Racing against regulations, developers rush to build seaside properties in danger zones
When Steve Howe took a late December trip to the nearby beach at Green Bay, he found excavators levelling the sand dunes he once walked with his children to clear the site for a building and new gravel pad for RVs.
By Moira Donovan
Canada's National Observer
January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023 — The desire for waterfront property on Canada’s east coast is fuelling a shoreline building boom, as landowners and developers rush to beat pending regulations aimed at curbing coastal development.

Climate change makes living in seaside locations increasingly perilous, yet Nova Scotia has long lacked regulations governing how far buildings must be set back from the ocean and some municipalities still have no zoning rules at all.

The risks became particularly clear in September 2022 when hurricane Fiona struck the region, carving off chunks of shoreline and flattening dunes in Nova Scotia and P.E.I., and flooding homes in Newfoundland.

Despite the obvious hazards, buildings are still going up on wetlands or in dune environments, which scientists and environmentalists say should be left in their natural state to provide a crucial buffer against erosion and storm surges.

To address the ongoing threat of coastal erosion and sea level rise, as well as the gaps in planning, the province instituted a coastal protection act in 2019 — first-of-its-kind legislation in Canada that will stipulate how far back, and up, from the water people are required to build. The province has said regulations would arrive sometime this year.

> Click here to read the entire article

Cherry Hill recreational vehicle park proposal raises concerns among residents
Site owners say they’re working within land use rules
By Keith Corcoran
November 2, 2022
LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
A Division of Advocate Media Inc.
Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

CHERRY HILL November 2, 2022— The future use of some, or all, of nearly three hectares of vacant woodland here is at the centre of an ongoing community argument involving the importance of land and environmental protections and the freedom of private property ownership to choose what they want to do with their own land.

The Henry Conrad Road site in question is owned by Bob Clark and Dana Cole-Clark of Kings County, who also have a home neighbouring the property where plans are in the works for a seasonal recreational vehicle (RV) park, large enough to host 15 RVs during the summer. The couple, who operate a home-care business, are considering making Lunenburg County their year-round home as they transition into retirement.

Cole-Clark said the RV development will help with she and her husband’s retirement goals. They bought the land about six years ago and see it as a future investment for their two children.

Avid campers, the Clarks liked the idea of a RV park after hearing from friends who talked about having places to lease land for travel trailers.

If all goes according to plan, the site will open to RVs in 2023. Clark said regulatory approvals and requirements have been met. At the time of a phone interview with LighthouseNOW, the couple were waiting for an excavator to establish a driveway to the site.

While there is some community and neighbour support for what the Clark’s are doing, there is a constituency of resistance.

The RV park will “be in my backyard if it goes through,” said Cherry Hill resident Steve Howe, who’s helped lead an online and grassroots campaign in opposition of the project.

The Clark’s proposal is near a local beach but doesn’t abut it. Howe is among those who believe such development will negatively affect the beach, neighbouring properties, and the natural environment and wildlife habitat.

> Click here to read the entire article

TO THE EDITOR, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
Reader gives thumbs-up to recent story (SEE ARTICLE ABOVE)

Thank you, Keith Corcoran, for the story in the Nov. 2 edition of LighthouseNOW on the proposed RV Park in Cherry Hill. It was a balanced report showing the different points of view about the development.

The concern of many in our community is that a trailer park of 15 RV's will quadruple the residential population during the critical nesting season of birds and other animals. Bob and Dana Clark, the developers, are correct in saying their plans meet all existing land use rules.

This is easy to say in Cherry Hill, because there are no rules covering commercial development in a residential area, let alone next to a nature preserve.

Shame on our municipal and provincial governments which permit 'reckless' development to encroach on nature reserves. Pristine natural areas need to be protected, not developed. Shame on the municipal and provincial governments which permit commercial development without community consultation. Shame on developers who know the sensitive requirements of species-at-risk, or should know, and then choose to ignore them in a headlong rush to make a buck.

For more information see:

Rick Chataway Cherry Hill

Neighbours raise concerns over proposed South Shore RV park

Online petition launched against proposed 15-space RV park at Cherry Hill Beach

By Jack Julian · CBC News · Posted: Oct 07, 2022 9:02 PM AT | Last Updated: October 7

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The 2.5 hectare property where the 15 RV pads would sit is located about 150 metres from the Cherry Hill Beach public parking lot on Nova Scotia's South Shore. (Google, Access Nova Scotia)

Some residents living near Cherry Hill Beach on the province's South Shore say they have concerns about a 15-space RV park proposed for the area.

Steve Howe, who lives in one of the houses closest to the public beach, believes it could have impacts on the landscape.

"It's almost completely undeveloped," Howe said. "It's just beautiful and it's pristine."

Howe said the small public parking lot for the beach fills up quickly in good weather, and cars have to park on the sides of Henry Conrad Road.

He thinks the impact from temporary visitors is different than that of 15 families staying all summer long.

