Halifax staff seek new access point for Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay
Current access point crosses private land and councillors want to find a better route
Halifax municipal staff have been tasked with finding a new access point to Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay, N.S.
"I have made it abundantly clear to our staff that finding no alternative solution is absolutely not an option, that the Cow Bay community deserves having access permanently ... to the Silver Sands Beach," said Coun. Bill Karsten, who represents Dartmouth South-Eastern Passage.
A statue of a moose overlooks the parking lot next to the current access point to the beach. That access point goes over private property. And while the municipality negotiated an easement with the property owner years ago, the landowner has had issues with some people not picking up after their dogs and being disrespectful.
This dispute led staff to start surveying municipally-owned property around the beach. The survey found coastal erosion had reduced the amount of municipal property available.
No decision about where the new access point should go was made Thursday evening, but some early suggestions include possibly adding a staircase by the moose statue or making a new arrangement with another private land owner.
"It's not limited to just another access point, staff are creative and what they'll do is come back to the new council with a list of possible suggestions for alternatives," Karsten said.
Karsten, who has been a councillor for 16 years, is not running for re-election this fall.
He's hoping the new council will present staff's new ideas to the community and get feedback. He anticipates that will happen some time in 2021.
"There's nothing carved in stone," Karsten said.