By Richard Bell
Summary: HRM's Planning Department has rejected the rezoning application from Lawrence Bellefontaine's Kiann Management Limited of a site on Highway 7 in Porters Lake for use as a construction and demolition debris (C&D) recycling plant.
The letter below from HRM Principal Planner Thea Langille to Lawrence Bellefontaine, head of Kiann Management Limited, lays out the Planning Department’s principal reasons for rejecting Kiann Management’s request to rezone a parcel of land on Route 7 in Porters Lake for use as a construction & demolition debris (C&D) recycling plant:
- Incompatibility given proximity to 2 designated regional Rural Growth Centres
- Traffic congestion because of the long distance from Highway 107
- Inadequate buffering and screen, in part due to the 2008 forest fire, to reduce visual and/or noise in surrounding residential development
As for public opposition, Langille does note: “The vast majority of community members have requested the rejection of the application by the Municipality.”
August 29th, 2016
Kiann Management Limited
160 Fountaine Court
West Chezzetcook, NS
Dear Mr. Bellefontaine,
Re: Case 19800: Application by Kiann Management Limited to rezone 14.7 acres from the RE (Rural Enterprise) zone to CD-2 (C&D Materials Processing Facilities) zone to permit a Construction and Demolition Waste Processing Facility at PID 40740276, Highway 7, Porters Lake. [original emphasis]
Thank you for the opportunity to meet on August 29th, 2016 to discuss the above noted application. This letter is intended to summarize the discussions of the meeting.
Public Consultation Process
The public consultation stage of this rezoning application has been completed. Public consultation consisted of a HRM Planning Applications website, a Frequently Asked Question sheet and 2 full day Open Houses in Lake Echo (March 2 and May 7). The Open Houses were the major component of the public consultation process for this proposal. Staff hosted two open house format engagement sessions with the public. More than 200 residents from the Porters Lake, Lake Echo, Minesville and Preston communities attended. Staff received 118 responses to the written questionnaire that was provided at the Open Houses. We also received additional feedback via comment boards, as well as by email. The community feedback collected for this application is being summarized in a Community Engagement report. The report is being finalized and will be available in the near future. To summarize the report, the major concerns expressed by the community were the existing site conditions, location suitability, environmental impacts, and traffic and road suitability. The vast majority of community members have requested the rejection of the application by the Municipality.
Staff Position on Planning Application
Municipal planning documents adopted or amended prior to 2002 did not recognize C&D transfer stations and processing facilities as unique forms of land use. The use was considered as salvage yards and “industrial” or “processing” operations. These standards were inappropriate in addressing unique siting, land use and other aspects of the C&D industry and potential impacts on a community. Therefore, in order to ensure consistency and to address these concerns, new C&D transfer and processing operations are to be considered by rezoning. The rezoning process is designed to ensure the proposed site will have a minimal impact on adjacent land uses, the environment and surrounding residential development. The rezoning process also relies on the site being suitable (site characteristics and location) without relying on conditions or requirements that could typically be negotiated in a development agreement process to ensure suitability. The rezoning process also ensures that public consultation forms part of the process for considering new operations. Further, the site plan approval process is be used for all C&D operations to address compatibility issues on a site-specific basis.
The property is located in very close proximity to two of the Rural Growth Centres (Lake Echo and Porters Lake) established under the Regional Plan. These Rural Growth Centres are intended to support a mix of low to medium density residential development, convenience commercial, institutional and recreational uses. Construction and Demolition Processing Facility in such close proximately to these residential growth centres is a concern from the perspective of compatibility.
Staff recognizes that Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal have provided their initial comments on this matter and have indicated they do not have any concerns regarding the anticipated levels of traffic. However, plan policy also requires that the development not cause a traffic hazard due to the nature of the traffic created nor be inappropriate by reason of the adequacy of road network leading to the proposed site. The proposed site is a considerable distance from Highway #107. It is approximately 6.5km from the Exit #18 Lake Echo and approximately 4.5km from Exit #19 Porters Lake along Highway #7. The physical location of the proposed site in relation to its proximity to Highway #107 and surrounding communities raises concerns in relation to the nature of the traffic created and adequacy of the road network leading to the proposed site. The truck traffic related to the proposed Processing Facility will travel along the Highway #7 through the communities of either Lake Echo or Porters Lake a considerable distance to reach the proposed site.
The subject property also has significant site constraints given the 2008 forest fire. Plan policies require consideration of an adequate buffering and screening to reduce any visual and/or noise intrusion to the surrounding residential development. The site characteristics (very limited vegetation and high elevation) do not enable sufficient buffering or screening with the use of natural vegetation and the existing site conditions. While replanting and berms can be established for screening and buffering, it is staff opinion this is not sufficient and cannot be ensured through the rezoning process. Staff completed a detailed review of all the information provided to date on the proposed Construction and Demolition Waste Processing Facility. After careful consideration and evaluation staff is of the opinion that the proposed rezoning is not reasonably consistent with the intent of policies P-46G (enabling policy) and P-89 (implementation policy). It is our opinion the subject property (14.7 acres) is not a suitable location for a Construction and Demolition Processing Facility based on policy evaluation criteria and public input.
More specifically, the subject property is not a reasonable site for a new Construction and Demolition Processing Facility from the perspective of physical location, placement in the community and proximity to the major road network (Highway #107), and site characteristics. As discussed, if you wish to proceed with this application staff must provide Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council with a negative recommendation, as the proposal is not reasonably consistent with the intent of policy.
Please give the information provided in this letter some consideration and advise as to how you wish to proceed with this application. Also, please do not hesitate to contact me if you wish to discuss this in more detail.
Principal Planner, MCIP LPP Planning & Development
Halifax Regional Municipality
Email [email protected]