the Town of Fort Erie’s proposed encroachment policy
is passed the public will
have lost significant areas of their waterfront lands to private lakefront
property owners. The Town proposes to offer “encroachment
agreements” to allow illegal fences which have been built
by neighbouring property owners into public land to remain. These agreements
would then be registered on the offending property owner’s titles
and the encroached lands would become theirs to use. The Town’s
reassurance that these waterfront road allowances are protected against
adverse possession (squatter’s rights) rings hollow in the face
of this proposal.
position is that all fences and other movable encroachments
which extend neighbouring private property into the public’s waterfront
road allowances should be removed. This would simply comply with the
Town’s own existing fence encroachment practice where no such
agreements have ever been offered. It’s difficult to comprehend
how the Town can ignore decades of past practice and allow this valuable
and scarce public waterfront to, in essence, be turned over to private
lakefront property owners.
the only rationale offered up for this outrageous takeover of public
land is that Town staff do not want to upset these squatters (illegal
encroachers) by asking them to move their fences back onto their own
Provincial policy on these waterfront road allowances
states that there should be a clear line of demarcation between public
and private waterfront lands. The Town chooses to look the other way
in the face of this policy and instead ignore the public good in favour
of private property interests. It really is difficult to comprehend.
the other hand our elected council has clearly and consistently been
opposed to this staff proposition to allow fences to remain on public
waterfront land. How, you may ask, can the staff proposal been so far
removed from the public and council desire to protect our public waterfront?
Only they can answer that but it may, in part, be a result of long standing
staff suggestions to these fence encroachers that a by-law with “keep
your fence” agreements was in the works. It’s now time to
set the record straight. There will be no by-law that allows waterfront
encroached fences to remain under registered title agreements.
CAN HELP STOP THIS TAKEOVER OF OUR WATERFRONT.
Attend for the Council’s vote on Mon. June 18, 6:00 p.m.
Join Shorewalk here
Download and copy our “No fence encroachments” form and
return it to:
Rene, Garrison Rd. and Thompson,
across from Walmart. Fort Erie
to Cover Bookstore, Ridge Rd., Ridgeway
Value Hardware, Gorham Rd., Ridgeway.