Salmon River Uplands Review Deferred
At Monday, September 20th's Council meeting, Councillor Petrina Arnason put forward a Notice of Motion that would "direct staff to provide a focused review of the current plan with respect to residential subdivision development in the Salmon River Uplands". The full text of Councillor Arnason's Motion can be found here: Notice at the Bottom of the Page.
I was extremely excited to see Councillor Arnason's motion, as its intention was seemingly to provide some updates and clarity on the 28-year-old Rural Plan with a special focus on the Salmon River Uplands area, within which I called for a moratorium on development back in July There were some legitimate concerns raised by Councillor's Bob Long and Blair Whitmarsh in regard to applications that were currently in-stream and being reviewed by Staff and Council. These concerns were centred around the fact that any review of the Rural Plan might affect the applications, and that might be unnecessarily unfair on these applications. Obviously, with my support for a moratorium on development in the area until a new Neighbourhood Community Plan (NCP) is completed, I would prefer to see Council respect the wishes of the local neighbourhood in their opposition to the project until more certainty from an NCP is available.
After a short discussion, Council voted to defer the vote on actually instructing Staff to proceed with a Rural Plan review until the next Council meeting (October 4th), when they anticipate having full attendance at the meeting, as Councillor Kim Richter could not be present as she's on the ballot for the Federal Election. Obviously, if she wins today, she won't be at the next meeting either.
Despite the deferral, I am still extremely happy to see that the Salmon River Uplands are being given the consideration they're due, as these lands are an incredibly sensitive wildlife habitat and natural ecosystem, and further single-family development in the area would simply result in futher urban sprawl and increased traffic throughout the Township.
What do you think? Should there be a moratorium on development in this part of the Township while we complete NCPs in other neighbourhoods? Take this (literally) 30-second survey and let me know: Survey Link