Tag Archives: Farmland

The Pete Luckett effect

Want to get close to Pete?  Here’s your chance for only $1000.00/acre.

Grand Pre Road, Kings County. This beautiful large lot has lots of road frontage and is very close to Pete Lucketts brand new vineyard.  Minutes to Wolfville and Acadia University.  Approximately 5 kms to exit 9 on Hwy 101(Avonport).  Has been migrated to land registration system and is ready to go.

We have just one question. Well, two actually. Is it farmland and will the No Farms No Food group give a GD?


A letter

This is a letter we saw in the Advertiser a few days ago [Feb 8]. We couldn’t find a link so we are copying it out.

The Valley: Not much here to look at

It wasn’t for lack of effort our Valley’s tourist value will be soon finished – right about when all the roadside developments are!

I thank Leslie Wade and the organizers and councillors who have continued to fight the good fight to maintain farmland.

However, thanks to Kings County council’s vote Feb. 1 tourists now will be able to drive up from Halifax to see – strip malls and backyard swings! Really worth the drive.

Isn’t it wonderful four already fortunate, long term land-owning heirs were allowed (by some unresponsive councillors and a warden) to take their family legacy from their own heirs, and the most beautiful views of the Valley from the public? Chaching!

Shame on those councillors and our warden.

It is signed with the writer’s name and a location indicated as Grand Pre.

Let us think about Grand Pre for a minute. It has a gas station, and a motel and cafe, and a couple of wineries with shops attached, one with a restaurant, an antique store or two, B & Bs, a horse stable, and nearby JustUs coffee roastery and the Tangled Gardens shop/factory which makes jams, jellies etc. It also has a major interpretive centre. These are commercial or institutional establishments. It also has some recent residential building (duplexes). We suspect none of these “developments” (except perhaps the stable) would be allowed presently in the farmland zoning the SOS people are fighting to keep.

Does Mr. Robinson LIKE Grand Pre? We suspect he does. Does he consider it attractive to tourists? We do. Perhaps Greenwich might like to “develop” some of those things as well. Would a market similar to Pete’s Frootique be attractive? Perhaps a good bakery? Tourists are attracted by “things to do” not just by “views” of farmland.

Why is it that the land west of Eden Row can be “developed” but not the land east of Eden Row?

We think what the writer is worried about is the TYPE of development (“strip malls and back-yard swings”). That is yet to be approved and  is still up for debate and input. Supporting infrastructure is an issue. It is hoped good decisions will be made.

And we think the bee keeper could be grandfathered.

Greenwich decision

We followed the discussion and vote tonight via Krock’s twitter.

6-5 in favour of rezoning. Boos from the audience. But they shouldn’t/won’t be discouraged:

If this is passed it only goes to the province. They have the final say.


More on farms

David Daniels, one of our regular readers, made a submission at the recent meeting on the re-zoning of Greenwich land . He has sent his full presentation to us for publication since media reports of necessity leave out much of the detail. It is 39 pages and in pdf format so we have attached it as a link below rather than copy it all in.

Daniels submission

We do copy below this portion – what Mayor Stead said the Town concerns were.

In a letter to then Warden Fred Whalen, dated October 25, 2010, the Mayor of the Town of Wolfville, Robert Stead, sets out the Town’s concerns about the proposal and why it may have a negative impact upon the Town and the general region.  The concerns are: (1) Infrastructure costs.  It would be better for development to take place in existing growth centres in Kings County.  “There is likely significant extra capacity within all the Kings County growth centres including the Towns of Kentville and Berwick.  Development can take place in the existing growth centres without the need to extend off site services and in many cases infill development can take place without the need for any additional on-site services as well.”  (2) There is a need to preserve all farmland. The proposal’s attempt to preserve best soils through the designation of Urban Agriculture will likely not achieve that end.  (3) Development in existing growth centres has sustainability advantages.  (4) Social/Cultural Issues.  The existing growth centres represent the heart of social and cultural interaction and the creation of another growth centre will weaken the existing growth centres. (5) Lifestyle/Health Issues. “Development in Greenwich, away from the existing commercial centres, will not encourage this healthy lifestyle.”

Our emphasis, not Mr. Daniels.  And here is our Translation:”‘Canada Lives Here‘ in Wolfville and that’s the way it should stay even though it costs an arm and a leg. We need the taxes so we can continue spending like there is no tomorrow.”

