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2020-10-24_Municipal Planning Strategy_IN EFFECT MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | i Municipality of the District of Chester Municipal Planning Strategy Original Documents Approved by Council on 28/10/2019 Approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs on 20/12/2019 with an effective date of 09/01/2020. This CONSOLIDATED EDITION is prepared for convenience only. For complete reference, please consult the original documents. This CONSOLIDATED EDITION has the following history: 1) 2) From the documents adopted by Council on 28/10/2019 and approved without amendments by the Minister on 20/12/2019 with an effective date of 09/01/2020. Policy E-9 amended to provide clarification on a mechanism to provide relief from required setbacks around water course, water bodies and wetlands. Compiled 09/01/2020 Amended 24/10/2020 ii | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY This page intentionally left blank. MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | iii CONTENTS CONTENTS ........................................................................................ iii 1.0 TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE ............................................... 1 1.1 Purpose ................................................................................................... 2 1.2 Vision and Goals .................................................................................. 3 1.3 Character and Land Use .................................................................... 5 1.4 Policy Approach ................................................................................... 9 1.5 Authority and Scope ......................................................................... 11 2.0 LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES .................................................... 17 2.1 Parks and Open Space ..................................................................... 19 2.2 Transportation .................................................................................... 23 2.3 Housing ................................................................................................. 26 2.4 Heritage ................................................................................................ 29 3.0 GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES ............................................ 33 4.0 COMMUNITY CHARACTER .................................................. 43 4.1 Rural Area ............................................................................................. 45 4.2 Settlement Area ................................................................................. 49 4.3 Hamlet Area ......................................................................................... 60 4.5 Village Area .......................................................................................... 63 5.0 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ................................................ 65 5.1 Industrial and Business Area.......................................................... 66 5.2 Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Areas.. ................................................................................................................. 71 6.0 ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS ....................................... 77 6.1 Stormwater Management .............................................................. 78 6.2 Watercourse, Water Body, and Wetland Setbacks and Vegetated Buffers .......................................................................................... 81 6.3 Lakefront Overlay .............................................................................. 84 6.4 The Coast and Sea Level Rise ........................................................ 86 iv | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | CONTENTS 6.5 Environmental Protection Area .................................................... 88 7.0 SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE .................................... 95 7.1 Sewage Treatment ............................................................................ 97 8.0 SUBDIVISION ..................................................................... 103 8.1 General Subdivision ........................................................................ 104 8.2 Lot Size ................................................................................................ 107 8.3 Lot Access ........................................................................................... 109 8.4 Sewer Services .................................................................................. 112 8.5 Water Services .................................................................................. 114 8.6 Open Space ....................................................................................... 116 9.0 IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION ...................... 121 9.1 Public Participation ......................................................................... 122 9.2 Development Officer ...................................................................... 124 9.3 Development Permits .................................................................... 125 9.4 Variances ............................................................................................ 126 9.5 Non-Conforming Uses and Structures .................................... 128 9.6 Site Plan Approval ........................................................................... 129 9.7 Development Agreements ........................................................... 131 9.8 Amendments ..................................................................................... 141 9.9 Reviewing the Municipal Planning Strategy .......................... 145 10.0 ONGOING & FUTURE PROJECTS ..................................... 147 11.0 HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING .............................. 149 11.1 Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws ............................ 149 11.2 Subdivision Control ........................................................................ 150 SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION CONTENTS: Purpose ....................................... 1.1 Vision and Goals...................... 1.2 Character and Land Use ....... 1.3 Policy Approach ...................... 1.4 Authority and Scope .............. 1.5 TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 1 1.0 TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE The Municipality of the District of Chester (the Municipality) covers a large, rural area in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. Our region is defined by its rugged coastline, settlements and strong traditions. Over 10,000 people currently live here. Our coastal settlements are among the oldest in Nova Scotia. Our inland populated areas are built on agriculture and forestry. This land is the traditional territory of the Mi’kmaq, who have called the area home for thousands of years. Today, First Nations communities are found in both the northern and coastal areas of the Municipality. Our collective heritage is long and diverse. Traditionally, our economy was based on fishing, farming and forestry. Production of food, clothing and other necessities was done locally. As roads improved and travelling became easier, our connections to other south shore populations centres, Halifax and the Annapolis Valley increased. Our location between Bridgewater, Halifax and the Annapolis Valley is stunning. With hard work and dedication, we will maintain a strong sense of place while supporting a prosperous local economy. We will encourage sustainable economic development. In so doing, we will facilitate opportunities for more jobs and services for our residents, enhance community character, and safeguard our beautiful natural areas. This Municipal Planning Strategy will help the Municipality reach these goals. 2 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE 1.1 Purpose This Planning Strategy sets out a vision for the Municipality and provides policies that guide and direct growth and development over the long term. It recognizes the established character of the various settled areas within its borders. The strategy reflects how residents would like these areas to evolve and improve in ways that facilitate growth, development and change where needed, while preserving and enhancing the existing character that makes these places attractive to live and work. This Planning Strategy serves as a reference for all citizens: those residing in the Municipality and managing their property; and those engaged in residential, commercial, industrial or institution al development. It includes policies for land use and development control, which are implemented by regulations in the Subdivision By- law and Land Use By-law. This Planning Strategy is one component of the Municipality’s portfolio of long range plans, including the Active Living Strategy (2008), the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (2009), the Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (2013), the Economic Development Strategy (2013), and Council’s ongoing strategic planning activity. Planning policy, and subsequent regulation, cannot on its own create great places. The Municipality, other levels of government, businesses, community groups and residents all play a role in creating a strong sense of place. Many parts of this Planning Strategy build on prior studies, like the Highway 3 Streetscape Study (2011) and the Age Friendly Housing Study (2016). In addition to policies and regulation, this Municipal Planning Strategy lists actions and programs to facilitate development while maintaining and enhancing existing community character. TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 3 1.2 Vision and Goals This Planning Strategy is based on public meetings and public engagement held since 2015. The ideas, input and feedback have led to clear, strong planning policies to direct and guide future growth and development within the Municipality. Council adopted this Municipal vision: The Municipality of the District of Chester will be a self- sufficient and resilient Municipality, built on the foundation of the character of each of our unique communities. Our communities will work together to provide economic opportunities and a balanced lifestyle for all. Feedback during our public engagement events built on and validated this vision. Residents spoke often about the need for strong, unique, complete and healthy places to live and work. They spoke about the need to balance growth and development with the preservation of historic character and the natural environment. Our Shared Goals and accompanying objectives are intended to realize a Municipality that: Safeguards its natural environment by ◼ Recognizing potential threats caused by sea level rise, storm surge and their effect on the coastline and infrastructure ◼ Reducing the rate of erosion and sedimentation in rivers and lakes ◼ Encouraging the protection of water quality ◼ Ensuring that identified, potential public drinking water supplies are protected ◼ Treating and managing stormwater and waste water ◼ Reducing the impact of development on the natural environment Celebrates its character and heritage by ◼ Recognizing and enhancing the unique character of various parts of the Municipality ◼ Encouraging suitable rural and village settlement patterns 4 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE ◼ Encouraging design that is traditional in scale and form ◼ Facilitating access for all to the coast, to lakes and to rivers ◼ Promoting the preservation of historic places ◼ Providing a mix of places to live, work, play, and learn Builds a strong economy by ◼ Adopting clear regulations and timely approvals ◼ Providing specific areas for commercial and industrial development ◼ Providing cost effective and efficient services to support growth ◼ Fostering an economic environment that supports good jobs Offers appropriate housing choices by ◼ Allowing and encouraging a range of housing to meet the needs of all residents of the Municipality ◼ Encouraging a range of housing and care options for seniors to remain in the Municipality ◼ Encouraging affordable housing Enjoys good social and physical health by ◼ Creating places for outdoor recreation across the Municipality ◼ Designing and promoting accessible spaces ◼ Encouraging and supporting transportation options beyond the private automobile ◼ Connecting residents and visitors with safe cycling and walking routes TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 5 1.3 Character and Land Use This Planning Strategy builds on the physical and social character of our Municipality – on our illustrious history as well as on our natural and human resources – to encourage responsible growth. It also addresses certain challenges such as climate change, sea level rise and our aging population. The Planning Strategy is a response to the circumstances of today, but also expresses our vision and goals for the future. The vision and goals of the Planning Strategy are intended to promote and maintain a healthy, liveable Municipality. Different areas have different needs, and no single approach is right for all. Thus, the Planning Strategy contains sets of policies uniquely created to serve different parts of the Municipality. The different parts of the Municipality are defined by their community character. This character defined in the planning strategy in a range from rural (least dense) to village (most dense) – is its basic organizing structure. Close-knit rural settlements are part of the Municipality’s fabric, as are the heritage and traditions associated with each area. However, Rural settlement patterns are changing. In the past, these areas were supported by farming, fishing, forestry and mining. These activities are still important, but they are gradually being supplemented by opportunities in the tourism, culture and technology sectors. Meanwhile, seasonal homes, cottages and outdoor recreation are commonplace, and many residents now travel to nearby towns, or to the Halifax Regional Municipality, for work. These changes have brought about different expectations of a ‘rural’ lifestyle. While the rural hinterland, especially inland waterways and the coast, is attractive to residential users, it also supports a resource economy where farming, forestry, fishing and industry have co- existed for decades. Such activities sometimes involve heavy equipment, truck traffic and noise – a reality in a rural setting. The Planning Strategy recognizes that business and industrial use can be as much a part of the rural character as low-density residential and recreational use. Accordingly, the Strategy encourages new opportunities that build on that character while ensuring 6 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE compatibility of neighbouring land uses and the safeguarding of the natural environment. The following principles are adopted to help define rural character: ◼ Rural areas have a low population density ◼ Small rural centres – hamlets – provide a focal point for shopping and services ◼ Agriculture, forestry and fishing are critical to rural character ◼ Much of the rural area should remain available for resource industries ◼ Development should have a low impact on the natural environment, to ensure clean air and clean water Each locale within the Municipality has a unique history and context. Some areas have a long-standing mix of land uses, large undeveloped areas and strong resource industries. Others may be faced with more development pressure because of local assets or proximity to larger centres. To account for their distinct needs, this Planning Strategy assigns a Community Character Area to all land within the Municipality. The Community Character Areas are land use designations that accommodate degrees of density, as follows: ◼ Rural Area ◼ Settlement Area ◼ Hamlet Area ◼ Village Area Community Character Areas express how different parts of the Municipality exist today, and how they will grow and change. Rural and settlement areas will continue to have low population densities. They will continue to have a wide mix of land uses, development patterns and large resource sectors. The Village (Chester) and Hamlets will continue to have higher population densities. To respond to development pressure and conflict, these denser Planning Areas will have stricter regulations. TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 7 There are two special land use designations: ◼ Industrial and Business Area ◼ Environmental Protection Area The purpose of the Industrial and Business Area is to direct heavy industry and business uses – those developments that require large tracts of land or have the potential to impact their surroundings – to specific areas. The purpose of the Environmental Protection Area is to safeguard key sensitive natural resources: watersheds for safe drinking water, and specific islands dedicated to conservation. Therefore, Council adopts the following policies: Policy V-1 All land in the Municipality shall be designated with a Community Character Area that expresses the area’s desired character. Policy V-2 Land in the Municipality shall be designated as an Industrial and Business Area where heavy industrial and intensive business uses shall be directed. Policy V-3 Land in the Municipality shall be designated as an Environmental Protection Area where natural resources shall be safeguarded. Policy V-4 The Municipal Planning Strategy shall identify the desired land uses allowed in each Community Character Area, Industrial and Business Area, and Environmental Protection Area. 8 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE Policy V-5 The Municipal Planning Strategy shall contain policies and approaches to allow and encourage traditional rural land uses, including forestry, fishing and agriculture, while accommodating economic diversification. Policy V-6 The Municipal Planning Strategy shall create rural zoning that permits a broad range of land uses, in recognition of the mix of uses traditionally found in rural areas. TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 9 1.4 Policy Approach Council’s longstanding policy has been to impose minimal planning regulations, unless a group of residents asks for more regulation. This Planning Strategy takes a different approach by providing guidance on how all parts of the Municipality should grow and develop. Under this Planning Strategy, basic planning regulations are in place across the Municipality to protect water quality and other critical common resources. Additionally, this plan establishes basic environmental protections in all zones, as well as regulations that will limit the impact of very large or disruptive developments. Many residents are strongly connected to their land and want few restrictions on how they use it. Other residents desire regulations that would protect existing developed areas from incompatible forms of development. Such regulations include land use policy and policy on building design and physical character. In recognition of the above, Council adopts the following policies: Policy V-7 All land in the Municipality shall be subject to, at a minimum, basic land use regulations that: a) control very large or disruptive land uses; b) safeguard the natural environment. Policy V-8 Council shall consider more restrictive planning regulations when a group of residents has shown that it wishes to consider such regulations. Council shall undertake a public engagement program to understand the wishes of local residents and property owners before creating or approving any amendments. 10 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE Policy V-9 Notwithstanding Policy V-8, Council, on its own initiative, may consider more restrictive provisions of the Planning Strategy and the Land Use By-law where Council deems that such land use control is in the best interests of the Municipality. Policy V-10 Council intends to control land use and development in a manner that will lessen conflicts between land uses and in a manner that is compatible with the existing pattern of land use in the Municipality. Policy V-11 Land use policies and regulations shall reflect each area’s: a) rural or village context; b) existing land uses; c) community character; d) desire for regulation; e) vision. TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 11 1.5 Authority and Scope This Municipal Planning Strategy supersedes the Municipal Planning Strategy approved by the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs on July 17, 1997 and thereafter amended. This Plan is the product of a public review process begun in 2014, in accordance with the Municipal Government Act, 1998, c. 18, s. 1. This Planning Strategy provides the policy framework for land use and development control. The Municipal Government Act enables Council to make statements of policy with respect to a broad range of activities including future development, land use, public lands, transportation, municipal services, municipal development, coordination of public programs, and any other matters related to the physical, social or economic development of the Municipality. The Land Use By-law and the Subdivision By-law are the companion documents to this Municipal Planning Strategy. These By-laws are the documents that carry out its intent, as set out in the Municipal Government Act. This Planning Strategy is a policy statement of Council. Council shall have regard to the policies contained within the Municipal Planning Strategy. Council is not required to undertake any action within the Planning Strategy. However, developments cannot proceed unless the intent of the Planning Strategy is met. Although a Municipal Planning Strategy may state policies that are carried out through resolutions of Council or through by -laws other than the Land Use By-law, the Land Use By-law has a special relationship with the Municipal Planning Strategy. The Municipal Government Act states that a Land Use By-law may only be adopted in order to carry out the intent of a Municipal Planning Strategy. Where there is a Land Use By-law in effect, the Act says that a development permit must be obtained for any development, but also allows the By-law to specifically exempt some developments from this requirement. 12 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE Council adopts the following policies: Policy V-12 This Municipal Planning Strategy applies to the whole of the Municipality of Chester unless otherwise indicated in the Chester Village Secondary Planning Strategy as shown on the Generalized Future Land Use Map, as detailed in Schedule “A”. Policy V-13 The Chester Municipal Land Use By-law applies to the whole of the Municipality of Chester, except for the Village of Chester Planning Area, as shown on the Generalized Future Land Use Map, as detailed in Schedule “A”. 