It is good to see the Grapevine publishing some substantive stuff, or perhaps it is good that people are sending it articles with more
guts content. The latest issue has an article or letter from Gregg Morrison (Director of Planning) with “Information concerning the New MPS” in answer to David Daniels’ piece. Our comments in [red].
As Mr. Daniels has noted, many of the changes to the MPS suggested by the Task Force relate to increased residential densities. This is by no means a new concept regarding sustainability. An abundance of information and study is available respecting the positive benefits [to whom] of increased densities and the negative effects of ” urban sprawl” [Wolfville is urban?]
He gives some websites – David Suzuki.org, New urbanism.org , and smartgrowth.bc.ca. We have one to offer too, a study entitled ” Factors affecting Residential Property Values in a small Historic University Town“. Guess which Town that was. Wolfville. … abstract
full study: Any mention of that in the Task Force deliberations?
The Task Force has suggested changes to increase residential density in a gentle way [Eliminating the R1 zone entirely is gentle???] which is not contemplated to harm the positive attributes of Wolfville. [It perhaps isn’t contemplated but we think it will] In fact it is expected that these changes have the potential to enrich Wolfville’s social fabric by increasing interaction with our neighbours [such as the interactions outlined in our previous post?] providing a variety of housing types to meet varying needs [how does eliminating the R1 zone entirely add to the variety of housing types?]
The proposed R1a zone that will allow accessory apartments [which already exists but not in R1] includes restrictions on the size of the accessory unit [to reduce the restriction on size that exists presently as far as we can see] …The accessory unit may contain a maximum of two bedrooms [with how many people in each?] and will be limited [expanded?] to 50% of the area of the main dwelling unit. [50%!!!!! – how is that different from R2 we wonder- oh they have to share a kitchen?]
We won’t even go into flag lots. That’s another whole area of concern. If you care about older houses in Town with their large lots and gardens which give tourists or prospective residents an impression of Wolfville as they enter from either end then we suggest you phone up the mayor, or the CAO, or Mr. Morrison and ask about what flag lots will do to that.
Mr. Daniels suggests a more prescriptive approach to development control, through concise criteria (such as the Land Use By – Law) [tamper proof] which can be administered by Town staff. The Town has in the past preferred a more flexible approach to development control through the extensive use of development agreements. [Do development agreements have the same sort of teeth?] The New MPS suggests a continuation of this approach. [He means extending it, otherwise why these changes to zoning and the LUB?]
The very important meeting to discuss these vital concerns to the future of our Town will take place Tuesday, March 18, 7:30 pm at the Al whittle Theatre.
We are with Mr. Daniels on this issue and in the Grapevine the editor has added a note to Gregg’s piece to say that David Daniels has posted his commentary on the MPS on a blog!!! Wonderful! Another Wolfville blog- called Voices of Wolfville (note the plural in the title- an equivalent to our we?!) Here’s the url : www.voiceofwolfville.blogspot.com
We will add a link in our Atlantic blogs section and ALSO in our Wolfville stuff list in the right column. Will this new voice signal the demise of wolfvillewatch? Perhaps.