Big project, little view
If you have to fill in part of the Bay to make the project work, it is just wrong
TANTALLON (28 November 2005) -- THE MUCH talked about 'Ingramport Development' is up for discussion at a public hearing on tonight at the Fire Hall in Black Point.
It appears the development proposal is inching its way toward approval despite an overwhelming objection from the public at large. This may be a classic case of nobody wanting to take charge and all kinds of others to blame.
The proposal calls for construction of a 17 unit condominium and marina. Sounds nice except for the fact the developers need to fill in part of St. Margaret's Bay and build a substantial breakwater to make the project work.
To complete all that, Destiny Developments must have approvals from a dizzying array of government departments at all levels: federal, provincial and municipal. The approval process is daunting, on paper. However, it may very well be the process that will allow the project to go forward.
The feds concern themselves with the ocean and up to the high water mark of the tides. They may find nothing wrong with the small questions asked for their approval. The province, meanwhile, will be asked about their concern for the coastline. And, HRM will respond to whether the project meets their planning objectives and groundwater concerns. Broken into its little pieces, each level of government can find some comfort that their specific rules may be met and each will have the comfort of blaming the other for any shortcomings or bent noses.
The problem is that nobody seems to be looking at the big picture. Nobody, that is, except the neighbours and public at large, none of whom has a veto.
There has been much debate about this proposal and the weight is opposed to this particular development in this particular location. Many of the dissident voices have made it quite clear that they are not opposed to development in general, just this development in particular.
It should be an interesting meeting on Monday, even if only to see who sits on the hot seat. Doubtful that we'll see Geoff Regan or Judy Streatch extending the debate. Doubtful too that Gary Meade will wax eloquent. However, you can count on a measure of excited concern from community groups and neighbours whose collective voice will be loud, even if nobody will be listening.
If the three levels of government will not look at the big picture, then let's state a simple view once again. If you have to fill in part of the Bay to make the project work, it is just wrong.
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