Dis­cuss, de­bate, de­cide

Zon­ing the topic of dis­cus­sion along the Granville Road

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY LAWRENCE POW­ELL THE SPEC­TA­TOR GRANVILLE FERRY

Res­i­dents of Granville Ferry and down the road past Port Royal are talk­ing about zon­ing these days and An­napo­lis County is step­ping back to let them dis­cuss, de­bate, and de­cide what sort of reg­u­la­tions they want in place – if any.

Orig­i­nally res­i­dents un­der the um­brella of the Granville Road Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion had brought con­cerns to mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil af­ter a close call with a fish farm mov­ing to the area. That group had a vi­sion to pro­tect the old­est road in Canada from hap­haz­ard devel­op­ment that could jeop­ar­dize the his­tor­i­cal na­ture of the An­napo­lis Basin’s north­ern shore­line.

At the time they were told any dis­cus­sion would have to in­clude all res­i­dents of the area so other vi­sions might also be con­sid­ered – and un­der pro­vi­sions of the Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment Act coun­cil could not be in­volved in those talks.

That was more than a year ago, but with guid­ance from county plan­ner Al­bert Dun­phy, progress has been made and the new Granville Road Area Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee held its first meet­ing on Sept. 24 of this year.

Nancy Smith of Port Wade chairs the group with a pro­posed plan­ning area from the brow of the North Moun­tain to the An­napo­lis River and from Mills Moun­tain Road west on the Granville Road to Vic­to­ria Beach.

At the Sept. 24 meet­ing Dun­phy pro­vided back­ground on land use and plan­ning in­clud­ing ex­pla­na­tions on Mu­nic­i­pal Plan­ning Strate­gies and Land-Use By­laws. The com­mit­tee was tasked with de­cid­ing if it wants a MPS and LUB, and if so, what ar­eas of the pro­posed plan­ning area have a ma­jor­ity of in­hab­i­tants who what it.

Wayne Cur­rie with the Granville Road Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said his group sup­ports a plan­ning strat­egy and land-use by­laws for all of Granville Road, but said the group agrees with mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil that there are di­verse com­mu­ni­ties along the stretch of road.

“So, in our opin­ion, land use plan­ning ar­eas should be de­ter­mined by com­mu­nity iden­tity, that is, peo­ple’s shared values, the area’s his­tory, and agree­ment on its best use by the ma­jor­ity of in­hab­i­tants,” Cur­rie said in an up­date to the ratepay­ers group.

He re­ferred to a sur­vey done by a com­mu­nity group from Mills Moun­tain Road to the Habi­ta­tion that went door-to-door with 83.5 per cent of res­i­dents sign­ing the sur­vey that made three state­ments:

- I want to pro­tect our com­mu­nity’s beauty and his­tory, qual­ity of life, prop­erty values and en­cour­age fam­ily farm­ing, small busi­ness (home-based) and tourism.

- I don’t want land use that would have a neg­a­tive im­pact on our com­mu­nity. This would in- clude in­dus­tries such as com­mer­cial wa­ter/min­eral ex­trac­tion and fac­tory farms.

- I sup­port land use plan­ning to ac­com­plish this.

Cur­rie said the MGA gives mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties flex­i­bil­ity in how to im­ple­ment land use plan­ning.

“We be­lieve the most ex­pe­di­tious way of hav­ing this dis­cus­sion is for the com­mit­tee to lis­ten to each of these com­mu­ni­ties, one at a time, to de­ter­mine if it wants to use land use plan­ning,” Cur­rie said. “The Habi­ta­tion Com­mu­nity, hav­ing spo­ken, would be the first, serv­ing as a pi­lot for other ar­eas.”

An­napo­lis County’s CAO John Fer­gu­son said the county doesn’t in­ter­fere with the lo­cal ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

“They have their meet­ings, they get to where they want to make a rec­om­men­da­tion to coun­cil, and they’ll be mak­ing one of two rec­om­men­da­tions: ei­ther that they want to move to­wards zon­ing or not,” said Fer­gu­son. “They’ll come to that point and make that rec­om­men­da­tion and coun­cil then deals with that rec­om­men­da­tion when it comes for­ward.”

“So, in our opin­ion, land use plan­ning ar­eas should be de­ter­mined by com­mu­nity iden­tity, that is, peo­ple’s shared values, the area’s his­tory, and agree­ment on its best use by the ma­jor­ity of in­hab­i­tants.”

— Wayne Cur­rie, Granville Road Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion

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