These are Notes of a Community Meeting for Districts 4 and 5, held on Wednesday October 11, 2017, at the Lower Granville Hall, Port Royal, at 6:30 p.m.
Clerks Comment – These are not intended to be minutes or a verbatim report. They are unofficial notes to capture the opinions expressed at the meeting regarding planning and zoning.
There were more than 130 people in attendance, including 11 Councillors and 10 Staff.
Councillor Heming, District 5, on behalf of himself and District 4 Councillor McNeil, welcomed everyone to this meeting on future land use planning and zoning. He introduced Warden Habinski.
Warden Habinski noted that few topics raise strong emotions like zoning, and that all present will be able to express each point of view. This is your community, and it matters to you. He introduced CAO John Ferguson, who facilitated the meeting.
The CAO noted that the municipality has to be in the centre of the meeting in order to ensure all views are heard. Councillors were present as individuals, not as a convened body, so they get a sense of what the community has to say. All will be given a fair and equal voice.
The room agreed to the following ground rules:
Each time you speak, say your name and where you are from.
Expect opposing views.
This format was chosen because a select group of citizens were concerned about a particular use in their community. Council did not want to hear a one-sided presentation in the council session. This is the start of a process, but council must be in centre of the discussion so that majority and minority are all heard. This is democracy. Council will not do what the community does not want to do. He introduced Albert Dunphy, our Planner. Planning and zoning questions can be answered by him.
He urged all to express what is on your mind, to keep it brief, and not to repeat something that has already been stated, but to add to it.
Flora Hall, Granville Ferry - What is the procedure?
No set route. Most fair is to hear what everyone has to say. Council will talk about what they have heard. Could make an Area Advisory Committee. No decision is made, a process to hear from the community and that everyone gets heard. Meetings would be set up, and can make a recommendation to PAC. PAC is a statutory body with a clear procedural role. They can only make a recommendation to council. Council then has to set a public hearing process.
Hague Vaughn, Granville Road
Imminent industrialization by Cooke Aquaculture. Council helpless at this point. Nothing to stop this kind of industry. This is a historic area. We occupy a landscape museum, historic importance to all Canadians. Need to preserve it. Would like land use planning and zoning that will allow us to do that. Focus on this historic area, Granville Ferry to Port Royal. Demands that we not let it slide by having a fish farm. Nothing in place to stop that. If we manage to have zoning, is it a long, slow process. Consensus on this area. Could we set up an additional committee to focus on the specific area of land to fast track the process?
CAO – specific geographic area? Yes. If that is what council decides comes from this meeting. Can be specific. Process still must be followed. When council sets an Area Advisory committee – has qualifications regarding the specific area being discussed.
AAC is chosen by council and must hear ideas from everyone, not a specific interest group. No rule against community voice at a meeting.
Difficult for the community because it does take time, but it works. All councillors are here to listen to the discussion. In the end, councillors will have the key role to act in a quasi-judicial role, so they cannot have their mind made up until the last person has spoken. They have to keep an open mind. They cannot meet with one specific interest group as they cannot remain biased. They must be careful not to enter in with a bias.
Wayne Currie, Granville Beach
Granville ratepayers association went to council. This meeting would not have happened without that initial meeting. They want to have land use planning from the lighthouse to the causeway. That stretch of road straddles both districts (4 and 5). Concerned about that stretch of the road, not the whole county.
David Tinker, Granville Road Stoney Beach
Most affected by the Cooke issue. Lives in Granville Beach. House from 1850. Custodians of historic home for 20 years. No public transport. Full cost of services. Cannot walk to post office or grocery store. More than 10 km from fire stn. Trade-offs. Externals. Real economic value to them. Choose to live here. Reasons:
Can see the Milky Way. Most Canadians will never see this. Bird watching – migrating song birds, owls, sparrows, coyote. There is no light or sound pollution. No traffic. No city noise. Could lose these at the stroke of a pen. A real possibility of an industrial set up across the road. Traffic. Noise. Light. Dodged that bullet. Anything can be built there. Many appropriate things – small businesses, tourists, special. Hope something can be put in place to preserve these things.
Nancy Smith, Port Wade
Have Cooke aquaculture, not a good neighbour. Barely in the water, no land. Concern: important to not zone the front part of Granville road and leave the rest of Granville road exposed. Industrial not appropriate on the road. Need minimum lot sizes. Simpler zoning for the rest of the road outside of Granville ferry. Industrial uses dealt with along the whole road. Specific list and characteristics of an industrial use. Lights, noise, traffic, digging deep hole (quarry, etc) water-threatening uses (tapping water resource), any use that generates a lot of effluent. Best on land fish farms have reused water.
