PART I: INTRODUCTION
The former military base CFB Cornwallis became the property of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency (CPDA) on April 1st, 1995. Considerable progress has been made towards the positive re-use of the Park’s buildings and facilities since that time. Most of the 248 houses have been sold. There are approximately 40 institutional, commercial, and industrial uses located in the Park, providing much needed jobs and an impetus for further development.
A number of manufacturing and processing operations have located in the Park including the Tire Recycling Atlantic Canada Corporation (TRACC) and Darmos Enterprises Inc., a manufacturer of children’s toys and novelty items. The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre has been established as a training facility for peacekeepers and the Shaw Group has established a furniture manufacturing facility for IKEA.
Consensus existed that there was a need to develop a Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and a Land Use By-law (LUB) in order to provide some degree of protection for the individual and corporate investments that have been incurred. At the same time there is a need to maintain flexibility so as to optimize future economic activity and job creation in the Park. Both the Municipality of the County of Annapolis (the Municipality) and the Cornwallis Park Development Agency (CPDA) concurred on this need and invited consultants to submit proposals to provide the expertise and support needed to assist them in preparing a limited scope MPS and LUB.
There are some other issues that needed to be resolved, not the least of which was to establish the necessary guidelines and policies that will permit the Municipality to assume responsibility for certain elements of the infrastructure and the provision of certain services within the Park.
The issues that are to be addressed by statements of policy in the Municipal Planning Strategy are clearly stated in the terms of reference issued to consultants under the section entitled ‘study purpose’ and are as follows:
- The goals and objectives of the Municipality for the future of Cornwallis Park;
- The use, protection and development of the lands within Cornwallis Park;
- The use or change in use of activities in or affecting land with respect to residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and recreational uses;
- The provision of municipal services and facilities including parklands, public open spaces, supply and distribution of water, sewage collection and treatment,
collection of residential solid waste resources, and the provision of an adequate transportation network and related systems;
- Storm water management and erosion control;
- The continuance and discontinuance of nonconforming uses in accordance with Section 94 of the Planning Act;
- Subdivision of land;
- Measures for informing or securing the views of the public regarding contemplated planning policies and actions or regulations arising from such policies in accordance with Section 34 of the Planning Act;
- The use of development agreements in accordance with Section 55 of the Planning Act; and
- Policies governing matters of content of the Land Use By-law component of the Redevelopment Plan.
The Municipal Council is anxious to see Cornwallis Park fully developed in an orderly manner and has established the following goals in order to provide a focus for this Municipal Planning Strategy:
Encourage the redevelopment of Cornwallis Park in an orderly and effective manner that protects the property values of all stakeholders while maintaining flexibility so as to fully exploit development opportunities and encourage new business activity; Provide a basis to guide and direct new development in an orderly and economical manner; Preserve and enhance the character of the residential areas by minimizing any incompatible impact of commercial or industrial development in the immediate area; Guide Council in making decisions concerning the takeover and provision of services and facilities; and Ensure that development and servicing of land occurs in an environmentally safe manner.
1.3 Planning Process
The purpose of this process was to prepare a limited scope Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-law (LUB) as permitted by Sections 38 and 40 of the Planning Act.
Available relevant current information was collected, reviewed, and catalogued. Concurrently, a process of interviewing the key stakeholders was undertaken. The stakeholders included, but were not limited to, the Homeowners’ Association, the Warden, the Councillors for District 6 and 7, the Municipal Chief Administrative Officer, the Municipal Engineer/Director of Public Works, and the General Manager of the
Cornwallis Park Development Agency (CPDA). In addition, interviews were conducted with representatives of the businesses and institutions located within Cornwallis Park. It was initially expected that 10-15 interviews would be involved, but this number increased to over 20 in total.
The planning process was guided by an Advisory Committee made up of representatives from the Municipal Council along with members of the Cornwallis Park Board of Directors. It should be noted that the Warden from the Municipality of the District of Digby and a Councillor from the Municipality of the District of Clare served on the Advisory Committee as appointees of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency.
The process initially focussed on the preparation of a conceptual development plan for the lands which formerly were owned by the Department of National Defence and which became the property of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency on April 1, 1995. The purpose of this approach was to build a consensus among the stakeholders with regards to future land use. The future land use proposed was presented in map and text format and became the major input to the Municipal Planning Strategy for policy development, and for discussion at the public forums. The development plan was reviewed and discussed with the Advisory Committee and revised where appropriate. Preliminary policy statements were then prepared along with a listing of proposed land uses by area. The development plan, the policy statements, and the list of uses were reviewed with key stakeholders including the Advisory Committee, the Municipal Planning Advisory Committee, the CPDA Board of Directors, and other stakeholders in a group meeting.
