525-unit mobile home park proposal in Elmsdale gets community council OK
Some area residents raised concerns about traffic, water and wood turtles
Halifax's north west community council has approved a development proposal for a 525-unit mobile home park on Old Truro Road in Elmsdale.
A public hearing on the project was held Monday night. The decision means construction of 125 units in the first phase can begin once road improvements are done and provincial water permits are issued.
Cygnet Investments has been trying to develop the 436-hectare property for nine years. Jennifer Tsang, with Sunrose Consulting, represented the developer at the public hearing and said the project will provide affordable housing.
"The housing crisis is beyond desperate; this development will provide high quality homes at a starting price of $200,000," said Tsang. "These are not trailers, these are manufactured homes."
But people who live in the area have a number of concerns. Karen Rudman said the local water table is already stressed.
"We've run out of water on multiple occasions, just about every summer for the last 10 years," said Rudman.
Wood turtle, traffic
Several presenters talked about the impact of the construction on the habitat of the wood turtle, which is a threatened species.
"We've seen them on our property along with other wildlife," said Jordan Crowe. "And that's one of the reasons why we came to this subdivision."
Halifax municipal planners point out that ensuring adequate water supply and protecting the turtles were under the province's jurisdiction.
Concerns were raised about the ability of the road to handle the increased traffic. But Tsang said improvements to the intersection of Old Truro Road and Elmsdale Road would be done before construction of the development gets underway.
"This has been identified in the traffic study," said Tsang. "It must be improved with a curbed island, or another method to provide delineation to assist with better traffic movement."
The councillor who represents the Elmsdale area, Cathy Deagle Gammon, acknowledged that the municipality needs affordable housing, but said she still had traffic and water concerns.
The community council voted 3-2 in favour of the proposal, with Deagle-Gammon and Coun. Tim Outhit voting against it.