Plan­ning any­one?

Group prompts An­napo­lis County to look at area zon­ing Canada’s old­est road

The Amherst News - - REGIONAL - By Lawrence Pow­ell The Spec­ta­tor

Wayne Cur­rie went to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity Sept. 12 with a re­quest to pro­tect Canada’s old­est stretch of road – 15 ru­ral kilo­me­tres that goes from Cham­plain’s 1605 Habi­ta­tion site in Port Royal to the cause­way at Granville Ferry.

He ended up with coun­cil di­rect­ing staff to or­ga­nize a pub­lic meet­ing so coun­cil­lors can talk with res­i­dents to dis­cuss land use plan­ning and to ob­tain pub­lic views and pref­er­ences.

Most of An­napo­lis County is with­out zon­ing ex­cept for a part of the east end and Corn­wal­lis Park.

The meet­ing is for cit­i­zens of dis­tricts 4 and 5 and will be held Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lower Granville Hall.

On Sept. 13 Cur­rie, who heads up the Granville Road Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, thanked the county for pass­ing the mo­tion.

“We would like to make a pre­sen­ta­tion at that meet­ing for zon­ing one sec­tion of the Granville Road from High­way 1 to the Port Royal Na­tional His­toric Site/ Light­house op­po­site Goat Is­land,” he said in a let­ter to the county.

“This is an im­por­tant his­toric and cul­tural area of Canada and needs to be pro­tected,” he said af­ter hear­ing coun­cil’s meet­ing plan. “How­ever we are de­lighted that our pre­sen­ta­tion to coun­cil has re­sulted in any mo­tion that

moves for­ward on this is­sue and that it is the be­gin­ning of an im­por­tant con­ver­sa­tion.”

Pre­sen­ta­tion

Cur­rie be­gan a sched­uled pre­sen­ta­tion be­fore coun­cil’s com­mit­tee of the whole meet­ing just be­fore noon Sept. 12, point­ing out that re­cent com­mu­nity con­cern that a fish hatch­ery might be built on Granville Road would have been a non is­sue if mu­nic­i­pal zon­ing had been in place.

But that’s as far as Cur­rie’s planned pre­sen­ta­tion got. County CAO John Fer­gu­son in­ter­rupted to point out to Cur­rie, and a group of 50 or so sup­port­ers, that to bring zon­ing to the area, there

is a process that must be fol­lowed. He said coun­cil is not al­lowed to hear a po­si­tion with­out al­low­ing ev­ery­body in the com­mu­nity to be heard at the same time.

He said if the zon­ing process goes ahead, area ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees would have to be set up. If Cur­rie or mem­bers of the ratepay­ers group wanted to be mem­bers of those com­mit­tees, they can’t have their minds made up be­fore they go on those com­mit­tees.

“The only way this process gets ap­pealed is when that process isn’t fol­lowed,” Fer­gu­son said, cau­tion­ing them on any par­tic­u­lar po­si­tions they might share as a group dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion. “I would fo­cus your com­ments on

ask­ing if we would con­sider mov­ing the zon­ing process for­ward, for those area ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees to be set up, and the full com­mu­nity en­gage­ment process take place – be­cause the only way it gets ap­proved is this coun­cil does it.”

Cur­rie asked that the process be started.

Cit­i­zen Driven

“Land use plan­ning has not been pop­u­lar in An­napo­lis County – ever,” said Coun­cil­lor Mar­i­lyn Wilkins dur­ing the meet­ing. “The only rea­son it was suc­cess­ful in the east end of An­napo­lis County was be­cause it was driven by the cit­i­zens, as the cit­i­zens are in this room today. But it’s be­ing driven by self-in­ter­est at this point. Your prop­er­ties are be­ing threat­ened by some­thing. Land use plan­ning is suc­cess­ful when peo­ple know and agree and plan what they want their com­mu­ni­ties to look like in the fu­ture. It’s not by re­act­ing to some­thing.”

She said she’s a land use plan­ning ad­vo­cate but warned it can’t be based on emo­tion, it has to be based on com­mon sense,

“And com­mon sense is, if this is go­ing to be suc­cess­ful in your area, and I do be­lieve it will be be­cause you’ve been threat­ened by an or­ga­ni­za­tion you didn’t want in your com­mu­nity, you have to go back and you have to in­volve all the com­mu­nity, not just the ratepay­ers as­so­ci­a­tion,” she said. “You will fail if you do not go back and have pub­lic meet­ings through­out the en­tire area and fig­ure out what you need to do.”

The is­sue of land use plan­ning was put on the agenda for the end of the day and it was Wilkins who pro­posed the mo­tion to have staff start the process.

Num­bers

The Granville Road Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion sought support of 360 peo­ple in what they have termed the Spe­cial Places District. They heard back from 152 peo­ple, all of whom were sup­port­ive of their ef­forts ex­cept one per­son. The as­so­ci­a­tion it­self is made up of 20 fam­i­lies with 47 mem­bers.

Lawrence Pow­ell

An­napo­lis County CAO John Fer­gu­son ex­plains the process the county and res­i­dents would have to go through to achieve land use plan­ning in the Granville Road area.

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