July 3, 2008

Balm Beach Balm

Unbelievable. Have you been following the debacle taking place on the shores of Georgian Bay at Balm Beach? One set of cottage owners have erected a fence - a butt- ugly wooden fence - to keep people from crossing 'their' precious spit of sand.

For real? While I'm not a fan of the chainsaw approach that was recently taken to removing it by frustrated citizens, I certainly see why people are demanding something be done. Maybe legally you own the property down to the water's edge, but ethically - are you really good with erecting barriers to keep out anyone and everyone else? When you purchase property adjacent to areas zoned for commercial use, or in high traffic areas in resort towns, did you ever really expect that you were settling in some kind of nirvana where you could claim something for your own selfish self as natural as a shoreline?

Would I want tons of people trekking across my shoreline at my own humble cottage? Not on your life. Hence, said abode is on a tiny, tiny lake with none of the recreational attractions that would draw such trekkers. Hikers are welcome to cross all of our properties, being respectful of the wild nature of all of them (the properties, not the hikers), not littering, not stealing our noodles, and not peeing against our tinny.

You couldn't pay me to own in more populated areas. But if that were my choice, I would recognize that ribbons of sandy beaches would be an attraction - as they should be - and hardly start erecting wooden barriers to prevent people from daring to traverse 'my' property. You have to be pretty dim to not notice which lots are going to be in the centre of the action. You want remote, ferchristsakes Canada can provide remote.

Sell at an inflated price and go away. But something tells me the trouble will go with you, and I pity your new neighbours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Lorraine, I can't top that, so I'll say nothing. Well said. There are idiots no matter where we go. It is sand, not gold.


July 03, 2008 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this story and found it sad because I can sympathise a little bit with both sides. I wonder if the real estate agent was forthcoming in the disclosure section. I also wonder how many people know when you buy waterfront property for instance, that the shore line is public domain for boaters including water quite close to your land? This is a classic case of do the research before buying.

July 03, 2008 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunate situation but really not all that rare. The blocking of public access to the water has happened here in Cobourg as well. When the town wanted to build a boardwalk along a mostly unused strip of natural beach (to improve access and keep people from destroying the delicate ecosystem beneath) a few land owners decided to block access and ran ramshackle fences down to the waters edge. I always thought the town should spend the money and expropriate.

July 07, 2008 8:40 AM  

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