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Council looks to correct inconsistencies in bylaw

by Robert Hirtle

 LUNENBURG - Lunenburg council is going to ask interim planner John Cameron to take a look at the town's land-use bylaw for the purpose of correcting perceived inconsistencies in the document.

 The request arose last week after developer Farley Blackman had asked for an amendment which would allow him to raise the height of two buildings he recently purchased on Montague Street.

 The structures are zoned as marine industrial which under the existing bylaw would allow their height to be increased to 45 feet as opposed to 35 feet for residential properties.

 Although Mr. Blackman ultimately withdrew his request for the amendment, a public hearing was held prior to that action at which time a number of residents living on the north side of Montague Street and on a section of Pelham Street voiced strong opposition to the proposal.

 They said that increasing the height of the buildings to 45 feet would block their view of Lunenburg harbour and subsequently devalue their properties.

 While the Montague Street properties were, at one time, used in what could be considered a marine industrial capacity, that has not been the case in recent years since the decline of the fishery.

 In fact, in the waterfront business plan produced by Cantwell and Company Consultants Ltd. in 2006 for the Waterfront Development Corporation, it was indicated that residential use of the upper floors of both buildings would be considered their best future application.

 Mayor Laurence Mawhinney indicated that there are some available funds in the budget which might cover the costs of the review, and council voted to ask Mr. Cameron to submit a proposal as to what his costs would be to complete the procedure.

 Mr. Cameron has served as the town's director of planning on an as-needed contract basis since the resignation of full-time planner Madelyn LeMay last year.

 He charges the town $200 per hour for his services.

 Council also agreed to investigate the possibility of receiving federal or provincial government assistance to help finance a total rewrite of the town's land-use bylaw, something that could cost in excess of $100,000.



posted on 07/19/11
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