Greenwich: Forever Changed?

With serious compassion behind his words, my friend Elliott told me one main thing the last time he was in town:

Get Involved.  As the Greenwich land debate nears a long-awaited decision, his words drive my tired fingers. You see, I could simply insert a press release; the Grapevine doesn’t tend to get too political. The safe approach would be to simply raise awareness. But this is BIG, I want his words to have an influence on you as well.

There’s simply not enough room on this front page to cover all the details of the debate. People have been passionately speaking about the fate of these 382 farm acres for a long time now and most of their points can be located within the two camps: www.nofarmsnofood.ca & www.nogrowthnofuture.com.  In case you’ve missed it so far, I’m talking about the possible fate of 2000+ houses replacing the farmland in behind Elderkin’s, Stirling’s, Hennigar’s and Blomidon Nurseries leading up to the highway.

At the last public participation forum in November, in a jam-packed Greenwich fire hall, two points from the overwhelmingly anti-development crowd stood out. First, where’s the demand? There are reports and studies piling up on top of each other but apparently none of them provide demand justification for a major development. The second was an interesting hypothetical which came from a supporter. Say a farmer sells to another farmer (yes, there would be buyers) who, in turn 10 years from now, sells to a developer. Well now the first farmer is out a major windfall and is that fair?

When commitments to uphold land-use rules are forever kept, this scenario remains theoretical; however, when exceptions are made, read: Port Williams, a seller’s ambition becomes more justifiable.

I don’t mind if you don’t agree, what I want you to do is get involved by going to the last Public Hearing on Monday, January 17th, 5pm at the Kings County Council Chambers, Municipal Building in Kentville. It’s come to this point because, despite the overwhelming public outcry, council has consistently voted 6 – 5 in favour. Their decision will be rendered less than 24 hours after Monday’s public hearing. This really is your last chance to have your say.

Jeremy Novak