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Mailbag January 31, 2013

These are the letters and comments from the print edition

Hands off Armdale
As an Armdale resident, I have been attending the Purcells Cove Water and Sewage community steering committee meetings and paying careful attention to what is happening here and in the surrounding area.

As many of you know, HRM has been looking into the feasibility of extending water and sewage service to Purcells Cove. This has been met with overwhelming---and growing--- resistance from residents, property owners and neighbours from the surrounding area. An additional backlash is being felt from people who care about preserving the Purcells Cove backlands.

There are several problematic issues that arise with extending these services to Purcells Cove. Area residents have said several times that they don’t want it. Many are quite happy with the wells and septic systems they have now. Most are concerned about the costs to them and also fear the extension of these services will mean increased development in the area.

They have good reason to be concerned. This is not just a case of NIMBY. New development in the Purcells Cove area to a degree sufficient to even make the extension of these services cost-effective will have some alarming consequences.

For starters---and this should be a non-starter---development in this area in no way aligns with HRM’s regional plan. This is not a designated growth centre. Indeed, the very fact that there isn’t already service in the area should be re-directing the municipality’s, and developers’, focus to serviced areas in the regional core that can be developed much more easily. Our municipality actually has some very good plans for development. We should follow them.

The Purcells Cove backland is one of our natural treasures that should be preserved. It is a quick drive, a ride on the #15 or #20 buses or a pleasant bike ride (with lanes) up Purcells Cove Road away from the peninsula. It is a precious and unique opportunity for urban dwellers to quickly escape back to nature, swim in a great lake or hike through miles of trails. Birders will tell you this is one of the best places in the province to see a wide variety of species.

Finally, increased development in this area will increase pressure on a transit infrastructure that is already overburdened. Every morning I see cars backed up for hundreds of metres along Purcells Cove Road heading inbound to the roundabout.

Let’s say yes to development that makes sense. Let’s say yes to a regional development plan that is integrated with a transit plan. Let’s say yes to a plan that saves taxpayers money by focusing on already serviced areas. Say yes to a plan that respects and preserves the natural beauty of our community. Let’s say no to extending water and sewage service to Purcells Cove.

We only have one opportunity to save the backland. Will we seize it or will we squander it? —Drew Moore, Armdale

Plan earlier
Council must make decisions in line with the municipal plan, and if they do otherwise the developer will appeal and they’ll lose at the UARB (“Strip malling Tantallon,” Reality Bites by Chris Benjamin, January 17). I doubt the changes will be made before council is forced to make a decision on this one. This is why it’s so important to get involved when your municipal plan is being written/updated---it’s crucial to get it right the first time. —posted by hipp5 at

These folks live far enough outside town that they have to be “car-oriented” and “driving-centred.” The kind of thinking embodied here is about as asinine as anyone who thinks the Village Shops area of Dartmouth Crossing is “pedestrian-oriented.”

What they’re saying is, for their occasional local shopping--- where they still drive to this local cluster of stores---they want it to look pretty. —posted by Realist in Dartmouth

Last week we incorrectly reported that Ken Donnelly is a member of the community monitoring committee, which oversees the landfill (“Trash talk at city hall” by Chris Benjamin, January 24). He is not. Rather, Donnelly has been retained by that committee to promote public consultation for an upcoming review of landfill operations.

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