There was a meeting held Thursday April 16th, 7:00pm at the Hammonds Plains Consolidated School Cafeteria, to discuss the proposed zoning changes for Highland Park subdivision from MU-1 to R-6.
Residents had an opportunity to hear about the potential effects of the zoning change from the city planner in attendance as well as other city officials. This also provided an opportunity for residents to voice their opinions and concerns.
Several people spoke with conviction about the perceived consequences of such a change on their business and property values. The majority of people who spoke were strongly against the change. Some expressed concerns over what businesses could start up.
The Chair Person of the Ratepayers Association spoke on the history of the request and relayed concerns that had been expressed at AGMs as well as by other Highland Park residents.
For those who took the time to speak to the Chair Person of the Highland Park Ratepayers Association directly, they were advised to bring issues that come up to the Ratepayers Association and we will work with our city councillor to resolve those problems at the lowest possible level.
Councillor Matt Whitman attended the meeting and is also investigating options on how to cancel or terminate the process, given the amount of residents who have indicated they are not in favour of the change.
Councillor Matt Whitman attended the meeting and is also investigating options on how to cancel or terminate the process, given the amount of residents who have indicated they are not in favour of the change.
The meeting concluded at 8:45pm
· When our Hammonds Plains subdivisions were created roads were designed and the ditches (water system) were included in that design. The rural subdivisions were then deeded to the province and they maintained the roads, including the ditches, until amalgamation. Then the municipality took over responsibility for the roads.
· When we bought our lots, the costs of the roads and ditches were included in our purchase prices.
· It is understood from information provided at the meeting that the Municipal Government Act of Nova Scotia states that you cannot collect from one user and spend it on another non payer.
· In 2014 both infrastructure and Right of Way fees were approved by the UARB.
· We all now have received bills from the Halifax Water Commission. Some have paid and some have not, but now fear retribution in the form of liens on our houses or blemishes on our credit History.
Meeting of April 15, St Margaret’s Centre:
· There was a good turn of residents and the issues and background were shared with all at that meeting.
· Everyone expressed frustration and a lot of people suggested we hire a lawyer to represent us as a group.
· Councillor Matt Whitman was there with other councillors and elected officials, it is believed we have their attention.
· Mr. Whitman said that Councillor Craig has put forward a motion to review the Halifax Water legislation.
· Pamela Lovelace stated she would like to coordinate our efforts.
· A retired lawyer said that the constitution protects us from vague laws.
Important Next Steps:
· Call the number on your Halifax Water bill and exercise your right to appeal.
· When talking to them, ensure that you advise them that you wish to be present when the engineer visits to evaluate your property.
· If you send an e-mail as you may be directed, ensure you save a copy for your records.
· These two steps will ensure that NO actions can be taken against you and no interest accrued.
· We will ensure that the steps above are communicated to everyone in
· We do not intend to incur legal fees for this matter at this time
· We will support Pamela Lovelace in coordinating a Hammonds Plains’ approach, and will draft a letter articulating our position and distribute that letter to as many
· The goal is to ensure our elected officials know we are upset and committed to change. We are organized as a community in this act of lobbying the government and water commission.
· This will also ensure that we have allowed enough time for more research on some of the issues noted at the meeting.
· We will continue to review the appropriate Acts and Legislation
· As a last resort, we would consider legal action, if required.
The Greater Hammonds Plains Communities Association has invited a guest speaker Kevin Lacey, who is the Atlantic Provinces Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
We thought his perspective on Taxation and related matters would be useful as our Province looks as if an election will be announced later this month.
His observations on the challenges our Province faces as electors consider what are the key obstacles in getting N.S. back to prosperity would make for some thoughtful Questions & Answers.
We would appreciate letting residents in you community aware of the meeting on the 9th at the Community Hall opposite the fire station
Halifax Water Stormwater Billing FAQ
From Greater Hammonds Plains Communities Association (http://www.ghpca.net/ )
On January 9, 2013 Halifax Water filed a two year rate application with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB). The rate application requests increases in water and wastewater rates, and new storm water rates, effective July 1, 2013 and April 1, 2014.
See this document: Stormwater Billing FAQ final
It is anticipated that these charges will be distributed among all residents of HRM, whether or not they currently have Halifax Water Services.
