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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Back to Drawing Board for Hopeful Leith Beach Restaurant Owner

Owen Sound | by Cody Misner  

Afterwards council discussed possible options for Leith Beach

Leith Beach courtesy of South Georgian Bay website  

No new restaurant or pub at Leith Beach any time soon for one hopeful business owner.  

The hope of the property owner was to buy some municipal land towards the beach and completely rebuild a new restaurant on the property.

At a recent meeting in Meaford, council was set to vote on a recommendation from staff to turn down the proponents original application and provide support to help find a plan that will allow the owner to purchase a smaller amount of land for the proposed rebuild.    

Jack Seaman, a local resident spoke to council about the matter saying "When the proponent purchased the property he knew the history of the property and its limitations for expanded commercial development, buyer beware."

Seaman went on saying "why should we the local residents and taxpayers give up part of the Leith Beach to accommodate what was a poor real estate decision."  

Another resident, Marnie Coke spoke against the development saying "this small gem, point seven of an acre and getting smaller, is not the place for fulfilling one man's dream to the determent next door neighbours."

These comments were meant with great applause and some more harsh comments directed at council from the audience.

After hearing from multiple members of the community, none with positive opinions on the matter, council voted against further support of the proposal.

The proponent, John Liddell also spoke about his commitment to the property saying "my family is 100% dedicated to making this business a success, we will hire local staff. Tourism is important but being a responsible member of the community is of the greatest importance to us.

Afterwards council discussed possible options for Leith Beach.

One suggestion by Councilor Ross Kentner was for the municipality to look at purchasing the property and running it's own snack bar and services.

Fellow Councilor Stephen Bartley disagreed feeling it would make the beach too popular and that it should be preserved in its current state.   

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