Chose to live here. By zoning, how does it affect younger people who are here? As we grow and eliminating all industry how will it affect younger generations. Please keep this in mind.
Alan Parish, Clarence
If you only zone a certain area, it leaves the rest open. Would like to see planning in Clarence. Planning in other areas of the county. Feel the same way about Clarence. If zoning, should zone the whole county. Kings County is zoned. Few pockets in Annapolis County. Should be an industrial zone for the county, somewhere appropriate, not just in each district. Suggests to zone the whole county.
Carl DeNuke, Granville Beach
7th generation farm. All the things along here – automotive body shop, construction, small engine repair, tourism, artists, NHS, provincial museum, school, community services, farms. Marine shellfish aquaculture (clamming), fruit, vegetable farms, grain farms, cattle, beef cattle, dairy, sheep farm, vineyards, and almost a fish farm. A lot of mis-information about the fish farm. Commends Cooke for moving on and taking their money with them. Dairy farm in 1945 grew from 2 – 40 head of cattle. Farms change, develop, expand, grow, diversify. Would like that to continue. F10 grandkids – they would like to stay here. Maybe zoning will work, doesn’t think it will work properly. GRRA has communicated issues such has house renovations and protection property assessments. Cares that his family continues to live here. If you want to block industry (farming is an industry) wants farming to stay here. Planning is not a good idea. Later on, where the association is disbanded, people think about the area more than just their ideas.
Mary Ritchie, Karsdale
Will have to be careful in wording for ‘industrial’.
Josie Chapman Granville Ferry
Come from away. Chose this place. Heritage, culture lacking in the rest of Canada. Interested in zoning. LUB has a lot of flexibility potentially. Not an ‘all industry’ or ‘not industry’.
Albert – lots of flexibility on how a LUB is designed. Would the council put up as much information as possible? Terminology, timeline involved.
CAO – could give samples of uses, but it will not be cut and paste. Zoning attempts to balance what the citizens want. May or may not work. This evening is to hear as much as possible. How to integrate uses in the community. If not passionate about zoning, state that. There will be an exhaustive community process. If council feels the community can move forward, they will. No decisions tonight. Will a contact person be appointed?
Area advisory committees deal with the public in a fair way. And understanding what the community wants. For instance, citizens didn’t want aquaculture. They spoke strongly against it. You don’t have aquaculture, and you don’t have zoning. With zoning in place, there is a process to apply for rezoning. Zoning creates a fair process.
People invited here to share. Questions can be submitted when called for from a committee. Fair all the way through. Focal point has to be embedded in the statutory role of council in accordance with provincial statures.
Ian Currie, Granville Beach
Why did the council put zones 4 an 5 together? Urban 4 is much larger than rural 5.
CAO – heard an interest in zoning. Wanted to make sure the area was not understated.
George Bruce, Tupperville
Prudent to not mention one industry over another. Other industry in these areas. In preparing for zoning, detail in Parkers Cove, for example, could be confused with similar-looking industry but is really different (salt water vs fresh water). Planning sounds like a good thing but can become a Pandora’s box. Not economic to investigate it. Would be expensive before it is done.
CAO – try to minimize costs. Good point about mentioning one company or another. Difficult to not do that, but try to be respectful. Need to hear what is on your mind but need to be respectful. Need to be able to talk about it in order to unpack it. Need to break it down in order to have conversation. Good points.
Michelle Hall Granville Ferry
A few lots Northhills, one in the village, without zoning, could someone put up an eight story building there? No zoning, so anything is possible.
Albert – sewer – no limitation for onsite septic, so, yes.
Dave Kern, .Granville Centre
Majority of development has taken place east of the causeway. Including Parkers Cove and other side of the causeway, has cows. Would like to keep cows out – is this an industry? Let’s be careful how the word ‘industry’ is used. Would council consider a meeting in just district 4? CAO – an area advisory, if one is set up, would have to consider that. this area doesn’t need to be considered with route 1.
Flora Hall, Granville Ferry
When Upper Clements Park was built, there was concern about what might go there to take advantage of traffic to the park. Is this similar to that situation? Similar? Can that be duplicated – those zoning items? Was that rushed through? CAO – wasn’t here. Would never be cut and paste, maybe similarities. The citizens will be heard – all views.
Robert MacGregor, Victoria Beach
Who designates a historic area? Not part of a zoning bylaw. If this area was designated as a historic area, would that limit business? CAO – likely allow things that did not affect the heritage? Who would designate that?
Albert - in a heritage designation, zoning issues are not addressed, the exterior of structures. Federal, provincial or municipal for heritage designation, but heritage isn’t zoning.
