:

    I believe this kind of development should be the subject of a number of meetings with the residents of PEC – particularly those from Wellington. It requires much more thought and input than what online comments can provide. As we well know, Council can ignore their own questionnaires and survey results – this has been proven from past experiences – what makes this one any different? Whose idea was it to develop the beach and did they give an explanation? Then again – how did it become known as Wellington “Rotary” Beach?

    The proposed plans I believe will make it become an amusement park and attract everything that people don’t want for it.

  10. Lauren Weese says:

    Tweak option without the storage (just invite theft and vandalization). A pedestrian bridge is not needed since the beach is not that long and can be accessed easily by Beach St. Vendors and concessions just encourage more garbage.
    This is a small area and should remain a simple beach to enjoy.

  11. Option 2, tweak is what we agree most with. Vendors can provide their own accommodation. A storage unit for canoes and kayaks is just something to be broken into and/or vandalised. Don’t need bridge to Belleville St. Would require constant upkeep. Water access can’t be blocked to waterfront residences.

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