Wainfleet Council moves to combat beach pressures

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Township of Wainfleet press release –  Amid continued complaints from residents upset with beachgoers disregard for private property and municipal by-laws, Wainfleet Council met in emergency session last night to further address this ongoing issue.

After raising parking fines to $100 in late June, Council saw a marked reduction in the numbers of those parking illegally and blocking fire routes. Despite some success, however, the unprecedented numbers of people flocking to area beaches is continuing to cause serious issues including damage to property, overcrowding and disrespect for private property owners, sometimes resulting in confrontations.

Citing social pressures brought on by current pandemic as well as actions taken by neighbouring municipalities to restrict beach access thereby driving traffic to Wainfleet, Council decided to take further action to control parking on the side roads leading to the beach areas, by amending Parking By-law No. 010-2018, which regulates traffic and parking on Township roads.

The amendment will see additional restrictions to parking along the side roads leading to the beach areas, including Brawn Road, Sideroad 18, Daly Ditch Road, and Minor Road extending to Lake Erie. On the direction of Council, parking signage has been erected as well as signage pointing out the limitations of the beach frontage owned by the Township.

“Most people – even long-time Wainfleeters – don’t realize that the Township only owns 66 feet of beach frontage at Augustine Beach with the rest of the beach being privately owned,” said Mayor Kevin Gibson. “We are taking the steps we need to limit parking and the occupancy of our section of beach to something that is reasonable.”

The Mayor confirmed Council’s intention to limit parking and continue to ramp up enforcement of the increased fines and towing of vehicles.

“Those parking illegally should not be surprised to find that they have been both ticketed and towed. It’s going to be an expensive day and a long walk to the impound yard for those who want to push their luck,” he warned.

Beachgoers are instead encouraged to visit the Bona Fide beaches in the area, including Reeb’s Bay Beach, the Regional Beach or the NPCA’s Long Beach and park legally. The Township plans to continue investigations into options for dealing with the complaints arising from local beaches.