A public forum was then held in the form of an open house which was available to everyone who wished to attend. Residents and the business community were notified of the time and place through advertising in the local media and through information circulated by the Homeowners? Association. The meeting began in the afternoon and carried on throughout the early evening. Formal presentations were made twice during this period, with informal discussions as required. The afternoon session was well attended and copies of the presentation material were provided to a representative of the Homeowners? Association and for subsequent display at the offices of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency (CPDA).
A draft MPS and LUB was then prepared for review by the Steering Committee, the Municipal Planning Advisory Committee, and Municipal Council with appropriate changes being made based on comments received. A second public forum in the form of an open house was then held with all information relevant to the proposed MPS and LUB being made available.
The MPS and LUB was then finalized in preparation for the formal hearing and adoption process, as required by the Planning Act.
PART II: POLICIES
1. RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
1.1 The Existing Residential Area
The 246 existing occupied dwelling units are a mixture of single detached, single semi-detached, and single row housing. The semi-detached housing units and some of the row housing are individually owned with their own individual land holdings, while the balance of the row housing is individually owned as part of a condominium corporation.
Council has previously recognized that special standards for lot frontage and area were necessary in order to subdivide the property occupied by existing dwelling units. The zoning requirements will reflect this necessity and take precedence over the requirements of the subdivision by-law. The special standards will also apply to vacant property which is subdivided and located within the existing residential area as shown on the Future Land Use Map.
Council recognises that mobile homes and mini homes provide affordable housing, but is concerned with the impact in terms of architectural compatibility of introducing these long, slender, housing units into the existing residential area. Council wishes to protect the existing residential area from undesirable change or variation in housing design. Therefore, Council will include provisions in the land use by-law that restricts the development of these long, slender, housing units in the existing residential area.
It is the policy of Council to designate those areas within the boundaries of Cornwallis Park which are currently residential in nature as “Existing Residential” on the Future Land Use Map.
It is the policy of Council to establish a General Residential GR-1 Zone in the Land Use By-law which would permit single detached dwellings, single attached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, row housing, and apartments as well as related uses such as nursing homes, senior citizens housing, residential care facilities, schools, churches, public parks, public playgrounds, and other public facilities within the areas designated as “Existing Residential”.
It is the policy of Council that special dwelling development design standards shall be included in the Land Use By-law to regulate the average length to average width ratio of single detached residential dwelling structures within a range of 2:1 to 4:1 in the General Residential GR-1 Zone to restrict the development of long, slender single detached dwelling structures.
1.2 Future Residential Expansion
Council wants to ensure adequate area is set aside for the development of alternate housing forms. Council also recognizes the need for land for additional residential development outside of the existing residential area and has designated land for future residential expansion on the Future Land Use Map.
Council will permit a wide range of housing types in the area for future residential expansion including single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, row housing, and apartments, which are located within an overall comprehensive land development project.
Council wants the area for future residential expansion to be developed through the use of a Comprehensive Development District as large areas of 2 hectares or more within a larger comprehensive development. The lot frontage and area requirements for the area designated for residential expansion on the Future Land Use Map shall be established through negotiation with the proponent. Innovative design will be encouraged.
It is the policy of Council to designate those areas suitable for future residential development within the boundaries of Cornwallis Park as “Future Residential” on the Future Land Use Map.
It is the policy of Council to enable development by Comprehensive Development Agreement in areas designated as “Future Residential” on the Future Land Use Map and allow by development agreement a mixture of residential uses and related recreational, home commercial and open space uses and to establish within the Land Use By-law a CDD zone which will allow such development. The minimum land area that shall be included in a comprehensive development agreement is 2 hectares (4.94 acres).
Pursuant to Policy 1.2.2 it shall be the policy of Council, when evaluating an agreement for a development within the Comprehensive Development District, to have regard to the proposed housing mixture and the criteria set out in the policies in Section 6.3.
Notwithstanding Policy 1.2.3 it is the policy of Council that special dwelling development design standards shall be included in the Land Use By-law to regulate the average length to average width ratio of single detached residential dwelling structures within a range of 2:1 to 4:1 in the Comprehensive Development District (CDD) Zone to restrict the development of long, slender single detached dwelling structures.
2. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
2.1 Environmental Concerns
Council is concerned with the protection of the water quality in Ditmar’s Brook from the possible effect of erosion and/or pollution from existing and future development in the general industrial area, the existing and future residential areas, and from the land outside of Cornwallis Park.
Council also wishes to retain a buffer area between the area designated as general industrial and the area designated as Future Residential on the Future Land Use Map. This land in the buffer area is owned by the Cornwallis Park Development Agency.
Council also wishes to retain a buffer area around the shore of Annapolis Basin as an area for the protection of water quality in the Basin and for future use as public open space.
It shall be the policy of Council to designate areas on the Future Land Use Map within the boundaries of Cornwallis Park as “Environmental Open Space” in which only limited development shall be permitted at locations where it is clearly demonstrated that such development will not be detrimental to the environment by causing excessive erosion or other detrimental consequences.
