Rezoning fails

Sent in by David Daniels.

March 23, 2011 12:12 PM

 

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell, today, March 23, announced his decision to turn down an application to re-zone agricultural land in Greenwich to allow development.
The application was rejected because the Municipality of the County of Kings did not demonstrate the need for the additional land.
“While I am satisfied by the municipality’s explanation that they would do all that was necessary to protect the Town of Wolfville’s drinking water supply, there was no demonstrated pressing need for development of this protected agricultural land,” said Mr. MacDonell.
The municipality applied to have 153 hectares of land, which lies between Greenwich and Wolfville, re-zoned from agricultural to residential and commercial.
The Statement of Provincial Interest about agricultural land requires municipalities to preserve valuable farm land where reasonable. The statement is intended to serve as a guiding principle to help government departments, municipalities and people make decisions about land use.
When a municipality wants to change its planning documents, a provincial review is required under the Municipal Government Act.
In 2010, the province allowed 24 hectares of agricultural land in nearby Port Williams to be re-zoned to allow for development.
The minister said that the province will consider any future applications from municipalities for re-zoning as long as the application clearly demonstrates the need for the additional land.
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5 responses to “Rezoning fails

  1. I was surprised that the Town of Wolfville objected to this rezoning on the basis that the rezoning would put the Wolfville water supply at risk. Some time ago the Town of Wolfville tried to rezone my property (among others) so that they could FORCE higher population density upon us.

    This prompted me to turn up to one of those MPS meetings and ask, nicely, just how many people would the present Town water supply support? Predictably, NONE of the then councilors, nor Mayor stead, could answer my question, even though they were all pontificating about “water” in vague and hand-waving ways. My question was turned over to Mr Greg Morrison who assured those at the meeting that the Wolfville water supply was twice that required for the present population!

    Clearly, the amount of water is not an issue. So I deduce that the Town of Wolfville might have been worried about the quality of its water supply. I haven’t been able to find a map of the water shed from which the Wolfville water supply is drawn but I presume that it must include at least some of the farmland that was being considered for rezoning. (If not then the Town of Wolfville has acted in very bad faith. And our leaders wouldn’t do that, right?) Now I am getting very worried. I grew up on a farm. Farms do not make for good water sheds because they must apply fertilizers and various pest-control chemicals in order to be viable businesses. And, here in Wolfville, we have the perfect town with perfectly no nasty chemicals applied! So, an objection to the rezoning on the basis of water quality argument would be either disingenuous or just plain wrong.

    It seems to me that the Town of Wolfville might have been speaking deliberate nonsense. While, I reside in a town called Wolfville but I proclaim that I am totally divorced from any association with the “Town of Wolfville”.

    • I seem to remember no problems when Acadia wanted to tap into the resource to supply the addition of the Irving centre and gardens.

      • It seems that Wolfville does draw its drinking water from those intensively farmed areas. If an area is to be used for intensive farming then it should not be used to provide drinking water for a town. To get decent drinking water off such a watershed would require placing far too many business-killing restrictions upon the farm. There is an inherent incompatibility. The Town of Wolfville must know this? Either they are ignorant or they have acted in bad faith.

    • sharlene elderkin

      Yes our farm is in the wellhead protection zone and I to would expect the town to be a little concerned about the hazardous chemicals that are applied to the land and the water supply which in fact our homes have been on for years as well.Having farms next to a town is not a good thing,chemicals from orchard sprayers can drift for miles.

  2. If the stuff being sprayed onto food crops are such hazardous chemicals that they would contaminate our water, what are they doing to the food being grown there?

    The wellhead protection zone in Greenwich is the lowest time transfer area and receives lesser restrictions compared to properties immediately adjacent/closer to the wells them selves. The source water protection plan is available on the town’s website
    http://www.wolfville.ca/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=146&Itemid=262

    Regardless of the water issue, it seems the application was rejected because of the lack of any demonstrated need to develop farm land. The major concern some are seeing now is the incredible amount of tax dollars that went to this application.