We wish these issues were adjudicated rationally instead of with the emotion betrayed at the meeting. Candles and a soulful rendition of Amazing Grace are sweet but don’t cut the mustard when it comes to significant decisions like this one.

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.


Boo! Ramona” This is what we saw on some orange signs in Port Williams a few days ago. We wish we had taken a picture as the next time we passed by they had disappeared in a ghostly fashion. We suppose that they are a clever comment on Ramona Jennex’s decision to overrule the Kings Co. proposal on farmland rezoning.

The provincial ministerial review of the proposed Port Williams Secondary Planning Strategy (SPS) and associated land use amendments has cleared Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Jennex’s office: the upper portion of the land along Collins Road will remain farmland, which will restrict residential development. This land represents approximately half of the area the County of Kings requested be rezoned.  [The Register , Oct. 7]

Area residents are reaping the benefits [or not, depending on your point of view] of their NDP vote.

Kings North MLA Jim Morton said he is pleased a decision has been made. He commended Jennex for balancing the need for growth while protecting agricultural land in Kings County.

So it is either the status quo or accept Ramona’s restriction. That’s a rock or a hard place. The farmland issue is not going to go away. The pressure on farmland will only increase unless farming locally becomes more profitable.

Brian Sanderson, a frequent commenter here sent a missive to the NoFarmsNoFood organization and copied to us. We always find Brian’s writing of interest and we pass it on for our readers.

Dear NoFarmsNoFood (NFNF), 

I recently received a NFNF leaflet entitled:  “No green. No future” with a side bar titled “Bully-boy tactics backfire”

So who exactly is it that has been threatening who and how? Is this a matter that is before the courts? Have you got the courage to call a spade a spade or is NFNF just engaging in cowardly propaganda?

Your position is unrealistic. Nova Scotia is urbanizing.  The strip between Kentville and Wolfville is one of several obvious growth areas. The biggest centre of urbanized growth is Halifax+surrounds. The provincial government seems determined to grow the NS population by importing people faster than our kids can leave! The NFNF strategy will result in all urban development focusing on the Halifax district. If that is your desire, then might I suggest that you lead the way by moving yourself. Certainly, if everyone with one of your signs picked up and moved to Halifax we would have a whole heap of abandoned residential areas reverting to yet even more unused farmland!

As for your statement about environmental degradation, it is abundantly clear that it is the shear weight of human numbers that is responsible for that. (“Globalization” has the effect of spreading human impact more uniformly over the planet.) I am heartily fed up with green nitwits and politicians who adopt the attitude that we should crowd ever more people onto this planet and offset the effects of that crowding by the “green strategy” of requiring each individual to live a diminished life style with diminished resources and ever more oppressive regulation and bureaucracy.

I have no time for cowards, or idiots, or hypocrites — regardless whether they come packaged in green, or as politicians, or whatever. That is not a threat, it is a statement of fact. Green used to be quite a pleasing colour.  Frankly, nowadays, “green” makes me quite queasy.

Brian Sanderson

Affordable housing

It is said that the Town Administration wants to encourage affordable housing in the Town . It would seem then that the Town would follow policies which would lead to that.

The farm fight is not immaterial to this issue. Why is farmland even considered for development when there is housing available in Wolfville and other towns around? There are many houses for sale here in Wolfville. Why is there pressure to build in Greenwich and Port Williams?

Because it is expensive to live in Wolfville. Land is more expensive and taxes are higher. Those who are buying (or building) a house know that and look elsewhere. Buyers also avoid the high deed transfer taxes that towns often impose. This increases the pressure for land outside of Town limits.

What would be the result of taking all land suitable for farming in the province completely off the development map for good, whether presently used for farming or not, via legislation? The amount of land available for building would decrease dramatically, the price of land where building was allowed would increase accordingly. Housing would be less affordable even though incomes are no higher. Even rents would go up.

Is this what we want? Think carefully about who would benefit.

Can the province (ie. present and future taxpayers) afford to compensate farmers for their land (since they can’t make a living off of it but can’t sell it either)  and then subsidise housing for those who cannot afford it? What policies could the province put in place which would make farming more profitable, creating employment in the industry and of the land instead of unemployment?

There should be a win/win solution somewhere (there usually is)  but we have a feeling no one is looking for one. Everyone is too  attached and passionate about their own position.