DELAY Timberlea Development: Environmental & Infrastructure Impact Assessments Crucial

DELAY Timberlea Development: Environmental & Infrastructure Impact Assessments Crucial

621 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Sheri Jones started this petition

Clayton Developments has submitted a proposal to build 690 homes on Fraser's Lake at 6 houses per acre.   This will have a devastating effect on the environment and the infrastructure in our area.  Fraser's Lake and the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area will be directly impacted as will the residents of the area.

We are calling upon Councillor Iona Stoddard to move for a moratorium on this proposal until such time as proper environmental and infrastructure impact assessments can be undertaken.

The letter and more detailed information on the negative impacts this development will have on our community is below.

Re: Proposed Fraser Lake Amendment to Service Boundary (HRM Regional Plan New Request Case C337)

Dear Councillor Stoddard,

While we appreciate that there is currently a housing crisis in both Halifax Regional Municipality and Nova Scotia, we have grave concerns that certain proposed developments will receive “fast-tracked” approvals which otherwise would not be approved with a more fulsome approval process.

Our principal concern is with the request from Clayton Developments (HRM Regional Plan New Request Case C337 – Appendix C) to extend the serviceable boundary to enable the development of 690 units on Fraser Lake in  Timberlea.  We have some serious concerns regarding this proposal as detailed below.

As a result of these concerns, and given the current housing crisis resulting in fast-tracking of proposed developments which by-pass certain planning processes, we the undersigned are requesting that you make a motion to HRM Council to put a moratorium on this proposed development until such time as the appropriate assessments are done regarding environmental and infrastructure impact.

Following are our principal concerns.

An immediate concern is environmental. Firstly, this proposed development directly fronts on to Frasers Lake, and a significant portion of this proposed development contains a watercourse / wetland area.  Based on the attached satellite map, (Appendix A attached), approximately 15 acres of the proposed development is watercourse / wetland which would not be suitable for housing or sewer.  This is contained within PID 40319550, and contains beavers and their dams, ducks, and various other wildlife.  It is our understanding that, per 2.3.2 of the HRM Regional Municipal Planning Strategy, it is HRM’s intent to prohibit the development of wetlands and this falls under the jurisdiction of the Nova Scotia Provincial Government, and requires an Environmental Impact Assessment to be completed and reviewed.  Has this been completed? We’ve attached a few photographs taken within PID 40319550 (Appendix B) showing the area in question.

Second, the topography of all of these lots is such that it slopes down towards Frasers Lake.  With the amount of clear cutting required to achieve the suggested development density of 6 units per acre, this would significantly and negatively impact groundwater runoff in the area in the direction of the lake.  As it is currently, the lake routinely floods causing issues for residents including property damage and water entering their homes, predominantly at the eastern end of the lake.  Additional groundwater runoff could severely impact the integrity of those homes and properties.

Third is the negative impact the clear cutting of lake frontage land will cause to the lake itself. This will significantly and irreversibly negatively impact the flow of water systems into the lake and ecoculture surrounding the lake, causing disturbances to the food supply and killing off the rare supply of fish and other amphibious animals that live in and around the lake.

Fourth, Frasers Lake is included in the Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area.  A development of this proposed density and the associated negative environmental impact is not inline with the purpose of the wilderness area.  The lake is a noted traditional water route per Map 3 of the Regional Plan and would be negatively impacted by the proposed development as per the previous points.

While Clayton’s proposal speaks to the lands being a suitable extension for serviced growth, it does not include any discussion regarding methods to mitigate these environmental concerns.  These environmental concerns are specifically mentioned relating to Fraser Lake in the Timberlea/Lakeside/Beechville Municipal Planning Strategy (“Secondary Plan”) on page 14 as follows, “the area's slope, soil and drainage constraints and the potential development impacts on waterbodies adjacent to the communities, minimum lot sizes in excess of provincial standards for septic tank installation will be required.”

An additional concern we have with the proposal is that it speaks to the area being designated as Urban residential.  This is not consistent with the HRM Regional Plan’s Map 2, which designates the area as Rural Commuter.  A development of this nature would not be in line with the spirit of the rural commuter designation as it is not low density development and would not preserve the natural features that foster the traditional community character.

Additionally, this proposed development would not be consistent with the other recent developments located on Frasers Lake, which is the unserviced development of Eider Dr and Goldeneye Drive.  This development, which was completed in approximately the last 10 years, comprised 64 units over 210 acres, an average of 3 acres per unit, which is drastically different than the proposed 0.16 acres per unit per Clayton. 

Also, the development proposal claims that the land “abuts existing serviceable boundary.”  The serviceable boundary that they are referring to crosses highway 3 (St. Margaret’s Bay Road) and the Trans Canada Trail.  There are not any serviceable areas on the part of St. Margaret’s Bay Road where the proposed development will be.  The residents that are adjacent to the proposed development are not serviced areas and have never been.  These changes will not only cause an enormous disruption to the current residents, but there is a high risk for a significant financial impact.  It is not reasonable that residents that have been in the community, some for 50+ years, and will have to face consequences forced on them by developers.

Finally, the schools in the area are already overrun, with additional modular schools already being required to be used in addition to the main schools.  Given the rapid increase in population in other areas within the schooling zone including the Brunello Estates development, this would put additional pressure on an already overtaxed schooling zone.


621 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!