It is the policy of Council to include an Enviro Open Space OS Zone in the Land Use By-law in order to minimize the negative impact of development on Ditmar’s Brook and Annapolis Basin. Permitted uses in this zone shall include single family low density housing, water supply and distribution uses, public park or public recreational uses, conservation related uses and structures, utilities, forestry uses, and agricultural uses, but not including structures accessory to the forestry or agricultural use.
It is the policy of Council that a buffer area with a minimum depth of 100 metres be maintained from the centreline of any stream as part of the “Environmental Open Space” where the abutting land use
falls within the general industrial land use category as referenced in Policy 3.1.11.
It is the policy of Council that a buffer area with a minimum depth of 25 metres be maintained from the centreline of any stream or the shoreline of any water body as part of the “Environmental Open Space” where the abutting land use is other than as noted in Policy 2.1.3.
For clarification the measurement for the shoreline of any water body shall be taken from the ordinary high water mark.
It is the policy of Council that no new building or structure shall be permitted within the buffer area noted in Policy 2.1.4 other than wharves, boat houses, fishery related uses, and utilities. Any existing buildings within these buffer areas can be repaired and renovated and small additions will be permitted where they are required in order to meet the requirements of a building or safety code.
3. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT
3.1 Business Development and Job Creation
Council wishes to support the activities of the Cornwallis Park Development Agency in attracting new businesses and in the support of existing business within the area of Cornwallis Park. At the same time Council wishes to insure protection of the public and property values within and adjacent to the lands of Cornwallis Park.
Council is particularly concerned with the impact of any development of the land and existing buildings located south of Route 1 which are near and adjacent to the existing residential housing. However, Council also recognizes that it is desirable that development occur in this area so as to utilize the existing structures and the land surrounding them.
It is the policy of Council to designate those areas within the boundary of Cornwallis Park abutting the south side of Route 1 which are not residential in nature as “Restricted Business” on the Future Land Use Map.
It is the policy of Council to establish a Restricted Business RB Zone in the Land Use By-law which would permit housing and related uses, institutional uses, research and development uses, highway commercial uses, and industrial park uses which are not obnoxious in nature or otherwise incompatible with the adjacent residential uses.
It is the policy of Council in the Restricted Business Zone that vehicular access, parking areas, and loading areas be designed so as to minimize any negative visual or traffic impact on adjacent residential areas.
It is the policy of Council to designate an area for “Special Uses” on the Future Land Use Map south of the Restricted Business Area and
adjacent to the Existing Residential Area.
It is the policy of Council to establish a Special Use SU Zone in the Land Use By-law which would permit housing and related uses, institutional uses, research and development uses, and general business uses which are not obnoxious in nature or otherwise incompatible with the Existing Residential uses.
It is the policy of Council in the Special Use Zone that vehicular access, parking areas, and loading areas be designed so as to minimize any negative visual or traffic impacts on adjacent residential areas.
It is the policy of Council that the area of Cornwallis Park between Route 1 and the northern boundary of the lands of the former railway line of the Dominion Atlantic be designated as “Industrial Park” on the Future Land Use Map. A sub-area of the land designated as “Industrial Park”, which has frontage on Route 1 shall be designated as “Highway Commercial” on the Future Land Use Map
It is the policy of Council to establish an Industrial Park Ind1 Zone in the Land Use By-law which would permit a wide variety of commercial and industrial uses such as, but not limited to manufacturing; assembly, processing, or warehousing operations; institutional; research and development; general commercial; and highway commercial located on property with frontage on Route 1 but excluding such uses as bulk storage facilities, construction industries, salvage yards, sand and gravel storage, cement plants, dismembering-rendering plants, sawmills, plants for chemical treatment of timber resources, and facilities engaged in the production of fish meal except where these uses are accessory uses to other uses permitted in this zone
It is the policy of Council to designate an area on the Future Land Use Map within the boundaries of Cornwallis Park as “Institutional Business”.
It is the policy of Council to establish an Institutional Business IB Zone in the Land Use By-law which would permit a wide variety of institutional uses such as training and educational facilities; government buildings and uses; hospitals; churches and religious institutions; community centres; auditoriums; arts centres; concert halls; art galleries; sports arenas; stadiums; nursing homes; and senior citizens housing. Research and development uses, general business uses, and industrial park uses that are not obnoxious in nature would also be permitted in this zone.
It is the policy of Council to designate an area on the Future Land Use Map within the boundaries of Cornwallis Park as “General Industrial”.
It is the policy of Council to establish a General Industrial GI Zone in the Land Use By-law which will permit a complete range of industrial uses including those in the Industrial Park Zone including, by Development Agreement in accordance with the policies in Section 6.3, such uses as bulk storage facilities, salvage yards, sand and gravel storage, cement and concrete plants, dismembering-rendering plants, sawmills, plants for chemical treatment of timber resources, facilities engaged in the production of fish meal, and similar uses.
