January 17, 2023 6:28am
The owners of three Beach O’Pines properties near Grand Bend have pleaded guilty for work undertaken without a permit.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s Water and Planning Manager Geoff Cade explained Ryan Finch, Brian Finch and Georgina Finch have adjoining properties on the shoreline and what they did was install shore protection.
“What they did was install shore protection,” explained Cade. “We understand people’s desire to put in shore protection, but they didn’t do it with the benefit of a permit of the authority and they certainly put it in an area that we would not have permitted had they come to us in the first place.”
Cade said portions of the wall were put in some distance out on the beach. One of their major concerns is that any development or erosion control along the shore line will have some impact on neighbouring properties.
“We encourage everyone to call us if they’re contemplating anything really early in the process. It saves everyone a lot of headaches. We don’t like getting into the position where we feel we need to lay charges on someone. That’s usually something we do as a last resort.”
Cade also pointed out, enforcement is just one small part of what they do. He says they have the expertise to help people with their projects and often show them how they can achieve what they want to in a way that doesn’t violate any policies or negatively impact their neighbours. Cade says bringing in the Conservation Authority into the planning stage of a project is always a good idea.
The matter of the three properties in Beach O’Pines has been set over until January 26th.