1.5.1 Addressing the Statements of Provincial Interest Development and growth within the municipality must be considered with respect to the Statements of Provincial Interest in the Municipal Government Act. These Statements recognize the importance of: protecting the quality of drinking water; protecting the public and property from flooding risks; protecting agricultural land from inappropriate development; the efficient use of municipal water supply and wastewater disposal systems; and, providing housing opportunities to meet the needs of all Nova Scotians. This Planning Strategy and the policy statements within address each of the five Statements of Provincial Interest as outlined below: Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding Drinking Water This Planning Strategy takes a firm approach on protecting drinking water in the municipality. Policies E-1, E-2 and E3 provide regulation for stormwater while Policies E-4 through E-7 create tiered stormwater provisions to protect groundwater. Policies E-9 through E-24 protect water quality through watercourse, water body, wetland setbacks, vegetated buffers, and a Lakefront Overlay. Finally, within the Environmental Protection Area, Policy establishes the Protected TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 13 Watershed Zone in the Land Use By-law. The purpose of the Protected Watershed zone is to prevent the contamination of identified potential drinking water sources and their associated watersheds by limiting development and are supported by Policies E-32 through E-35. Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding Flood Risk Areas None of the Flood Risk Areas designated under the Canada-Nova Scotia Flood Damage Reduction Program are located within the municipality; however, Policies in this Planning Strategy work toward reducing stormwater runoff which can contribute to erosion and flooding. Policies E-1 through E-3 and E-5 through E-7 speak directly to the Municipality’s desire to manage the impacts of stormwater. Policies E-25 through E-28 establish coastal provisions for current and future development. Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding Agricultural Land Historically, agriculture has played an important role in shaping the Municipality and continues to be important to this day. Policy G-2 permits agriculture in accordance with normal farm practices defined by the Farm Practices Act throughout the Municipality. Policy G-24 regulates farm animals within specific zones as detailed in the Land Use By-law. Policy G-30 details regulations regarding outdoor cannabis production facilities as an agricultural use. Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding Infrastructure Services, especially water supply and wastewater, are provided at different levels within the municipality. As the Municipality does not have a central water supply, Policies S-19 and S-20 support the development of local water supply systems that are constructed to a high standard and states that Council shall assume ownership of a central water system when certain conditions are met. The Municipality also operates six central sewer systems. Policies S-5 and S-6 allow Council to consider developing and extending central services, efficiently growing systems to nearby developments. Policy SI-2 supports improving solid waste systems and encourages recycling and reducing waste volumes. Policy SI-3 ensures that all 14 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE major developments are equipped for adequate emergency water supply and emergency vehicle access for firefighting purposes. Additionally, Polices SI-8 through SI-10 permit Council to prioritize and adopt Wastewater Management Districts to provide wastewater services in rural areas while promoting growth in an environmentally and fiscally sustainable manner. Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding Housing Policies L-16, L-17, and L-18 support Council’s initiative to allow for the development of a wide variety of housing options in the Municipality. Policies L-16 and L-17 respond to the varying needs and physical character of the Municipality. These policies allow for and provide a range of development options to enable different housing types and densities. Policy L-18 enables Council to collaborate with organizations, developers, and other groups to facilitate innovative housing and neighbourhood designs, including affordable housing. Policies L-19 and L-20 permit manufactured homes and land lease communities within the Municipality, respectively. Policy V-14 ensures that indigenous communities are informed about any neighbouring events that may be of interest or affect the community. 1.5.2 Working with other Governments and Local Partners As in most rural areas, public services and public utilities in the Municipality of Chester are provided by a network of federal, provincial, municipal, corporate, and volunteer operations. Council has varying levels of responsibility for these services and will work with other levels of government to support and encourage the delivery of these services. Policy V-14 Council will notify and engage with First Nations neighbours in matters of planning and development that may be of interest to, or affect, indigenous communities. TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 15 Policy V-15 Council will work with federal, provincial, and municipal partners to deliver services such as recreation, transportation, national defense, housing, policing, and education. Policy V-16 Council will work with federal, provincial, and municipal partners to support programs and infrastructure related to fishing, forestry, agriculture, tourism, and other industries. Policy V-17 Council will continue to coordinate with fire commissions, fire departments, and the Village of Chester Commission to facilitate registration of these bodies and ultimately to ensure the provision of adequate fire protection and emergency services for residents of the Municipality. Policy V-18 Council will continue to encourage and support volunteer groups in providing a range of services. 16 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | TITLE, PURPOSE, AND SCOPE SECTION 2: LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES CONTENTS: Parks and Open Space ..... 2.1 Transportation..................... 2.2 Housing ................................. 2.3 Heritage ................................. 2.4 LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 17 2.0 LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES All members of society desire a high quality of life, regardless of their age, income, or ability. Residents should be able to maintain personal independence and engage in civic and social life. How we plan and develop these areas affects peoples’ lifestyles and health. This Planning Strategy contains policies designed to support and promote the mental, physical and social well-being of residents. A ‘liveable’ community is one in which: ◼ Open space and the natural environment are safeguarded and may be experienced by all ◼ Healthy transportation options allow people to move freely and safely ◼ Affordable, adequate, and suitable housing is available ◼ There is easy access to facilities and services, such as health care, recreation, meeting places, and retail ◼ Neighbourhood design facilitates opportunities to connect with friends, family, and employment Pursuing the goals of this Planning Strategy will help build healthy, connected, liveable communities. This chapter contains policies specifically intended to improve the liveability of communities by addressing parks and open space, active transportation, housing and heritage. Council adopts the following general policies on liveable communities: Policy L-1 Council shall work to foster a healthy built environment within connected, liveable communities that promotes wellness, and builds a sense of belonging and pride. 18 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES Policy L-2 Council shall foster liveable communities by encouraging well- being, creativity, entrepreneurship, grass-roots engagement, and recreation. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 19 2.1 Parks and Open Space The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Creating passive and active recreation opportunities across the Municipality ◼ Designing public spaces that attract people and activity ◼ Designing and promoting accessible spaces ◼ Facilitating access for all to the coast, to lakes and to rivers 2.1.1 General Policies Every resident requires access to good public open spaces. Parks, trails, beaches and playgrounds provide places to meet neighbours, to play and to exercise. Good public spaces are where all residents and visitors can feel welcome and safe. They serve as a focal point and play a key role in maintaining healthy and vital neighbourhoods. One strength of our Municipality is the proximity to nature and to wilderness areas. This provides natural resources to support personal livelihoods, species habitat, and outdoor recreation for residents. The Municipality plays a central role in providing access to public lands for active and passive outdoor recreation. Public space, however, is about more than green space, especially in the more built-up areas of the Municipality. Streets, sidewalks and small parks are often owned and shared by the public. Street, trail and sidewalk design is particularly important to promote active transportation and healthy lifestyles. The Municipality partners with many groups to make sure these places are safe and accessible. The Municipality works to match recreation projects with the character and needs of each area. In rural areas, the focus is on providing access to protected areas, trails, rivers and other public lands. In small centres and the Village of Chester, the focus is on more formal parks and playgrounds. These types of spaces should be in a central, visible place, and attract a mix of users throughout the year. The Municipality encourages design for public places in such a way that they can be used by all age groups and abilities. 20 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES The Municipality has several ways to dedicate land for parks and public space. It can purchase land or acquire it by donation. During the subdivision process, it can acquire land for parks or public open space or accept cash in lieu of land. To build great parks and good public spaces, it is necessary to first acquire the right land, and second, to design and program it to serve local needs and be part of a network of parks and public spaces throughout the Municipality. The Municipality will focus on obtaining resources to develop parks or acquire high-quality land that will support its goals and will prepare an open space master plan that will outline future recreation needs. Residents have said repeatedly that they desire more access to our coasts, to our lakes and to our rivers. Council will work towards providing more access to the water. Where appropriate, in addition to acquiring more land with water access, the Municipality will acquire land that can be turned into useable, inviting spaces. Council adopts the following general policies on parks and open spaces: Policy L-3 A parks and open space plan shall be undertaken to guide the acquisition and development of parks and open spaces across the Municipality. Policy L-4 Council shall encourage the design of parks and open space which facilitates use by all age groups and all abilities. Policy L-5 Council shall continue to work with other governments and local interest groups to provide parks and open space for residents. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 21 Policy L-6 Council shall work to advance the goals found within the Municipal Active Living Strategy. Policy L-7 Council shall explore opportunities to obtain properties that have water access and are suitable for recreation. Policy L-8 Council shall explore opportunities and partnerships to provide the public with better waterfront access. 2.1.2 Land adjacent to inland waterways and coastal shores Within the Municipality, parks may be developed by provincial, federal or municipal governments, whether individually or in partnership. However, parks and other places intended for public use can be developed by other public or private organizations, or by individuals. Of special interest is development that provides public access to inland waterways and to coastal shores through the development of parks, open space, or other recreational lands. When no other formal agreement has been established, Council believes that the development of land by interests other than the Municipality of Chester or the Crown, and which provides public access to inland waterways and coastal shores, should be subject to a process that ensures adequate measures are taken to protect the environment, reduce potential land use conflicts and engage the public in the process. 22 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES Council therefore adopts the following policies: Policy L-9 Council shall consider the development of land that provides public access to waterways and coastal shores identified the Generalized Future Land Use Map, which are not owned by the Crown or the Municipality of Chester, or in which the Municipality is not a partner, only by development agreement subject to the policies in sections 9.7.1 and 9.7.4 of this Planning Strategy. For the purpose of this policy, access to inland waterways comprises activities such as, but not limited to, boat launches, beaches, picnic areas, parking areas and associated public amenities. Policy L-10 Prior to a development agreement for a development subject to Policy L-9 being considered by Council or any committee of Council, the developer must hold at least one public information meeting in the local area in which the development is proposed to receive feedback and input from local residents on the design, layout, and use of the development. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 23 2.2 Transportation The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Encouraging and supporting transportation options beyond the private automobile ◼ Creating connections to safe cycling and walking routes Our transportation systems connect people to jobs, events, and services in their local area. In the modern era, our Municipality has been built around the private automobile as the primary mode of transportation. But residents are now looking for healthier , more environmentally friendly means of transportation, including walking, cycling, and public transit. Additionally, as our population ages, a higher proportion may be unable to drive or have access to a private vehicle. Without alternative forms of transportation, some residents can become isolated from friends and family, important services, and employment opportunities. Encouraging active transportation, such as walking and cycling, will require rethinking how we design and plan for growth and development going forward. It is a long process that will involve continual work, budgeting, and strategic planning. Building sidewalks, paved shoulders, and trails is vital, especially in areas where walking and biking is currently unappealing, or even dangerous. Cycling and walking routes are most critical in places where services are clustered, to help people easily reach services like health care, banks, grocery stores and schools. Additionally, walking and cycling provide opportunities for recreation and active living. New development can support multi-modal access in its design. Providing public transit that is of high enough quality to compete with cars is beyond the means of a rural municipality. The Municipality can, however, focus on supporting alternatives to the car, like “dial-a-ride” transit service. Community Wheels already operates such a service for residents, which offers pre-booked door- to-door service to residents. This type of service provides critical coverage to many people wishing to access shopping, medical appointments and other errands. 24 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES Through this Planning Strategy’s policies Council will give priority to creating more travel options for residents. By supporting walking, cycling and local transit options, residents will have more opportunities for recreation and engagement with one another. When paired with good design, residents and visitors will have better access to the supports and services they need to stay healthy and connected. Council adopts the following policies for transportation: Policy L-11 Council shall give priority to sustainable transportation choices that provide better travel options for residents. Policy L-12 Council shall give priority to cycling and walking improvements that both support long term recreation plans and support practical trips for residents. Policy L-13 Council shall continue to support dial-a-ride transit and other local transit services, through in-kind support, partnerships and other means. Policy L-14 Within the framework of the Active Transportation Policy, Council shall continue to work with the Province to create safe roads, highways, sidewalks, trails, paved shoulders and active transportation routes for all users. Policy L-15 Council shall encourage new development that provides attractive cycling and walking options. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 25 26 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES 2.3 Housing The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Facilitate development of a range of housing types to meet the needs of all residents of the Municipality ◼ Encourage a range of housing and care options for seniors to remain in their chosen place of residence ◼ Encourage affordable housing For decades, there has been a standard approach to building housing in the Municipality. Houses are often built in rural or suburban subdivisions, just off main roads. In many cases, houses are separated from other uses like stores or workplaces. In some cases, housing itself is sorted by type: single-unit housing in one area; two-unit or multi-unit housing in other areas. While this model may have had merits in the past, our demographics and development patterns are changing. Households are becoming smaller, family units are more diverse, and our senior population is continually growing. Furthermore, economic forces are making homes less affordable. Census (Statistics Canada, 2016) data reveal that 18.5% of households in the Municipality are spending 30% or more of their income towards housing costs. Additionally, many households report housing that needs major repair, or is not suitable for the size of their household. Thus, our housing stock is not always well-suited to the needs of residents. A liveable community means one where everyone, regardless of age, income, or ability, can access housing that is in a state of good repair, is suitable for the size of their household, and is affordable. While providing housing assistance is the Province’s mandate, municipalities must take on a supporting role for affordable housing initiatives. Council’s approach to support affordable housing includes creating a land use framework that minimizes barriers to creating new affordable housing and special needs housing. This includes assessing the need and supply of these housing types and developing solutions appropriate to the area. The Municipality can support affordable housing by allowing for more density where appropriate, whether in the form of two-unit or multi-unit LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 27 developments, manufactured homes, or other compact housing options. Council has also directed that central sewer service, where it exists, is to be used efficiently. This means allowing more housing in areas with services, which lowers servicing cost. Additionally, the municipality can work with community groups and developers to encourage the design and development of innovative housing solutions and neighbourhoods to meet the diverse housing needs of our citizens. Council adopts the following policies to address housing in the Municipality: Policy L-16 Council shall encourage a range of housing types and densities that respond to the needs and physical character of each area, including but not limited to: housing for varied household sizes, housing for seniors and others with special housing needs, and affordable housing. Policy L-17 The Land Use By-law shall provide for a range of development approaches, including but not limited to development agreements, mixed-use zoning, varied residential types and densities, two-unit and multi-unit developments, manufactured housing and alternative development standards, to encourage the development of innovative housing concepts. Policy L-18 Council may work with organizations, with non-profit and cooperative groups and with developers to encourage innovative neighbourhood design and housing approaches, including affordable housing, in the Municipality. 28 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES 2.3.1 Manufactured homes and land lease communities Manufactured homes, constructed off-site for placement and final assembly on a lot, are an affordable alternative to traditional single and multiple-unit housing types. Whether developed as one unit per lot or as multiple units on a lot to form a land lease community, they are permitted in most Rural and Settlement planning areas. It is important for this type of development to be designed to ensure a high standard of living for residents, including having roads sufficient for emergency vehicle access and waste collection, and adequate storm drainage. For this reason, larger land lease communities shall be approved by development agreement. Council adopts the following policies for manufactured homes and land lease communities: Policy L-19 Manufactured homes shall be permitted in all zones, unless otherwise stated in the Land Use By-law. Policy L-20 Where permitted, land lease communities shall only be approved by Development Agreement. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 29 2.4 Heritage The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Recognizing and enhancing the unique character of each character area defined in this Strategy ◼ Preserving and celebrating historic places The Municipality of Chester is rich in heritage resources. These are expressed in three ways: ◼ Customs, values and traditions, including those belonging to Indigenous peoples, those inherited from early settlers, and those brought here by new arrivals; ◼ Buildings of architectural or historical importance, as well as neighbourhoods and streetscapes that contribute to the character of an area; ◼ Landscapes shaped by human activity (known as cultural landscapes), and special places that may hold significant archaeological artifacts. The preservation and celebration of the Municipality’s heritage and cultural landscapes is important because it contributes to a sense of place and identity for residents. At the same time, local customs, values and traditions, as well as places with a distinct, historic character, are of interest to visitors from near and far. In Nova Scotia, heritage properties are protected under the Heritage Property Act. At the time of this Plan’s adoption by Council, Chester Municipality contained forty-five registered Municipal Heritage Properties. Significant alteration or demolition of any registered heritage property requires Council approval. The Act also enables the designation of heritage conservation districts and cultural landscapes. Important archaeological or paleontological sites are recognized and protected under the Special Places Protection Act. One site, Oak Island, is protected under the Oak Island Treasure Act. When feasible, the Province of Nova Scotia assists owners of registered heritage properties with grants for repair, restoration and 30 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES technical advice. Additionally, the Province has adopted national standards and guidelines for the conservation of heritage resources. Council recognizes that preserving heritage is important to social and economic well-being, and that promoting heritage can benefit the local economy. There should, therefore, be standard approaches to stewardship of heritage buildings, landscapes and special places. Council adopts the following policies for the recognition, preservation and celebration of heritage: Policy L-21 Council shall maintain a Register of Municipal Heritage Properties and shall encourage the continued registration of properties pursuant to the Heritage Property Act. Policy L-22 Council shall adopt the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada in evaluating substantial alterations to Registered Heritage Properties. Policy L-23 Council shall work with property owners and heritage organizations to designate buildings, districts and cultural landscapes of historical and/or architectural importance. Policy L-24 Council shall cooperate with the Province of Nova Scotia in raising awareness of heritage programs that affect residents and property owners in the Municipality. LIVEABLE COMMUNITIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 31 Policy L-25 Council shall cooperate with the Province of Nova Scotia in matters pertaining to the protection of places of potential archeological significance. Policy L-26 Council shall continue to work with community groups as they promote and celebrate their cultural heritage through initiatives such as interpretation, distinctive civic signs, and promotion of places and events. SECTION 3: GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 33 3.0 GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES It is the intention of Council, in implementing the key goals and policies of this Planning Strategy, to control land use and development in a manner that will minimize conflicts between land uses, and to encourage development that preserves and enhances both the natural and living environments in the Municipality. Certain matters listed in this section apply to all Community Character Areas, the Industrial and Business Area, and the Environmental Protection Area. Council adopts the following general land use policies: Permitted Uses Policy G-1 Unless otherwise indicated as a permitted use in a zone within the Land Use By-law, the use shall be prohibited in the zone specified. Policy G-2 Notwithstanding Policy G-1, agriculture in accordance with normal farm practices as defined in the Farm Practices Act, and forestry in accordance with Nova Scotia’s forest management guidelines, shall be permitted in any Community Character Area zone. 34 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES Policy G-3 Any lot of land may be used for a purpose permitted in the zone in which it is located, provided the zone standards can be satisfied, including: a) all lots created prior to the effective date of this Planning Strategy; b) all lots created through subdivision approval under any provision of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations or the Subdivision By-law; c) all lots created by any event for which subdivision approval is not required. Habitation of Motor Vehicles Policy G-4 The Land Use By-law shall prohibit cars, trucks and other motor vehicles from being used for permanent human habitation unless otherwise specified. Temporary and Special Uses Policy G-5 Council shall permit, without a development permit, temporary structures incidental to construction, including but not limited to scaffolding and structures for storage of equipment and material. Policy G-6 Council shall permit, without a development permit, the use of banners, display booths and similar structures in conjunction with an election, festival, celebration or special event. GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 35 Policy G-7 Council shall consider yard sales or auctions of personal property on a lot to be a temporary use not requiring a development permit. Policy G-8 Council shall place limits on the length of time that any temporary or special use may remain in place. Accessory and Ancillary Uses Policy G-9 Council shall permit an accessory use, building, or structure that is incidental or essential to the permitted use for each Zone, subject to the requirements of the Land Use By-law. Policy G-10 Unless otherwise permitted in the Zone, Council shall prohibit the use of an accessory structure for human habitation in any zone. Policy G-11 Council shall permit parks, playgrounds and other non- commercial recreation uses in all Community Character Area zones. Policy G-12 Unless otherwise prohibited in the Zone, Council shall permit places of worship and cemeteries in all Community Character Area zones. 36 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES Access and Public Safety Policy G-13 Council shall establish, in the zones where they are appropriate, minimum yard requirements for separation between adjacent buildings as well as between buildings and lot lines, for adequate fire separation, emergency vehicle access, on-site parking, maintenance of buildings and land, private outdoor space, solar exposure, air circulation, separation from watercourses or water bodies, and separation of land uses to reduce land use conflicts. Policy G-14 Council shall establish use-specific parking standards as appropriate in the Land Use By-law, and where developments are permitted by development agreement or site plan approval, the agreement or approval shall make provision for adequate parking and access to serve the development proposal. Signs Policy G-15 Council may regulate or prohibit the type, number, size and location of signs, through appropriate provisions in the Land Use By-law. Fences Policy G-16 Council may regulate, require or prohibit fences, walks, outdoor lighting and landscaping. GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 37 Outdoor Storage, Landscaping & Alteration of Land Levels Policy G-17 In connection with a development, Council may regulate or prohibit the altering of land levels, the excavation or filling in of land, the placement of fill or the removal or soil, unless these matters are regulated by another enactment of the Province. Policy G-18 In connection with a development, Council may regulate or require the planting or retention of trees, and vegetation for the purpose of landscaping, buffering, sedimentation or erosion control. Policy G-19 Council may regulate or prohibit the outdoor storage of goods, materials, waste materials, aggregates and other items and require outdoor storage sites to be screened by landscaping or structures. Home-based Business Policy G-20 Council shall permit home-based businesses as specified within the Land Use By-law and may set limits to the size and type of business to ensure that they remain small-scale and compatible with neighbouring uses. Policy G-21 Council may regulate signs, open storage and outdoor display of home-based businesses in order to minimize impacts on adjacent residential uses. 38 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES Policy G-22 Council may set out conditions, including performance standards, to be met by a development before a development permit may be issued. Radio Communication Facilities Council recognizes that the sole authority for issuing licenses for radiocommunications facilities lies with the Federal Government under the Radiocommunications Act. The Municipality is a participating Land Use Authority with the Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service (CRINS). Policy G-23 Council shall authorize the Canadian Radiocommunications Information and Notification Service (CRINS) to conduct siting, review and public consultation processes in accordance with the CRINS Antenna System Siting Review and Consultation Protocol, Reference Issue 3 [2014] (as amended from time to time). The role of the Municipality shall be to provide input and comments as part of this Protocol. Farm Animals The rearing, breeding, boarding, sheltering and keeping of Farm Animals has a longstanding history throughout many parts of the Municipality. Council wishes to maintain a balance between private property owner’s ability to grow and produce food, with concerns around water quality protection, pests and nuisance, such as odour and noise associated with Farm Animals. Council has committed to further study in this area, which may lead to future amendments to the planning documents. In the interim, Council wishes to maintain existing regulations for Farm Animals as specified in the Land Use By- law. Policy G-24 Council shall regulate the rearing, breeding, boarding, sheltering and keeping of Farm Animals only within specified zones as GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 39 detailed in the Land Use By-law. In all other areas, the rearing, breeding, boarding, sheltering and keeping of Farm Animals does not require a development permit. Electrical Generation Facilities Council wishes to encourage and support the development of renewable energy in a responsible manner that does not negatively impact existing neighbourhoods or land uses. As with many aspects of development, Council wishes to establish a balance that allows for residential scale renewable energy development while clearly distinguishing commercial scale development which is subject to greater restrictions related to location and approval. Relaxation of regulations is provided for solar collectors attached to a building. Policy G-25 Council shall regulate Electrical Generation Facilities based on the type of installation and the overall energy production rating in various zones, as specified in the Land Use By-law. Policy G-26 The Land Use By-law shall detail regulations, including setbacks and approval processes for Electrical Generation Facilities. This includes distinguishing between residential and commercial scale Electrical Generation Facilities. Policy G-27 In areas where yard setbacks apply, off-building solar collectors shall not be located within the Front Yard. Policy G-28 The Land Use By-law does not regulate building materials or include provisions for architectural controls. As an extension of this logic, Council shall not require a development permit for any Solar Collector that is attached to a building. 40 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES Cannabis Production Facilities With recreational cannabis use recently becoming legal in Canada, Council expressed a desire to be prepared and form clear policy and regulations outlining the requirements to develop a Cannabis Production facility within the Municipality. With the understanding that Health Canada enforces strict requirements relating to setbacks, security and nuisance emitting from Cannabis Production Facilities, Council wishes to avoid duplication and therefore distinguishes between Cannabis Production Facilities which operate completely within a building, from those operations that involve outdoor cultivation, harvesting or processing. Policy G-29 The Land Use By-law shall establish regulations for Cannabis Production Facilities and shall distinguish between Indoor and Outdoor Cannabis Production Facilities. Policy G-30 Indoor Cannabis Production Facilities, due to strict federal licensing requirements, are considered a light industrial use and shall be permitted subject to zone standards for light industrial uses. Outdoor Cannabis Production Facilities are considered an agricultural use and subject to additional controls as detailed in the Land Use By-law. Recreational Vehicles The use of recreational vehicles (RV’s) for temporary or seasonal habitation has a longstanding history in the Municipality. Conflicts arising between permanent residents occupying traditional housing forms and seasonal or temporary RV users have led to regulations for RV’s in several zones. These regulations allow Council to control the use of RV’s where desired, while not overburdening RV users in more rural areas. Policy G-31 GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 41 The Land Use By-law may establish regulations for Recreational Vehicles varying by zone, including yard setbacks, requirement for temporary Development Permit, length of stay, placement on vacant lots and other regulations as specified. 42 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | GENERAL LAND USE POLICIES SECTION 4: COMMUNITY CHARACTER CONTENTS: Rural Area ............................. 4.1 Settlement Area .................. 4.2 Hamlet Area ......................... 4.3 Village Area .......................... 4.4 COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 43 4.0 COMMUNITY CHARACTER The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Recognizing and enhancing the unique character of each locale within the Municipality ◼ Encouraging suitable rural and village settlement patterns ◼ Reducing the impact of development on the natural environment ◼ Providing specific areas for commercial and industrial development ◼ Providing cost effective and efficient services to support growth The Municipality is made up of many communities. Some are very rural, while others are small hamlets or villages. Recognizing and enhancing each area’s unique character is the key principle behind this plan’s organizing structure. As communities are defined by their physical and cultural characteristics, they belong within specific Community Character Areas. The Community Character Areas are: ◼ Rural Area ◼ Settlement Area ◼ Hamlet Area ◼ Village Area Character Areas are descriptive, in that they explain how each community is physically laid out. They are also visionary, as they describe the desired outcome for each community. Each Area has policies that describe the developments and land uses allowed in that designation. Each Area also has policies describing what level of regulation is appropriate. For example, some rural communities will have few regulations under the Land Use By-law. Different zones may be applied to different land within each Area. 44 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER In recognition of these considerations, Council adopts the following policies: Policy CC-1 The Generalized Future Land Use Map shall depict the Community Character Areas in the Municipality. Policy CC-2 The Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law shall depict the extent of all zones. Policy CC-3 The Municipal Planning Strategy policies shall describe: a) the desired character of each Community Character Area; b) the types of land use appropriate in each Community Character Area; c) the appropriate zones and regulations that may apply in each Community Character Area. Policy CC-4 Council may regulate the external appearance of structures. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 45 4.1 Rural Area The Rural Area provides land for economic activity and adds to the beauty of the Municipality. A mix of wilderness, resource lands and rural development make up the Area. A low population density with mostly single unit homes is part of this Area’s character. Resource industries are a key part of the rural economy, including forestry, fishing and natural resource processing. Agriculture, the raising of farm animals, and food production are also part of the rural fabric. Supporting a rural lifestyle, with access to open space, nature and traditional industries, is an important principle. The Rural Area therefore allows a broad range of land uses and buildings. Environmental regulations – especially for water quality – are now in place to safeguard communal resources. During the Plan Review process, the importance of sound environmental stewardship was made clear from public feedback. At the same time, many rural residents expressed a desire for a low level of regulation. To balance these aspirations, this Planning Strategy only applies environmental standards to larger projects, and to projects that may have a sizeable impact on water quality. The General Basic Area permits all land uses and developments with the exception of heavy industrial use. Heavy industry includes uses that create emissions like excessive noise, odour, ash, dust or heavy vibrations. It also includes dangerous uses that should be separated from other uses. These include bulk storage of petroleum, heavy metals, ore, caustic chemicals or dangerous goods. Council has decided that these uses should be allowed only within the Industrial and Business Area. While stronger environmental standards for large developments in the Rural Area are stipulated, there remain few land use regulations for small developments. As in other Areas, regulations are stricter for larger or more intensive projects. Certain developments such as golf courses, abattoirs, and fur farming may have impacts on neighbouring uses – for example noise, dust and odour – such that they will require approval by site plan approval or development agreement. 46 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER Council adopts the following policies for the Rural Area: Policy CC-5 A Rural Area designation shall be created which shall generally be placed on lands outside of the more densely developed regions of the Municipality. The extent of the Rural Area designation shall be identified on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. Policy CC-6 The intent of the Rural Area designation is to: a) encourage the continuation of a moderately changing and diverse rural landscape; b) permit a broad range of land uses and structures; c) provide land use regulations for larger and more intensive uses; d) allow for a range of development options that are consistent with the types of development occurring in rural areas; e) safeguard the natural environment. 4.1.1 General Basic Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to exempt common low-impact uses from land use standards ◼ to identify a range of development standards that will be applied in order to minimize potential impacts of intensive uses Council therefore adopts the following policies: Policy CC-7 A General Basic Zone shall be created to carry out the intent of the Rural Area designation by: a) permitting a broad range of land uses and structures; b) regulating larger, more intensive uses that may impact rural character. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 47 Policy CC-8 Notwithstanding Policy G-1, all land uses other than heavy industrial are permitted in the General Basic Zone, unless otherwise indicated in the Land Use By-Law. Policy CC-9 The General Basic Zone shall regulate permitted uses and site standards depending on their size and their impact. Policy CC-10 The General Basic Zone shall only be applied in the Rural Area. Policy CC-11 In the General Basic Zone, site plan approval shall be utilized in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Government Act to regulate: a) moderate-density residential development; b) small abattoirs; c) commercial salvage yards not subject to Provincial licensing; d) other moderately-sized light industrial developments. Policy CC-12 In the General Basic Zone, development agreements shall be utilized in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Government Act to permit: a) high density residential developments and land lease communities; b) golf courses; c) aquaculture; d) contaminated soil facilities; e) other large light industrial developments; f) public waterfront parks not owned by the Municipality. 48 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER Policy CC-13 In the General Basic Zone, development agreements shall be utilized in accordance with the provisions on the Municipal Government Act to permit: a) large abattoirs; b) fur farming; c) aggregate processing over six months duration; where, in addition to relevant criteria in policies found in sections 9.7.1 and 9.7.2 of this Planning Strategy, and applicable Provincial standards, Council shall establish terms and conditions for setbacks from property lines and watercourses or water bodies, distances from existing residential, institutional and recreational buildings, screening, buffering, and protection from emissions including but not limited to noise, dust, smoke, odour and artificial light. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 49 4.2 Settlement Area The Settlement Area covers land near Highway 103 and Highway 3 . While still having a rural feel, settlement patterns are more concentrated and steady growth is likely in this Area. The Settlement Area is created to encourage and prepare for development in a manner that is compatible with both the environment and cultural character of different parts of the Municipality. Emphasis shall be on encouraging well-designed settled areas that support future residential growth complemented by businesses, institutions, and light industry. It also regulates larger developments, and some uses that have the potential to negatively impact neighbourhoods. Some parts of this Area were zoned General Basic under the previous Municipal Planning Strategy, but Council has created the Settlement Area to lessen land use conflicts in more built up areas. The Settlement Area is unique in that some residents tend to relate more to suburban lifestyles than traditional rural ones. Thus, there is a need to create zones more tailored to these forms of development. There is also a need to create a comprehensive planning approach to safeguard the rural landscape that residents value so highly. The zones created are: ◼ The Single Unit Residential Zone – carried over from the previous Municipal Planning Strategy for established residential neighbourhoods to ensure the continuity of a quiet residential character; ◼ The Settlement Residential Zones – carried over from the Rural Residential and Low Density Residential Zones near the Village of Chester and applied to several parts of the Settlement Area where a predominantly residential rural character is most evident; ◼ The Mixed-Use Zone – widely applied for areas requiring a low level of regulation, especially over small developments. Most regulations are in place to lessen conflicts which may occur when larger uses are proposed for the area; ◼ The Coastal Island One Zone – respects the ecological integrity of islands by limiting intense development and is 50 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER applied to coastal islands, traditionally outside the Chester Village Planning Area, which are not donated in trust or owned by the Municipality; ◼ The Coastal Island Two Zone – is applied to islands historically governed by the Chester Village Land Use By-law that are held in private ownership. New lots are required to maintain a large lot area to further limit development density and preserve ecological integrity of the islands; ◼ The Gateway Zone – applied on the outskirts of some hamlets and the Village of Chester, where tighter controls for large commercial, light industrial, institutional and multi-unit residential projects are applied. Therefore, Council adopts the following policies for the Settlement Area: Policy CC-14 A Settlement Area designation shall be created, which shall generally be placed on the more densely-populated areas primarily south of Highway 103 that have experienced modest development pressures. The extent of the Settlement Area shall be identified on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. Policy CC-15 The intent of the Settlement Area designation is to: a) permit a mix of uses that can foster cohesive development of moderate density; b) provide a varying level of regulation which recognizes the diversity of the different development patterns within the Settlement Area; c) prepare for development, especially near major highways; d) encourage development compatible with the Area’s character; e) ensure that commercial and light industrial development is well-designed and does not create highway strip development; f) safeguard the natural environment, especially water quality. