Plan­ning for the fu­ture

Res­i­dent wants to know if master plan will be worth the pa­per it’s writ­ten on

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE PROVINCE - narm­strong@the­guardian.pe.ca

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.

NIGEL ARMSTRONG/THE GUARDIAN

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.

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