4. MUNICIPAL SERVICES
Council recognizes the need to assume responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the municipal services within Cornwallis Park as the area continues to develop. Council also recognizes the need to maintain flexibility with regards to land configuration in the area north of Route 1 in order to meet the future demands of industrial growth. The Municipality will provide services to property consistent with the standards elsewhere in the Municipality, as determined by Council.
The application of these policies may result in the takeover of only part of a system at any one time. This will insure flexibility with regard to land development patterns. The Municipality will continue to negotiate the takeover of the remainder of each system in accordance with these policies as further subdivision occurs and development patterns become established.
Policy 4.1.1 - Water System
It is the policy of Council to assume responsibility for the entire water system except certain parts that serve a single property and are located entirely within the boundaries of that property. The Municipality will establish a water utility and operate the system in accordance with the requirements of the Utilities and Review Board Act, as amended.
Definition: The entire system includes the water supply and related property, raw water transmission mains, raw water storage, the water treatment system, treated water storage, the distribution system, and hydrants including leads.
Policy 4.1.2 - Sanitary Sewer System
It is the policy of Council to assume responsibility for all the trunk and collector sanitary sewer mains and appurtenances including pumping stations, except those serving only one property and located entirely within the boundaries of that property.
It is the policy of Council to assume responsibility for the wastewater treatment plant.
Note: The recovery of all operation and maintenance costs will be in accordance with the Sewer Charges By-law.
Policy 4.1.3 - Stormwater System
It is the policy of Council to assume responsibility for the entire stormwater system except certain parts that serve a single property and are located entirely within the boundaries of that property.
Definition: The entire system includes storm catch basins and manholes, storm mains, culverts, outfalls, and ditches.
Policy 4.1.4 - Laterals
It is the policy of Council to be responsible for all water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater laterals located within a street to the limit of the street line.
Policy 4.1.5 - Streets
It is the policy of Council to take over sufficient street system so as to ensure that each individual property can be accessed from a public street.
Policy 4.1.6 - Solid Waste Resources
It is the policy of Council to provide residential solid waste services.
It is the policy of Council to ensure that a site or facility is available to receive solid waste resources from non-residential users.
Policy 4.1.7 - Erosion and Sediment Control
It is the policy of Council to require the submission of site grading and drainage plans with the application for a Building Permit.
5. GENERAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS
The topics that are to be addressed in this section concern policies governing the subdivision of land, development on public roads, development of land under certain existing conditions that ordinarily would not meet the requirements of a Land Use
By-law, general requirement provisions for all zones (such as parking, signage, home occupations) and the procedures governing the application of minor variances.
5.1 Subdivision Controls
Annapolis County has a Subdivision By-law which applies to the entire County. This By-law regulates the subdivision of land and sets out standards with respect to the construction of new roads and the installation of water and sewer services in new subdivision areas. When subdividing land, developers are required to provide a five percent dedication of land to the County for park and open space purposes or, in lieu of land, a cash equivalent. In addition, the Subdivision By-law for Annapolis County requires developers to pay for the construction of any new roads and the installation of water and sewer services.
Regulations for the subdivision of land shall be set out in the Subdivision By-law for Annapolis County. This Subdivision By-law shall include standards for the design and construction of roads, water and sewer services, and stormwater facilities as well as the parks levy and other requirements in accordance with the Planning Act.
All new lots subdivided in Cornwallis Park must meet the area and frontage requirements indicated in the Land Use By-law for the zone in which the subdivision is located. Although in most cases this is a satisfactory situation, there are some instances where it is not, such as where a development component is encroaching upon an immediately adjacent area of land.
It is the policy of Council that all new lots created in Cornwallis Park shall abut a municipal or provincial public street or highway. Thus the provision within the Subdivision By-law for Annapolis County concerning subdivision of lands to create lots that do not front on a municipal or provincial public street or highway is inoperative.
Provisions shall be included in the Land Use By-law to permit the creation of a new lot, to be known as a “flag lot”, at the rear of an existing lot, with reduced frontage provided that the rear portion of the existing lot has sufficient area to meet the By-law requirements for “flag lots”. Flag lots shall only be permitted in the IND1, IB, and GI zones.
Provisions shall be included in the Subdivision By-law to permit the subdivision of land where a development component of a permanent nature, such as a structure, driveway, well or septic tank is encroaching in or upon an immediately adjacent area of land. The lots affected may be subdivided to the extent necessary and practical to remove the encroachment. In addition, lots created by altering the boundaries of two or more areas of land, where no additional lots are created and the frontage and/or area if any has not been reduced shall be permitted. Provisions shall be included in the Land Use By-law to enable the issuance of development permits in the lots so created.
