Group of Wasaga Beach residents protest plans for development

While Wasaga Beach council was meeting residents about the town's future on Saturday, another group staged a protest outside.

The protesters were donning signs reading "Honk for beachfront public meetings" and "Wake up Wasaga, your voice matters."

This comes as the town inches closer to a deal with a developer to transform an area shouldering the beach.

"We want to talk about it. We want to know what's happening here," said Faye Ego, Wasaga Beach Ratepayers Association (WBRA) president.

However, the town said public consultations have taken place in years past.

Now, they are negotiating with a developer, and much of it is being done behind closed doors.

"Until those negotiations are at a completion point, they are confidential," said Stan Wells, Wasaga Beach councillor.

It's something Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi said is part of the process.

"We went through an RFP process, and our first preferred developer negotiations didn't work out. Now we're with Bayloc, and we hope negotiations will continue, and we hope we'll have something to share with the community soon," Bifolchi said.

She said once a deal is struck and the developer has a plan, they will then vote.

The proposed development will include a multi-story residential building with commercial properties at the bottom.

Bruce Roberts of the Wasaga Beach Business Association said there are a few things he would like to see in the development to help the town attract visitors year-round.

"Whatever goes in there, there will be restaurants at the bottom. Places such as arcades, things for kids to do, that would be absolutely perfect," Roberts said.

The town said some buildings on the west end of the development site could be demolished in the coming months, but there is no timeline of when a deal will be reached or a potential design will be brought to council.