"People come down for a weekend and visit, or for a day, and then they go home. The RV park would just quadruple the population that's already there," Howe said.

Howe has organized an online petition against the project and held a public meeting Friday evening at the community hall in nearby Voglers Cove.

> Read more on CBC Nova Scotia online

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October 6, 2022
by NatureNS Executive Director, Becky Parker

“Canada’s Ocean Playground” has a problem. Our coastline is increasingly developed into private vacation homes and tourism attractions, while local access, traditional use, and wildlife habitat are pushed to the side. Nova Scotia has 13,000 km of coastline and sea levels are expected to rise at least 1 m over the next 80 years. Over 70% of Nova Scotia’s population lives in coastal communities, but we aren’t alone. We share these unforgiving seascapes with an increasingly threatened biodiversity, including species like the quintessential Piping Plover.

Shorebirds face a number of threats on our beaches and many of them are related to human development; habitat loss resulting directly from coastal development, increased predation due to human garbage attracting raccoons and foxes, and breeding season disturbance due to off-leash dogs are just a few of the stressors keeping many shorebird species from recovering their pre-colonization numbers. The 2019 State of Canada’s Birds report estimates a national historic loss of 40-60% of our shorebirds, overall, and the most recent federal Piping Plover Status Report estimates a decline in this species of at least 13% since the 1990s, and 23% over just the last 10 years (approximately 3 generations).

> Read more on Nature Nova Scotia online

PRESS Release
Monday October 3, 2022
Updated 21st October, 2022

Profit before people — Local community on South Shore fighting development of private RV park adjacent to Cherry Hill Beach

Once again, the unspoiled beauty of a South Shore coastal area is under attack from private landowners who are progressing with the development of an RV park on six acres of private land adjacent to Cherry Hill Beach, despite widespread opposition from local residents and supporters of the beach.

Cherry Hill Beach, which is located down a small lane off the Lighthouse route and SE of Bridgewater, is widely known for its stunning, pristine beauty. Residents and users of the beach believe this is about to change as property owners plan the installation of a private seasonal trailer park just up from the beach.

In just three weeks, nearly 3,000 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.

Even before news broke of the proposed development, which will be sandwiched on three sides between existing private homes, there had been complaints that Henry Conrad Rd could not continue to sustain the already increased amount of traffic using the access road as a result of the beach being “discovered” during Covid, and which has little parking and no provision of facilities, including garbage bins or washrooms.

“We understand it’s private land and not subject to any zoning restrictions,” says Steve Howe, whose property borders the owners' land. “But it’s incredulous that you can be fined for walking your dog off leash on this vast empty beach, and yet there’s no permits or planning permission needed to develop a commercial RV park in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. Not only will it be a complete eyesore at this unspoilt location, but its not wanted,” says Howe.

Others believe that if the area is to see any development, it should be in the form of developing an infrastructure.

In correspondence with a local consortium of residents, one of the property owners has made it clear that he and his wife purchased the property “to develop,” and his expectations are that all those involved should understand and agree with his sentiments regarding his family’s future needs. The development of an RV park is a “good choice” for his family “and neighbours” says the owner who does not agree it will bring any increase to traffic on the road.

Neighbours and users of the beach strongly disagree with the owners, however. Locals believe this should not come at the cost of ruining the beauty of the area or trump existing sentiments of the community who live there.

In a desperate attempt to halt the owners’ plans for a commercial enterprise in this residential area, a consortium comprised of neighbouring properties approached the owners with an offer to purchase the property. This offer was rejected.

One local member of the community voiced her frustrations that “yet again, non-residents fail to understand and take into account that their personal expectations and desires to exploit an area of natural beauty should not come before that of the community’s desire to continue to maintain the uniqueness of the area for all. It’s arrogant and egotistical and not in keeping with our values,” said the resident. “Until now, the community has been developed respectfully, low key and without ruining the area. Long time and permanent residents have generally coexisted well with seasonal visitors. But we are seeing a new breed of people coming in who just don’t get it!”

Sally Rees, a resident of nearby Vogler’s Cove believes, “We can embrace change and grow. But it should not come at the cost of causing a negative effect on the environment, and with little or no regard to established members of the community who simply wish to live quietly and work towards a common goal of maintaining the natural beauty of this stunningly beach and its surroundings.”

Many believe it’s time the Municipality and Province stepped up to implement a coastal development that engages the community in collaboration and consultation in any development that could potentially have a negative impact. “We’ve seen what unregulated development can do with the invasion of RV parks at Green Bay, and none of us wants that to happen here,” says Howe.

Background information

50 hectares of Cherry Hill Beach is awaiting final provincial government approval as a Nature Reserve and will be managed by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change:

View maps of the proposed RV park

Parks and Protected Areas of Nova Scotia:

Urge our politicians to take action!

Further information

Online petition:
Facebook: Friends of Cherry Hill Beach (
Contact email:

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


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