Council votes to restore historical boundaries of Lucasville

Halifax regional council has voted to change the official boundaries for Lucasville, N.S., a historically African Nova Scotian community, to reflect records dating back to the early 1880s.

About 500 people's addresses will change from Hammonds Plains to Lucasville with new boundaries

Halifax regional council has voted to change the official boundaries for Lucasville, N.S., a historically-African Nova Scotian community, to reflect records dating back to the early 1880s when the community was established by Black Loyalists.

Councillors made the decision at a committee meeting Tuesday.

Gayle MacLean, Halifax's civic addressing co-ordinator, said it will affect about 500 people's mailing address, which will change from Hammonds Plains to Lucasville.  

She said there won't be any changes to people's postal codes, street names or school districts, and mail will be redirected for a year.

Polling districts may change in the future, but there won't be any change to municipal services, MacLean told councillors. 

The new boundary of Lucasville (red and blue) would nearly double the amount of land in the current boundary (in blue). (Halifax Regional Council)

The current boundaries had been in place since 1996, when the Halifax region amalgamated. They were put in place without consultation with the historic African-Nova Scotian community. 

People in the area, including members of the Lucasville Community Association, have argued the 1996 map did not go far enough up Lucasville Road and misrepresented parts of Lucasville as belonging to Hammonds Plains. 

After consulting historical records and residents, a staff report agreed and proposed the new boundaries and recommended installing new community signs. 

Councillors 'disappointed' in response

Coun. Lisa Blackburn, who represents Lucasville, told CBC she was disappointed to receive emails from residents opposed to the change that included concerns about a drop in property values.

During discussion of the proposal, several councillors mentioned receiving emails that bothered them. 

"I was very, very surprised to read the tone of some of the emails we did receive. Very disappointed," Coun. Steve Craig said.

Coun. Steve Adams said property deeds already say Lucasville so the only difference will be that Access Nova Scotia's Property Online listing will change from identifying a property as being in Hammonds Plains to Lucasville. 

Craig said it's been important to recognize the community.

"I think this is a good day," he said.

"After the 12 months with the change of the name of the community, if someone wants to call their community HRM, or Halifax or Donairville, either way, with the correct postal code, the mail will get there," Coun. Matt Whitman said. 

With files from Pam Berman