Saugeen Shores Committee of Whole has approved in principle, the land lease for Cedar Crescent Village proposed for the Port Elgin waterfront.
The vote was 7-to-1 in favour with Councillor Matt Carr voting against.
Before the meeting really got underway, Councillor Jami Smith declared a conflict of interest regarding her husband's business dealings through the Social Athletics of Saugeen Shores that sets up the beach volleyball activity annually.
The lease includes a term of approximately 50 years and also lays out the developer's responsibilities, which include, among other things, paying all costs for the servicing, construction, ongoing maintenance and operation of the project.
The group will pay property taxes but rent could be deferred in lieu of in-kind community benefit services.
Councillor Carr is not sold on the 50-year lease nor on the non-competition clause in the lease.
He believes things need to be spelled out much clearer than they are.
One of the organizers of the Port Elgin Beach Preservers, Patricia Corrigan-Frank, who spoke at the meeting, was asked by Bayshore Broadcasting News, if the vote to move ahead spells the end of her group.
She says, "I don't plan on having any more rallies. I feel that we've put up the good fight. We did what we thought was right but I respect the decision that's been made."
Mayor Luke Charbonneau says the meeting was an important step in the process but it will be a while before any shovels are in the ground at the beachfront
The lease will return for council's approval early in 2020.
About 200 people attended the Committee of the Whole meeting, which was held in the Rotary Hall of the Plex to accommodate everyone.
The public can continue to send written or emailed feedback to the Town of Saugeen Shores, 600 Tomlinson Drive, Box 820, Port Elgin, ON, N0H 2C0 or [email protected]