City and regional staff will review the status of the residential properties on the beach strip along Lakeshore Road as part of the ongoing Burlington Beach Waterfront Park Master Plan Review, currently underway.
The park, which includes Spencer Smith and Beachway, is a regional park operated in partnership by the city and region. Current regional policy for Beachway Park is to acquire all the private homes on a willing buyer/willing seller basis, and incorporate the land into the park for roads, parking, openspace, and other amenities.
However, the residents who live in the beach wish to stay, and I’ve heard from a number of residents across Burlington and Halton who believe having a small residential enclave adds vibrancy to the area, and safety through “eyes on the street.”
Currently, the residents have municipal water service, but not sewer hookups. Adding sewer infrastructure could cost up to $80,000 per home, born entirely by residents. A number of residents have installed state of the art waste water solutions for much less cost.
The request for a review of the residential status is the result of motions recently passed by Burlington city council and Regional Council (all Burlington councillors also sit on regional council). The motions ask planning staff at the city and region to work together to explore all options, including a review of whether to continue with an acquisition policy for the residential properties, address coastal safety and the feasibility of servicing the residential area. Planning staff is also requested to work with Conservation Halton to ensure that its land holdings and its regulations pertaining to this area are included and fully accommodated in the planning study.
What do you think? Can the park be developed by including the residential enclave? Email your thoughts to me here firstname.lastname@example.org.
My take: I’m supportive of allowing residents to remain along the beach strip. The private homes do not impede public access to the waterfront or the trails along Beachway Park, as most of them are located on the West (non water) side of Lakeshore Road. The residents also add eyes on the street to the area, which adds safety and vibrancy to the beach.