Minutes- GHPCA Meeting Nov. 26th 2012
Minutes- GHPCA Meeting Nov. 26th 2012
1. Update (Since the previous meeting of Oct. 1)
· Met with Councillor Lund following election to thank him for his efforts on behalf of the GHPCA. over the past 2 years.
· A few members of the GHPCA recently met with Councillor Whitman who was given several memos providing him with background information on the status and the immediate priorities of the residents of the Hammonds Plains area.
· Understanding the 2013 “ Budget Book” and the status of the various proposed H.P.R. road upgrades...What is scheduled for next year?
· Importance of working with other Councillors to establish support for a motion to ensure that elected representatives have some measure of influence over the Transportation Authority decisions when it comes to items of significance to area residents. Example: the conflict concerning the Crosswalk Issue in Fall River The Authority eliminating 3 crosswalks, the residents wanting them back. ( Example; If two thirds of Council members support a particular initiative the “Authority” cannot over ride that decision.
· Consult with other Councillors to establish support for a motion to require the Transportation Authority to modify it’s decision criteria/ formula used to determine the priority given when establishing road improvements. Require the adding of Public Safety as a criteria, which will consider such factors as accident counts to establish budget priorities for road improvements.
· Matt indicated that recent contacts he made at City Hall had confirmed that the GHPCA is recognized as an important source for understanding the major concerns of Hammonds Plains area residents. He expressed interest in attending future GHPCA meetings.
· The Chair tabled an e-mail forwarded by a Westwood Hills resident concerning a recent Water Commission Document that could lead to a hearing at the NSUARB in January about per household charges being contemplated that could impact every household in Hammonds Plains ( waste water & storm sewer)... Please see the report page 86
The report can be viewed by accessing the following site:
Dan Norquist indicated that he would contact the Water Commission
to gain an understanding of the possible consequences if a charge was
imposed on area residents. Based on his assessment we might ask if a
representative of the Water Commission could attend our next meeting
2. Proposed Organizational Changes
· The Terms of Reference developed in 2010 for the GHPCA established Four person Executive consisting of a Chair ; Vice Chair ; Secretary & Treasurer. Shortly thereafter it was decided that on an interim basis a Steering Committee would manage the affairs of the GHPCA until our canvas for new members had concluded. Only the Treasurers position was filled. The specific responsibilities allocated to the Chair , Vice Chair and Secretary were never assigned.
· Ad hoc management- Since inception, the focus on the primary concerns of the association has been handled by the various Committees. The setting of the associations priorities, organization of meetings and the management of the GHPCA business has been filled on an ad hoc basis. Leaving day to day operations to a few volunteers who were not appointed by the general membership.
· Proposed Change -A review and examination of the roles & responsibilities of the initial 4 person executive revealed that there was an uneven distribution of the management work to be done. It is for that reason that the operational duties be distributed more evenly over an expanded 7 person executive committee. A revised management structure would consist of : Chair; Vice Chair ; 2nd Vice Chair ; Treasurer ; Secretary ; Communications Co-ordinator & a Website administrator... An expanded executive committee would also provide an opportunity to have more of the sub-divisions & communities represented on the executive.
3. Communities & Subdivisions appoint Directors
· Recommend that the GHPCA membership be structured so that the Executive is more representative of the various Sub-Divisions. That each area rate/rate payer community appoint a representative who will serve as director of the GHPCA. The GHPCA also encourage participation by interested residents from our area.
· Following the appointment of Directors, we should try and have representation from each rate paying sub-division, this would ensure that each community is adequately represented at meetings.
· Recommend that a letter be directed to each sub- division asking them if they could formally appoint representatives to be Directors of the GHPCA.
· To attend to the communities not currently served by a formal residents organization. These communities would each have a Director (Refer to item 3.4 in the original terms of reference). At present we have a few member communities that fall under this designation.
· A committee of the GHPCA can only be chaired by a Director. But any resident who has interest or expertise in a particular Committee activity is welcome to participate in the development of policy positions and be members of the committees of the Association.
4. Selection of the GHPCA Executive
· From the appointed list of Representatives/Directors, they would select a 7 person Executive at our next meeting to direct the business of the association. This process could also become an agenda item at our annual general meeting each November. All appointments would be reviewed annually to ensure the selected individuals were able and available to manage their particular assignment.
The Executive would consist of the following positions & responsibilities :
· The meeting approved the value of expanding the executive from 4 to 7 members. We agreed of the importance of both the Executive and Directors as the communication link to their communities and sub divisions. The responsibilities for each of the positions were approved. The specifics of the duties described may be modified as the Executive Committee begins assuming the management of the affairs of the association.
