Something fresh and unusual happened last night: HRM citizens leaving Council chambers after a Public Hearing and Council vote were smiling. I might even characterize it as grinning broadly. It’s been a long time coming, but last night’s unanimous Council decision to approve bylaw amendments to deter further private infilling on the North West Arm is an essential step towards better coastal management in HRM. Dedicated city staff, Councilors and community groups should be congratulated for their foresight and perseverance around this issue, as should Council as a whole for their leadership in approving these amendments. This process and the resulting bylaw changes should now be replicated – having done it once it should be quicker next time – in other parts of HRM where private infilling of water lots is causing similarly egregious public harm and ecological damage. When this happens, smiling citizens could become as commonplace as outdoor patios on Argyle street in the summer.
Jennifer GrahamCoastal CoordinatorEcology Action Centrecoastal@ecologyaction.ca
By Jennifer Graham