Councillor wants new discussion on Upper Lorne Beach access gates



By Barb McKay


Public access to a stretch of road that runs along the lakeshore to Inverhuron will be up for debate by municipal council, once again.


Councillor Gord Campbell asked that the issue be added to last Wednesday’s Municipality of Kincardine council agenda for discussion. Questions were last raised in 2015 about opening up Victoria Street within the gated community of Mystic Cove to the general public when Highway 21 is closed during winter storms.


Generally, the street is only accessible to residents of the gated community, but when both Highway 21 and the B-Line are closed the municipality is authorized to open the gates to Bruce Power buses so that essential staff can reach the site. A municipal policy, amended and approved by council in January 2017, stipulates that Bruce Power must provide two hours’ notice when it needs to access the site via Victoria Street. In the event of a winter storm, the Kincardine public works department must ensure that the road, from Golf Links Road to County Road 15 is plowed and sanded. During the time that the Bruce Power buses are using the road, the South Bruce OPP is present to supervise.


When the idea of opening the gates was raised in 2015, residents of the gated community spoke against changing the policy, citing safety concerns. Some members of council agreed, noting that the road is not designed to handle additional traffic. Other residents who travel between Kincardine and Tiverton for work, however, called for the road to be opened when the highway is closed due to weather.


In the end, council voted to keep the policy. Last week, municipal Clerk Donna McDougall explained that Campbell was allowed to bring the issue before council because he was on the prevailing side of the vote.


Campbell said he now has concerns and would like to see the policy revisited.


“The north end of the B-Line can be very dangerous in the winter so there’s no reason why everyone can’t use that road in the winter,” he said.


Mayor Anne Eadie said there were several good reasons that led council to its decision. She said council would need to review information related to that decision before it discusses the policy again.


Councillor Randy Roppel said he agrees with Campbell but would like to see a report from public works staff. Council voted to request the public works director bring a report to council at a future meeting.