5.2 Existing Undersized Lots and Existing Buildings
The buildings in Cornwallis Park were originally located without regard to the possible need for future subdivision in order to provide a separate lot for each building. Since subdivision has now taken place, there may be lots that have less than the minimum frontage or area, or both, as required by the Land Use By-law. It is Council’s intent to permit these lots to be used for a purpose permitted in the zone in which they are located.
Provisions shall be included in the Land Use By-law to allow an existing lot, legally existing on or before the effective date of the Cornwallis Park Land Use By-law coming into force, having less than the minimum frontage or area or both, required by the Land Use By-law, to be used for a purpose permitted in the zone in which it is located.
Provisions shall be included in the Land Use By-law to allow for a building, erected on or before the effective date of the Cornwallis Park Land Use By-law coming into force, on a lot which does not meet the requirements of the Land Use By-law respecting lot area, frontage or setbacks to be enlarged, reconstructed, repaired or renovated, except as provided for in other policies of the Municipal Planning Strategy.
5.3 General Standards
The Land Use By-law shall set out development standards regarding yards, parking, accessory uses and structures and other matters which may vary according to the use, zone and location. The common theme throughout the By-law shall be to set relatively unrestrictive standards while still maintaining sufficient control to ensure good quality development, especially in residential areas.
In addition, Council wishes to permit residents to carry on small-scale businesses which can be operated in a minor or accessory capacity within a dwelling or attached garage, commonly called “Home Occupations”. This is intended to provide residents the benefit of reduced start-up and operating costs or the continued operation of small scale businesses, provided the activity has no detrimental impact on the residential nature of the neighbourhood. Other restrictions on home occupations include the limited use of signs and outdoor storage, and provision of adequate off-street parking. It is also the wish of Council to allow home occupations to be carried out in accessory buildings with appropriate standards according to the applicable nature of the specific zone the accessory use is developed in.
As provided for in the Planning Act, Council also wishes to regulate signs in order to strike a balance between the public right to be informed, the business/service right to advertise and the community right to limit visual pollution. To achieve their intended contribution to the quality and economic viability of community life, signs must be properly sized and located. To be effective, consideration must be given to the size, height and placement of signs relative to the particular driving or walking circumstances of the public. Consideration should also be given to sign design to ensure that the design blends with building architecture. Common pitfalls and problems that sign regulations will address are:
* more, bigger and higher - the perceived need to “keep up with competition”;
* traffic safety - sign placement in relation to the streets, driveway and parking isles to minimize lighting glare, confusion and distractions and maximize safety;
* structural safety - the need to ensure that signs meet building and electrical
code requirements and that regular maintenance is maintained;
* visual blight - signs as part of the public environment effect everyone in, near or passing through an area where signs are used, thus the need to encourage practices that address the need to improve and complement the street environment; and
* nuisance - the need to control any negative impact on neighbouring land uses from light glare, and noise.
Council also wishes to encourage business to employ good design practices and techniques to encourage expressive, appropriate and compatible sign design suitable
to specific business circumstances. This flexibility is not inherent in the regulatory approach to sign control, therefore, it is the intent of Council to provide for some measure of flexibility through the use of development agreements.
The Land Use By-law shall contain a “General Provisions For All Zones” section that sets out the development standards relating to matters such as parking and loading; accessory uses and structures; lighting; signage; permitted encroachments into yards and home occupations.
Parking space requirements and/or restrictions which vary according to the proposed use of the land shall be set out to ensure orderly traffic and pedestrian movement for aesthetic and safety reasons. Parking lot requirements shall include provisions with respect to the size and location of driveway accesses and the deflection of illumination of the lot away from adjacent lands.
Additional standards in the “General Provisions For All Zones” section of the Land Use By-law shall also include:
i. provisions respecting temporary buildings (eg. construction huts), temporary uses, and special occasions such as fairs. In addition, these activities shall not require a development permit, but there shall be a time restriction;
- ii. provisions respecting illumination from lights, such that it is directed away from abutting lots for privacy
and to prevent nuisance situations;
iii. provisions respecting swimming pools, to ensure they are consistent with an accessory use of land and within the residential designation and in accordance with the Annapolis County Swimming Pool Fencing By-law;
iv. provisions with respect to accessory buildings including lot coverage provisions to ensure a subordinate relationship to the main use;
v. provisions limiting the number of driveway accesses for a through lot to one for safety reasons;
vi. provisions with respect to permitted encroachments into yards to allow for some architectural flexibility and to allow wheelchair access;
vii. provision with respect to development in corner vision triangles for traffic movement for vehicular and pedestrian safety reasons; and
viii. provisions to permit the development of utilities within any zone or within the watercourse setback.
