Planning for the future
Resident wants to know if master plan will be worth the paper it’s written on
Official plans for an area like East Royalty are great, visionary, but will future councils throw those ideas out the window, a resident wants to know.
A final draft version of an official plan for the neighbourhood of East Royalty was held at the community hall recently.
Attending was resident John Andrew. He is also a prominent member of the Wrights Creek Watershed Group that looks after a main feature of the community, the streams of the creek and the pond that carries his family name, Andrews Pond.
“I’m in favour, overall, of the planning that is going on. I think we have to think of the future and not plan short-term,” said Andrew.
“My concern over the years is that plans are put in place, then developers come along and they push things their way and it doesn’t end up to be what was originally proposed.
“I’m just hoping that the city, by going through this process, will put out some very good planning and will stick to their guns and not let it be modified for the interest of individual developments.”
The East Royalty plan is three years in the making.
There have been public visioning meetings and public presentations on the draft plan and redrafting the draft plan.
Andrew said the watershed group is looking for big buffers between development and streams, including marsh areas.
“There is a lot of language in the new plan about environmental open space so that would be buffers and wetlands and we have talked a lot about Wrights Creek and Andrews Pond, on the importance of it to the neighbourhood,” said Laurel Palmer Thompson, planning and development officer with the City of Charlottetown.
“It’s our intention to implement more protection along those wetlands and water courses and even some forested areas. Natural areas are taking priority within the plan.”
The watershed group is looking for a wider buffer all the way along Wright’s Creek, wider than then the current 15 meters in provincial law.
Numbers and distances and exact requirements is not part of this stage of the process, said Palmer Thompson. That comes later when bylaws are written with the official plan as the guide.
“The city will be working in partnership with the watershed group to try and establish that,” said Palmer Thompson. “It is going to apply to vacant lands that have the possibility of development.
“If someone already has their house there we can’t say ‘move your house back,’ ” said Palmer Thompson.
Laurel Palmer Thompson, planning and development officer with the City of Charlottetown was on hand when John Andrew dropped by an open house to discuss the master plan for the neighbourhood of East Royalty, part of the capital city of Charlottetown. Hosted by the department, the event allowed residents a one-on-one with staff to look at a draft of the plan before it is given to council. Council will then go to public meetings as a multi-year process of long-range planning continues for the city.