· Would be a GHPCA spokesperson ; Would chair all regular Association meetings ;Determine if special meetings are justified ;Coordinate with other executive members to establish agenda & priorities; Ensure that the Standing and Ad Hoc Committees of the Association are operating effectively. Would be responsible for ensuring that members of the executive meet with the executive of the sub divisions & communities to promote the role of the GHPCA and determine how we can improve communications with all residents in their area.
· Would act on behalf of the Chair if he / she is not available ; Would be a GHPCA spokesperson when required ; Work with other members of the executive developing meeting agenda, being responsible for selecting both dates & sites for Association meetings. Advise all directors of proposed meeting date to ensure that we would have adequate attendance. Advise the Secretary of the date and location of the next meeting at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Would work with the Chairs of the standing committees to ensure that they have the resources to carry out their work. Would assist in the promotion of the GHPCA to the Sub-Divisions & Communities in our area
· Would act on behalf of the Chair and Vice Chair if they were not available Would act as a GHPCA spokesperson when required ; Would be responsible for communicating with the Executive members of the Area Rate, Rate-Payer Associations that are involved in the GHPCA making them aware of our current activities etc. determine if there are issues they may have that might warrant GHPCA involvement ;Be responsible for sending draft agenda of next meeting to the Executive members of our various rate-payer/ area rate associations; Send the approved minutes of general meetings to the same organizations
· Would obtain proposed agenda items from the Executive & Directors; Draft an agenda for the next meeting to be approved or refined prior to distribution to the general membership; Distribution of meeting agenda. (Via e-mail or at the meeting, Meeting notices should be distributed at least a week in advance).Maintain the GHPCA E-Mail listing – Once approved minutes to be distributed over our e-mail listing; At each meeting ask each attendee to sign the attendance sheet (providing name and current e-mail address) At each meeting assist the Chair of the meeting with the flow of business
(After 12 months this position could be reviewed to determine if it should be added to the Communications Coordinator responsibilities or remain as a separate position)
· It is appreciated that the website will evolve as time passes. It is our associations “live link” to the residents of Hammonds Plains area. The coordinator will collaborate with the Executive & Directors in the development & updating of the content for the website; Obtain and post the website address of each of our member sub-divisions and provide to visitors with the appropriate contact to our various communities.
· The membership is asked to review the draft site an offer ideas & suggestions to assist in the websites development at this temporary address < http://ghpca.wordpress.com/>
· After consultation with members of the Executive Committee would be responsible for the development and issuance of any press releases.
· Develop and update a media contact list for both print and electronic media ; Explore the various local media serving our area and determine if it is feasible for the GHPCA to have a regular column ; Be responsible for developing & updating of any brochures promoting the GHPCA and its purpose & objectives.; Be responsible for managing inquiries to the GHPCA e-mail address, answering or forwarding general inquiries to the appropriate party about association business.; Determine any opportunities available for permanent signage for the GHPCA to display our name and web –site address
· Responsible for the record keeping, management and security of the Associations funds; Responsible for the banking arrangements, arranging deposits, writing of cheques ; Ensures that expenditures authorized by the executive are paid on time, Responsible for keeping the executive aware of the current status of our bank balance ; On an annual basis, or as requested by the executive, will prepare a financial statement for review by the Directors & Membership; Submit annual update to the R.J.S.C. of any changes
Staffing of the Organization- the next step
· A communication should be sent to the executive of the various communities listed on page 8 of the meeting agenda asking if they could designate representative(s) to act as their communities Director/ Representative on the GHPCA. Included with that letter would be a summary of our accomplishments during our first 24 months of operation.
· Once we have established a listing of Director /Representatives ,a meeting would be convened to seek volunteers or suggest appointees for an expanded Executive.
· The GHPCA’s most important objective as we move into 2013 is to put in place a management team for our association. It is hoped that this can be addressed as soon as possible.
5. Website Development
In recent weeks both Stephanie Adams & Pam Lovelace have considered the possible content items required for a GHPCA website, its suggested format, they searched for a suitable host & domain name, and have created an initial concept for the site, all at very little cost. They also requested comments & suggestions from members.