Sign requirements shall be included in a Sign Section of the Land Use By-law which, for public safety and visual appearance reasons, shall include provisions dealing with size, location, illumination, type and number of signs. In addition, certain types of signs, as specified, shall be prohibited completely or from specific zones, and other types of signs that do not require a development permit shall be permitted in all zones.
5.4 Minor Variance
Minor variance is a technique permitted under the NS Planning Act that allows for the relaxation of certain Land Use By-law requirements. Accordingly, only the Development Officer has the authority to grant a minor variance. A minor variance can only apply to the following:
- the percentage of land that may be built upon
- the size of yards and other open spaces
- lot frontage; and
- lot area.
As well, a minor variance can only be applied to those noted regulations when special
lot related circumstances warrant (such as the shape of the lot, the slope of the land, rock outcrops, large natural trees, wet areas, etc.) provided that these lot related circumstances are not general to the properties in the area. Additionally, a minor variance cannot be granted where the variance is not minor, in that it violates the intent of the Land Use By-law or the difficulty experienced results from the intentional disregard for the requirements of the Land Use By-law.
6.1 Responsibilities of Council
The Cornwallis Park Municipal Planning Strategy is a policy document that sets out land use policies directed toward the attainment of the general goals of the Council with respect to development in Cornwallis Park. In adopting these policies, Council does not commit itself to undertaking any of the projects therein suggested or outlined, but, by adopting these policies Council is prevented from undertaking any development within the scope of the Planning Strategy in any manner inconsistent or at variance therewith (Planning Act, Section 45). In other words, Council is not legally bound to undertake projects suggested in this Strategy but is indeed legally bound not to contravene the policies by, for example, approving a zoning amendment which the Strategy clearly indicates should not be approved.
This Municipal Planning Strategy shall be implemented by means of powers conferred upon Council by the Planning Act, the Municipal Act, and such other statutes as may be applicable.
This Municipal Planning Strategy has been prepared on the assumption that Cornwallis Park will continue to experience commercial and industrial development and some real population growth in the coming years. A major surge in development should be accompanied by a review of this Strategy’s policies, including consideration of a more complex approach to development control.
It is the policy of Council to review the policies of this Municipal Planning Strategy should a major surge of economic or population growth or decline occur in the area. In any event, a review of this Strategy should commence every five years as required by The Planning Act.
6.2 Land Use By-law and Amendments
A Land Use By-law is the principle mechanism by which land use policies shall be implemented. A Land Use By-law also defines applicable land use zones, permitted uses, and development standards which would reflect the policies of an area's municipal planning strategy pursuant to the provision of the Nova Scotia Planning Act.
The Cornwallis Park Land Use By-law shall be the principal mechanism by which the policies of the Cornwallis Park Municipal Planning Strategy shall be implemented. The Cornwallis Park Land Use By-law shall state - in text and map form - the zones, permitted uses, and development standards which shall be generally compatible with the policies of the Cornwallis Park Municipal Planning Strategy as enabled by the Planning Act. The Zoning Map, appended as Schedule "A" to the Land Use By-law, shall represent the geographical extent of all zones in the Cornwallis Park Planning Area. The following zones shall be established in the Land Use By-law:
General Residential GR-1
Comprehensive Development District DD
Enviro Open Space OS
Restricted Business RB
Special Use SU
Industrial Park IND1
Institutional Business IB
General Industrial GI
In considering amendments to the Land Use By-law Council shall, with the advice of staff, ensure that the amendment is in conformity with the intent and policies of this Strategy and with the requirements of the Planning Act, and that a written analysis is provided by staff which addresses whether the proposal is premature or inappropriate by reason of:
i. the financial capability of the County to absorb any costs relating to the development;
ii. the extent to which development which would be enabled might conflict with any adjacent or nearby land uses by reason of the type of use, compatibility of design and external appearance, impact of height, bulk and lot coverage of buildings, illumination, noise, dust, open storage, and signs;
iii. the adequacy and proximity of schools, recreation, and any other community facilities if such are relevant to the development;
iv. the adequacy of road networks, in, adjacent to, or leading to the development to reflect concerns for congestion and traffic hazards;
v. pedestrian and vehicle access to and from the site and parking;
vi. the potential for the contamination of watercourses, creation of erosion or sedimentation, or pollution;
vii. the adequacy of stormwater management and sewer and water services and utilities or, if central piped services are not provided, the adequacy of physical site conditions for private on-site sewer and water systems and stormwater management;
viii. the presence of significant natural or historical buildings or sites;
ix. the suitability of the proposed site in terms of steepness of grades, soil or geological conditions, and the relative location of watercourses and wetland such as marshes, fens, swamps and bogs; and
x. that the proposal is in conformity with the intent and policies of this Municipal Planning Strategy and any other applicable Municipal By-laws and Regulations.
