Highland Park Ratepayers Association

Highland Park, Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia


Our 2021 Highland Park Virtual AGM was one for the books! The Minutes, Financial Statement, and 5-Year Financial Forecast are located in this Google Drive:

2021 Highland Park AGM

February 24, 2021
7:00 p.m.
Virtual Meeting via Zoom


In Attendance

Marion Gillespie (Chairperson)
Jenny Saulnier (Co-Chair and Events Organizer)
Jo Anne Worden (Communications)
Pamela Craig (Treasurer)
Pamela Lovelace (Councillor for District 13)
Ben Jessome (MLA for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville)
Residents of Highland Park Subdivision
Tricia Murray-d’Eon (Secretary)

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Marion Gillespie at 7:05 p.m.

Welcome (Marion Gillespie)

  • Marion welcomed everyone to our first virtual AGM and introduced the members of the Highland Park Ratepayers Association:

Marion Gillespie (Chairperson)
Jenny Saulnier (Co-Chair and Events Organizer)
Jo Anne Worden (Communications)
Pamela Craig (Treasurer)
Tricia Murray-d’Eon (Secretary)

  • Anyone interested in joining the Highland Park RA is invited to reach out to us for volunteer opportunities. In a normal year, we meet 3-4 times to plan our community events and address any suggestions or concerns from residents. Each RA member takes the lead on different projects based on their interests. We work as a team and each member helps as needed.

Review of Trail Progress on Timberlane Terrace (Tricia Murray-d’Eon)

We have secured funding from several grants
  • Recreation Facility Development Grant (RFD): $22,650.30
  • Hammonds Plains Common Area Rate: $50,000
  • Matt Whitman (former District 13 Councillor): $10,000 for procurement and installation of benches
  • The balance $45,300.60 was provided by the Highland Park Ratepayers Association from our area rate surplus.

Remaining work to be done
  • HRM will use gravel and crusher dust to level out any low areas along the trail due to settling or weather erosion.
  • HRM will clean up the cut trees, stumps, branches along the sides of the trail.

Future possibilities

  • We have been in discussion with our HRM Park Planners about the feasibility of creating informal footpaths/secondary trails off the main trail in Timberlane Terrace Park.
  • We are currently waiting for a conceptual design and cost estimate from an HRM-designated trail consultant (Note: the consultant is a requirement for HRM to allow this construction.)
  • When we receive this information, we will reach out to the residents of Highland Park to decide if we want to proceed. At that time, we will request a group of community volunteers to work with our trail consultant to create these secondary trails using hand tools and small equipment.
  • Anyone interested in volunteering if/when we proceed with this plan is invited to contact the Highland Park RA.
Action: Tricia will contact our HRM Park Rep to discuss the feasibility of installing a culvert at the entrance of the Old Grant Line Trail at Hummingbird Lane.

Budget (Pamela Craig)

  • Pamela reviewed the Highland Park Ratepayers Association financial statements (attached.) There is currently a surplus, due to COVID-19, as we were unable to host our usual annual community events in 2020.
  • HRM is no longer holding our RA funds in trust; they deposit it annually now, which gives us more timely access to those funds.
  • The forecast for 2021 includes the remaining work to be done on the trail, which should balance our budget to a surplus of $4,593.27.
  • Cathy Baker made a Motion to accept the budget. Motion was Seconded by Roisin Ni Dhabheid.

Highland Park Year in Review (Jenny Saulnier)
  • We are planning a socially distanced, outdoor movie night in the summer as our main social event.
  • Neighbourhood clean-up will be held in April or May. Depending on public health restrictions, we may not hold a formal event and encourage residents to clean up around their properties.
  • Family Fun Day will likely be postponed due to public health restrictions.