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 51 Policy CC-16 The policies of the Settlement Area shall be implemented by: a) creating the Single-Unit Residential Zone; b) creating the Settlement Residential Zones; c) creating the Mixed-Use Zone; d) creating the Coastal Island One Zone; e) creating the Coastal Island Two Zone; f) creating the Gateway Zone; g) providing setbacks, yard sizes and site standards for rural uses, including the keeping of farm animals and the processing of natural resources; h) prohibiting heavy industrial uses and fur farming. 4.2.1 Single-Unit Residential Zone POLICY GOAL: ◼ to safeguard the character and foster the stability of established single-unit residential neighbourhoods, while limiting or prohibiting other land uses Council adopts the following policies for the Single-Unit Residential Zone: Policy CC-17 The Single Unit Residential Zone shall be applied only in the Settlement Area and shall generally be applied to existing residential neighbourhoods primarily consisting of single-unit dwellings. The extent of the Single Unit Residential Zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law. Policy CC-18 The Single-Unit Residential Zone shall: a) permit single unit dwellings as the primary land use; b) permit limited types of home-based businesses; c) regulate the use of Recreational Vehicles; d) prohibit all other uses including the keeping of farm animals. 52 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER 4.2.2 Settlement Residential Zones POLICY GOALS: ◼ to safeguard the essential character of rural residential areas ◼ to permit limited commercial and light industrial uses, as well as farming and natural resource processing ◼ to prohibit intensive uses Council adopts the following policies for the Settlement Residential Zones: Policy CC-19 The Settlement Residential One Zone and the Settlement Residential Two Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law and shall only be applied in the Settlement Area, the extent of which shall be shown on the Zoning map in the Land Use By- law. Policy CC-20 In the Settlement Residential Zones, the permitted land uses, levels of land use intensity, and approval processes shall be tiered according to their assigned level, and shall: a) permit single-unit and two-unit dwellings as the primary land uses; b) permit small-scale commercial, institutional, and light industrial uses; c) prohibit heavy industrial uses and a range of intensive commercial and institutional uses. Policy CC-21 The Land Use By-law shall allow the following uses in the Settlement Residential Zones by development permit: a) single unit and two unit dwellings on a lot; b) small-scale commercial, institutional and light industrial uses; c) forestry processing; COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 53 d) within the Settlement Residential One zone the rearing, breeding, boarding, sheltering and keeping of Farm Animals subject to provisions within the Land Use By-law. Policy CC-22 In the Settlement Residential Zones, site plan approval and development agreements shall be utilized in each zone according to levels of land use intensity to regulate: a) moderate and high density residential developments; b) moderately-sized commercial, institutional and light industrial uses; c) land lease communities; d) golf courses; e) public waterfront parks not owned by the Municipality. 4.2.3 Mixed-Use Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to encourage the continued development of the Municipality’s traditional mix of rural land uses in populated areas ◼ to identify a range of development standards that will be applied to moderately intensive uses in order to minimize their impact on neighbourhoods, the environment and the existing character of the area ◼ to prohibit highly intensive uses Council therefore adopts the following policies for the Mixed- Use Zone: Policy CC-23 54 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER A Mixed-Use Zone shall be applied only in the Settlement Area and the extent shall be shown on the zoning map in the Land Use By-law. Policy CC-24 Within the Mixed-Use Zone, it shall be the intent of Council to: a) allow a range of residential, commercial, institutional and light industrial uses; b) provide modest setbacks for certain rural uses, commercial and light industrial uses and forestry processing; c) prohibit heavy industrial uses and fur farming. Policy CC-25 In the Mixed-Use Zone, a development permit shall be required for: a) low density residential developments; b) small commercial, institutional and light industrial developments; c) forestry processing; d) small campgrounds, RV Parks and tourist accommodations. Policy CC-26 In the Mixed-Use Zone, site plan approval shall be utilized in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Government Act to regulate the site design of: a) moderate density residential developments; b) large commercial, institutional and light industrial developments; c) small salvage yards not requiring Provincial approval; d) small abattoirs; e) moderately-sized tourist accommodations; f) aggregate processing up to six months duration. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 55 Policy CC-27 In the Mixed-Use Zone, development agreements shall be utilized in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Government Act to permit: a) high density residential developments; b) golf courses; c) aquaculture; d) large campgrounds and RV parks and tourist accommodation developments; e) aggregate processing over six months duration; f) public waterfront parks not owned by the Municipality. 4.2.4 Coastal Island One Zone POLICY GOAL: ◼ to limit development on coastal islands not owned by the Municipality in order to safeguard their character as well as their ecological integrity Council adopts the following policies for the Coastal Island One Zone: Policy CC-28 A Coastal Island One Zone shall be created in the Land Use By- law and shall be applied to coastal islands not owned by the Municipality, which are located outside of the historic Chester Village Planning Area. The extent of the Coastal Island One Zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By- law. Policy CC-29 The Coastal Island One Zone shall: a) permit single unit dwellings; b) permit home-based businesses; c) permit limited eco-tourism uses as well as small-scale commercial and institutional uses; d) permit aquaculture and forestry processing uses. 56 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER Policy CC-30 The Land Use By-law shall allow for the approval of the following permitted uses in the Coastal Island Zone by development permit. a) single unit dwellings; b) home-based businesses; c) aquaculture; d) small-scale campgrounds and tourist accommodation; e) small-scale commercial and institutional uses; f) forestry processing. 4.2.5 Coastal Island Two Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to limit development on coastal islands not owned by the Municipality in order to safeguard their character as well as their ecological integrity ◼ to preserve the traditional low development density on islands, close to Chester Village. These islands were traditionally governed by the Chester Village Land Use By-law. New lots are required to maintain large lot area and frontage along the ocean Policy CC-31 A Coastal Island Two Zone shall be created in the Land Use By- law and shall be applied to coastal islands not owned by the Municipality, which are located within the historic Chester Village Planning Area. The extent of the Coastal Island Two Zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By- law. Policy CC-32 The Coastal Island Two Zone shall: a) permit single unit dwellings; b) permit home-based businesses; c) permit limited eco-tourism uses as well as small-scale commercial and institutional uses; COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 57 d) permit aquaculture and forestry processing uses. Policy CC-33 Newly created lots within the Coastal Island Two Zone shall: a) require a minimum lot area of 4 hectares; b) require a minimum 150m of shoreline frontage along the ocean. Policy CC-34 The Land Use By-law shall allow for the approval of the following permitted uses in the Coastal Island Two Zone by development permit. a) single unit dwellings; b) home-based businesses; c) aquaculture; d) small-scale campgrounds and tourist accommodation; e) small-scale commercial and institutional uses; f) forestry processing. 4.2.6 Gateway Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to accommodate high-growth potential expected at entry points to hamlets and the Village of Chester ◼ to ensure that residential, commercial, institutional and light industrial uses are designed to be mutually compatible Council adopts the following policies for the Gateway Zone: Policy CC-35 A Gateway Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law and shall be applied only in the Settlement Area. The extent of the Gateway Zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law. 58 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER Policy CC-36 The Gateway Zone shall: a) allow for a range of residential, institutional, commercial, and light industrial uses; b) encourage commercial development by allowing as-of- right development for most commercial uses; c) require buildings be kept closer to the street, through implementation of a Maximum Yard Setback as specified in the Land Use By-law; d) prohibit heavy industrial uses, fur farming and other industrial uses that are incompatible with the intent of the Settlement Area. Policy CC-37 In the Gateway Zone, a development permit shall be required for: a) single unit and low density residential developments; b) commercial, institutional and light-industrial developments; c) forestry processing. Policy CC-38 In the Gateway Zone, site plan approval shall be utilized in accordance with the Municipal Government Act to regulate the site design of: a) moderate density residential developments; b) large commercial and light industrial developments; c) small campgrounds, RV Parks and tourist accommodations. Policy CC-39 In the Gateway Zone, development agreements shall be utilized in accordance with the Municipal Government Act to regulate: a) high density residential developments and land lease communities; b) golf courses; COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 59 c) large campgrounds and RV parks; d) kennels; e) large tourist accommodations; f) public waterfront parks not owned by the Municipality. 60 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER 4.3 Hamlet Area Hamlets are small settled areas with a distinct commercial centre and a cluster of housing. They are denser and offer more services than either the Rural or Settlement Areas. They are hubs that provide services to the surrounding area, while their settings and landmarks are familiar to area residents and thus make a strong contribution to the Municipality’s physical character. Churches, halls, volunteer fire departments, legions, clubs and societies generally locate in these areas and help to bind them together. The purpose of the Hamlet Area is to preserve the character of these more developed hubs. Hamlets were zoned General Basic in the previous Municipal Planning Strategy. To preserve and enhance the area’s character, the Hamlet designation provides regulations for large developments, and prohibits some incompatible developments. The cores of Chester Basin, Western Shore, Hubbards and New Ross are the areas considered to be Hamlet Areas. Development will be regulated through the Hamlet Zone. Council adopts the following policies for the Hamlet Areas: Policy CC-40 The Hamlet Area designation shall be created and shall be generally placed in areas that have a mix of land uses in more densely built-up areas. The extent of the Hamlet Areas shall be identified on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. Policy CC-41 The intent of the Hamlet Area designation is to: a) encourage development compatible with the existing character of each hamlet; b) permit a range of residential developments; c) permit modest sized business and light industrial uses; d) be a focus for investment in local infrastructure. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 61 Policy CC-42 The policies of the Hamlet Area shall be implemented by creating the Hamlet Zone. 4.3.1 Hamlet Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to recognize, preserve and enhance the unique character of the settlements of New Ross, Hubbards, Chester Basin and Western Shore by applying regulations for residential, commercial, institutional and light industrial developments that will minimize conflict with the existing character of these areas ◼ to be a focus for investment in services and public amenities Council therefore adopts the following policies for the Hamlet Zone: Policy CC-43 A Hamlet Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law and shall be applied only in the Hamlet Area. The extent of the Hamlet Zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law. Policy CC-44 The Hamlet Zone shall: a) permit a range of residential, commercial, institutional and light industrial uses; b) prohibit heavy industrial uses, fur farming and other industrial uses that are incompatible with the Hamlet Area. 62 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER Policy CC-45 In the Hamlet Zone, a development permit shall be required for: a) single-unit and low density residential developments; b) small commercial, institutional and light-industrial developments; c) small campgrounds, RV parks and tourist accommodations; d) marinas. Policy CC-46 In the Hamlet Zone, site plan approval shall be utilized in accordance with the Municipal Government Act to regulate the site design of: a) moderate density residential developments; b) moderate commercial, institutional and light industrial developments. Policy CC-47 In the Hamlet Zone, development agreements shall be utilized in accordance with the Municipal Government Act to permit: a) high density residential developments; b) land lease communities; c) public waterfront parks not owned by the Municipality. COMMUNITY CHARACTER | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 63 4.5 Village Area Chester Village is the most developed and dense area of the Municipality. The unique needs of the Village are considered in a Secondary Planning Strategy. The Strategy provides policies for community character, for heritage, and for development control in the Village. Council therefore adopts the following policies for the Village Area: Policy CC-48 A Secondary Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law shall be created for the Chester Village Planning Area, as shown on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. Policy CC-49 The Chester Village Secondary Planning Strategy and the Chester Village Land Use By-law shall provide policies and regulations to enhance community character and protect heritage within the Chester Village Planning Area. Policy CC-50 General Land Use policies from this Municipal Planning Strategy shall apply in the Village of Chester Planning Area, unless otherwise stated in the Secondary Planning Strategy. Policy CC-51 Where there is any conflict between the policies of this Municipal Planning Strategy and the policies of the Secondary Planning Strategy, the Secondary Planning Strategy shall prevail within the Village of Chester. 64 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | COMMUNITY CHARACTER SECTION 5: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CONTENTS: Industrial and Business Area .... 5.1 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 65 5.0 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Adopting clear regulations and timely approvals ◼ Providing specific areas for commercial and industrial development ◼ Providing opportunities for innovative forms of development through the use of Comprehensive Development Districts ◼ Providing cost effective and efficient services to support growth ◼ Fostering an economic environment that supports good jobs The Municipality is designating specific areas for heavy industrial and business development, in order to help grow the economy. Resilient Municipalities need to build strong economies, to give residents meaningful, year-round work, provide resources to pay for services, and help attract and retain residents. 66 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 5.1 Industrial and Business Area The Industrial and Business Area Designation is a special planning designation. Its purpose is to provide a place exclusively for industrial and commercial development. Business and industry look for many things when building or expanding. One of these is the ready availability of appropriate land in the right location. Providing areas that are pre-zoned for industry and business is a new approach for the Municipality. Apart from the land owned by the Municipality at Kaizer Meadow, land to be designated Industrial and Business Area was zoned General Basic under the previous Municipal Planning Strategy. This new Area is created to provide developers with certainty that their projects will be quickly approved. Specific zoning will also ensure that incompatible uses, such as homes or schools, will not locate there and create potential conflict because of noise, dust or odour from some industrial uses. Industrial and commercial buildings often have large parking areas, yards and outdoor storage, which have the potential to increase runoff and harm water quality. Therefore, like other uses, they will be subject to stormwater management provisions in the Land Use By- law. In addition, regulations for outdoor storage, screening and commercial access may be included. A Business Park Zone exists to identify land for a business park and to accommodate these needs. The Kaizer Meadow zones apply to municipally owned properties on Highway 14, which together make up the site of the Kaizer Meadow Solid Waste Centre. Restricting disruptive industries to a remote area, near an already established use such as a landfill, is a suitable way to limit their impact on neighbouring rural uses. Therefore, Council adopts the following policies for the Industrial and Business Area designation: Policy EC-1 An Industrial and Business Area designation shall be created at the discretion of Council and the extent of the area shall be identified on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 67 Policy EC-2 The intent of the Industrial and Business Area designation is to: a) enable the zoning of land specifically for industrial and commercial uses; b) provide suitable locations for new businesses and expanding businesses to locate with a clear approval process; c) encourage development compatible with industrial and commercial uses; d) prohibit residential development in this Area. Policy EC-3 The policies of the Industrial and Business Area designation shall be implemented by: a) creating the Business Park Zone; b) creating the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone; c) creating the Kaizer Meadow Zone; d) providing appropriate environmental standards through regulations in the Land Use By-law. Policy EC-4 Heavy industrial uses shall be permitted in the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone and Council may consider amendments to this Municipal Planning Strategy that would allow heavy industrial uses outside the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone. 68 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 5.1.1 Business Park Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to accommodate high-growth commercial and light industrial uses in key strategic areas of the municipality by providing places for development as of right ◼ to ensure that commercial and light industrial uses are designed to be compatible with surrounding land uses Council adopts the following policies for the Business Park Zone: Policy EC-5 A Business Park Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law at the discretion of Council and the extent of the zone shall be shown on the Zoning Map of the Land Use By-law. Policy EC-6 The Business Park Zone shall: a) contain land exclusively for uses commonly found in business parks, such as commercial and light industrial uses; b) provide yard and setback standards. Policy EC-7 The Business Park Zone shall allow the approval of permitted uses by development permit. 5.1.2 Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to accommodate the development of industrial, distribution, and manufacturing uses that, by nature of their intensity, may be incompatible with other types of land use activities ◼ to ensure that such uses meet provincial environmental standards ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 69 Council adopts the following policies for the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone: Policy EC-8 A Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law and the extent of the Zone shall be shown on the Zoning map of the Land Use By-law. Policy EC-9 The Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone shall: a) provide only for industrial uses, including heavy industry; b) require setbacks from property lines when not shared with other properties zoned Kaizer Meadow or Kaizer Meadow Industrial; c) require setbacks and maintain a vegetated buffer around watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands Policy EC-10 The Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone shall list permitted developments, which shall be approved by development permit. Policy EC-11 The Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone shall permit developments requiring environmental assessment pursuant to the Nova Scotia Environmental Assessment Regulations by development agreement. 5.1.3 Kaizer Meadow Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to accommodate the potential expansion to the Kaizer Meadow Solid Waste Centre ◼ to ensure adequate separation through buffering between industrial uses in the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone and neighbouring properties 70 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Council adopts the following policies for the Kaizer Meadow Zone: Policy EC-12 A Kaizer Meadow Zone shall be created in the Municipal Land Use By-law and the extent of the Zone shall be shown on the Zoning map of the Land Use By-law. Policy EC-13 The Kaizer Meadow Zone shall: a) enable the potential expansion to the Solid Waste Centre; b) provide a buffer between potentially disruptive uses and nearby properties; c) require setbacks and maintain a vegetated buffer around watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands; c) require setbacks from property lines when not shared with other properties zoned Kaizer Meadow or Kaizer Meadow Industrial. Policy EC-14 The Kaizer Meadow Zone shall list permitted developments, which shall be approved by development permit, and shall prohibit heavy industrial uses. Policy EC-15 The Kaizer Meadow Zone shall provide a buffer (which shall consist of natural vegetation, bio-swales or other means), such that development between Highway 14 and where this zone meets the Kaizer Meadow Industrial Zone shall be restricted to recreation and outdoor activities. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 71 5.2 Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Areas Traditional zones utilized in the Municipality typically list permitted and prohibited developments and are generally rigid in their application and requirements. As markets and development pressures have changed, there is demand and desire to create more flexible zoning regulations for areas which are planned to be developed in a phased manner over time. This designation will only be applied to areas of land that total more than 5 Hectares and are intended to be developed and used together as part of a larger development proposal. Municipal Council wishes to allow for and encourage innovative forms of neighbourhood projects in appropriate locations through the use of Comprehensive Development Districts. These projects are centered on residential uses, but often include other complimentary uses such as Commercial, Institutional and Light Industrial. A Comprehensive Development District is a planning tool used to facilitate preplanned, phased projects of a medium to large scale. The Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District (NCDD) will permit residential projects and ancillary Commercial, Institutional and Light Industrial uses. Within the NCDD, a Development Agreement is required to outline and regulate the provisions and requirements for each site or phase of the project. The NCDD will provide opportunities for innovation that may include privately owned cluster septic systems, private road networks and bare land condominium projects, substantial development on a single lot without requiring subdivision into individual building lots. As the NCDD is designed for larger, longer term projects, this designation will only be applied to a property or combination of properties with a minimum area of 5 Hectares. The NCDD has been designed and implemented in a manner which allows flexibility for Developers, in conjunction with a public participation process to ensure the comments and concerns of the surrounding community are heard and considered. 72 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT A Development Agreement will be required to initiate any project within the NCDD zone. An exemption for existing lots listed in the Land Use By-law will permit up to two dwelling units per lot by Development Permit. Council adopts the following policies for the Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Areas: Policy EC-16 establish the Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District (NCDD) Zone within the Municipal Land Use By-law as indicated on the GFLUM and Zoning Map; Policy EC-17 facilitate the phased build-out of medium to large scale residential developments. These lands may be under multiple ownership or owned by a single entity; Policy EC-18 ensure that before entering into a Development Agreement within the NCDD Zone, Council shall be satisfied that the proposed project is primarily residential in character. The intent of the NCDD Zone is to facilitate innovative, residentially oriented communities through more flexible, alternate development opportunities; Policy EC-19 only be applied to one or more properties with a minimum contagious total area of 5 Hectares; Policy EC-20 primarily facilitate residential uses, however, ancillary commercial, institutional and light industrial uses, appropriately scaled to the development, shall be permitted by Development Agreement. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 73 5.2.1 Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Zone POLICY GOALS: ◼ to allow for and encourage innovative forms of residential projects in appropriate parts of the Municipality ◼ to provide opportunities for Developers to present alternative models for ownership (bare land condominium), septic services, water services and private road networks. ◼ to be applied to lands within the Municipality where appropriate and supportive of new planned residential communities. Council adopts the following policies for the Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Zone: Policy EC-22 allow, by Development Permit, up to two dwelling units per lot for existing lots listed in the Land Use By-law; Policy EC-23 allow, by Development Permit, Municipal Parks and recreation areas and amenities; Policy EC-24 by Development Agreement subject to Section 9.7 Development Agreements, consider flexibility relating to density, dwelling type, servicing by cluster system and private water systems; Policy EC-25 prohibit all forms of Heavy Industrial use within the NCDD Zone; Policy EC-26 control the subdivision of land within the NCDD Zone through a Development Agreement and subject to the Subdivision By-law. Known subdivisions shall be addressed in the initial 74 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Development Agreement, any additional consolidation or division of property will require amendment to the Development Agreement, while boundary adjustments to existing parcels do not require a Development Agreement or amendment. 76 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SECTION 6: ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS CONTENTS: Stormwater Management ............ 6.1 Setbacks & Vegetated Buffers .... 6.2 Lakefront Overlay ............................ 6.3 The Coast and Sea Level Rise ..... 6.4 Environmental Protection Area .. 6.5 ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 77 6.0 ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS The policies in this section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Protecting infrastructure from sea level rise and storm surges ◼ Reducing the rate of erosion and sedimentation in rivers and lakes ◼ Encouraging the protection of water quality ◼ Treating and managing storm water and waste water 78 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS 6.1 Stormwater Management Development changes the pattern of water runoff. Development replaces natural surfaces with hard surfaces like asphalt, roofs, decks and concrete. These hard surfaces do not absorb or hold water. Water flows off them quickly, instead of being slowed down by plants or soils. Heavily developed land, with lots of hard surfaces, can create much more surface runoff than a natural landscape. This additional surface runoff is known as stormwater. Stormwater causes three major issues. First, large quantities of stormwater can erode stream banks and cause flooding. Second, dirt and pollutants, such as oil and phosphorous, are carried by stormwater into water bodies. Third, stormwater does not pass through hard surfaces and absorb into the ground, which can reduce aquifer recharge. Aquifers provide fresh well-water for many residents. Policies in this Planning Strategy are in place to control the quantity and quality of stormwater, to protect freshwater streams, lakes and wetlands. Many progressive stormwater techniques keep water on site and let it soak into the ground, thus helping recharge aquifers. Managing stormwater is increasingly important when considering the impacts of climate change, which includes extreme precipitation as a potential hazard. This Planning Strategy makes provision for tiered stormwater standards in the Land Use By-law, thus enabling different regulations for developments based on their size and intensity. Large residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial developments will be subject to stormwater management requirements. Council adopts the following policies for stormwater regulations: Policy E-1 The Land Use By-law may contain a range of stormwater regulations for developments of different size and intensity. Large residential, commercial, institutional and industrial developments shall have the strictest regulations. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 79 Policy E-2 Stormwater standards shall be developed and shall have regard for the anticipated impacts of climate change. They may include quantitative, performance standards for: a) sediment concentrations (total suspended solids); b) chemical concentrations, such as phosphorous or nitrogen; c) peak flow rates and total stormwater volumes. Policy E-3 The Land Use By-law shall indicate which developments require a professional engineer to verify that stormwater infrastructure will meet stormwater standards. Protecting our lakes, rivers and wetlands requires the Municipality to work with other governments and with community groups. The Municipality may look at how to encourage groups and residents to implement stormwater management practices. In particular, the Municipality may work with the Province to encourage infrastructure design that protects water quality. Council adopts the following policies for stormwater management: Policy E-4 The Municipality may work with the Province to ensure that roads, ditches, culverts and other infrastructure are designed to protect water quality. Policy E-5 The Municipality may explore and enter into partnerships with other governments and local groups on stormwater management and water quality projects. 80 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS Policy E-6 Council may work with developers and other local partners to implement ongoing water quality monitoring projects, where deemed necessary. Policy E-7 Council may develop and implement a stormwater management education program, including guidelines to provide the public with information regarding flood risk, stormwater flows, aquifer recharge, water quality and protection of natural habitat. Policy E-8 Council may prescribe methods for controlling erosion and sedimentation during the construction of a development. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 81 6.2 Watercourse, Water Body, and Wetland Setbacks and Vegetated Buffers Vegetated buffers are areas next to a watercourse that are left undisturbed. Their function is to slow down water runoff and to filter out sediment and chemicals. The roots of plants in the buffer also hold together the soil in stream banks and lake shores, protecting these areas from erosion. The purpose of a vegetated buffer is to encourage protection of water quality, control sedimentation and erosion, and maintain stable stream banks. Vegetated buffers around watercourses, water bodies and wetlands are one of the most effective tools to protect water quality. Developments that have buildings and paved areas produce more runoff and dirtier runoff, both of which lower water quality. Vegetated buffers reduce the impact of development by filtering stormwater, so that clean, fresh water remains available for wildlife habitat, for drinking water and for recreation. Many factors impact the effectiveness of buffers. Wider buffers protect water quality better than narrow buffers. Buffers along the entire watercourse length protect water quality better than buffers along just a portion of a stream or shoreline. Finally, buffers with a dense mix of trees, shrubs, small plants and grasses are more effective than thin buffers with only grass or small plants. Land use planning can help retain intact buffers to ensure water quality does not decrease. Council requires that larger projects keep or replant vegetated buffers. Larger projects are regulated since they have the largest potential impacts on buffers and water quality. Although repairing buffers is important, land use regulations are not the only way to achieve this goal. Working with property owners, and environmental groups can help repair buffers and improve water quality. To track success, water monitoring programs may also be explored, as needed. 82 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS Council adopts the following policies on watercourse/water body setbacks and vegetated buffers: Policy E-9 Developments requiring a development permit shall set all buildings back from the edge of any watercourses, water bodies and wetlands as shown in the Provincial 1:10,000 topographic database. Exceptions to setback requirements may be sought by the property owner through the submission of a professional assessment, confirming that the water feature either does not exist or its boundaries differ from what is shown on the 1:10,000 topographic database as outlined in the Land Use By-Law. Policy E-10 A natural, vegetated buffer shall be maintained for larger developments that require a site plan approval or a development agreement. Policy E-11 Notwithstanding Policy E-9, small accessory structures, as defined in the Land Use By-law may be permitted in the watercourse setback, subject to a development permit. Policy E-12 A natural vegetated buffer shall maintain mostly existing vegetation, as specified in the Land Use By-law. Policy E-13 If required by elsewhere in this document or the Land Use By- law, when a natural vegetated buffer has been removed, or is not practical to be maintained, a suitable alternative shall be required. An environmental study completed by a qualified professional shall demonstrate that this alternative will provide a similar level of protection for water quality by minimizing sediment and chemicals in runoff. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 83 Policy E-14 The Municipality shall explore programs and partnerships that encourage residents and businesses to repair or replant buffers where vegetation has been removed. Policy E-15 The Municipality shall explore programs and partnerships to monitor and report on freshwater quality, as needed. 84 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS 6.3 Lakefront Overlay Lakefront and cottage developments add to the vibrancy and economy of rural areas. The enjoyment and attractiveness of lakes, however, depends on clean water. Unregulated development practices near lakes can damage water quality. The Municipality wants to ensure development protects the water quality of our lakes. This Planning Strategy balances the protection of lakes with the desire for lakefront development by creating a Lakefront Overlay in the Land Use By-law. The Lakefront Overlay’s purpose is to protect water quality. Several approaches are used in the Lakefront Overlay to protect water quality. Vegetated buffers are a simple and effective approach, but they must also allow views, docks and access to the water. Restricting the total area covered by hard surfaces (gravel, concrete, roofs, and asphalt) also reduces the amount of runoff entering lakes. Quantitative standards to limit sediment and chemicals in runoff may be adopted through the Land Use By-law. Finally, major new developments in the Lakefront Overlay may need to become part of a Wastewater Management District. These Districts will ensure septic systems work properly. Together, these approaches help protect our precious lakes. Council adopts the following policies for lakefronts: Policy E-16 The Lakefront Overlay shall be created which may be applied to all zones and shall be applied to land surrounding lakes as indicated in the Land Use By-law. Policy E-17 The intent of the Lakefront Overlay shall be to protect water quality. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 85 Policy E-18 Lakefront development may require vegetated buffers, stormwater standards, limited paving surfaces and wastewater management districts depending on the size of development, as specified in the Land Use By-law. Policy E-19 The Land Use By-law shall allow for the same uses in the Lakefront Overlay as in the zone in which the designated lake is located, but all development shall require a development permit. Policy E-20 Small accessory structures, as defined in the Land Use By-law may be permitted in the vegetated buffer, subject to a development permit. Policy E-21 The Land Use By-law may include additional stormwater standards, specific to the Lakefront Overlay, including provisions for stormwater management practices. Policy E-22 The Land Use By-law shall include a limit on hard surfaces in the Lakefront Overlay. Policy E-23 The Land Use By-law may specify the size of developments in the Lakefront Overlay that shall be part of a Wastewater Management District. 86 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS 6.4 The Coast and Sea Level Rise The Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (2013) identified sea level rise as one of thirteen potential hazards that could occur as a result of global warming and weather extremes. The Municipality’s many coastal settled areas are especially vulnerable to these effects. The average sea level is expected to rise between 1.5 m and 2 m in Nova Scotia by the year 2100. Storm surges, which push water and waves to abnormal heights during extreme storms, could reach 5 m in height above the current high water mark by 2100. Sea level rise will also increase the speed of coastal erosion. These changes will have large impacts on our coastal areas, affecting marine habitats as well as the livelihoods of people who live and work there. Planning must anticipate and acknowledge threats to private property and public infrastructure. Different parts of the shoreline react differently to sea level rise. Coastal marshes and dunes are forced inland by rising sea levels. Coastal cliffs made of hard bedrock resist erosion, but coastlines made of soft sandstones or loose till may erode quickly. Coastline exposed directly to ocean waves will erode more quickly than sheltered bays or harbours. The different combinations of waves, tides and coastline mean that no two parts of the coastline will erode at precisely the same rate, year after year. For these reasons, continual monitoring and study of the coastline is needed to ensure public safety and to protect property. Properties within the coastal area may be threatened by sea level rise in three ways: rising sea levels; eroding coastlines; and storm surges. The Municipality has the responsibility to raise awareness of the inherent risk associated with development on or near the coast, particularly in low-lying areas or areas prone to erosion. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 87 Council adopts the following policies for the coast: Policy E-24 The Municipality shall, where possible, partner with other governments, with community groups and with institutions to continually monitor and predict the rate of erosion and along the coastline. Policy E-25 The Municipality shall collect and analyse future information and data related to the impacts of climate change as it affects coastal areas, including through mapping and scientific indicators. Policy E-26 The Municipality shall continually update its infrastructure planning and maintenance to respond to evolving sea level rise threats. Policy E-27 Council shall consider adopting a Coastal Hazard Risk Map to identify areas in proximity to low-lying and sensitive areas such as beaches, dune systems and coastal wetlands in order to protect development from storm surge and coastal erosion. Policy E-28 Council shall consider requiring waivers for any development in the coastal hazard area, which states that developers are aware of the risks posed by climate change and release the Municipality from all liability. 88 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS 6.5 Environmental Protection Area The Environmental Protection Area designation addresses two specific land types requiring protection: ◼ Potential drinking water sources ◼ Lands placed in trust, donated to the Municipality or otherwise held for the purpose of conservation Drinking water is a crucial issue, especially in Chester Village. Several conceptual plans and studies have been conducted on a central water system for the Village using Spectacle Lake as a water source. To protect a future water supply, Spectacle Lake was designated a Protected Watershed under the former Chester Village Secondary Planning Strategy. To preserve the potential of Spectacle Lake as a water source, land uses will be strictly controlled to minimize the possibility of contaminating the lake water. Engineering studies have also identified the feasibility of diverting the water flow from the northern watershed of Mill Brook into Spectacle Lake. To ensure an adequate supply of clean water, the same land use controls extend to this watershed. In the event that other lake-water sources are deemed to be viable options, this Area designation may be applied to any area within the Municipality. Over the years, a number of islands in Mahone Bay and St. Margaret’s Bay have been placed in trust or donated to the Municipality for the purpose of conservation. For the islands so designated, only research, education or passive recreation uses will be permitted. Council may further apply this designation to any land that has been specifically dedicated by the owners for the long-term conservation of natural habitat. The only permeant structures permitted within the Conservation Zone shall be those erected by or under the guidance of the Municipality. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 89 Council adopts the following policies for the Environmental Protection Area designation: Policy E-29 An Environmental Protection Area designation shall be created, the extent which shall be shown on the Generalized Future Land Use Map. Policy E-30 The intent of the Environmental Protection Area designation is to: a) limit development and strictly control land use in designated lands; b) safeguard the ecological integrity of designated lands in order to protect drinking water and preserve natural habitat. Policy E-31 The policies of the Environmental Protection Area designation shall be implemented by: a) creating the Protected Watershed Zone; b) creating the Conservation Zone; c) strictly limiting or prohibiting land use in the interests of environmental protection. 6.5.1 Protected Watershed Zone POLICY GOAL: ◼ to prevent the contamination of identified potential drinking water sources and their associated watersheds by limiting development 90 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS Council adopts the following policies for the Protected Watershed Zone: Policy E-32 A Protected Watershed Zone shall be created to carry out the intent of the Protected Watershed Policy Goal and its extent shall be shown in the Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law. Policy E-33 The Protected Watershed Zone may only be applied to an Environmental Designation, at the discretion of Council. Policy E-34 The Protected Watershed Zone shall: a) permit single unit dwellings on large lots; b) permit water supply treatment and distribution uses; c) prohibit commercial and industrial uses; d) prohibit livestock operations; e) prohibit new public roads and subdivision on private roads; f) contain special requirements for new structures associated with permitted land uses including measures to protect water quality such as watercourse buffers; g) require a large minimum lot size and a large minimum lot frontage. Policy E-35 The Land Use By-law shall allow for the approval of uses permitted in the Protected Watershed Zone by development permit. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 91 6.5.2 Conservation Zone POLICY GOAL ◼ to safeguard the ecological integrity of lands placed in trust, donated to the Municipality or otherwise designated for the purpose of conservation Council adopts the following policies for the Conservation Zone: Policy E-36 A Conservation Zone shall be created in the Land Use By-law. Its extent shall be shown on the Zoning Map in the Land Use By-law. Policy E-37 The Conservation Zone may only be applied to an Environmental Designation, on land dedicated by its owners for conservation by: a) conveying the land to a conservation organization; b) conveying the land to government; or c) establishing conservation easements for lands owned by an Authorized Body. Policy E-38 The Conservation Zone shall allow only research, education and passive recreation uses including structures owned or installed by the Municipality. Policy E-39 The Land Use By-law shall not allow for the construction of any permanent structures, including wharves and docks, in the Conservation Zone, except those owned or installed by the Municipality of the District of Chester. 92 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS Policy E-40 The Land Use By-law shall allow for the approval of uses permitted in the Conservation Zone by development permit. 94 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ENVIRONMENTAL SAFEGUARDS SECTION 7: SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE CONTENTS: Sewage Treatment ............. 7.1 SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 95 7.0 SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE The policies in this Section respond to the following objectives: ◼ Reducing the impact of development on the natural environment ◼ Providing cost effective and efficient services to support growth ◼ Ensuring drinking water supplies and aquifers are protected ◼ Treating and managing stormwater and waste water The Municipality raises money through taxes and grants from the Province. Money is spent on services, including providing basic services like central sewage and Municipal roads. Ensuring that quality services are delivered cost-effectively is critical to the well- being of the Municipality. Council adopts the following policies for services and infrastructure: Policy SI-1 Where financially sustainable, Council shall maintain, improve, and expand municipal services, facilities, and programs. Policy SI-2 Council shall maintain and improve the system of solid waste collection and disposal, including programs for recycling material and reducing the volume of waste. Policy SI-3 Council shall ensure that all major development is designed to allow emergency vehicle access and includes adequate water supply for fire fighting. 96 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE Policy SI-4 Council shall retain the services of a Municipal Engineer, who shall be responsible for the review and approval of all engineering drawings and proposals for all municipal services, including central sewer systems, central water systems and public roads. SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 97 7.1 Sewage Treatment Treating sewage is critical to protecting human health and water quality. Sewage treatment decisions have a large effect on the cost of development and development options. Policies on sewage services are needed for responsible growth to occur. The Municipality has a mix of public sewer systems and private on - site systems. The public central systems have pipes and pumping stations, which collect sewage from many homes and send it to a central treatment location. Public systems are operated and funded by the Municipality, through a sewer rate. In more rural areas, people have on-site septic systems. Approval to build on-site systems is under Provincial jurisdiction, but the Municipality has a clear interest in ensuring proper treatment. 7.1.1 Central Sewer Systems As of 2019, the Municipality operates six central systems: ◼ Mill Cove’s treatment plant was built in 1967 and serves just over 60 connections. ◼ Otter Point’s system was built in 1976 and serves just over 20 connections. Sewage is treated by a sand filter bed system. ◼ Chester Basin’s system serves 5 connections, with a sand filter bed system. ◼ Western Shore’s treatment plant was built in 1975 and serves over 330 connections. ◼ Chester Village’s treatment plant was built in 1974 and serves about 800 connections. ◼ New Ross’s sand filter bed system was built in 2011 and serves almost 20 connections. In general, central services are not appropriate for few units or areas of very low density. Some of these systems, however, were built to fix small, localized pollution problems caused by failing on-site septic systems. The result is that several of our systems serve a small number of residents at a high cost per connection. 98 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE Sewer options have improved dramatically since many systems were built, however, money available from other levels of government to build and maintain these systems is not consistent. The Municipality is concerned with long term financial sustainability associated with the construction and maintenance of central services. Wastewater management districts offer a flexible solution to both environmental and financial priorities. Each Wastewater District is paid for by the users, while being controlled and maintained by the Municipality to ensure environmental concerns are adequately addressed. In recognition of the above, Council adopts the following policies for sewer systems: Policy SI-5 Council shall consider requests to extend or develop central services to permit new developments, or to connect existing structures or properties to central services. Policy SI-6 Council may require new developments adjacent to existing central services to connect to those services where capacity exists. SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 99 Policy SI-7 Council may consider some or all of the following before approving extensions to the collection system: a) the environmental appropriateness of any new, extended or adopted systems; b) the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of alternative on-site systems; c) the Municipality’s ability to pay for capital costs and long term maintenance of extending the collection system; d) the ability to access funding from other levels of government; e) the developer or property owner’s ability and willingness to contribute to the costs of any extension; f) the increased revenue from an increase in sewer connections; and f) the existence or potential for establishment of a Wastewater Management District in order to allow wastewater treatment alternatives. 7.1.2 Wastewater Management Districts A Wastewater Management District (WMD) is a technique used to provide appropriate, cost-effective wastewater service in rural areas. WMDs allow municipalities to manage privately owned, on-site septic systems. WMDs ensure that on-site systems have regular upkeep and maintenance, which helps prevent failures. The Municipality can access outside funding and provide subsidies for private systems. Finally, WMDs provide more opportunities to use innovative approaches, like cluster systems. The Municipality may create WMDs as a means to help implement this Planning Strategy. WMDs will allow more growth in denser areas – like Hamlets and the Village – while protecting water quality. Council may also put WMDs in place near lakes and other sensitive areas. WMDs are structured to provide residents with flexibility and choice. Existing developments may join the WMD voluntarily, but new 100 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE development must join the WMD. This approach will accomplish several objectives: ◼ providing support to residents with on-site services; ◼ ensuring proper sewage disposal; ◼ encouraging innovative sewage treatment; ◼ supporting denser development; ◼ providing residents with choice. To support appropriate, cost-effective wastewater disposal, Council adopts the following policies on Wastewater Management Districts: Policy SI-8 When establishing Wastewater Management Districts, Council shall adopt a By-law that specifies: a) the boundaries of all Wastewater Management Districts; b) the properties or on-site systems that must become part of a District; c) the properties or on-site systems that may voluntarily become part of a District; d) the criteria to accept properties into a District; e) the responsibility of the Municipality with regard to designing, building, maintaining, upgrading and replacing on-site systems within a District; f) the responsibility of property owners with regard to designing, building, maintaining, upgrading and replacing on-site systems within a District; g) the charges or rates, if any, that are applied to properties within the District; h) the financial support, if any, that is available to property owners in the District. SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 101 Policy SI-9 Council may prioritize creating Wastewater Management Districts in and around the Hamlets, Villages, lakefronts or environmentally sensitive areas as a means of promoting growth in an environmentally and fiscally responsible fashion. Policy SI-10 Council may create additional Wastewater Management Districts to deal with existing or anticipated pollution problems. Where a District is created to deal with an existing pollution problem, Council may mandate that property owners become part of the District. 102 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SERVICES AND INFRASTRUCTURE Created by Mindandi – freepik.com SECTION 8: SUBDIVISION CONTENTS: General Subdivision .......... 8.1 Lot Size ................................... 8.2 Lot Access ............................. 8.3 Sewer Services ..................... 8.4 Water Services ..................... 8.5 Open Space .......................... 8.6 SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 103 8.0 SUBDIVISION Subdivision means dividing a parcel of land into two or more lots, consolidating two or more lots, or undertaking boundary adjustments. Under the Municipal Government Act, Municipalities are required to administer subdivision approvals. The Subdivision By-law, the Land Use By-law, and the Municipal Specifications work together to regulate the following aspects of development: ◼ Servicing and sewage disposal ◼ Design and construction of new roads ◼ Design and construction of municipal services ◼ Drainage and stormwater management ◼ Dedication of land for open space This Planning Strategy provides policy direction for the creation of a Subdivision By-law. 104 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION 8.1 General Subdivision The subdivision of land involves the orderly process of land division while providing for the creation of streets and services. The Municipal Government Act and the Provincial Subdivision Regulations set out the basic requirements for information that must be shown on plans of subdivision, as well as the procedures which must be followed in reviewing and in approving plans of subdivision. Through policy, the Municipality may set alternative criteria or requirements for subdivision. A Subdivision By-law typically addresses matters such as access to lots, the extension of sewer and water lines to any new lots, and the provision of open space. The Subdivision By-law must be closely linked to the Land Use By-law, especially in the matter of lot size and access to lots. To carry out the intent of these subdivision policies, Council adopts the following policies: Policy S-1 A Subdivision By-law shall be created to carry out the intent of this Municipal Planning Strategy and shall apply to the whole Municipality, including the Chester Village Planning Area. It provides the principal means to control the subdivision of land. Policy S-2 The intent of the Subdivision By-law shall be to follow Provincial Subdivision Regulations unless otherwise stated by policy. Policy S-3 It is the intention of Council to adopt a Subdivision By-law which is consistent with the Provincial Subdivision Regulations and further, to include in the Subdivision By-law any provisions of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations which are applicable to the Municipality. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 105 Policy S-4 It is the intention of Council to control the subdivision and consolidation of land in an orderly manner so as to: a) protect public health by promoting proper sewage disposal; b) promote public safety and cost-efficiency in the construction and use of new roads; c) ensure that new municipal services are constructed and maintained at minimum cost to the municipality; d) provide essential information about land ownership within the Municipality. Policy S-5 Council shall be guided by any interpretation by the Department of Municipal Affairs of all provisions of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations which are directly incorporated into the Subdivision By-law. Policy S-6 Council shall require subdividers to submit concept plans for early evaluation when new public roads, Municipal sewer systems or Municipal water services are proposed. Policy S-7 Council shall require that any subdivision of land conform to all the applicable Land Use By-law requirements. 106 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION Policy S-8 It is the intention of Council to adopt a Subdivision By-law that regulates the division and consolidation of lands within the Municipal boundaries so as to ensure: a) that such subdivisions of land conform with any applicable requirements of any applicable Land Use By-law for minimum lot area, lot frontage, setbacks and access; b) where there is no central sewer system, that such subdivisions of land intended for development are tested to determine whether the lots are suitable for on-site sewage disposal; c) where there is no Secondary Planning Strategy, but lots are served by a central sewer system, that such subdivisions of land provide an adequate lot size for ordinary residential purposes; d) that such subdivisions of land provide for safe adequate access from the Public Highway network to each approved lot; e) that any central sewer systems and central water systems are properly designed and constructed, as well as connected to existing municipal systems where possible; f) that provisions are made for dedicating land, or the contribution of equivalent value in lieu of land, for park, playground and similar public purposes; g) that engineering drawings are prepared by qualified professionals and filed with the Municipal Clerk to show the construction details of any new central sewer or water services, and of any new Municipal Public Highways, as well as the engineering design of any new private roads; h) that the applicable requirements of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations are in effect. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 107 8.2 Lot Size Minimum lot sizes for on-site sewage disposal by septic tank and disposal field are set by the Nova Scotia On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems Regulations. Because of slopes, soil conditions, topographic features, or development density, lots often have to be larger than the minimum size in order to qualify for on-site sewage disposal. The Provincial Subdivision Regulations allow lots to be created at any size with comments from the Department of the Environment on their suitability for on-site sewage disposal. Where there is a central sewer system the minimum lot area will continue the standard established by Subdivision regulations in previous years in order to maintain the current y standard. Instruments of Subdivision were previously permitted for lots 0.93 hectares and greater. As Council considered this form of subdivision problematic and less accurate than a modern Plan of Subdivision prepared by a professional Council increased the minimum lot size to two hectares in 2008. This plan retains this minimum lot size pending a review of the Subdivision By-law. In all other respects, including provisions for undersized lots and minimum frontage requirements, the Subdivision By-law follows the provisions of the Provincial Subdivision Regulations in accordance with Policy 14.1.1 above. To carry out these intentions, Council adopts the following policies: Policy S-9 To require a minimum lot area and lot width for all new lots served by a central sewage collection system, based on the current standards in the Municipality. Policy S-10 To require any new lots created by instrument of subdivision (other than consolidation or additions) to have an area of at least 2 hectares. 108 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 109 8.3 Lot Access The Provincial Subdivision Regulations require that lots must abut: a public highway; a right-of-way at least twenty (20) m wide; or an existing right-of-way which has been previously listed on a schedule in the Subdivision Regulations (Schedule `B'). There is also a provision for lots on an island and a provision for one division of any existing lot without any specific access requirement. Although Policy S-11 expresses Council's acceptance of this general arrangement, there are two road issues of particular concern to Council: Municipal Public Highways and private roads. Although Council does not wish to restrict the creation of Public Highways which are owned and maintained by the Municipality, Council has adopted, as a Schedule to the Subdivision By-law, design and construction standards for new Municipal Public Highways. Where there are older existing roads which pre-date the Subdivision By-law, Council will consider accepting such roads as Municipal Public Highways provided that the roadbed and road drainage system are adequate for the expected traffic loads, despite any minor deviations from the standards set out in the Subdivision By-Law. Private roads are sometimes a problem to maintain. The greater the number of lots using the roadbed, the greater the problem, with increased traffic and increased numbers of people who must be persuaded to share the maintenance costs. These problems are sometimes solved through the Private Street Improvement & Maintenance By-law. This allows the Municipality, upon petition by land owners, to build the road to the required standard and recover the costs from the landowners by means of an area rate. In many cases, the original road constructed by the subdivider has proven to be inadequate for reasonable maintenance and for vehicle access, especially emergency vehicles. In order to protect the interests of lot owners, Council will require the subdivider to construct all private and public roads to the appropriate Municipal Standard. Since the Provincial Subdivision Regulations (prior to the effective date of the Subdivision By-Law) allowed unlimited numbers of lots 110 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION on a right-of-way twenty (20) m wide with no consideration of road grades or the horizontal alignment of the road, Council's policy on requiring road design is going to cause difficulties for some subdividers who did not consider road design in laying out some existing subdivisions. Council will provide some relief for these situations by allowing subdivisions using these older rights-of-way provided the total number of lots using any such pre-existing twenty (20) m wide right-of-way is small. Council is also aware of difficult situations in which large tracts of land cannot be subdivided under the Provincial Subdivision Regulations because of inadequate access, with no reasonably feasible way to provide a twenty (20) m-wide right-of-way, much less a designed road. Council is prepared to provide relief from the strict access requirements where a division of property would resolve problems of joint tenancy or tenancy-in-common. To address these concerns, Council adopts the following policies: Policy S-11 Where the Provincial Regulations enable lots to be approved with frontage on a right-of-way twenty (20) m wide, and where such rights-of-way give access to more than six (6) new lots created through Subdivision approval, Council shall require such rights-of way to be designed and constructed in accordance with the Municipal Specifications as adopted by Council, in order to facilitate construction of a Public Highway at any future time. The Subdivision By-law may exempt such roads from the paving requirements of the Municipal Specifications. Policy S-12 Council shall require standards for design and construction of Municipal Public Highways to be included in the Subdivision By- law. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 111 Policy S-13 Council shall provide relief from the general requirements for access by allowing the division of lots, which are owned and have been so owned prior to 1 January 2000 by joint tenants or by tenants-in-common, into as many lots as there are owners without regard to the access from the lots to the Public Highway network. Policy S-14 Council shall provide relief from the requirements for a designed and constructed road set out in Policy S-11 by allowing a maximum of six (6) lots to be approved under the Subdivision By-law after 1 January 2000 with frontage on a twenty (20) m-wide right-of-way which was created under the Provincial Subdivision Regulations prior to 1 January 2000. Policy S-15 Council shall provide relief from the requirements for a designed and constructed road set out in Policy S-11 by allowing the subdivision of land on an island which is not served either by a public street, provided each lot either has water frontage of six (6) m or more or has access to the water by means of a right-of-way of no less than six (6) m in width. 112 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION 8.4 Sewer Services Other than allowing the division of lots in serviced areas, the Provincial Subdivision Regulations are silent about central sewer systems. These services are the responsibility of Municipal Government, and Council has a number of concerns as a result of experience. The Municipality owns and operates central sewer systems and sewage treatment plants in Chester Village, Western Shore, New Ross, Chester Basin, Mill Cove and Chester Acres Subdivision (Otter Point) in East Chester. Past experience with privately-owned central sewer systems has convinced Council that these systems often cause significant maintenance problems for lot owners, especially if the construction and design of the system is inadequate. Council will agree to the construction of new central sewer systems only if such systems are constructed to a standard suitable for maintenance by the Municipality. These systems will be conveyed to the Municipality before subdivision approval is granted for any lots serviced by the central sewer system. Alternatively, Council may enter into an agreement with the developer, which guarantees construction of the system, and subdivision approval may be granted before construction provided that the agreement is backed by an appropriate bond or other security. A central system is any system accepting sewage from two or more lots. To address these concerns, Council adopts the following policies: Policy S-16 Council shall enable the subdivision of land into lots serviced by any central sewer system owned and operated by the Municipality. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 113 Policy S-17 Council shall require new sewer systems which accept sewage from four or more lots to be constructed to a standard suitable for maintenance by the Municipality and to be conveyed to the Municipality prior to subdivision approval for any lots served by such systems, except as explained in Policy S-18 below. Policy S-18 Council shall enable the subdivision of land into lots which are to be serviced by a central sewer system where: a) the developer has entered into an agreement which is satisfactory to Council; and b) the developer has posted a performance bond or other security as specified in the Subdivision By-law; c) the agreement provides that the developer may receive subdivision approval for lots after posting the security, but prior to construction of the proposed sewer system; d) the agreement provides for conveyance of the proposed system to the Municipality. 