R1 issue rates the back page

That’s right. The report on the Wolfville zoning meeting didn’t rate the first page of yesterday’s Advertiser where a story on a school environmental group took pride of place. But anyway, it is interesting to read single w’s report on the evening. The sub-title was an attention grabber for sure: “Meeting said to be like ‘verbal stoning‘” . Where did that rather strange description come from we wondered. The phrase appears again in the third paragraph:

Mayor Bob Stead says he has heard last week’s public meeting described as a ‘verbal stoning’ and he is concerned that volunteers will, as a result, not want to serve on town committees.

We can only guess who our mayor might have heard this from and which member of the committee felt this way. All we know is that the mayor himself sat in bruised silence through the whole thing, unwilling, as others had, to discuss or defend his position which was only evident when he voted against the motion to preserve R1.

There was no reason for the committee members to feel any animosity from the townspeople who were there to express their views. The committee was there to hear the presentation of the task force, the comments of those they represent, and then to vote on the proposals given what they had heard. The crowd had no reason to blame them for the proposals themselves at least until the vote.

But perhaps some committee members already had fixed positions before they arrived in favour of the proposals. If so then they might have identified with the planner and then felt some what beleaguered by the vehemence of the residents. But what, can we ask did they expect? If they did not know that this would be a highly controversial and unpopular move they have not been paying attention. What are the residents of R1 trying to prevent?

Look at RIA zone

Poirier went on to describe how he had to hire security for a pig roast held by the university’s rugby team on Prospect Street. The former Acadia football player said he is barely making a living while renting to students, however, he commented that anyone looking for affordable housing should look in the RIA zone.

George Townsend asked the committee who had requested the demise of RI zoning. When Wrye said, no one had, clapping broke out. Then Poirier observed that six of the eight committee members had nothing to risk based on where they live.

Marsh Hawk Dr. resident Neil Balcolm detailed how single-family homes on his RIA street have turned into student rentals owned by absentee landlords. He said that if the rest of the town is rezoned “we are in for a very sad change in this town.”

Ironically the same night police were called to three parties on Marsh Hawk Drive that had attracted 300 people.

There it is in a nutshell.

BTW: the on line version has several additions to the paper copy. The paper copy of the article is missing this paragraph.

Green party candidate Janet Eaton defended the sustainability perspective, which is backed up by the Canadian Federation of Municipalities, in the face of Peak Oil.

Interesting addition. [And is Janet Eaton still the Green candidate? Thought she withdrew.]

Another addition was this part in red which was added to this paragraph:

Planner Karen Dempsey, who has been working on the new MPS for two years, noted that western Canada planning models for sustainability were used because “they were ahead in the planning game.” Okotoks, Alberta, for example, brought in sustainability planning documents a decade ago.

She added that there is not another town in Nova Scotia with an RI zone. According to Dempsey, Windsor, Mahone Bay and Chester all have zoning that is not as restrictive as Wolfville.

Another later addition was this paragraph:

Attempting to draw the meeting to a close three hours after it started, Wrye said this was one of the most difficult questions the committee has had to deal with in 25 years. Sustainability is a good idea, he noted, yet we have no housing crisis.

Notice all the additions strengthen the “sustainability” and “density” side of the controversy. Wonder what or who prompted those additions? Talk about influence with the press. Sure helps don’t it?

Update: It is suggested that the online version is the complete version and that the piece was cut to fit the paper copy. Possible.

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