Nova Scotia

Appeal set for Hatchet Lake commercial development

A decision of the Halifax and West Community Council to turn down a commercial development in Hatchet Lake has been appealed to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

Hatchet Lake Plaza owners applied to build a fast-food outlet along with gas bar, convenience store

The province's Utility and Review Board will hear an appeal into a proposed commercial development in Hatchet Lake this week. (Hatchet Lake Plaza)

A decision of the Halifax and West Community Council to turn down a commercial development in Hatchet Lake has been appealed to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.

The owners of Hatchet Lake Plaza Ltd. applied to build a fast-food outlet along with a gas bar and convenience store on Prospect Road. The zoning allows for a restaurant and drive-thru but the owner needs municipal approval for a service station.

Local residents have raised several concerns.

"We're on well water here and I know they keep trying to reassure us that there will be no danger to groundwater,'' said Beverley Volsky, who lives next door to the proposed development. "But I don't want to take the chance."

Other submissions sent to a public hearing on Sept. 24 talked about noise, odours and increased traffic.

A petition opposed to the project with 578 names was also submitted to the community council meeting. A number of residents questioned the need for another gas station.

"There's an Irving and a Petro-Canada less than five minutes from our location," said Volsky.

"I don't need a convenience store right behind my house. We have several along Prospect Road."

HRM staff say there are no rules limiting the number of service stations within a particular area. They recommended approval of the proposed development, but the community council decided against it.

According to minutes of the meeting, councillors said the proposal "does not reasonably carry out the intent of the Municipal Planning Strategy."

They cited the potential environmental impact and the proximity to residential properties. Community council members also noted opposition from the community.

Peter Rogers, the lawyer for the property owner, said his client decided to appeal because he believes the development is consistent with the planning rules in place at the time.

"Cases like this are supposed to be decided not by popularity or petitions of citizens," said Rogers. "They are supposed to be decided by the Municipal Planning Strategy itself."

The UARB will hear arguments in the appeal on Wednesday.

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