Brad Hall, Granville Ferry
In favour of council having further conversation about land use planning
Donald Halliday, Granville Road
Lot of good ideas protecting this area. The other areas should be left open to keep children here.
Wayne Currie, Granville Beach
Not that we weren’t concerned about county wide zoning, but narrowed the focus on that particular stretch of road. Understands completely about farms and small industry. It was not their purpose to take away or disallow or be against industry that is here already. Zoning land use is to say what you can do, not what you can’t do. Doesn’t want heavy industry, like the one that could have settled on sensitive marsh land. Concerned about things like water protection and noise.
Nancy Smith, Port Wade
Industry doesn’t’ include agriculture. Industrial use is huge and noisy and belch smoke. Not agriculture.
Nikki Clark, Granville Beach, farmer
Sorts of things we don’t want to see, rather than lumping industry without defining it. Agriculture can be many things. Noise pollution, light pollution, limit conditions on certain activities rather than naming specific sorts of industries. Not a broad sweep to disallow things. Concern about water quality, pollution, doesn’t’ want to be restricted.
Peter DeNuke, Granville Beach
Disappointed in how this came about. Ratepayers didn’t sit down with them to find out. Owns land on the marsh bodies. Marsh body met with that company. They weren’t going to hurt the marsh. However, it is something of concern. Would like to pass on to his children. If the marsh is not used, it won’t’ continue. Interested in preserving that. Not interested in assessment value of his home. Not interested in selling it. Like to see other things happen here. Kids need paying jobs here, not out west. Would not like to see zoning here. It could be beneficial, scared of what could happen. Cows impede traffic, they stink, lights on in the barn, Ratepayers issues could affect him.
Owen Bull, Port Wade
From west coast. Lucky to be having this meeting. Foreign interest came in and bought up resources, having their way with it. Because they have free reign. Loves it here.
Randy Fredericks, Tupperville
Trained in basic planning at COGS. Even if zoning goes ahead, existing land uses would most certainly continue as they exist now. Remain as non-conforming use if not identified in the plan.
Danny Bruce, Centrelea
Family farm, 6 generations. Talk 30 years ago about zoning, when it started in the east end. A women said I have this land, I own it, I farm it, but I want to be free to build a home on it. Things change. What happened in this community, it spoke up and voiced their ideas about the proposed business. This is a lot easier than involving the expense of designing bylaws that can be changed. It’s only good today, because anything can be changed. Enormous financial task for false security. Need strong community. A strong community will protect itself. Won’t sell. Need to focus on the community and not put barriers. DeNukes have a large family. That farm cannot sustain the family. If looking at the future, they may want to make cheese or process milk to remain viable. If bylaws in place, at cost. If the community doesn’t want a processing factory in this area, they would show that to the entrepreneur. More rules are not the answer.
Colleen McGill, Brooklyn
Their community fighting g industrial activity for 4.5 years. All for planning and zoning for the whole county. An agricultural community. Quarry in the middle of it. Best water quality. Want to protect their water. Wants to protect agriculture. Not restricting farmers. Protect our lands for the people who live here by not having industrial activity, like mining, pollute water or affect the environment. Not saying not to have these industries, but to have them in the right areas. Why only in certain areas? Communities not impacted by pollution. In favour of LUB keeping in mind that the industries do need to go someplace.
Leona Sequinstraka, Port Royal
Industry is marvelous. Small industries have been in other places. Their background needs to be checked. Can’t just say ‘oh, we need jobs’, need to be careful of the industries and where they go.
CAO – in order to have a say in land use or zoning, they want council to stop it. Council has no power to stop it if there is no zoning. Council cannot step in when there is no zoning. There is no role for Council when there is no zoning.
David Tinker, Granville Beach
Agriculture is not a problem. That company is registered in Dubai.
George Bruce, Tupperville
Before a lot of time and discussion, consult with other municipalities to see how they have handled this situation. Find out what should have been done or what shouldn’t be done.
CAO – ALBERT – municipalities’ role – is it the role to research other things? Yes, area advisory committees have to learn common terms, with a lot of background research.
Mike Knight, Granville Centre
If an area is not zoned, a council has no power. Really? Yes. There are no land use rules, building codes but no zoning or land use.
Colleen McGill, Brooklyn Road
On Brooklyn Rd, the potential quarry, the company in question, put in a development request. The council approved it because they said they were putting in a house. Nothing could be done. Four months ago, they blasted. Mounds of aggregate that cannot be removed. It has started. Looks like a quarry. CAO – the county only approves a permit. No authority to stop it because no planning or zoning. At the mercy. Didn’t approve the development.