Information required by Council for evaluation of a proposed land use by-law amendment may be required to be submitted (in text, map, or photographic form) by the applicant pursuant to Policy 6.3.3.
6.3 Development Agreements
A development agreement, like traditional zoning, is a tool for implementing a municipal planning strategy but, unlike traditional zoning techniques, the use of a development agreement can provide a flexible or negotiated approach to the development process without a loss of development control. A development agreement, therefore, is a formal written agreement between Council and a developer and as such is binding on both parties. As provided for under the Planning Act, where a Council intends to regulate development by development agreement, a Municipal Planning Strategy is required to have policy with regard to the following matters:
*the types of development to be considered by development agreement;
*those items which may form a part of the development agreement; and
*evaluation criteria which Council shall consider prior to entering into a development agreement.
In the Cornwallis Park Municipal Planning Strategy, policy on the types of development subject to development agreements are discussed in the policies of the land use sections and implemented by the Cornwallis Park Land Use By-law, while reference to
items to be included in a development agreement and evaluative criteria are found within the policy discussions as well as in this Implementation Section.
It is the policy of Council that in considering an application for a development agreement or an application for an amendment to a development agreement that Council, with the advice provided by staff in the form of a written analysis, shall have regard to the following, where applicable:
i. the adequacy and the proximity of the proposed development to recreational and other community facilities;
ii. the impact of the proposed development on existing adjacent or nearby land uses in the area with particular regard to the use and size of the structures that are proposed, buffering and landscaping, hours of operation for the proposed use (where applicable) and other similar features of the use and structure in order to minimize any potential land use conflicts with immediately abutting uses;
iii. the adequacy of municipal services with particular regard to the adequacy of the existing and proposed street network to handle the traffic to be generated by the development, and the demands on the municipal stormwater system, sanitary sewer systems, water system, fire protection, refuse collection, police protection, existing schools and churches;
iv. the adequacy of provisions for on-site sewage disposal and on-site water where not connected to a centralized municipal system;
v. the impact of and the adequacy of the proposed pedestrian and vehicular traffic circulation, with particular regard to the traffic that the development will generate and the adequacy of the proposed accesses to and from the site, traffic flows in and around the site in terms of its ability to handle any new traffic and the adequacy of the proposed parking areas;
vi. the impact of the proposed development on structures in the immediately abutting lots in terms of such things as height, roof line, setbacks and lot coverage to minimize any potential land use conflicts between the
proposed development and structures on abutting properties;
vii. the adequacy of the proposed lot to ensure that adequate screening and landscaping can be undertaken to minimize the potential for any land use conflicts with adjacent uses; and
viii. the suitability of the proposed site in terms of steepness of grades, soils and geological conditions, location of watercourses, wetlands such as marshes, fens, swamps and bogs and the proximity to highway ramps and other nuisance factors.
It is also the policy of Council to have regard to the provisions of Policy 6.3.2 concerning the content of a proposed development agreement and Policy 6.3.3 concerning the provision of information by the applicant.
It is the policy of Council, when considering an application for a development agreement or an application for an amendment to a development agreement, that the development agreement may include, but is not limited to, some or all of the following:
i. the specific use and size of a structure, either new or an expansion of an existing structure, the minimum lot sizes and accessory uses;
ii. the regulating or prohibiting the use of land or the erection or use of structures except for such purposes as may be set out in the agreement;
iii. the location of any structure within the development;
iv. the percentage of land area that may be built upon, setbacks and the size of yards, courts or other open spaces;
v. the external appearance of structures, in particular the compatibility with adjacent structures and uses in terms of architecture and appearance with respect to, but not limited to, height, roof type, window type, building cladding, and building footprint;
vi. adequacy of access to and from streets, and parking;
vii. adequacy of the proposed landscaping or buffering of development which may include fencing, vegetation, walkways and lighting and their compatibility with
adjacent structures and uses;
viii. signs and other forms of advertising, open storage and screening, the provision of services and utilities, time limits for the initiation of construction (and may include phased construction);
ix. the hours of operation and the maintenance of the property;
x. the maximum density of the population within the development; and
xi. any other matters that may be addressed in a Land Use By-law which Council feels is necessary to ensure the compatibility of the development with adjacent uses, structures and areas.
It is also the policy of Council that the agreement shall be accompanied by a boundary survey of the property certified by a Registered Nova Scotia Land Surveyor and to require, where applicable, a site plan or other clear description showing the existing and proposed site characteristics and the existing and proposed developments which shall form part of the agreement. A development agreement shall not require amendment to the Land Use By-law, but shall be binding to the property until the agreement or part thereof is discharged by the Council. Information required for evaluation of a proposed development agreement or amendment to an existing development agreement may be required to be submitted (in text, map, or photographic form) by the applicant pursuant to Policy 6.3.3.
