Blue Mountain Birch Cove shouldn't be developed: HRM staff

The recommendation goes against the facilitator's report that suggested moving forward with development plans. Council will review the document next week.

Recommendation against facilitator's report that suggested moving forward with development plans

The provincial government designated the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes site a wilderness area in 2009 and the municipality has been trying to establish a regional park around its perimeter for about a decade. (Halifax.ca)

In a report published Wednesday afternoon, HRM staff recommended council avoid developing the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lake Wilderness area.

The recommendation goes against the facilitator's report that suggested moving forward with development plans. Council will review the document next week.

Plans for the municipality to develop the park in an area between Bayers Lake, Timberlea and Kearney Lake have been in the works since 2006. 

The provincial government designated the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes site a wilderness area in 2009 and the municipality has been trying to establish a regional park around its perimeter for about a decade.

Controversial development

Two developers, Susie Lake Developments and The Annapolis Group, are named in the report. Together they own 854 acres of the more than 4,000 acres in the conceptual park's area. 

In June, at least one developer said rural development could work alongside what park lovers want.

Since Aug. 5, the public had a chance to speak their mind to staff. Council staff received more than 1,400 lettersmany against development.