Seventy-one per cent of Purcell's Cove Area residents are opposed to the extension of central sewer and water services to the area, according to results from two new petitions.
Concerned the municipality is relying on inaccurate data from a flawed survey completed six years ago, two groups of citizens conducted new petitions in recent months. At its meeting today, September 11, Halifax Regional Council will receive the most recent petition, which found that a majority of Purcell's Cove Area 1 residents are against extending sewer and water services along Purcell's Cove Road from Wenlock Grove to Oceanview Drive. Eighty-six of a total 136 property owners – or 63% – signed the petition, conducted in July/August of 2012.
Several months ago, 80% of Purcell's Cove Area 2 property owners (from Oceanview Drive to Ferguson's Cove Road) signed a petition against the extension of sewer and water services to the historic coastal community. Combining the two petitions, a total of 71% of Area 1 and 2 property owners are opposed to the sewer/water extension.
This opposition is due to numerous concerns such as the threat of unwanted development, costs that would not be justified by the benefits to resident homeowners, disruption due to blasting, and increased traffic. Residents are also concerned with the undermining of the Regional Plan, which for sound fiscal and environmental reasons directs new development to lands within the existing servicing boundary.
The Williams Lake and Purcell's Cove Backlands are comprised of a vast expanse of undisturbed wilderness, lakes, critical wetlands and woodlands. These Backlands are currently under substantial development pressure, which would be hastened by the provision of water and sewer services. Clayton Developments purchased nearly 400 acres around Williams Lake last September. Most of the remaining land is owned by large-scale developers.
The issue goes far beyond Purcell's Cove, impacting all HRM residents who enjoy swimming, canoeing and fishing in Williams Lake and using the extensive network of biking and hiking trails throughout the Backlands. In addition, commuters are frustrated by an already overburdened Armdale Roundabout.
The potential extension of water and sewer services to the Purcell's Cove area is shaping up to be a key topic in the municipal election. Residents are anxious for the latest feasibility study update at the next Community Steering Committee meeting on September 12.
Community Steering Committee meeting:
Wednesday, September 12, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Spryfield Districts 9 & 11 Candidates Debate:
Friday, September 14, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Both events take place at the Captain William Spry Community Centre, 16 Sussex Street.
For further information or interviews, please contact:
Purcells Cove Area Residents' Action Committee
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