Important Update from Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL)

January 28, 2023 — Councillor Leitha Haysom reached out to the group via the Facebook Administrator last night to let Friends of Cherry Hill know about a MODL review of the repealed provincial Tourism Accommodation Act (TAA) that concluded with MODL action and recommendations to the province. This comprehensive Regulatory scheme was enacted from 1994/1995 to 2020.

It was the first agenda item for the council meeting yesterday and was in relation to a MODL Council draft letter regarding the Provincial Tourism Accommodation Act. The information below is a transcript of a recording, which can be found here, presented by MODL CAO Tom MacEwan. It is very comprehensive, and you are encouraged to listen and/or read the transcript below. 

As part of review of the proposed Cherry Hill RV park development, we learned the TAA did in fact, impose a number of requirements of the owners/ operations of camping establishments; a comprehensive scheme: licensing, reporting, inspection by Accommodation Officer; construction & plan requirements including the location of camping establishments in relation to the highway; location of any roads; size of individual camp sites; location and separate plan of service buildings, location of water systems and outlets & location/type of sewage system; written approval of Dept of Environment  for water distribution systems, sewage collection & disposal and garbage disposal; written approval from municipality regarding zoning; minimum size requirement for campsite at least 1200 sq ft;  road fringe requirements for campsites were a minimum of 20 feet; parking requirements; provision of adequate and potable water supply approved by the Dept of Environment; annual analysis of water quality; direction given regarding central washrooms and showers if provided;  sewage disposals systems if provided;  approval of garbage collection by Accommodation Officer, approval of refuse/garbage containers by Accommodation Officer; restrictions regarding campfire and cooking; publishing of campground rules; staffing - at least attendance of 1 competent adult, at all times.

In 2020, the province proclaimed/Enforced the “Tourist Accommodation Registration Act” (TARA)- which is primarily a registration system, focused on requiring hosts and platform operators to register and for platform operators to maintain records.

TARA only applies to fixed roof accommodations. It does not apply to campgrounds or RV sites; there is a gap in the legislation and it hasn’t been replaced with any other act - MODL pointed out issue/gap; pointed out that in our particular municipality which is not a planned municipal unit, it will be years before the entire municipality is covered by Municipal planning stagey and land use by-laws which means, for the next number of years no provincial or municipal regulations are in place, governing the development of camping ground and RV parks.

The letter requests that the province take immediate action to reverse Its decision and to reimplement the regulatory scheme as was found in TAA; reinstate and/or reintroduce the scheme as part of the new TARA or as a stand-alone legislation. 

The Council landed on the draft letter being sent to the Premier, Minister Pat Dunn - Minister of Community culture & Heritage who is responsible for Act, local MLAs (Susan Corkum-Greek and Honorable Becky Druhan), and to cc all cabinet members – as this issue can arise in any area and that way everyone is apprised of what is happening. 

Honorable Mayor Getson reported (as per the recording) that she has spoken with the premier, local MLAs and Minister of Municipal Affairs to raised MODL concerns about the significant impact this has had in Lunenburg County. She noted that there is a sense that MODL is the first municipality to date, to experience a situation where a proposed campground is opposed, since the TARA superseded the TAA that does not contain any regulations around campgrounds.

The letter was approved unanimously following a motion brought forward by our very own Councillor, Leitha Haysom.

Although this does not resolve the immediate issue here in Cherry Hill, this is significant Folk. Recognition needs to be given to our Counsellor who has been a champion for her constituents from the beginning, working tirelessly to support Cherry Hill community; as well as to the CEO, Mayor and Council for taking a proactive leadership role in reviewing and addressing the significant gap in the new Act. There have been significant council resources dedicated to the review and follow-up action – they are responding to the significant community feedback they have received over the past several months as result of the actions of the many people supporting the issue in Cherry Hill  through letters, phone calls, emails - you are all making a difference in shaping the future of our communities in Lunenburg  county!!!
Once the letter has been sent, there will be an update including, a template letter every person on this page can send to the provincial government asking them to act on MODL’s recommendations. This is an important step in the right direction in regards to the larger issue of lacking campground regulations in NS. Stay tuned!

Wow!! In just a few months, over 5,000 members of the public from all over Canada and the USA have shown their unanimous support for the local residents by signing an online petition that opposes the commercial RV development. PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION


* indicates required
Please double-check your email address


* indicates required
Please double-check your email address