Municipal Matters (Pamela Lovelace)
  • Pamela has an open communication policy for residents, via phone or email.
  • Regional Council meetings accept petitions and Pamela is willing to table them on behalf of the residents of Highland Park if there are any major concerns.
  • A newsletter will be sent out via email every 1-2 weeks to highlight important issues in District 13. Contact her to be on the email list (See Annex A for contact information).

Second Exit Project
  • During the February 24, 2021 Capital Cost Budget Meeting, Pamela tried to set aside $1,000,000 for the construction of the Second Exit project for 2021/2022 fiscal year. The project was estimated at $700,000 in 2018; the additional $200,000 will be available if required for additional costs, such as stormwater management, culverts, and/or traffic measures. We will have a more accurate cost estimate once the design is completed.
  • Pamela was unsuccessful as the required Right-of-Way is a provincially deeded property still held by the Department of Transportation. We need someone at the provincial level to force the deed over to the HRM to proceed. Once HRM has the deed, then the design can be created. It is currently slated for the 2025/2026 construction season.
  • Marion noted that Ben Jessome has stated he is willing to work with HRM to get this second exit built.
  • Ben Jessome stated he confirmed with the Minister of Transportation there is nothing at the provincial level that is preventing the land from being divested to HRM in the interest of public safety. The province is mandated to protect land, so it will not be given freely.

Action: The HRM must request this land in official correspondence. If such a document already exists, it must be provided to Ben to move this forward.

Action: Pam requests a conversation offline with Ben Jessome to discuss what needs to be done.

Background information:

  • The motion that was put forth to HRM Regional Council in 2019 was to include constructing the extension from Rockcliffe Crescent to Sylvania Terrace, across Hammonds Plains Rd, as a municipally funded initiative.
  • Highland Park was designed with a one-exit concept plan initially. Most extensions are built by developers who include the extension design in the initial concept plans.
  • Before the 2019 motion was approved, the previous motion was denied because it was reliant on subdivision approval processes. Councillor Matt Whitman had been trying to get this motion approved, but it was never included in the budget.

Traffic Calming
  • Pamela discussed Traffic Calming for Safer Streets on the Halifax.ca website. This site provides the list of streets that have been assessed and ranked for traffic calming, and streets that were deemed ineligible. In a typical year, 20-25 streets will be completed. Currently, the 2021 fiscal plans do not include traffic calming in Highland Park Subdivision.
  • Timberlane Terrace is scheduled for traffic calming in the 2022/2023 HRM budget.
  • Pinetree Crescent has been added to the list of streets to be assessed.
  • If traffic calming measures are requested by calling 311, HRM is obligated to do an assessment on the street to determine if it is required.
  • HRM determines the method of traffic calming based on the nature of the roadway being assessed.
  • HRM is requesting permission from the province to reduce the speed overall in the subdivisions from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr. There are three pilot projects that have been implemented, and they are working favourably. We need provincial support to expand this pilot program into more communities.
Action: Jenny suggested reducing speed as a primary solution before speed bumps are installed. Pamela Lovelace agrees this is an appropriate action.
Action: Marion will request information regarding the procurement of flashing speed signs for the neighbourhood.

Upcoming Roadwork

Crack sealing is planned for this year on Carmel Crescent, Paula Drive, and Sylvania Terrace.


  • Pamela has initiated an enhanced relationship with the local RCMP for regular updates on accidents and issues within the area. The new inspector in the Tantallon RCMP detachment is Jeremie Landry. Additional police presence is available if needed.
  • The RCMP is open to speaking with our community about any community concerns, RCMP initiatives, and/or opportunities available.

Action: A resident requested to have a representative from the RCMP to discuss safety and traffic issues in the area at our 2022 AGM.

Additional Funds for Timberlane Terrace Park

The 2021/2022 Parks Master Plan includes $25,000 for Timberlane Terrace Park. These funds were approved in the day’s HRM Capital Budget meeting.

Call 311 for any municipal concerns

Pamela can follow up on the progress of the concern/request if she has a ticket number.

