PROTECT CHERRY HILL NATURE: RESIDENTS OPPOSE RV PARK DEVELOPMENT
BELOW ARE SOME OF THE LETTERS THAT HAVE BEEN WRITTEN TO POLITICIANS ON OUR BEHALF
This is the letter I sent to all levels of government. I hope it represents us well.
I am reaching out to you as a concerned resident of rural Lunenburg County and Nova Scotia. I live close to Cherry Hill beach. I chose to live here because of the beach and the environment of this region, in fact. I was very alarmed to learn that an RV park is planned for Henry Conrad Road, which leads to the beach. I was profoundly disappointed to learn that no level of government has any policy, regulation, or law that could influence the approach to commercial development taken by the landowners.
These landowners bought land to build their home on, and then nearby land that abuts three other residential properties. Almost all of the surrounding properties are year-round residents, except for the local fire hall. That a property in this area could be used for commercial development with no review or consultation is stunning. This is a tiny community that would be negatively affected by an RV park in the middle of it. The lack of consultation and communication from those planning to create this business implies that they too recognise that it is a change unlikely to be popular with their neighbours.
We are deeply concerned, as the density of occupation that an RV park will accommodate will have considerable noise, light, garbage, and road use impacts; as well as the obvious impact of a large increase in the number of people living for the summer season in a sensitive beach area. We all realise that development may happen. None of us would object to a few more homes, or even rental cottages, but this thoughtless “development’: razing a forested and wetland area to place gravel pads for trailers, gives nothing to the community. It privileges short term gain over long term impact on the most valuable resource Nova Scotia has: our beautiful coastline. That there is no planning in place yet to guide sustainable development near the coast is frustrating, to say the least. I urge you in your capacity as an elected official to place the long term well-being of our most important asset, our beautiful environment, ahead of short term and very limited business gain. All residents, citizens, and tax payers need to be responsible to each other, and the long term well-being of Nova Scotia and Canada. It is unconscionable to sit by and watch our coastal environment be exploited for short term gain of the very few.
Thank you for your attention to this urgently important matter.
Anne Marie Lane Jonah, Cherry Hill, NS
This is the letter I sent to provincial government representatives.
My name is Susan Wood. My husband and I own property at 127 Henry Conrad Road in Cherry Hill. This is the road that abuts Cherry Hill Beach which has already been declared a protected beach and is a proposed Nature Reserve – awaiting reading in the House.
This property is our full-time home - we purchased it 5 years ago and moved here permanently over 2 years ago. What drew us here? The rural residential community that included the ocean, nature, quietness and overall, an ecological environment that thrives and of course, the “neighbourhood” of like-minded people who value the same environment (figuratively and literally). The majority of residences are full-time on this road. While I fully expected the property (6 acres of swamp) that abuts us to the NorthEast would eventually be developed, I expected it would be residential development. NEVER did I imagine I would be living next door to a RV Park - I certainly would not have purchased property here, had I been aware that commercial development is a "free for all" in NS.
I have been devastated to find out that our property, our back yard, our retirement investment, will become an “extension” of a “Seasonal” RV Park. If I had wanted that, I would have moved to Green Bay - A great example of what unregulated development can do with the invasion of RV parks. I will be clear - the vast majority of residents in this area, DO NOT want that to happen here. Eagle Head, Owls Head, Kingsburg, Eisner Cove Wetland…ALL of these are provincial examples of public groundswell to hold government responsible and accountable to protecting NS shorelines/shoreline communities. How much more of our beautiful NS coastal regions do we need to lose before government will act responsibility, in a timely way? It seems that concerned and responsible people are constantly fighting disinterested government and public officials who have the authority and ability to place legislation, moratoriums in place to protect our precious shorelines NOW.
I was absolutely appalled, to learn that without municipal/provinical bylaws/laws in place, the owners can do “whatever they want” with this land. Perhaps, you are going to tell me that these issues are not provincial, they are municipal - and the municipality will tell me it is provincial. These issues are BOTH. The neighbours have explored all avenues to address our concerns – provincial and municipal. Our community, your constituents, are powerless in this situation ,“hostages” to commercialism and are seeking support from government - What can the provincial government do NOW, to look out for me as a resident, constituent and tax payer? You may also speak to the mandate for Municipalities’ for the “MODL 2040” however, this does NOTHING to protect residential communities or NS shorelines NOW - it only gives commercial industry “time” (and lots of it) to get in and develop before the deadline - which is exactly what is happening.
Appropriate commercial development, yes, I get that; however, putting a 15+ RV park in the middle of a residential road to a protected wetland - that is just lost on me. The fact that the people /the residents who live here, who it impacts significantly, don’t even have an opportunity for input? Well, I guess I know where the provincial priorities lie - in the corporate world.
While I know tourism is a key industry in this province and our shorelines draw many people here, I do feel the province needs to do more, much more quickly, to support appropriate commercial development in residential communities and coastal communities. Without this, the erosion of the culture/environment that draws so many of us here in the first place, will be destroyed and then, what are we left with?
The ask is that the Provincial government consider a moratorium be put into place on development in the coastal areas until the Costal Protection Act goes into effect in 2023 including:
• submission of mandatory development plans for ALL commercial projects—RV Parks and campgrounds included
• mandatory consultation with communities
• review to ensure the proposal supports the existing community cultural, environmental, and ecological priorities
All governments (Provincial and Municipal), residents, citizens, and tax payers need to be responsible to each other, and the long term well-being of Nova Scotia and Canada. It is unconscionable to sit by and watch our coastal environment be exploited for short term gain of the very few.
The community is speaking out about this proposed RV park in Cherry Hill - YOUR constituents are telling the government (you) that this proposed development is wrong! We are asking you to listen and act, as our provincial representative:
1) There were almost 100 people who attended a community meeting last Friday night who expressed concern about this proposed development Click here to read CBC News report
Sadly, I understand you were invited to attend the meeting and speak however, you were unable to and no representative was sent in your place - this is very unfortunate; even the opposition party made sure there was representation there to speak.
2) Over 2,000 people have signed an online petition, in less than a week…
Given, you were unable to attend this community meeting, I would like to offer you an opportunity to come to Cherry Hill, at a time that is workable for you, and meet with your constituents; not only to hear our concerns about the local issue and to offer suggestions as to how we/government may be able to address this matter, but also the larger matter of of the province constantly playing “catch-up” to protect the costal regions of NS while they are being "whittled away" by not only the weather but also, the lack of accountability and immediate and strong actions of both the municipal and provincial governments.
We understand that project development is imminent, and are hopeful for a meeting sooner rather than later.
Thank you for your attention to this urgently important matter. Any direction and support you can offer to us here in Cherry Hill, is greatly appreciated.
BELOW ARE SOME COMMENTS FROM RESIDENTS AND VISITORS
Our world is waking up quickly -- because it must -- to the loss of healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. What we know is that the wellbeing and flourishing of human life is linked intrinsically to nonhuman life, the plants, soils and waters of earth. Knowing our planet is in danger, why would we ever intentionally sacrifice a precious tidal ecosystem for a mere recreation project? To do so would be a grave mistake and deeply disrespectful to future generations -- my grandchildren and yours -- who will look back at this time in disbelief if we have failed to preserve this fragile ecosystem for their children.