Council shall require a boundary survey of the property certified by a Registered Nova Scotia Land Surveyor and may require any or all of the following information be submitted (in text, map or photographic form) by the applicant with respect to applications for Land Use By-law amendments, development agreements or amendments to an existing development agreement:
- i. information as to the physical and environmental characteristics of the proposed site including information regarding topography, contours, elevations, dimensions, natural drainage, soils, existing watercourses, vegetative cover, size and location of the lands;
ii. information as to the proposed location, height, dimensions and use of all buildings or structures proposed to be built, erected, or altered on the lands;
iii. information as to the adequacy of the proposed provisions for site drainage and servicing with water supply and sewage disposal or, if central piped services are not provided, the adequacy of physical site conditions for private on-site sewer and water systems and stormwater management;
iv. information as to the adequacy of the proposed access to and from the lands and estimated traffic flows to be generated and parking provisions;
v. information as to intended hours of operation, open storage, signs;
vi. information as to provision of an appropriate buffering between the proposed development and the adjacent structures and/or uses; and
vii presence of significant natural features or historical buildings or sites of historical or archaeological significance.
6.4 Completeness of Applications
Applications for development agreements or Land Use By-law amendments, whether a rezoning or a text amendment, require careful consideration of the circumstances surrounding the request. In such instances, adequate information must be supplied by the applicant. However, because the complexity of requests vary, the nature of the information that Council will require to assess the request will also vary. Thus, Council feels it is appropriate that the applicant provides as much information as possible.
A completed application shall be required to be submitted to the Municipal Clerk with sufficient information included to support the request.
6.5 Advertising Cost Recovery
The NS Planning Act permits a municipality to recover notification and advertisement costs associated with land use by-law amendments and development agreements, including amendments to existing development agreements.
It is the policy of Council to include provisions in the Land Use By-law regarding an administration deposit fee to recover the cost of advertising for Land Use By-law Amendments, and Development Agreements, including the amendment thereto of an existing development agreement and the processing costs for notification of affected property owners. As estimated by the Clerk, an amount sufficient to pay the cost of all advertising and notification with respect to the application shall be deposited with the Clerk by the applicant. Should the notification or advertising cost be more than the established deposit, then the applicant may be billed for the difference, or if the cost is less than the established deposit, the applicant shall be refunded the difference.
6.6 Public Participation Program
As outlined at the beginning of this Municipal Planning Strategy, Council undertook a public consultation process. It was designed to involve the residents of Cornwallis Park area of Annapolis County and to solicit their input in the development of the Cornwallis Park Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law. This public participation process involved newspaper articles, meeting notice advertisements, open Cornwallis Park Area Advisory Committee and Planning Advisory Committee meetings and open house format public meetings. As defined by the policies of the Municipal Planning Strategy, where applicable, text changes, rezonings, developments agreements and amendments are enabled. As part of these processes, public notification is required. Council, however, feels that because this Municipal Planning Strategy is a public document, the public must be informed of such development agreements or land use by-law amendments, that is above and beyond the statutory public hearing. Alternately, special requirements for public participation for amendments to this Municipal Planning Strategy have been defined in the Planning Act.
It is the policy of Council that a public participation program for land use by-law text or rezoning amendments, development agreements or their subsequent amendment and amendments to this Municipal Planning Strategy shall consist of the following:
i. Referral of the application to the Planning Advisory Committee;
ii. Clerk notifies Development Officer and Chair of the Planning Advisory Committees of the application and sets meeting date (may be after meeting of the
Cornwallis Park Area Advisory Committee);
iii. Public advertisement of meeting in at least one (1) local newspaper (Advertisement specifies date, time and place of meeting, the matter to be discussed, the specific property, if any, affected and also that information is available at the office of the Municipal Clerk during regular business hours, except holidays, or at the meeting);
iv. Planning Advisory Committee meets. Prior to any discussion among Committee members, any citizens in attendance are afforded an opportunity to ask questions and obtain further information about the application.
Council may, in any matter, choose to extend the public participation process more widely, require the Development Officer to notify all landowners within a minimum 200-foot radius of affected area by personal service or regular mail, require more advertisements or more information in the advertisement or otherwise vary the public participation process, so long as the minimum set out above is met.
Council, in the case of a Land Use By-law amendment or development agreement or their subsequent amendment which does not require Ministerial approval, allows the Municipal Clerk to refer the application to the Planning Advisory Committee for recommendation and to set and advertise a date for a public hearing for Council.
6.7 Notes To Readers
To assist in the use of this Strategy and the accompanying Land Use By-law, it is useful to include unofficial notes to the readers in the form of examples, diagrams, or explanations.
It is the policy of Council to include in the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law a number of “Notes to Readers”; these are for information and clarification purposes only, and do not form part the Strategy or Land Use By-law. Altering, deleting or adding such notes in the future shall be by resolution of Council and shall not require official amendment of the Land Use By-law.