Stephanie provided the meeting with an overview of the initial content of the site. Unfortunately, time did not allow a sufficient opportunity to evaluate all elements of their work and provide for suggestions & other ideas. They would welcome member suggestions to assist in the sites development. < http://ghpca.wordpress.com/>
The Website is an essential tool for the GHPCA to communicate with both the public and the residents of our area. Big Kudos to the team who have worked on this project to date.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40
1. Update- Recent contacts with Councillor Lund- (Deb Bodnarchuk)
Traffic Signals at Glen Arbour /H.P. Intersection- Will be approved by HRM, but will not be installed in August as intended. Delay has been caused as Annapolis Group having to complete the engineering work necessary. We can expect completion early this fall.
Councillor seeking HRM Road Safety Priorities – In order to understand how to position the H.P.R. upgrade on the Municipalities priority list, Peter Lund has been seeking a meeting with Ken Reashor and Dave MacCusker to obtain more information about where the H.P.R. ranks in comparison with similar projects in H.R.M. After several delays he expects to finally meet with transportation & Public Works by the end of August.
Metro Transit Survey for Park & Ride- Members of the GHPCA have been asked to circulate a Transit survey to residents in their community to obtain feedback for a proposed demonstration project.( It would be based at the ball field parking lot at G.A).
Many at the meeting felt the questions being asked in the survey by Transit were poor
- it did not provide adequate information.
- What is the schedule?
- Where are the stops?
- How many parking spaces available?
- Is the existing parking area large enough?
- Should it be paved...etc. ?
Deb will contact HRM concerning our observations about the adequacy of the survey and will determine if distribution would be completed by more residents if the survey was carried out electronically.
2. Municipal Election Project (Grant Jarvis & Richard Delong)
Questionnaires - The meeting reviewed the draft questionnaires, question by question several suggestions were made adjust the text. The revisions to these two drafts
will reflect input from those who attended the meeting. Kathy Haverstock will revise the questionnaire for School Board Candidates. Grant Jarvis will revise the questionnaire for Councillors, he will also draft a questionnaire for Mayoralty Candidates. The 3 questionnaires will be given final approval at the next GHPCA meeting on Sept.5th.
Management of the Municipal Election Project
The Committee agreed that the Councillors Questionnaire should be adjusted and distributed to all Mayoralty Candidates. It was also agreed that the GHPCA would as a public service inform its membership of any meet & greet events that are held by candidates during the campaign. The GHPCA would not sponsor these events or endorse any candidate running for office.
In order to communicate the Candidates responses to the various Questionnaires it is essential that we respond to the timing dictates of the election schedule.
(Obtained from Laura McKinnon HRM Elections office at 490-6810)
Deadline for filing Sept. 11 Will be posted Sept. 12
Candidates should be contacted as soon after the 12th as possible, made aware of the GHPCA and our questionnaire and our plans to publicize the responses (unedited)
Via e-mail; Newsletters; Community Newspapers, etc.. We will contact both electronic and print media once Questionnaires are finalized to determine their interest in having the responses or use the questions for their own purposes as the election coverage begins.
Following the meeting Deb Bodnarchuk said that she would develop a local media contact list that might prove useful as we attempt to stimulate interest in the responses to the Questionnaires.
Review with each Candidate the questions to ensure they understand what is being asked and the firm deadline for their response. Oct. 2nd all responses must be e-mailed to us by that date so the information can be formatted for communication for distribution.
Survey responses will be distributed two days later Oct,4th Prior to the first advance polls on OCT.5th
- Grant will contact and follow up with the Candidates for Council
- Will need volunteer help to assist in the same activity Candidates for Mayor
- Volunteer help also required for School Board Candidates
- (Please advise if you would be able to assist in the contact & follow up with 2 or 3 of the Candidates... the final number of Candidates will not be known till Sept. 12)
3. REORGANIZING THE WEB- SITE (Richard Delong & Stephanie Adams)
Richard felt the current site format was similar to that of Facebook and that our site should be taken down, reformatted, and replaced saving the identification name for our site is important. He asked if he could have feedback from those attending the meeting as to the information we want to see on the web-site. He suggested we look at his corporate site as an example of one type of structure <www.commercialprintservices.ca
Joyce Evans had the name of the site Host in her files and gave it to Richard for follow up. Richard & Stephanie plan to meet to develop some suggestions for what information the GHPCA should post on the site. If possible, to have the site up and running in about six weeks so that we can post the responses to the Candidates Questionnaires on the site by Oct.5.
