Scott Rowlings has applied to amend the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (RMPS) and the Eastern Shore (West) Land Use By-law (LUB) to enable development permits to be issued on ten existing 10-hectare (25-acre) lots located on the east side of Scots Lake, Musquodoboit Harbour. This proposal cannot be considered under existing policies and by-law provisions therefore, the applicant is seeking site-specific amendments to the RMPS and the Eastern Shore (West) LUB.
Scott Rowlings is the owner and developer of the lands located on both the west and east sides of Scots Lake in Musquodoboit Harbour. In 2012, he received subdivision approval for 5 lots on the east side of the lake under the provisions of the Regional Subdivision By-law (RSBL). The following year, he subdivided ten lots under the provincial legislation (HRM Charter) which enables lots that are 10 hectares (25 acres) or greater in size to be created outside of the municipal subdivision approval process. While this subdivision approval exemption was intended for resource uses such as farming or forestry, it has recently become more commonly used to create lots for residential development purposes. Although this exemption may be used to create lots that do not meet Subdivision By-law requirements, in order that development permits may be issued, any such lots must also meet HRM’s land use by-law requirements. Because lots typically created through this process do not meet LUB requirements for street frontage, permits cannot be issued. In this case, the applicant constructed a shared access to the subject site in 2011, however, this access does not satisfy LUB requirements for street frontage.
In January of this year, Regional Council approved amendments to the RMPS and several community LUBs to allow residential development on lots created though the HRM Charter 10-hectare (25-acre) subdivision approval exemption. These amendments were adopted by Council in recognition of the fact that some development permits had been issued to allow the development of single unit dwellings on lots created through the 10-hectare (25-acre) exception in the HRM Charter. Regional Council approved a relaxation to the road frontage requirements to allow the continued development of several subdivisions that had received permits for some, but not all lots. This was done as a one-time exception, intentionally focused on unique situations to maintain the general intent of the Regional Plan while being fair to affected property owners. Seven subdivisions received the one-time exception including the applicant’s development on the west side of Scots Lake. The development on the east side of Scots Lake did not receive this one-time exception as it did not meet the criteria of a development permit being having been issued for any of the lots located within the same subdivision.
Regional Council initiated the site-specific plan amendment process on August 15, 2017 based on a recommendation in a Staff Report dated July 26, 2017.
A Public Information Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 27th at 7:00pm at the Old School Community Gathering Place - 7962 Nova Scotia Trunk 7, Musquodoboit Harbour.
Documents Submitted for Evaluation
The applicant has a submitted plan required by HRM staff to properly evaluate the application. The documents are also available for review at the Planning Applications office in Downtown Dartmouth.