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Urban Sprawl

Too often farmland is protected on paper — but not in fact.

Farmland, by its nature, is attractive to developers. Farmland is not rocky. It is flat or has gentle slopes. It’s a developer’s paradise! It’s easy to pave. And developers will pave paradise if we let them.

Here in Kings County, over recent years, an errant council proved determined to rezone 3 blocks of land totalling about 600 acres. This farm land was zoned A1 (agricultural) and located on the Annapolis Valley floor. An NDP government, elected in June 2010, approved residential development related to 1 of these blocks. On the second it did a partial approval. No Farm No Food actions and protests continued. Then, in a landmark decision on March 23, 2012, it decided to deny development of the 3rd block (382 acres in Greenwich). This was a major victory brought about through the lobby efforts of No Farms No Food. It was appealed to the Supreme of Nova Scotia by the landowners but the court upheld the Minister of Agriculture’s decision.

More recently, four owner of prime agricultural land applied to the county to have 395 acres of high capability farmland kept in the agriculture district to prevent futher urban sprawl in North Kentville. Their plea appears to have fallen on deaf ears at the planning department. Their land in the new municipal planning strategy is zoned for development.

No Farms No Food will continue its careful watch of any and all occurences in Kings County related to the potential loss of farmland. Why?

Urban sprawl happens unless it’s opposed. Did you know that:

  • 49% of Ontario’s prime farmland was lost to accommodate the expansion of the Greater Toronto Area?
  • The commercial strips in Cole Harbour and New Minas, Nova Scotia, were both located on prime farmlands while lands not suitable for farming were only a short distance away?

Urban sprawl, Kings County style, has occured against the wish of the majority of the county’s residents and in favour of a few developers. While opposition has been strong and widespread, development has been consistently pushed forward. If the Greenwich development had been approved by the provincial government, No Farms No Food, was ready to take its case to the courts. We are thankful that wasn’t necessary.