New planning strategy, land-use bylaw go back for revisions

·2 min read

ST. MARY’S – St. Mary’s residents will have to wait a little longer to see the municipality’s plan for the future.

Following the first round of public hearings on the new municipal planning strategy and land-use bylaw (MPS/LUB), elected officials decided that “substantive” changes were required before the documents could proceed to the final stages of approval and ratification.

Warden Greg Wier read all five written submissions received from residents into the record on July 20 in municipal chambers. The main critiques largely concerned changes to wording in the plans’ measures to protect wetlands, regulate accessory buildings and prevent the accumulation of derelict vehicles in the district.

St. Mary’s council has spent considerable effort over the past two years attempting to complete the research and public consultations required to write the district’s new MPS/LUB, the first since 2006. Earlier this year, it contracted Upland Planning and Design Studio of Dartmouth to help finish the job.

According to the resulting draft, St. Mary’s envisions its “shared future” as “a vibrant place that offers lifelong opportunities to live, work and play, thriving businesses and plentiful employment opportunities, rural living with plentiful amenities to meet everyone’s needs, beautiful place that cares for and takes pride in its natural setting, and welcoming and supporting neighbours that take care of one another.”

At the end of the one-hour public hearing last week, Wier said: “The St. Mary’s council would like to thank all members of the public for their submissions and feedback. All proposed changes will be considered by the council at a special meeting that will immediately follow this public hearing or, if needed, additional council meeting or meetings.”

No members of the public were in attendance.

In a statement posted to St. Maty’s website last week, council announced: “After considering the submissions from the public hearing in depth, council decided to implement substantive revisions to the drafts before approving. Revisions will be made, and new drafts will be presented again in the fall for consideration of a first reading and eventually another public hearing. Please visit the municipal website for up-to-date information”

Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal

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