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Tantramar Rural Plan discussed

Tantramar rural plan discussed

Published Saturday June 18th, 2011

 Currently there is ‘no plan at all,’ according to commission director
by meg edwards
Times & Transcript staff

BAIE VERTE – The Tantramar Planning District Commission presented a draft of
a rural plan for the unincorporated areas of Tantramar on Thursday night at the
Baie Verte Community Hall.

The main focus of the plan is to provide policies and regulation to control
land use and protect property owners.

“What we have right now,” said director Ron Corbett, “is no plan at all.”

In one of many public consultations, Corbett and his colleagues Tracey Wade
and Lori Bickford emphasized that their aim was to protect and encourage
agriculture, forestry and fisheries while setting up guidelines for future
developments.

“And we want to raise the comfort level,” said Corbett, for those who are
concerned about new legislations. Some of the main areas of protection in the
plan are natural resources, environmentally sensitive areas like coastal areas,
water quality and the more ambiguous “quality of life.”

Under the plan, building setbacks will be enforced for new structures near
the coastline, and while owners who already have existing properties will not be
asked to take them down, proposals for new developments in the coastal zone will
be subject to a waiver. Also, any new development along the coast that requires
a public or private road will have to allow access to the public beach for local
residents.

At present, rural land owners have no restrictions other than provincial
regulations and they “can do anything they want” without public notification or
consultation, said Corbett.

Corbett said that if the rural plan is approved it will “enshrine rights that
already exist” and allow residents to be better informed about proposed
developments as they arise.

Local land owner Karen Trueman from Point de Bute spoke up at the end of the
meeting to say that land owners who lose the use of their land due to wetland
buffers should be the ones compensated by the government.

“What worries me is every time you make legislation you take a right away,”
she said.

The draft version of the rural plan will not be finalized until “the snow
flies” said Corbett.

“At the end of the day, it is the minister that approves it,” he said.

The Tantramar Planning District Commission is an autonomous body that was
formed in 1990. It is funded by the government of New Brunswick and the
municipalities of Sackville, Dorchester and Port Elgin.

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