SUB­DI­VI­SION HEAR­ING

Groves Point ap­pli­ca­tion go­ing be­fore URB in March.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY THE CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

A hear­ing will be held in March of an ap­peal to the Nova Sco­tia Util­ity and Re­view Board af­ter the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­fused a decades­old sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tion by Groves Point res­i­dents.

In a let­ter to the board dated Dec. 22, Clif­ford and Louise MacNeil noted the plan to build a sub­di­vi­sion road on a prop­erty at Hill­side Boularderie Road in Groves Point had re­ceived ap­proval in 1994, prior to the for­ma­tion of the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. It notes that, when the CBRM took over, it was un­der­stood that the sub­di­vi­sion plan would be grand­fa­thered and no time limit was at­tached to the pro­vin­cial ap­proval.

“We are not de­vel­op­ers, only a fam­ily try­ing to uti­lize prop­erty which has been in the fam­ily since 1864,” the MacNeils’ let­ter states. “Un­for­tu­nately, we don’t have the re­sources or the machin­ery to keep pace with the ma­jor de­vel­op­ers to which they com­pare us.”

In a let­ter to MacNeil dated Dec. 8, 2015, Mal­colm Gillis, di­rec­tor of plan­ning and devel­op­ment with the CBRM, noted that, although no time limit had been im­posed on the MacNeils, it was the opin­ion of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s le­gal de­part­ment that the devel­op­ment of­fi­cer at the time should have im­posed a rea­son­able limit. As that wasn’t done, Gillis wrote that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was “es­sen­tially legally stuck in time, back to 1994.”

He also ad­vised that the MacNeils would hear from a devel­op­ment of­fi­cer who would im­pose a time limit the mu­nic­i­pal­ity felt con­fi­dent would “be rea­son­able con­sid­er­ing it has now been more than 20 years” since the ap­proval was granted.

In a Dec. 16, 2015 let­ter to MacNeil, CBRM devel­op­ment of­fi­cer San­dra Bobyk in­di­cated the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was pre­pared to en­dorse and reg­is­ter his sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tion once out­stand­ing is­sues were com­plied with. It noted that the ap­pli­ca­tion, made in 1994, was for a new pub­lic road, known as Neils Drive, and a num­ber of lots. Reg­u­la­tions that were in ef­fect at the time the ap­pli­ca­tion was made would be used for en­dors­ing the plan.

She noted there was cor­re­spon­dence from the pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of Health ap­prov­ing on-site sep­tic for the land. The let­ter also noted that the plan and pro­file for the pro­posed road as sub­mit­ted in 1994 were ac­cepted and ap­proved by CBRM en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices, there­fore the roads would be built in ac­cor­dance with that de­sign.

In her let­ter, Bobyk also out­lined out­stand­ing is­sues that needed to be ad­dressed prior to the reg­is­tra­tion of the plan, in­clud­ing that the con­struc­tion be com­pleted and ap­proved by CBRM en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices; that storm drainage plans be sub­mit­ted for ap­proval; and, once con­struc­tion was com­plete and ap­proved by en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices, a deed be ex­e­cuted con­vey­ing the ti­tle of the new street to the CBRM, and any re­quired ease­ments and road re­serves.

Bobyk also re­ferred to a July 2015 meet­ing where Clif­ford MacNeil had in­di­cated the road was nearly com­pleted, with only a few weeks of work re­main­ing.

“There­fore, as this ap­pli­ca­tion has been on file for the past 21.5 years, I, as devel­op­ment of­fi­cer for the CBRM, am hereby grant­ing a (one-year) ex­ten­sion to as­sist you in the com­ple­tion of your ap­pli­ca­tion,” she wrote, adding that the ex­ten­sion would end on Dec. 16, 2016.

Bobyk ad­vised that if the out­stand­ing items were not com­pletely ad­dressed by that date, the ap­pli­ca­tion would be deemed re­fused and the file closed, with no fur­ther ex­ten­sion forth­com­ing.

Bobyk had no­ti­fied MacNeil by let­ter on Dec. 16, 2016 that, as the mu­nic­i­pal­ity hadn’t re­ceived the in­for­ma­tion re­quired in or­der to ap­prove and en­dorse the sub­di­vi­sion ap­pli­ca­tion, it had been deemed re­fused and the file closed. It also ad­vised MacNeil that if he wanted to seek ap­proval in the fu­ture, a new ap­pli­ca­tion with all nec­es­sary doc­u­men­ta­tion would have to be sub­mit­ted and cur­rent fees would ap­ply.

The board has sched­uled the hear­ing for March 8 be­gin­ning at 9:30 a.m. at the Celtic Room of the Cam­bridge Suites in Sydney. Any­one wish­ing to speak at the hear­ing must no­tify the Util­ity and Re­view Board in writ­ing by Feb. 16. Any­one want­ing to make writ­ten com­ments must for­ward a let­ter to the board by Feb. 23. The ap­peal can be viewed on the board’s web­site at http://nsuarb.no­vas­co­tia.ca.

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