International Day of Persons with Disabilities designated — council moves money into rental housing & affordable housing

Article by Valerie MacDonald

Opposition to a proposed change to the Northumberland County Official Plan for a parcel of land in the Codrington area, from its present agricultural designation to residential, dominated the first part of Northumberland County Council’s November meeting.

Approximately 15 acres are under consideration in an area characterized as part of the Codrington rural settlement area.

Delegations for and against the change were presented. 

Northumberland Federation Agriculture (NFA) president Sid Atkinson wrote in one of seven letters received by council that the NFA opposes the project and any change that doesn’t “protect this agricultural land.”

CBM Aggregates and St. Mary’s Cement are the organizations seeking to amend the County’s Official Plan, on the south side of Aranda Way east of County Road 30.

The proposed development calls for 19 residential lots and a new road accessible from Aranda Way.

NFA representatives say the land needs to be protected now and into the future. Russ Christianson of the Northumberland Food Policy Council made a virtual presentation claiming the local food policy council supports the NFA.

“Farms feed cities,” he said quoting the often-repeated statement and “we need to protect farmland” and the food supply it provides.

A series of neighbours have also criticized the project either in correspondence to the county, or did so virtually during the meeting, raising issues that included taking farmland out of production, possible impact on water supplies and the environment plus increased traffic in the small community.

Warden Bob Sanderson said no decision was being made at the meeting and a full report will come back to council outlining all of the issues raised and well as the results of studies underway by the proponents.

“A report regarding this application was also submitted to Council for information by Meridian Planning, retained by the County to consider the application and make a final recommendation to Council,” was noted in a County press release.

In other council news, after hearing a delegation about International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3 was designated by the County as the day to recognize people with disabilities. Cramahe Township Mayor Mandy Martin noted the presentation was important because of the information it imparted including how COVID-19 had impacted the disabled in ways ranging from obtaining medical appointments to transportation.

A housing report was presented to council and at the conclusion councillors unanimously adopted moving $1-million dollars from reserves into the affordable rental housing capital incentive program for next year. The waiting period for people needing rental social housing is a year, they were told. Councillors also decided to approve a “one-time capital investment for current non-profit and co-operative social housing providers in the amount of $300,000,” according to the motion that said this would come from this year’s projected surplus in the non-profit housing budget.

Council also authorized debenture financing about $1.5-million over 1 year for the Trent Hills Emergency Services Base.

#northumberlandc0unty, #countycouncil, #CBMaggregates, #northumberlandfederationagriculture

Editor’s Note: Last line change: from 10 years to 1 year for debenture financing

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