LETTER: Council’s decision to levy $400 fines “draconian”

It is with great surprise and alarm that we have just learned (from the announcement section of the Gazette’s Public Notice August 5th) of the decision by the Lake on the Mountain Inn and Miller House to close as a result of the restricted parking imposed on them by the County’s Council.

The restriction of only the section of roadside parking along their property suggests a pointed attempt to unfairly undermine and destroy their popular restaurant enterprise, a move that not only went against the recommendations of County staff but also was taken without consulting either the community or the business affected. We have always considered a visit to either location a highlight of both our personal enjoyment of living in the county and our pride in showing off these exceptional locations with their wonderful friendly service and great food to our many visitors, who always express the desire to return to the county and restaurants year after year!

As long-time residents in the County we are disturbed that there was apparently no effort made to find alternatives to removing roadside parking in the area, for instance speed bumps to reduce any tendency of drivers to speed past the restaurants. Moreover, in our opinion the draconian decision to apply a massive $400 fine is unnecessarily harsh even if parking fines were justified.

All this does not speak well for the Council’s members who voted for this measure.  Of course with the pandemic raging more people have been looking for outdoor venues, and undeniably the result has been that the traffic has increased. The attractiveness of the County for both residents and tourists alike should be supported. The pandemic certainly has taken its toll on everyone’s desire for social living, and this regulation does not help – it only makes re-emergence more difficult. What the county should be looking into are solutions and not ridiculous $400 parking fines!

Yvonne Lammerich, PhD, Author, Art Historian

and

Artist  Ian Carr-Harris, Author, Artist and Governor General recipient