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Sunset Strip construction still booming

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A mini building boom has been taking place on the Sunset Strip in Georgian Bluffs over the past several months.

Two major construction projects are underway — a new 10,000-square-foot building for the Subaru dealership and a large addition to the Home Hardware almost directly across the road.

Baywest Nissan opened a new building on the Strip about a year ago, and McDonald’s restaurant completed a major overhaul last summer. Baywest has begun constructing a new building for its latest acquisition — the Mitsubishi dealership.

Georgian Bluffs Mayor Al Barfoot said traffic studies show most of the traffic entering Owen Sound comes from the west. “I think that’s why we’ve had as much success as we’ve had with the businesses along there.”

Barfoot hinted at more to come. He said developers have been working with township staff on other projects as well.

“We’re hoping to have some agreements and something to be able to announce early in 2013 on some of the other projects,” he said.

Barfoot and his fellow councillors held a meet-and-greet at Cobble Beach Saturday. Looking back over the past year, Barfoot said he’s pleased that a lot of progress was made on the township’s first official plan, which could be ready to go by the end of next year.

“That was a huge project for 2012,” he said, adding it’s been three years in the making.

Once the official plan is in place, all the zoning laws will be updated as well, Barfoot said.

Georgian Bluffs, with a population of about 10,500, is a diverse municipality. Barfoot pointed out that it ranges from the Keady Market to the upscale Cobble Beach, is agrarian but also has some urban pockets and is home to a spectacular shoreline.

“We certainly have a lot and a unique mix of rural and urban,” Barfoot said.

Nearly four dozen new homes were built in the Bluffs last year, which Barfoot said “is huge for us.”

As for next year, he said he hopes the Wiarton-Keppel Airport ownership issue can be resolved.

Georgian Bluffs was to take over ownership of the airport in a transfer of land with South Bruce Peninsula, which co-owns the airport. But that’s on hold now.

Barfoot said an environmental assessment will need to be completed first, although this could drag on for awhile, he acknowledged. He said support from South Bruce Peninsula is needed to keep the project moving.

At a public meeting in May, Big Bay resident Edith Galloway expressed concern that drums and containers of a herbicide known as 2, 4, 5-T are still buried in the ground at the airport from decades ago.

 

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