Peggys Cove residents share feedback over zoning at public meeting

·2 min read
More than 700,000 tourists descend on Peggys Cove each year to see its iconic lighthouse. (The Canadian Press - image credit)
More than 700,000 tourists descend on Peggys Cove each year to see its iconic lighthouse. (The Canadian Press - image credit)

Residents of Peggys Cove expressed concern on Thursday at a public meeting about a proposal to rezone commercial and residential areas in the picturesque seaside village.

The community of 35 people sees more than 700,000 tourists per year to visit its famous lighthouse. This massive influx of traffic means the community needs to make some big decisions about what Peggys Cove will look like in the future.

The proposed bylaw plan addresses everything from dwelling size to regulations on building materials. It would also see some residential zones along Peggys Point Road turned into mixed zoning for commercial, residential and community purposes.

Aonghus Garrison is a fifth-generation resident of Peggys Cove who expressed concern at the meeting about how mixed zoning was decided.

He would like to have the opportunity to operate commercially on his residential property, which is not part of the new mixed zone.

"When a resident asks for a commercial business opportunity and you deny them, you are denying that individual the ability to benefit from hosting the world," said Garrison.

Current zoning, with commercial zoning in red:

Province of Nova Scotia
Province of Nova Scotia

Proposed zoning, with commercial/residential zoning in red:

A 54-page document was released to residents three days before the meeting, leaving some to worry it just wasn't enough time.

"It's just too much all at once and I think they got that message," said resident Janice Steele.

Halifax regional councillor Pam Lovelace represents the area and is on the Peggys Cove land use commission.

"The community is saying we want another meeting. So I am concerned that community members haven't had the opportunity to fully understand it and really dig into that land use bylaw. We're not all planners, right?"

Some residents remain optimistic, hoping their expressions of concern were heard loud and clear at Thursday's meeting.

"Some people think there's too much [change], some people feel there's too little. So it's just trying to find a delicate balance there," said Nicole Campbell, a resident of the cove and member of the Peggy's Cove Commission.

The process continues to move forward, the next step is a public hearing to be announced at a later date. If approved, the planned bylaws will then undergo a legal vetting process before landing on the desk of the provincial economic development minister for final approval.