Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gosse's Pond Development

I am still trying to find out as much as I can about this development but a resident of Bauline Line, Mr. Lee Harvey is moving ahead full force trying to stop this development from happening. All I know so far is that council have decided to rezone the land from rural to large lot residential opening the door for a 9 lot development there.

Mr. Harvey has a website called Conserve Torbay and a Facebook page set up to try and garner support and raise awareness of the issue. Lee is getting some help from members of the Torbay Environment & Trails Committee but they don't seem to be officially involved which is a little mind boggling to me. Considering this is such a pristine wetland in our community it makes me wonder why they are not at the forefront of this issue. I know they have been involved when it comes to other development like Forest Landing, Whitty's Ridge and of course my favorite Dominion Hill.

Regardless of that Lee is forging ahead and has been having meetings of concerned citizens at his house and they are not giving up without a fight. If you would like to get more information about what he is doing you can look at his website and send him an email.

As of right now I have not personally made up my mind whether this is good or not, there are ways to develop land in environmentally sensitive areas that respect the natural environment and then there is the way that typically happens where they clearcut everything and backfill the whole place. If Torbay Council decides to let this type of development proceed it is incumbent on them to ensure the developer adheres to the rules set down by council.

There have been other aspects of this issue raised that makes me think that this is being rushed for some reason. Apparently Gosse's Pond is being considered for special protection under the town's Open Space Management Plan. Also according to Lee there is a 15 degree slop on this land leading towards the wetlands and this should be protected according to the town's own plan. And that was not taken into consideration by council when they decided to rezone the land.

With this in mind I took a look at the town's 10 year plan which I have posted on my blog and found this under Environment.

• To provide municipal services at environmentally acceptable standards.
• To promote a regular community “clean-up” program.
• To discourage development in areas with slopes greater than 15 percent,
recognizing that development in such areas can result in environmental
damage and higher costs for servicing and maintenance. 

• To prevent development within the municipal watersheds.
• To maintain a minimum 15 metre buffer of land from the highwater mark of
ponds, lakes, and streams, to be kept generally free from development.
• To protect natural resources from degradation including water, air, soils,
agricultural land, forests and scenic areas. 

I don't know where this is going to go but I do know that it is nice to see residents take an interest in the community and fight for what they believe is right. Granted more often than not people tend to get involved when something is happening in their backyards because it effects them directly. However that should not discourage people from taking an interest in your community.

If you think any proposed development should be stopped them by all means contact Lee and members of council. Likewise if you think there is nothing wrong with this development and others like it speak up and have your voice heard as well. Too often only one side of an issue is heard and this leads to unilateral decisions and hampers debate and compromise on issues that are important to our town.

I am sure this is not the last we will hear about this.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Craig I noticed you mentioned the grade. I do not know for sure if the grade is greater than 15 degrees however I suggest it is. I have contacted the council office and was told it is up to the contractor's engineers to find this. The torbay engineers will then get involved!
    I was shown a map by a council member which indicates there is a slope greater than 15 degrees in the area however they can not seem to locate the exact location!


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