David Kern, Granville Centre
Not all doom and gloom. If the council has no bylaw to act on, still DoE, Fisheries, Pits & Quarries act, not totally out in the cold. CAO – we have no say over pits and quarries – that’s provincial. Blasting is Environment. Different authorities and different jurisdictions.
Dale Hamilton, Delaps Cove
Farms the land. His land. He owns it. Doesn’t want it zoned. Will end up shutting down everyone who makes a living here. Should tear down the turbine. Doesn’t want any one telling him what he can do on his land.
Ian Currie, Granville Beach
Lots of vision in this room some half full, some half empty. Need to protect what is here now. Zoning will give us opportunity, if we don’t it will be dictated to us. Keeping family together, we all have to leave some time. Get an education, come back and do something with the land.
Josie Chapman, Granville Ferry
Is it possible that some form of zoning can be crafted to allow smaller stuff and knock out the big nasty stuff? How much say is there in crafting a bylaw? CAO a lot of flexibility. Comes down to unpacking – i.e. what is ‘nasty’? Create a balance so that the community can move forward. No final recipe or decision. This discussion will help guide what the next step will be: over? Area advisory committee? To begin more detailed community engagement process.
If zoning, can people apply for variance? Exceptions? i.e. - basic zoning that creates a point for the county to consider what comes in. CAO we can regulate what we zone, no authority otherwise. Can exceptions be discussed? Yes. MGA governs the municipality. Quarries – municipality can only regulate uses adjacent. A bylaw exception can apply to change a bylaw. Large amount of public input. Area Advisory committee, still a Planning Advisory Committee, still a Council, all with public participation requirements.
Heather Leblanc, Granville Road
If there is planning or zoning in place, it is reviewed every five years? That’s an old rule under previous planning regulations. Councils must determine how they will review plans.
Wayne Currie, Stoney Beach
Regardless, great that we are all here. What is a timeline after this meeting? When will council tell us what the next step is? CAO – probably fairly soon. When will it be discussed?
Warden - COTW November. Then to council the following week.
Collen Sharpe, Granville Ferry
Zoning protects all of us. Applications for change. Nobody wants economic downturns. Industrial parks in certain areas. Important to have industrial areas.
Brad Hall, Granville Ferry
If council decides to go ahead with the process, what happens in between?
CAO – a process and timeline to be followed. Is there any protection during? No moratoriums. Province doesn’t usually exercise that. From the time council starts the process, advisory committee, PAC, Council, it is dictated by the MGA. That plan does not come into effect until the Minister signs off on it and an ad appears in the paper.
Bill Rickson, Granville Ferry
Zoning is different ideas for all. Can we outline aspects that are positive? That are concerns? Perceive positive and negative ideas.
CAO – we wouldn’t do that. This information can be posted. To be unpacked at community meetings,
Marilyn Wilkins, Councillor District 1 Melvern Square/Wilmot
Planning since 1997. A long process to get the plan adopted. Very successful in the east end. Pro planning. Planning starts with the people who live in the community. It is your plan. Your community., this is how we want it to look today, ten years from now, twenty years from now., not ‘anti’ but ‘pro’ in the proper location. If something comes in that you don’t want, there are many public engagement opportunities to express that. Many legislated opportunities. A good thing. Protect your assets for the future. No planning – a hey-day forever for what wants to come into your community. Different opinions in the east end, diverse community, a newer community. Since 1997, not one application that was denied by the east end area advisory committee, not one decision was appealed. There have been changes, the community decided, council agreed. It is your plan. Without a plan, there will be no organized development.
Candace Clarke, Granville Centre
Maybe a third option to move forward, a lot of cart before the horse. Intent to launch an expensive and long process. Need maybe a ‘Planning 101’. Council could hold another community meeting. This is what planning is, this is how it works, and this is how it unfolds.
Rick Connell, Granville Centre
Doesn’t like planning. Lose your tax base. If no one replaces those who are her, lose the tax base. Small representative here. Should be more people here.
Candace Clarke, Granville Centre
People need to be made aware of other checks and balances
David Kern, Granville Centre
For a representative sample, needs district 4 by itself.
Ian Currie, Granville Road
How many forests and farms were negatively impacted in the east end? None impacted. Spur farms? Not affected. Were any negatively impacted by zoning? The community speaks. No industries that the community doesn’t want
Mark Thomson, Parker Mtn. Road
Raised in GF. Built on PMR. Want to sell the house. Self-employed. Can he move his business to GF if there was zoning? CAO – zoning has not been determined, but could be raised during public consultation. There would be AMPLE opportunity to discuss it. All meetings open to the public.
At 8:30, as determined by the room, the CAO thanked everyone for being so respectful and coming to the meeting.