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LETTER: Tiny must reconsider 'terribly sad' decision limiting locals' beach access

Reader doesn't understand reasoning behind Tiny Township's new 14 daily beach pass limit
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MidlandToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected]. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). This letter is in response to a March 18 story entitled Non-residents upset as Tiny eliminates seasonal parking passes.

Dear Editor,

Many Midland, Penetanguishene and Tay residents are bewildered at how the Tiny Township council arrived at the magic number of 14 as the appropriate quantity of daily passes to be issued for access to the beaches in Tiny Township.

Tiny Council has determined that from April 15 to October 15, (183 days of the year), the magic number of 14 people can apply to purchase a $20 daily beach parking pass replacing the previous policy that made 225 seasonal parking passes available at $100 each.

Apparently full details of this new program will be released on April 15 – and perhaps with the release it will be made clear how the magic number of 14 was deemed appropriate.

In the meantime, council’s decision poses many questions.

Are the 14 daily beach passes offered to each Midland, Penetanguishene and Tay or are the 14 in total for all three to share? Can passes be purchased well in advance? If you are fortunate enough to purchase a pass, are you guaranteed a parking spot?

The Township of Tiny website states: “Tiny Township has 70 km of shoreline. In the Township's Official Plan, a total of five parks have been recognized as large water Township parks. It is also a policy of the Official Plan that these five parks function as the primary locations for public use and activity on the western shoreline. These large water parks are Woodland Beach, Bluewater Beach, Jackson Park, Balm Beach and Lafontaine Beach Park.”

The website does not state if you need a parking pass to gain access to these primary beach locations.

Midland, Penetanguishene and Tay share arenas, libraries, cultural centres, walkways, biking trails and parks.

But it appears that Tiny’s sharing of the Georgian Bay shoreline is only for half of the year. No walking or swimming for our neighbouring municipality residents or First Nation, Métis people from April 16 to October 15.

The fact that everyone can park and relish the beauty of the beaches for 182 days of the year (October 16 to April 14) is most appreciated and used by many. The peaceful beauty of Tiny beaches is always there no matter the season. It is terribly sad that access is so limiting.

Hopefully, Tiny council will reevaluate its decision and come to a more realistic and fair parking solution that will make the beaches available to more than 14 daily pass holders for 183 days of the year. Ideal solution would be to reconsider issuing the seasonal parking passes and increase the quantity issued.

Truly, an avid beach walker, swimmer, life-time area resident and Métis,

Catherine MacDonald