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St. George Town Council Unanimously Votes To Reject Re-Zoning Farmland
At the regular September Town of St. George council meeting, councillors and Mayor John Detorakis once again discussed a proposed by-law, By-law 24-B-2201, which would allow for a large property on Mount Pleasant that is designated agricultural to be rezoned to residential. This would allow a land owner to sell off part of his large property to people wishing to build housing in the area.
The owner of the agricultural land isn't asking to rezone his entire property, however--just a portion of it. Some of it would remain for agricultural use while the sold off portion would pave way for population growth in the community but would therefore fall under municipal by-laws.
"You have to make a decision as council," said Alex Henderson, a senior planner at the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission. "Do you want to encourage a really intense agricultural zone in the community, or do you want to allow some farm animals but have some rules about how intense it gets?"
Councillors discussed this by-law last month, but Councillor Nancy Coulton said she needed more time to digest both sides of the issue, insisting that she needed to hear from more people in the community before she made up her mind on how to move forward. While some councillors were in favour of rezoning the property in the name of growth for the area, others argued that rezoning the land would threaten the survival of the surrounding farms who rely on agricultural zoning to fully function as operational farms that are ultimately local businesses. Two of the most prominent farms affected by the decision would be Raymond and Vicki Hall’s farm and Lisa Mckay’s farm. Councillor Alexa Detorakis argued that rezoning part of the land in the Mount Pleasant area could potentially mean there would be a new set of rules and restrictions that the farm owners would have to concede to including noise regulations, as well as heightened insurance rates. Ultimately, council decided to table to motion in August until the regular council meeting in September.
At the September meeting, council voted unanimously voted to reject the proposal of the applicant to rezone the land.
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