To many, the “Welcome to Crystal Beach” sign on the hill at Ridgeway Road is the gateway to our beautiful beach town. It has been there for a couple of decades, erected by some members of the Friends of Crystal Beach who fashioned the sign themselves. Later, flowers were added, along with an old rowboat.
However, time and nature have taken their toll on the sign. It leaned over and often looked like it was going to fall down completely. So, the Friends of Crystal Beach decided it was time to replace the venerable old sign and contracted Mike from M&J Signs in Ridgeway to remove the sign; store it; and then make a replacement. We’ll keep you updated as to the progress of the project.
PUBLIC MEETING ON SHORT TERM RENTALS LASTS THREE HOURS
On January 14, 2019, Fort Erie Town Council conducted a public meeting on the Administrative Report PDS-77-2018 regarding Short Term Rentals. As there are many such short term rentals in Crystal Beach, the meeting was of special interest to The Friends of Crystal Beach. The public meeting had been pushed back from September of 2018. The public meeting gave short term rental owners a chance to express their experiences and opinions about a potential fee structure for their rental properties, while affording other residents the opportunity to air their concerns and complaints about short term rentals that include Airbnb-type accommodations.
The first speaker was a short term rental owner who had researched the positive economic benefits to the community from short term rental customers. She also opined that such entities were very difficult to regulate and that current property standards need to be enforced on non-compliant short term rentals in the same manner as any residents. She said she would be comfortable with a $200 fee that would last for three to five years. She currently pays $88 fee per year for the licence on her short term rental.
A cottage on Cherrywood Avenue in Crystal Beach, owned by a Milton resident, was used as an example of “the other side of the story” by its next door neighbor. He cited code violations; lack of care to the lawn and property and rowdy renters as nuisances he has had to put up with since he and his wife bought the house next door. Such issues had been problematic in years past, especially in the free-wheeling 1960s and 70s. Since the renaissance of Crystal Beach, problem tenants were less noticeable except to nearby neighbours. Other short-term rental owners reported good relationships with neighbours to their rental units, but those owners also lived in the town and kept a close eye on their properties. It appeared that most of the problems regarding short-term rentals were the result of neglect and indifference by absentee landlords.
The question remained as to what sort of regulation was required and how much would it cost owners of short-term rentals. Most agreed that “some sort of regulation” is necessary, but not a costly licencing fee.
The public meeting lasted close to three hours.
After two other public meetings, council moved to defer the matter until after a roundtable of interested parties has taken place. The time line would be about a month or more. A date of March 18 was agreed for the report to be presented and voted upon. Councillors Lubberts, Noyes and Butler will attend the roundtable.
Take a Look at the choices for playground equipment at Bay Beach donated by The Ridgeway Lions Club. HERE.
2019 Summer Waterfront Series Line-Up Announced.
Check it out HERE