New Initiatives for District 13

  • The District 13 Recreation Group will work to provide recreation opportunities, programming, resources, and information for District 13. Pamela invited anyone who wishes to volunteer for this recreation group to get in touch with her.
  • A Virtual Parks Asset Map is being created to showcase the beaches, parks, playgrounds, and public gathering spaces in District 13.
  • A Youth Advisory Committee is being launched to focus on what young people are looking for in the area.

Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area

  • Nova Scotia Nature Trust has secured the parcel of land required to establish a connected wildlife corridor and wilderness area from Bayer’s Lake to Cox Lake in Hammonds Plains.
  • HRM is developing concept designs for a new trail head in the Brookline area of West Bedford. The plans include proper trails, parking, and garbage receptacles.
  • HRM is in negotiations with contractors and landowners currently to strengthen the boundaries of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lake Wilderness Area. Pamela noted the wilderness entry point at the end of Leeward to Haliburton Hills is owned by developers who are not actively planning to move ahead with this at this time.
  • Pamela discussed the feasibility of Highway 113, which will cut through from Hwy 102 to Hwy 103. There is a corridor left for this highway.
  • Pamela tabled a proposal in December that was unanimously accepted, to put in place a proposal for HRM to have the financial means to build these access roads.
  • Ben noted the ecological value of the wilderness corridor and the provincial mandate to protect the land from development must be balanced with resident safety concerns.

Provincial Matters (Ben Jessome)

COVID Vaccines

The rollout is occurring as rapidly as we receive vaccines from the federal government. NS has mandated vaccines will be distributed in their entire two-dose schedule for eligible candidates.

School Re-Zoning

The anticipated year for the completion of the new Pre-Primary to Grade 12 West Bedford school is 2023. Ben is confident the zoning will have an impact on the student enrolment numbers in the Hammonds Plains schools, particularly Madeline Symonds Middle School and Kingswood Elementary. An additional school is being constructed in Clayton Park, which will also likely impact our schools.

Green Initiatives

As of February 24, 2021, there is new funding available for efficiency and electricity upgrades, and rebates for electric vehicles. This provincial incentive will work in addition to the federal incentive that is already in place.


Ben plans to have a quarterly newsletter: two printed newsletters will be mailed, and two virtual newsletters will be sent out annually, to reach as many people as possible. The newsletters will provide regular updates for provincial matters and to connect with residents.

Round Table

Marion opened the floor to questions from the residents.

Pamela proposed continuing with virtual meetings for our AGM in the future with a favourable response.


Meeting Adjourned at 8:45 p.m.


Councillor Pamela Lovelace sent the following details and links she discussed in the AGM.

Second Exit

  1. Feasibility of Rockcliffe Crescent Extension, Hammonds Plains - Aug 13/19 Regional Council | Halifax.ca
  2. See 15.1.7: August 13, 2019 Halifax Regional Council Minutes | Halifax.ca
  3. https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/news/council-looks-to-ramp-up-traffic-calming-throughout-hrm-556361/

Traffic Calming

Current list of Ranked Streets (potential future implementation):


Complete list of Former and Current Assessments including Current Stage:


To nominate your street for traffic calming assessment, call 311 or email contactus@311.halifax.ca.

Speed Reduction

HRM received provincial permission in Nov 2020 to reduce the speed limit in only 3 neighbourhoods. Please let your MLA know that he should support and advocate for the reduction in all neighbourhoods. HRM does not have the authority under the current provincial Motor Vehicle Act to do what we need to make our streets safer.


Communicating with Regional Council


Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area Trailhead Survey

West Bedford Trailhead - Hobsons Lake Trail Concept (arcgis.com)


The RCMP Tantallon Detachment new inspector, Jeremie Landry, can be reached at 902-252-7193, email Jeremie.landry@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

RCMP non-emergency line 24/7: 902-490-5020.

In an emergency, please call 911.

Pam Lovelace, Councillor District 13

Contact information: 902-225-4624