Baie Verte Rural Planning 2009

Representatives from the Tantramar Planning District Commission has been traveling the back roads of rural New Brunswick in the last few weeks visiting village halls and explaining the need for a rural plan.

“Every meeting has had a good turn out of about 24- 25 people” says Tracey Wade, a Junior Planner for the Tantramar Planning District Commision. She says that the first questions from the audience are usually about amalgamation and increased taxes. Once it is explained that the rural plan is a separate issue, the next question is, ” If we don’t have a rural plan now, and it is fine, why do we need one”?

Tracey says that there is presently no proper zoning plans for rural areas and that zoning by-laws are important for landowners when it comes to land use conflicts and public health and safety issues.

When it somes to deciding what is allowed on a property under the ‘rural use zone’, it is fairly open. Ultimately, the Department of Environment has the final say and final approval.

Wade says that some farmers are concerned that the government will tell them how to farm but that there was no animosity at the meetings. The rural residents asked many detailed questions and seemed satisfied with the answers.

Lois Filmore, a long time resident of Baie Verte, said one of the main concerns among residents was ‘unsightly premises’. She says that complaints about ‘unsightly premises’, that the Local Service District directs to the provincial government, do not seem to have any effect. Another concern that arose during the Baie Verte meeting was the distance a business could be set up from a road.

Concerns about zoning by-laws regarding alternative power generators like wind turbines did not seem to be an issue.
Says Tracey, ” We are at the starting block right now, and when it comes to major issues, there are none that stand out so far”.

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