Nova Scotia

Bayers Lake clear cutting no surprise, says councillor

Reg Rankin, who represents Halifax District 12, says the land was slated for development to expand retail businesses.

Coun. Reg Rankin says land was slated for development for 5 years

The city councilor for the Bayers Lake area says it's no surprise a large wooded area near the industrial park was clear cut.

Reg Rankin, who represents Halifax District 12, says the land was slated for development to expand retail businesses.

But before the chainsaws moved in, people had been using the land for hiking and biking. The trail is dubbed Whopper Trail because it's next to Burger King. This spring when the snow finally cleared, people discovered the trees had been cleared too, to make room for more retail space behind Chain Lake Drive.  

Rankin says the city knew the change was coming for five years.

"The wider community certainly knew this was coming forward. But at the street level, I suppose don't come to public meetings. So they said, 'what's happening?' This particular case, 180 acres. This was competed for five to six years ago," he said. "Looking at this in retrospect, we, including myself, could've done a better job of communication what was happening."

Rankin says ten per cent of the acreage will be dedicated to the development of the future Blue Mountain Birch Cove Park. 

He says reserving 10 to 18 acres of the development for parkland is "an investment by the municipality. A huge environmental asset."