Welcome to Council Highlights, a concise digest of newsworthy decisions and issues from Town of Lunenburg Council meetings. For a more detailed account of Council meetings check Council agendas and minutes on the Council Meetings page.

Download   pdf 2023 Council Highlights (324 KB) pdf 2023 Council Highlights (324 KB)

Jan. 23, 2024 

Watch the meeting recording on YouTube or read the agenda package.

Council Deliberates on Blockhouse Hill's Future: Decision on Declaring Land as Surplus Postponed Until March

Town staff and MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd. (MLSA) staff presented details on four design schemes for the proposed development of Blockhouse Hill. The full report is available here:  pdf Blockhouse Hill Development Options: Final Report (41.44 MB) . The presentation slides are also available:  pdf Blockhouse Hill Development Options: Final Report Presentation (99.75 MB) .

Following the presentation, Council directed staff to work with MLSA to draft development rules based on Design Option 1: Town Square. Town Square is the highest density option of all the development schemes but still leaves 36% of the land as public green space. Alongside the existing design scheme for Option 1, Council has also requested the inclusion of potential road connections of Creighton Street and Sawpit Road in the design plan.

When considering development rules, such as a development agreement or a covenant, a range of rules can be applied to ensure the proposed development aligns with the Town's planning requirements and community standards. Developers are bound to these development rules through legal and contractual mechanisms. Development rules continue to exist and remain enforceable even if the lands are sold to new owners.

Since drafting these development rules falls under the scope of work previously assigned to MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd. (MLSA) in June of last year, there will be no extra cost for this activity. The draft development rules will be presented to Council and included in a public agenda package in the future.

Deferred Decision: Declaring Blockhouse Hill Surplus

Council has decided not to declare the Blockhouse Hill lands as surplus at this time. Instead, they have instructed staff to bring the decision back for consideration at the March 26, 2024 Council meeting. To better understand the financial aspects of a proposed development, Council has also directed staff to provide a report of all tax implications related to all four design options put forward by MLSA. 

If Council declares the land as surplus, it signifies that Council has determined these lands are no longer necessary for Town purposes, opening up the possibility for their sale. However, declaring the land surplus doesn't automatically mean the Town will sell them; it indicates that the Town is considering options for selling the land. Before any sale (or divestment), Council is required to conduct a public information meeting. This meeting allows the public to share their views on the potential sale of the lands. Additionally, before finalizing any development agreement, Council must organize a public hearing, which allows the public to express their opinions and provide feedback on the proposed agreement.

Design Schemes and Impact

The design schemes proposed do not affect Sylvia Park or the Lunenburg RV Park and Campground. Additionally, they ensure that at least one-third of Blockhouse Hill remains as public green space. All proposed options are in compliance with the Town's current policies and bylaws. However, to support new residents on Blockhouse Hill, upgrades to the Town's water and wastewater systems are necessary. The details of these upgrades, including their associated costs, are outlined in the MLSA’s Final Report. Staff have specified that the developer will bear all these costs.

Old Town Lunenburg World Heritage Site Buffer zone

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee establishes buffer zones around World Heritage Sites to protect them from harmful development. Within these buffer zones, development is still permitted. The lower slopes of Blockhouse Hill were already designated for residential development when Old Town Lunenburg was recognized as a World Heritage Site. This zoning remained in effect even when the World Heritage Committee established the Old Town Lunenburg World Heritage Site Buffer Zone in 2017.

For more information on the proposed development of Blockhouse Hill, view Current Projects

Jan. 9, 2024 

 Watch the meeting recording on YouTube or read the agenda package.

Town’s General and Water Utility Capital Budgets approved

Council approved the 2024/25 Town General Capital Budget, amounting to $2,986,000, and the Water Utility Capital Budget, totalling $2,099,000.

Capital budgets are used for long-term investments like infrastructure and facilities that are paid off over time.

Some items from this year’s Town’s General capital budget include repairs to the Townsend Street and Montague retaining walls, new sidewalks and sidewalk renewals, and repairs and maintenance work for the Community Centre. Some items from this year’s Water Utility capital budget include hydrant flushing equipment, the construction of a solar array for the Water Treatment Plant, and the implementation of a water meter program.

The complete detailed budgets are available in the agenda package for this meeting.

The operating budget covers the Town’s day-to-day expenses and will be presented at a future Council meeting.

Council advocates for vulnerable persons registry

Council will write a letter to the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM) and the minister responsible for the Office of Emergency Management, advocating for creating a province-wide vulnerable persons registry.

Vulnerable persons registries typically record information about individuals who may be particularly at risk in emergencies due to factors such as disabilities, health conditions, or age.

Reallocation of capital dollars: Lift Station Communications Upgrade

Council approved a reallocation of $50,000 within the 2023/24 Town Capital Budget. This amount was originally allocated for Suction Line Upgrades but will now be used for Lift Station Communications Upgrades at the Effluent and Starr Street Lift Stations.

The purpose of upgrading these communication systems is to replace aging components and maintain the ability of the town's operators to monitor and control the lift stations remotely and effectively. Lift stations are facilities used in wastewater systems or effluent from one location to another and are typically utilized in situations where gravity flow is impossible.

Council appoints new Deputy Mayor

Council appointed Councillor Stephen Ernst as its new Deputy Mayor. The primary role of the Deputy Mayor is to fill in when the Mayor is unavailable or if the Mayor’s seat becomes vacant.