114 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION 8.5 Water Services As with sewer services, delivery of central water services is a Municipal responsibility. The Municipality does not own or operate a central water supply. Dug wells and drilled wells on individual lots are the standard source of drinking water in the Municipality. Due to chronic water problems in the Village of Chester, Council has commissioned studies, the first conducted in 1967, to look at options for a central water system to serve the Village. This work has been reviewed and updated through additional engineering work in the 1980’s and further studies and work continued through the 1990’s and 2000’s. These studies identified Spectacle Lake as the most feasible water source. In 1992 the Spectacle Lake watershed received zoning and land use controls designed to protect and maintain this potential water source for future use. The protected land around Spectacle Lake, previously included as part of the Chester Village Planning Area is now regulated by this plan. In 2019 Council undertook a survey of Village residents to determine the level of support for pursuing a central water system for the Village of Chester. Given the mixed results of the survey and concerns relating to overall cost, Council has reassessed its approach to water service in Chester Village. The Municipality is currently developing a Water Strategy for the entire Municipality to address issues and concerns around water supply, quality and monitoring. This strategy will be broad in nature and consider multiple alternative approaches that are beyond the scope of a Municipally owned system. This strategy and Land Use By-law maintain a protected water supply area around Spectacle Lake and Council may apply similar zoning to other potential water sources, for use in a central water supply system. If a private owner wishes to service new lots with a central water system, Municipal Council is not prepared to assume any immediate responsibility for maintenance but will require the system to be built to a standard suitable for maintenance by the Municipality, in order to make municipal operation of the system possible at some future time. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 115 Central water systems serving three (3) lots or fewer are regarded by Council as a purely private matter and Council will not set construction standards for such small arrangements. In view of these possibilities, Council adopts the following policies: Policy S-19 Council shall enable the subdivision of land into lots that are to be serviced by a water system which is not owned or operated by the Municipality, provided that any system serving four (4) or more lots is constructed to a standard suitable for maintenance by the Municipality, as specified in the Subdivision By-law. Policy S-20 Council shall assume ownership, operation, and maintenance responsibility for any central water system only where the system has been constructed to the standard specified in the Subdivision By-law and an area rate has been set to cover the maintenance and operation costs. Policy S-21 Council shall permit the subdivision of land into lots which are to be serviced by on-site wells. 116 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION 8.6 Open Space When multiple properties are subdivided, land for public purposes is transferred to the Municipality for parks and public spaces. The Subdivision By-law sets out the standards for land and the process to acquire that land. The need for a municipal fund to assist in the development of public recreation facilities and to acquire land for recreation purposes was first identified in the early 1990s. This need was particularly felt in conjunction with large subdivisions and in circumstances where access to waterways was desired. As provided for by the Municipal Government Act, Council will therefore require a subdivider to contribute useable land, that is, land suitable for recreation purposes, for park, playground and similar public purposes to a maximum of 5% of the subdivided area. Council may also accept a percentage of the assessed value of the new lots in lieu of deeded land. Because Council is not prepared to impose this requirement on any division of land which does not create a new lot, Council will waive the Public Open Space contribution in the case of boundary adjustments and consolidations which do not create any additional lots. The Municipal Government Act gives the subdivider the choice of contributing cash or land. Where a subdivided area contains lands with special features which should be under Municipal ownership Council may wish to purchase those lands and can use money from the accumulated Public Open Space fund for these purchases. Council adopts the following policy for acquiring land for public purposes: Policy S-22 The Subdivision By-law shall provide a process for acquiring land dedications or cash-in-lieu that specifically supports the Municipality’s needs and goals for parkland and open space. SUBDIVISION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 117 Policy S-23 Council shall require subdividers to transfer to the Municipality either: a) an area of useable land for trails, park, playground and similar public purposes, in the amount of not less than five percent of the area shown on the final plan of subdivision, not including streets, roads, or the residue of land owned by the subdivider; or b) cash in the amount of not less than five percent of the assessed value of the new lots created; or c) some combination of cash, land, services or other contribution in kind that is equivalent to five percent of the total value of the land. Policy S-24 If the land being subdivided has frontage on the ocean, a river or a lake, Council may require that any land transferred under Policy S-23 includes land with frontage on the ocean, river or lake or land to provide public access to the ocean, river or lake. Policy S-25 Council shall waive the requirements of Policy S-23 where: a) no new vacant lots are created except the remainder lot; or b) the approval is for the consolidation of lots; or c) lot boundaries are being altered and no new vacant lots are being created; d) the subdivision creates a maximum of three lots from any area of land as it existed on 1 June 2007, but this waiver shall not apply where the lots are part of a more extensive subdivision shown on an approved concept or tentative plan of subdivision. 118 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION Policy S-26 Council shall consider purchasing for Public Open Space within a subdivision, those lands which have unique and special value because of: a) historical significance; b) archaeological significance; c) views; d) access to coastal or inland waters; or e) other outstanding attributes. Policy S-27 Council shall define, in the Subdivision By-law, "useable land" by means of minimum requirements and evaluation procedures so as to ensure the conveyance under Policy S-23 of land which is suited to recreation purposes. Policy S-28 Council shall consider accepting an area of useable land conforming to the requirement of Policy S-23 and Policy S 27 outside of the area being subdivided and within the boundaries of the Municipality. 120 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | SUBDIVISION SECTION 9: IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION CONTENTS: Public Participation ......................... 9.1 Development Officer...................... 9.2 Development Permits .................... 9.3 Variances ............................................ 9.4 Non-Conforming ............................. 9.5 Site Plan Approval ........................... 9.6 Development Agreements........... 9.7 Amendments..................................... 9.8 Reviewing the Municipal Planning Strategy ............................................... 9.9 IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 121 9.0 IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION This Municipal Planning Strategy is adopted under the Municipal Government Act. It applies to all areas of the Municipality and expresses the intentions and policies of Council. Council is not obligated to undertake any of the identified projects but may not undertake actions that contradict its intent. The Municipal Government Act (MGA) identifies various types of development control techniques available to municipalities to regulate and plan for development. These include zoning, development agreements, and site plan approval. The Municipality relies upon these tools for the implementation of its planning policies. This Planning Strategy controls the use of land and the design of development. The Land Use By-law and the Subdivision By-law are the companion documents that carry out the intent of the Planning Strategy. These By-laws contain the detailed standards for development. 122 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION 9.1 Public Participation Public input on planning issues is needed to create good plans and build trust between residents and government. A public engagement program will be implemented for all amendments to planning documents and to development agreements and their amendments. The Municipality’s public participation program will, at a minimum, meet the requirements in the Municipal Government Act, and will be guided by the Municipality’s Public Participation Policy. In all communications with the public, we will uphold the following principles: ◼ Clarity – We will advertise and communicate with the public in plain language, to ensure that the process is understood by all participants. ◼ Variety – To reach as many people as possible, we will use different formats, including newspapers, newsletters, the Municipal website and social media. ◼ Timeliness – Notices and information will be posted well in advance of meetings and events. ◼ Meaning – Residents will have the opportunity to comment on, question and discuss planning matters with meaningful results. Public feedback will be compiled in a clear format and presented to decision makers in a timely manner. With respect to Public Participation, council adopts the following policies: Policy A-1 All public participation processes shall follow the Municipality’s Public Participation Policy and shall meet or exceed the requirements of the Municipal Government Act. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 123 Policy A-2 The public participation processes shall focus on the following principles: a) Providing clear information; b) Using a variety of formats; c) Giving timely notice; d) Gathering meaningful feedback. 124 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION 9.2 Development Officer The Land Use Bylaw and Subdivision Bylaw are the principal means to implement this Planning Strategy. A Development Officer is appointed by Council in order to administer these by-laws and process development applications. Depending on the type of application, the decisions of the Development Officer can be appealed either to Council or to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB), as specified in the Municipal Government Act. In accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Government Act, the following statutory requirements shall be met: Policy A-3 Council shall appoint a Development Officer. The Development Officer shall be responsible for administering the Land Use By- law and Subdivision By-law, including issuing, refusing and revoking development permits. Policy A-4 Council may appoint others to act on the Development Officer’s behalf. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 125 9.3 Development Permits A development permit is a way of ensuring that new development in the Municipality meets the regulations of the Land Use By-law. The Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law specify that certain types of development do not need a development permit. All other development in the Municipality will require a development permit prior to receiving permission to proceed with development. Council adopts the following policies with respect to Development Permits: Policy A-5 In accordance with Section 244 of the Municipal Government Act, a development permit shall be required for all development in the Municipality, except those specified in the Land Use By- law as not requiring a development permit. Policy A-6 Development permits issued under the Land Use By-law shall describe the development, and shall specify a period after which the permit shall expire. Policy A-7 The Land Use By-law may identify specific uses for which Temporary or Conditional Development Permits may be issued and shall establish time periods for such permits. 126 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION 9.4 Variances A variance allows a relaxation or reduction of one or more of the Land Use By-law requirements. They are granted by the Development Officer when it may not be possible to meet the exact specifications of the Land Use By-law, often due to the peculiarities of the site or the nature of the development. The Municipal Government Act allows Council to consider other circumstances where a variance may be considered, provided they are identified within this Planning Strategy and corresponding Land Use By-law regulations. Council adopts the following policies on variances: Policy A-8 As set out in Sections 235-237 of the Municipal Government Act, the Development Officer may vary certain requirements of the Land Use By-law, or one or more terms of a development agreement, where provided for in the development agreement. Policy A-9 The Development Officer may grant variances of up to 25% of the required minimum or maximum for: a) the number of parking spaces; b) the number of loading spaces; c) percentage of land that may be built upon; d) yard setbacks; e) lot frontage or lot area; f) the ground area and height of a structure; g) the floor area occupied by a home-based business; h) the height and area of a sign. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 127 Policy A-10 When granting a variance, the Development Office shall be satisfied that: a) the variance carries out the intent of the Municipal Planning Strategy; b) the variance is not due to a difficulty that is general to the properties in the area; c) the variance is not due to an intentional disregard for the requirements of the Land Use By-law. 128 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION 9.5 Non-Conforming Uses and Structures The term ‘non-conforming’ applies to land uses and structures that do not comply with current Land Use By-law regulations, but which were legally permitted under previous by-laws or those that predate planning regulations entirely. The Municipal Government Act addresses non-conforming structures, non-conforming structures used for residential purposes, non-conforming uses of land, and non- conforming uses of a structure. The Act contains provisions which recognize the legal status of these uses. The Act provides some of the development rights normally reserved for uses and structures that conform to the applicable by-laws to non-conforming structures and uses. The Municipality will deal with these non-conforming uses and structures in accordance with the Act. Council adopts the following policies on non-conforming uses and structures: Policy A-11 The Municipality shall administer non-conforming uses as provided for in the Municipal Government Act. Policy A-12 The Municipality shall permit an existing non-conforming structure to be enlarged, reconstructed, repaired or renovated provided that any change to the structure does not further reduce the minimum required yard or setback that do not conform with the Land Use By-law. Policy A-13 The Municipality shall permit an existing structure or existing non-conforming structure situated on an existing lot to be occupied by a permitted use where the structure does not meet the lot area or other yard requirements as applicable to the proposed use in the zone. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 129 Policy A-14 The Municipality shall permit a non-conforming use to continue to operate and to recommence the use, so long as the use has not been discontinued for a continuous period of twelve months. 9.6 Site Plan Approval Site plan approval enables the Development Officer to evaluate and approve development proposals based on their compliance with a predetermined set of objectives that are written out in the planning documents. The intent of site plan approval is to ensure that the proposed development takes measures to minimize negative impact on the built and natural environment and to maintain or enhance the overall character of the existing area. Site plan approval is required for certain developments, as described in detail in Chapter 4 of this Planning Strategy, for each Planning Area and each zone. Typically, such approval is required for larger developments, particularly those that have specific standards for items such as setbacks, buffers, screening and parking. Council adopts the following policies for site plan approval: Policy A-15 For projects that require site plan approval, the Land Use By-law standards may include: a) the location of buildings and structures on a lot; b) the location of on-site loading and parking; c) the location and number and width of driveways; d) the type, location and height of walls, fences, hedges and other landscaping elements; e) the retention of existing vegetation; f) the treatment of environmentally sensitive areas, including watercourses water bodies, and wetlands; g) the location and surfacing of walkways; h) the location and type of outdoor lighting; i) the location of solid waste storage facilities; j) the location of easements; 130 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION k) the grading or alteration of land levels, including stormwater management; l) the type, location, number and size of signs; m) provisions for maintenance of any of the above standards. Policy A-16 For residential developments subject to Site Plan Approval, the Land Use By-law shall also require the following prior to issuance of a development permit: a) an appropriate connection to a sewage disposal system, or an on-site system that meets Provincial requirements; b) adequate on-site traffic circulation for emergency vehicles; c) road design satisfying the requirements of the Municipal Specifications adopted by Council; d) appropriate approval for access to any public street; e) adequate on-site water supply for domestic and firefighting purposes. Policy A-17 The site plan notification, approval and appeal process shall follow the requirements of the Municipal Government Act, as well as the Public Participation Policy. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 131 9.7 Development Agreements Development agreements are a tool that allow Council to negotiate with a Developer, resulting in a specific project being developed on a particular piece of land. A development agreement provides flexibility for the Developer, beyond the As-of-Right Development outlined in the Land Use By-law. Development agreements allow Council to regulate aspects of development not otherwise possible through a Land Use By-law such as hours of operation, maintenance schedules, grading and contouring of the lot and security or performance bonding. The circumstances under which a development agreement can be applied for are outlined in the Land Use By-law and are used in situations where Council desires increased oversight or public engagement for a specific type, size or nature of development. For example, very large developments, alternate designs, or developments which may have a high environmental impact may be considered by development agreement. Section 4 of this Planning Strategy describes the zones and Planning Areas in which development agreements can be considered, and the types of development that would apply. While development agreements offer more flexibility in approving developments, Council must ensure that all relevant policies are satisfied, and the intent of this Planning Strategy is met prior to approving a development agreement. The Municipality will require applicants to submit a detailed proposal as part of any development agreement application. The proposal shall include any information or materials Council needs in order to evaluate the submission. The submission shall be accompanied by professionally prepared plans that illustrate the proposal. 9.7.1 General Development Agreement Policies Council adopts the following policies for all Development Agreements: Policy A-18 Developments approved by development agreement shall meet environmental standards required under site plan approval. 132 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION Specifically, developments shall meet or exceed Stormwater Standards found in the Land Use By-law. Policy A-19 Development agreement proposals shall include: a) the location, area, and dimensions of the subject property based on a survey or location certificate prepared by a licensed surveyor; b) elevation drawings of the proposed structure or structures; c) the proposed location, dimensions, height, and proposed use of all buildings; d) the means by which the site is to be serviced, including sewage disposal and drinking water supply; e) the proposed location and nature of any outdoor storage or display; f) the proposed location, design, and content of any signage; g) the proposed location and dimensions of any parking spaces, stalls, driveways, and walkways; h) the proposed location of any fencing, refuse containers, and snow storage; i) the proposed location and type of any exterior lighting; j) the proposed location of any outdoor amenity space; k) landscaping elements including the type and location of any existing and proposed trees or other vegetation; l) architectural features including type of materials; m) the location of any watercourses, water bodies or wetlands on or near the site; n) existing and proposed drainage patterns, including any stormwater management measures; o) any proposed phasing of the development. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 133 Policy A-20 When reviewing development agreements, Council shall be satisfied that: a) the development agreement conforms to the intent of the Municipal Planning Strategy and to the intent of any relevant Secondary Planning Strategies; b) the development agreement conforms to relevant Municipal By-laws; c) the applicable Public Participation Program has been followed and residents’ opinions have been carefully considered; and d) the development agreement is in the best interest of the Municipality. Policy A-21 When considering development agreements, Council shall be confident the proposal is not premature or inappropriate due to: a) the financial ability of the Municipality to absorb costs related to development; b) the availability and capacity of Municipal services; c) the adequacy of the site conditions for on-site services; d) the adequacy of stormwater drainage and its effects on water quality; e) inadequate access to schools, parks, emergency services, commercial properties and other local facilities; f) a lack of street connections, sidewalks, paved shoulders, walkways or footpaths; g) a poor supply of on-site water for domestic uses or for firefighting; h) inadequate separations from watercourses, water bodies or wetlands from the ocean shoreline; or i) proximity to places of known or potential archaeological significance as indicated by the Province. 