Once we have agreement on the content sections for the site, the existing information we currently have available and want posted, could be outsourced for having it included on the site.
Possible content examples:
-The text we have that is used in our brochure describing the GHPCA our mission, and areas of involvement.
- The position of the GHPCA on Tax Reform & the retention of the CAP on residential assessments.
- The GHPCA initiatives to have the H.P.Road upgraded. ( Could include our 2 PowerPoint Presentations ) The 6 page HRM recommendations
- Our e-mail address < firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Once finalized the members of the GHPCA Executive & Committee Chairs
- Posting of future meeting dates?
- Posting of minutes
Next Meeting- Now Scheduled for Wednesday Sept 5 th At 7:00 pm In the Lower level of the Glen Arbour Clubhouse the meeting room opposite the boardroom.
(Initially scheduled for Sept 10th, Space availability problems required the change to Sept.5th)
Potential Agenda Items:
- Update on the Elections project
- Final review of the 3 Questionnaires
- Web site discussion
- E-mail status
- Proposed changes to the Executive Committee structure
- Proposed position description changes & responsibilities for the Executive Committee
- Confirmation from Communities as to their Representatives in the GHPC
- To appoint or elect the Executive. Process to be followed.
- Suggested ideas for improving the GHPCA visibility and communications with the communities we represent.
Below is a record of correspondence between our Chairperson and Peter Lund, HRM Councillor:
June 20, 2012
From Peter Lund:
I will put this request through at next NWCC scheduled for July 5th.
From Heather Perks, Chairperson Highland Park
June 20, 2012
Good morning Councillor Lund:
Attached is the request, as per our discussion, to officially rezone all current and future development within the designation of Highland Park as R1.
Please present this intent to the HRM Council, on behalf of the Highland Park Rate Payers Association Executive, for approval to move forward according with the rezoning procedure as soon as is possible.
Chairperson for the Highland Park Rate Payers Association
The CPA SAC has posted an update on the new high school on the CPA website.
Follow this link for more information.
Thanks for your time and interest.
Elaine Loney, CPA SAC Co-Chair
From Richard DeLong, Greater Hammonds Plains Community Association
re: May14th Meeting GHPCA
Here is the follow up letter from our May 14th meeting. We were welcomed by Chief Sack, 4 council members and the band secretary.
In a nutshell they are moving forward via a federal process called LUPP which places parcels of land for designated uses either for the band or development via a lease arrangement with others.
There is a keen interest in providing employee opportunities to band members by moving activities closer to HRM (or away from Indian Brook). It was expressed by David Nevin that he feels the band will pursue gambling as the foundation of developments at Wallace Hills.
Our meeting was simply an initial face to face introduction. Our community to theirs.
The band seems to have a feeling of close scrutiny from media and gov't politicians, so we approached this meeting as neighbour to neighbour type of thing. I believe we were well received.
-------- Original Message --------
Chief Jerry Sack
Indian Brook Band Council Members
We wish to express our appreciation and sincere thanks for your time on Monday to meet with us neighbour to neighbour!
It was an excellent opportunity for us all to exchange some information and to form a channel for us to communicate in the future. First hand information is so much better than speculation on whether the media has reported it correctly or not.
As you had expressed the Wallace Hills lands were a long time in coming into the Band's ownership and now the process commences to uncover the best development opportunities for the Band . Through your LUPP process we would hope that the GHPCA can play some small role for you in facilitating the best possible outcome for both the Band and the other residents of Hammonds Plains. Should a member of Council visit the Hammonds Plains area, we would welcome the chance to introduce you to a few of the represented subdivisions to provide some insight as to how the residents have attempted to improve the quality of our community. We are hopeful this may aid you in your development choices as they unfold.ease let us know how we can help. There certainly seems like many areas, like the roadways and traffic, that we would share common issues. We would be happy to share with the Band the two presentations we gave to HRM and the Provincial Government regarding the state of the Hammonds Plains Road. This remains an ongoing issue that we are actively working to resolve.
Please let us know how we can help. There certainly seems like many areas, like the roadways and traffic, that we would share common concerns.
Again it was great meeting you all and we look forward to communications with you in the future.
Richard DeLong - Kingswood
Grant Jarvis - Glen Arbour
Nick Antoft - Waterstone Village
Michele Boone - Maplewood on the Lakes
Ruth Hudson - Uplands Park
Peter Davidson - White Birch Hills