Houston Heights Beach Association

Official Site

Member Handbook

A Handbook for Cottagers in Houston Heights South

Roads: Dr. George Smith Ave. is a private road. Association members have a “right-to-use” easement that provides for travel and access to their properties. Guests and renters are able to use the road at the invitation of the owners. This easement has also been made available to service providers for hydro, water, gas and phone. Our posted speed limit of 20 km/h is designed to protect our children and grandchildren, our walkers, joggers, bicyclists and drivers. Please DRIVE SLOWLY.

Right-of-Way to the Beach and Use of the Beach: The Houston Heights Beach Association owns two “rights-of-way” with stairs to the beach. These are there for the exclusive use of our Association Members, their guests and renters and are posted with No Trespassing signs. These accesses are not open to the public.

The beach has been built up because of the Association’s installation of the groyne structures and is there for all cottagers to enjoy. Activities that diminish everyone’s enjoyment of the beach are not acceptable. This would include leaving garbage, litter, fireworks debris and dog feces on the beach. Care with glass and metal is especially important in areas where bare feet prevail. Beach fires require special care and attention as they can be a fire hazard to the hillside and unburned (or buried and later exposed) charred remnants are unsightly and unpleasant. We can all contribute to a clean beach by pickup up the garbage.

Dogs:  In Bluewater dogs must be licensed and it is mandatory for dog owners to “remove and sanitarily dispose of dog excrement” – that is, stoop and scoop. This requirement applies everywhere including the beach. Bluewater’s By-law also mandates that dog owners have their dogs leashed and under control when they are off their own property both day and night. Dogs may not run at large. If problems persist after speaking with a dog owner, call the Bluewater Animal Control Officer.

The Park: The Asosociation’s Park is there for the private use of Association Members and their guests and renters. Some sports equipment is available for Members use but the Association does not supervise activities inn the park. Parents are expected to ensure that equipment is in safe condition before use and to supervise their children while they are in the park. Parents are also expected to return the equipment to storage and in safe condition. Vehicles are not normally allowed in the park, although the road allowance portion of the park may be used for parking extra cars when necessary. No vehicles are allowed in the park when the ground the moist and soft. Should ruts or other damage occur in the park, the person responsible is expected to repair the damage. Motorcycles and ATV’s are not allowed in the park. Camping is prohibited in the park.

The Library: The Association’s Library has been set up for the private use of Association members and their families. Items may be borrowed on an honour system and returned to the library within a reasonable time. Returning the items to their appropriate place on the shelves is appreciated as it keeps the library neat and tidy.

Bluewater’s Open Air Burning By-law: In Bluewater’s residential/lakeshore areas, recreation/cooking fires are permissable provided they are small, well supervised and use acceptable burn materials like charcoal or dry fire wood. All other open fires used to burn leaves, garbage and brush are banned. In drought conditions the Fire Chief can declare a total fire ban.

Noise: Houston Heights South is generally quiet and peaceful. As a courtesy to your neighbours – both the early risers and the night owls – please avoid noise-producing activities such as lawn mowing, playing loud music or setting off fire works in the early morning or late evening. The hours of 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. should be considered as “quiet hours”.

Wild Animals: Chipmunks, raccoons, groundhogs, skunks and feral cats inhabit Houston Heights South. Treat these animals with great caution as they may be diseased. Do not leave garbage outside, especially overnight, as this attracts these unwanted animals and results in garbage spread over neighbour’s lawns.

Association Communication: Our Association has its own website, found at houstonheightssouth.ca. Visit it regularly. To view pages that are private for HHBA members use the ‘register for membership’ link. Once you have been accepted to the website you can access all pages.

Renting Your Cottage: If you rent your cottage – whether independently or through an agency – please ensure that your renters are fully aware of the guidelines in this Handbook.

The Houston Heights Community Spirit: Quietly and efficiently, many of our owners and their families volunteer their time and in some cases money to ensure that our Community is a retreat for all of us to enjoy. The list of activities carried out by our volunteers includes, for example: planting flowers at the entrance and in the park, preparing and delivering our newsletter, supervising the library, serving on the Association Board, hosting the summer party and cleaning up the beach. The Annual Spring Work Party is a good example of Houston Heights residents pitching in – with everyone benefitting. This strong co-operative spirit is an asset to our community and is celebrated each year at our summer party. Watch the website and check our annual newsletter for the date of the next party.

The Houston Heights Beach Association (HHBA): Our Association was formed as a type of ‘municipal government’ for Houston Heights South in order to address projects such as maintenance of the road and park, to solve problems common to all cottagers and to promote social activities.

The Association was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in 1976 and cottagers are automatically members of the Association. For decisions that require voting by the membership, each property is entitled to one vote.

The Association holds its Annual Meeting on Labour Day weekend. As an organization of neighbours the Association makes several decisions at this Annual Meeting. Our annual service fee for example, is set by the membership to cover the cost of maintaining our road, upkeep of the park and walkways, taxes, insurance and other administrative costs. Also at this meeting, a five-member Board of Directors is elected and they select a President, Secretary and Treasurer from among themselves. These decisions are made by the members for the common good of all and to maintain our high quality of life in Houston Heights.

HHBA also belongs to the Bluewater Shoreline Residents’ Assocation which is an umbrella organization of cottage associations from Port Blake to Bayfield. With a unified voice, BSRA addresses common concerns of the lakeshore residents and provides information about current issues.

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