134 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION Policy A-22 Council may require applicants to submit additional information to address issues that Council considers to be pertinent to the development process. Policy A-23 Developments that require a development agreement shall: a) maintain a vegetated setback between all main structures and any watercourses or water bodies; including (i) maintenance of a vegetated buffer of twenty (20) m in depth from the mean high water mark of a watercourse or water body; (ii) retention, replanting and maintenance of the vegetated buffer, in tree cover and understory vegetation to at least 75% of the linear water body frontage of the buffer, and not as a maintained, mowed lawn; (iii) allowance of a 3.5 m-wide opening in the vegetated buffer for access to watercourses and water bodies by means of docks, decks and pathways; (iv) allowance of minor accessory structures shall be permitted within the vegetative buffer so identified. b) include infrastructure designed to improve stormwater quality and reduce peak stormwater flows from the site; c) meet or exceed the Land Use By-law’s stormwater standards and watercourse buffers for comparable developments; d) maintain all steep slopes, wetlands and areas prone to flooding in an undisturbed state. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 135 9.7.2 Commercial, Industrial, Institutional Development Agreements In addition to the policies of Section 9.7.1., Council adopts the following policies: Policy A-24 When considering commercial, industrial or institutional developments by development agreement, Council shall be satisfied that: a) the development will not create undue traffic hazards, traffic congestion, or pedestrian hazards; b) the development will not generate emissions that unduly reduce the development potential and value of properties in the vicinity has been minimized; c) for large-scale wind generation facilities: (i) the sound level generated by the installation shall not exceed the ambient sound level by more than 30dB(a) measured to the nearest property line, under any normal operating condition, and any application for a development agreement must include sufficient information to determine that the installation meets this standard; (ii) there shall be no illumination. d) the development is separated from adjacent properties not in commercial or industrial use, and screening is used in order to minimize impact on the abutting uses; e) all structures use durable building material, so their appearance complements the established character; f) all necessary permits have been issued or Council is satisfied that the required permits will be issued; g) development shall not increase traffic volume so as to have an undue negative effect on properties served by a residential street; h) the applicant demonstrates that the development can be appropriately serviced in a cost-effective manner; i) a satisfactory parking calculation has been stipulated; j) the applicant demonstrates that sewage disposal and any demands on the drinking water source will not negatively impact the quality and quantity of water resources; and 136 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION k) driveways, parking areas, and areas used for open storage shall be surfaced with stable materials to prevent erosion and to prevent dust from blowing onto adjacent properties. 9.7.3 Residential Development Agreements In addition to the policies of 9.7.1, Council adopts the following policies: Policy A-25 When considering residential developments, in addition to considering all general policies for development agreements, Council shall be satisfied that: a) the development is not located on a site subject to undue nuisances or a degraded living environment caused by existing land use activities; b) residential density and the building design are compatible with, but not necessarily the same as, the Community Character Area and with the surrounding neighbourhoods; c) the development includes outdoor space suitable for playground equipment, walking trails, or other active or passive recreation use; d) the development includes landscaping such as trees, shrubs, lawns, fences and walkways as necessary to create a residential character; e) any exterior lighting is downcast with full horizontal cutoff; f) sufficient parking is provided, and parking areas are safely accessible; g) driveways and parking areas have a durable, dust free surface appropriate for all seasons; h) development shall not increase traffic volume so as to have an undue negative effect on properties served by a residential street; i) screening, setbacks and buffering are used in order to minimize impact on the abutting uses and the environment; IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 137 j) the development can be adequately serviced with sewer or on-site septic systems and water sufficient for domestic use and for fire suppression; k) any wastewater disposal and any demands on the drinking water source will not negatively impact the quality and quantity of water resources of the area, based on a report by a qualified professional; l) driveways, parking areas, and areas used for open storage shall be surfaced with stable materials to prevent erosion and to prevent dust from blowing onto adjacent properties. 9.7.4 Waterfront Public Access Development Agreements In addition to the policies of 9.7.1, Council adopts the following policies: Policy A-26 When considering a development agreement for uses that provide public access to inland waterways or coastal shores on property that is owned by interests other than the Municipality of Chester or the Crown, Council shall be satisfied that: a) neighbouring properties will not be adversely affected as a result of traffic generation, visual intrusion, hours of operation, noise, or lighting. Council may also consider the overall impact of the development on all properties which abut the lake; b) the proposed development resolves any potential compatibility issues with nearby land uses resulting from lighting, signage, outdoor display, outdoor storage, traffic, vehicle headlights, and noise through appropriate site design, landscaping, buffering and fencing; c) the development site is suitable in regard to grading, soils, geological conditions, and susceptibility to man-made or natural hazards; d) areas used for the purpose of an off-leash dog park shall be fenced with chain link fencing or a suitable alternative, that is at least four feet high. Preferably, the fence should 138 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION be equipped with a double-gated entry to keep dogs from escaping and to facilitate wheelchair access; e) sufficient, adequate parking areas are provided and that safe access to the parking areas has been provided for the public; f) safe and adequate roadway access is provided; g) where applicable, adequate measures have been taken to minimize increases in stormwater runoff from any development in order to diminish flooding, siltation, non- point source pollution and to minimize any impacts on water quality measures, and minimize erosion; h) boat launches shall be limited to those that provide access to non-motorized water-craft; i) any structures, such as boat launches, piers or wharves used for fishing or boat access, are located away from any areas designated as swimming areas; j) consideration has been given to neighbourhood access and connection, particularly connectivity to existing park and trail systems; k) the developer has reasonably addressed the concerns that were raised during the public participation program. 9.7.5 Neighbourhood Comprehensive Development District Development Agreements In addition to the policies of 9.7.1, 9.7.2 & 9.7.3 as applicable, Council adopts the following policies: Policy A-27 Before entering into a Development Agreement within the NCDD Zone, Council shall be satisfied of the following: a) that the Development Agreement includes provisions regulating the maximum density, unit mix, period of construction and the type, size and scale of appropriate ancillary Commercial, Institutional or Light Industrial uses; b) that projects proceeding without subdivision approval, or those which are exempt from Part 11 Public Open Space of the Subdivision By-law shall provide appropriately scaled recreational opportunities generally in keeping with IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 139 the Subdivision By-law. For greater clarity, these lands are not required to be deeded to the Municipality and Council shall also have greater ability to consider assets and physical site improvements as contributions to the overall value of the recreational space; c) the project shall not generate emissions such as noise, dust, radiation, odours, liquids or light to the air, water, or ground so as to create a recognized health or safety hazard, and that the impact of such emissions on the development potential and value of properties in the vicinity has been minimized; d) subject to the physical characteristics of the site, any commercial, institutional or industrial use shall achieve optimum separation from adjacent properties which are not in commercial or industrial use, and screening in the form of fences, vegetation, or berms as appropriate shall be constructed or installed to minimize impact on the abutting uses; e) any residential building is located on a site that is not subject to nuisances or a degraded living environment caused by existing land use activities; f) the site shall be landscaped with trees, shrubs, lawns, fences, and hard surfaced walkways, as necessary to create a residential living environment; g) sufficient parking and adequate safe access to parking lots shall be provided for residents and guests; h) all areas intended for vehicular traffic shall be surfaced with materials that remain stable and prevent dust during all seasons and shall allow for adequate drainage and snow removal; i) the proposal is not premature or inappropriate due to the creation or worsening of a pollution problem including soil erosion and siltation; j) the proposal is not premature or inappropriate due to the adequacy of storm drainage and effects of alteration to drainage patterns including potential for creation of a flooding problem; k) the proposal is not premature or inappropriate due to adequacy of street networks, on-site traffic circulation and 140 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION site access regarding congestion, traffic hazards and emergency access, including fire vehicles; l) all other matters of planning concern have been addressed. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 141 9.8 Amendments From time to time, changes to planning documents are needed, despite all efforts to ensure that it is comprehensive in its outlook. All such changes: ◼ must respect the intent of this Planning Strategy ◼ should be done in a thoughtful and transparent way following detailed study ◼ must be in the public interest ◼ must be carried out in accordance with the Public Participation policies set out in section 9.1 Council adopts the following policies for amending all planning documents: Policy A-27 When considering amendments to a land use by-law or a subdivision by-law, Council shall consider the following: a) that the amendment meets the intent of the Municipal Planning Strategy and the intent of any relevant Secondary Planning Strategies; b) that the amendment conforms to all relevant Municipal By-laws; c) that the applicable public consultation program has been followed and residents’ opinions have been carefully considered; d) that the amendment is in the best interest of the Municipality. 142 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION 9.8.1 Land Use By-law Amendments In addition to the policies above, Council adopts the following policies for amending the Land Use By-law: Policy A-28 When evaluating a rezoning application, Council shall consider other potential developments and uses that may be permitted as a result of a proposed zone change. Policy A-29 Applications for a Land Use By-law amendment shall show: a) the location, area, and dimensions of the subject property; b) the proposed location, dimensions, height, and proposed use of all buildings; c) the means by which the site is to be serviced by sanitary and storm sewers, water, electrical service and other utilities; d) the location of any parking stalls, driveways, walkways, lighting, fencing, refuse containers, and snow storage; e) landscaping elements including existing and proposed shrubs and trees; f) architectural features where such features are regulated by the planning document; g) additional reports or environmental studies as requested by the Municipality. Policy A-30 When considering amendments to the Land Use By-law, Council shall be satisfied that the proposal is appropriate with respect to: a) compatibility of the proposed land uses permitted within the proposed zone; b) compatibility of the development, and potential developments, with adjacent properties in terms of size, lot coverage and density; IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 143 c) potential compatibility issues with nearby land uses resulting from lighting, signage, outdoor display and storage, traffic, vehicle headlights, and noise; d) the adequacy of sewer services, water services, waste management services and stormwater management practices; e) efficient use of existing and new municipal infrastructure; f) proximity to and impact on heritage sites and archaeological sites; g) the proximity and capacity of schools; h) the adequacy and proximity of recreation and facilities; i) the adequacy of the road network in, adjacent to, or leading to the development; j) the potential for erosion or for the contamination or sedimentation of watercourses; k) environmental impacts such as air and water pollution and soil contamination; l) previous uses of the site which may have caused soil or groundwater contamination; m) suitability of the site in terms of grades, soil and bedrock conditions, location of watercourses, water bodies or wetlands; n) the ability of emergency services to respond to an emergency at the location of the proposed development; o) the proposal and the proposed zone support the intent of this strategy; and p) the financial ability of the Municipality to absorb any costs relating to the amendment. 9.8.2 Municipal Planning Strategy Amendments This Municipal Planning Strategy is the main document through which the growth and development of the Municipality shall be guided and coordinated. The policies of the Municipal Planning Strategy will be implemented through the powers provided to Council in the Municipal Government Act and other relevant statutes. Any Municipal Planning Strategy amendments shall be consider ed using the appropriate sections of the Municipal Government Act. 144 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION These amendments should not be entered into lightly, and they require strong public engagement. Council adopts the following policy on Municipal Planning Strategy amendments: Policy A-31 A Municipal Planning Strategy amendment shall be required where: a) any policy intent is to be changed; b) an amendment to the Land Use By-law would conflict with any portion of the Municipal Planning Strategy; c) an amendment to the Subdivision By-law would conflict with any portion of the Municipal Planning Strategy; d) the boundaries of a Planning Area are changed. IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 145 9.9 Reviewing the Municipal Planning Strategy This Planning Strategy is intended to be easy to use the while being a long-term planning framework designed to meet the needs of residents and property owners in the Municipality over the coming decades. Nevertheless, as the Municipality continues to grow and change, it will be necessary to regularly review th is document to ensure that it continues to reflect the values and goals of the residents, property owners and Council. Council adopts the following policies on review of the Municipal Planning Strategy: Policy A-32 A brief “housekeeping” review of this Plan and accompanying Land Use By-law shall occur one to two years after implementation to ensure that these documents reflect the intent of the Planning Strategy. Policy A-33 Council shall require regular reviews of this plan and subsequent amendments, such that the Planning Strategy is reviewed as required by the Municipal Government Act; and otherwise when so requested by Council. 146 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | IMPLEMENTATION & ADMINISTRATION SECTION 10: ONGOING & FUTURE PROJECTS ONGOING & FUTURE PROJECTS | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 147 10.0 ONGOING & FUTURE PROJECTS Through the articulation of planning policies, this Planning Strategy expresses the will of Council following extensive consultation with residents and property owners. Council has thereby committed to adopting, where appropriate, a set of projects as part of this Planning Strategy which, when taken together, promote positive change within the Municipality. Council’s actions may be as simple as producing a promotional brochure or partnering with a local interest group or government agency on a multi-year program. Pursuant to this Planning Strategy, the following future projects are recommended: ◼ Parks and Open Space Plan (Policy L-3) ◼ Waterfront access opportunities (Policy L-8) ◼ Safe roads for active transportation (collaboration with Province; Policy L-14) ◼ Innovative and affordable housing approaches (collaboration with local and advocacy organizations; Policy L-18) ◼ Heritage designation and recognition (Policies L-24, L-26) ◼ Stormwater management information program (Policy E-7) ◼ Coastal Hazard Risk Map (Policy E-28) 148 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | ONGOING & FUTURE PROJECTS SECTION 11: HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING CONTENTS: Planning Strategies and Land Use By-laws ................. 11.1 Subdivision Control ............. 11.2 HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 149 11.0 HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING 11.1 Planning Strategies and Land Use By -laws A Land Use By-law has controlled land use in the Village of Chester and the surrounding area since 1975. In 1988, a Land Use By-law came into effect for the Chester Downs and Islandview Subdivisions in East Chester. That By-law was repealed when the previous Municipal Planning Strategy came into effect in 1997. Both Islandview and Chester Downs were incorporated into this Strategy and the accompanying Land Use By-law. Council had first considered the possibility of municipal wide planning in the mid-1970s, but this was not pursued. Council rejected a proposal for land use control in the whole of the Municipality in 1994 after a contentious public debate. Requests from various residential areas have led Council to reconsider ways to address land use control throughout the Municipality. In 1995 and 1996, Council received requests from five separate areas for municipal control over land use. Instead of adopting five separate By-laws, Council agreed to draft a By-law which would contain all the necessary elements but would be applied only in those areas which requested land use planning. In addition, in 2002, in response to a request from the Aspotogan Heritage Trust to establish land use control at Mill Cove Park, Council agreed to amend the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By- law to incorporate specific policies and By-law provisions tailored to the development issues and opportunities at Mill Cove Park. Zoning in Mill Cove Park was further amended in 2014. In 2003, in response to pressure throughout the Municipality, Council adopted basic land use controls (administered through the General Basic Zone) which apply to the whole Municipality. The General Basic Zone formed the basis of the previous Municipal Planning Strategy, which was in place until 2019. Council only applied more restrictive zoning than was stipulated in the General Basic Zone if specifically 150 | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING requested by the residents and property owners within a definable area. This Municipal Planning Strategy was adopted on November 28, 2019, after a multi-year Plan Review, which ran from 2014 to 2019. The entire process, including several rounds of public consultations and the formulation of goals, policies and regulations, was directed by a dedicated group of citizens who acted in a voluntary capacity. Further information on the 2014-2019 Plan Review can be found in: ◼ engagement reports to the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, prepared by the firm Third Sector Enhancement Ltd. and dated March 2015, December 2015, and October 2016. ◼ background reports for Plan Review, which were completed in 2014 and 2015. ◼ engagement report to Municipal Council following the third round of public consultation, prepared by staff and dated 7 July 2018. ◼ meeting minutes and agenda packages from the Citizens Planning Advisory Committee, which directed the Plan Review process between November 2014 and October 2019. 11.2 Subdivision Control The Minister of Municipal Affairs first prescribed Subdivision Regulations for Chester Municipality on 5 March 1975. From that time onward, the 1969 Planning Act allowed any parcel of land to be divided into three without approval, but the fourth and subsequent division had to satisfy the Subdivision Regulations. These regulations were repealed, and new Provincial Subdivision Regulations were prescribed on 6 August 1984 under the Planning Act of 1983. In August of 1987, new Provincial Subdivision Regulations were prescribed under the 1987 amendments to the Planning Act which required every division of land to satisfy the regulations. Work on a Subdivision By-law for Chester Municipality went very slowly, and when a draft was submitted to Department of HISTORY OF MUNICIPAL PLANNING | MUNICIPAL PLANNING STRATEGY | 151 Municipal Affairs staff in 1988, it was rejected because it conflicted with provincial standards on lot sizes and access to lots. Since Provincial Subdivision Regulations do not address the provision of Municipal services such as sewers, water supply, and recreation facilities, nor do they address matters of concern to Municipal Council such as private road construction standards, Council in 1989 again requested Lunenburg County District Planning Commission staff to draft a Municipal Subdivision By-law to deal with these issues. This project did not get a high priority and the drafts were set aside in favour of other work. As part of the Provincial-Municipal Services Exchange, the Provincial Subdivision Regulations were extensively amended in 1995. Council gave a high priority to the drafting of a Municipal Subdivision By-law, because of a new municipal responsibility for municipal public highways. Because of the re-organization of the Planning Commission resulting from the Services Exchange, this project proceeded slowly. A Subdivision By-law was adopted in 2000.