UPDATE October 03, 2017
Community Meeting to Discuss Land Use Planning/Zoning
Dear Neighbours and Community Members,
Please attend the Council-sponsored meeting on zoning October 11 at 6:30 pm at the Lower Granville Hall. It's essential to “fill the hall” to show wide support for zoning the portion of Granville Road – from Granville Ferry (village) to Schafner Point Lighthouse opposite Goat Island – as a “special places area” (see map below).
This meeting is for all residents of Districts 4 and 5 and will cover land-use planning and its most important tool, zoning, in these Districts. As Granville Ratepayers would like to see zoning in this specific area, please focus on this if you speak. If you live in the proposed area, please say so. Email/tell as many people as possible about this meeting.
While fortunately we “dodged the bullet” by stopping Cooke Aquaculture from putting an industrial fish farm in Granville Beach, we may not be able to do so again if we find ourselves in a similar situation. Not just in Granville Beach, but on any property including the large tracts of vacant land on North Street and Letteney Lane in the Village. Currently, our only defense is to fight them off. This is why it is so very important to use zoning to protect this most historic section of Granville Road and its cultural landscape as a “special places area”. One of the five long-term goals of the County's Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) is to ensure the continued enjoyment of the County’s rural, low density development character. Incompatible uses, such as an industrial use in such a special place contradicts this goal.
Another of the five goals of the MPS is to guide and direct new development in an orderly, economical manner. This section of Granville Road with its unique history and pastoral beauty is one of Annapolis County's most popular tourist draws. This valuable asset must continue to be safeguarded, not just for area residents, but, for all Canadians now and for generations to come. Also, this area has probably the highest property tax assessments per household, which translates to high property taxes paid to Annapolis County. This is in large part because people move to this area for its character and spend large amounts on upgrading their homes. The area around the Grand-Pré National Historic Site in Kings County has many similarities and has been protected for decades.
Zoning depends on planning and planning depends on zoning. The need for a land-use plan will be discussed at the meeting. It can be thought of as a road map, which captures in pictures and words what a community wishes for itself. Although a plan will talk about land use, it does not regulate land use. When a land-use planning process is completed and approved it becomes a land-use bylaw (LUB), which uses zoning to control what happens on the land. This zoning ensures security, stability and the common good while encouraging fitting and sustainable economic growth to benefit all residents. It conserves existing neighbourhoods so property values are protected and enhanced and it prevents incompatible land uses that would negatively impact our ground water and environment, both physically and visually.
The planning process takes a few years and provides residents the opportunity at meetings, by email and Canada Post, to tell Council what they do and do not want within the zoned area. In our proposed “special places area”, the present mix of houses, shops, barns, community halls, churches, etc. and most current uses such as farming, small business/commercial are what we and we believe most residents want to continue to encourage. Even if something might be incompatible with zoning, it's still left in place or “grandfathered”. Also, clamming and other non-land uses stay the same.