Greenwich re-zoning

Didn’t take long for the Gordon Delaney of the  CH to get a report up on the Greenwich re-zoning meeting in Kentville. [link fixed] He must have been filing from the venue!

David Daniels, well known to readers here, makes the lead paragraph.

A lawyer for a group opposed to a controversial farmland rezoning proposal in the Annapolis Valley says Kings County council could be acting illegally if it adopts the amendments.Allowing the rezoning of 380 acres of farmland in Greenwich, Kings County, “will constitute an illegal action and a denial of the public’s right to procedural fairness and natural justice,” Wolfville lawyer David Daniels said Monday night.

He made the comments at a public hearing that drew over 200 people, filling the gallery and the hallway outside council chambers, where chairs had to be set up to accommodate the overflow.

Mr. Daniels having cut his teeth on the CAO contract issue, knows about going beyond the NSURB to the Supreme Court.

Daniels said council’s approval of the rezoning would not be brought to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board but to Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

The Municipal Government Act allows people to apply to a Supreme Court judge to quash a bylaw or resolution of council for illegality.

Daniels argues that the proposed amendments are not in the public’s interest.

But who decides what is in the public interest? A municipality can appropriate your land if it feels it is in the public interest. Property rights are not in the charter.

All in all an emotional, even entertaining evening complete with music and slide show. Climate change was mentioned, naturally. When is it not?

Farmers got the last word in the article – but not anywhere else.

Paul Elderkin, a longtime farmer and the father of Peter Elderkin, said farmers are struggling.

“If they were able to make a decent living, there wouldn’t be so much land for sale,” he said.

Need we add that Wolfville has contributed to the competitive advantage of surrounding areas and therefore their attractiveness for development by making Wolfville one of the most expensive places to buy in the province outside of Halifax.

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3 responses to “Greenwich re-zoning

  1. Elderkins, Sterlings and Hennigars all operate markets on their property, they do not need the competition from Wolfville every Saturday. How much business does the Wolfville Farmers Market take away from their bottom line? It is their land, how would you like someone telling you that you couldn’t sell your land?

  2. The town’s policies create the situations they purport to be against.

    They SAY they support farmers and want farmland preserved yet they subsidise competition to farmers and develop farmland within town borders.

    They make Wolfville properties expensive by way of high taxes including Deed Transfer taxes and then seem surprised when there is pressure to develop residential areas in surrounding cheaper areas. They SAY they want children to fill the school but favour policies which make the cost of homes too expensive for young families.

    They SAY they want more commercial activity but maintain a heavy tax burden on their businesses, subsidise those who compete with them, and favour some groups over others.

    They SAY they want a sustainable community but won’t control the budget and spend us into debt.

    They SAY they want input from residents but control and restrict it at almost every turn. When they do hear from residents, they are deaf to what they say.

    They are blind to the consequences of their own actions.

    It is extremely frustrating and disheartening.

  3. I don’t agree with Mr Daniels. It seems obvious, to me at least, that these farms are so penned in by real estate and commercial development that they have already had to adapt their business model to be something that is quite different from the intrinsic farm. It is an affront to sense that “the public” (but not me) should dictate that these businesses be forced to conform to a model that simply cannot be expected to work given present-day trends in the surrounding region.

    The public is infringing upon individuals to an unreasonable degree. This comes from the natural inability of a community corrupted by authority to understand or appreciate individualism.

    Most people have a concept that the leader of a society becomes dictatorial and repressive when his or her power is unchecked. I would like to point out that “the public” can be equally dictatorial, authoritarian, and repressive. For me, freedom of each individual is the high water mark of the rising tide of humanity, and authoritarian slime is what we wallow through when the tide has gone out.