August 31, 2016 7:33 pm

Municipal report recommends against Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes development

WATCH ABOVE: We're getting a better picture of the proposed development in the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park area. A secret map of the area was revealed today after council voted to release the details in July. Along with the map, municipal staff has also weighed in on the rest of the controversial facilitator's report recommending partial development of the designated park land. Global's Steve Silva reports.

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A Halifax municipal government staff report recommends against following a controversial facilitator’s report to develop land in the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area.

The report was posted online (PDF) Wednesday evening and includes a map that was previously kept private.

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“The recommendations from the staff report are very good,” said Raymond Plourde, wilderness coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.

READ MORE: Mayor Savage weighs in on protecting Birch Cove-Blue Mountain area

He said that the municipality should stick to the original plan to turn the area into a park.

Developers want to build on a significant part of the land; in the facilitator’s report, a version with less land that could be developed was proposed.

Reg Rankin, councillor for Timberlea – Beechville – Clayton Park – Wedgewood, brought up the idea to use that map’s boundaries in July.

READ MORE: Company involved in Birch Cove Lakes development made donations to sitting politicians

“It’s a very bad compromise, and it’s totally unacceptable to the public. It’s a nonstarter. There’s no way that that should even be seriously considered,” said Plourde.

The report also recommends exploring ways to acquire the land to eventually create the park, and “refuse the request to initiate secondary planning for all Hwy 102 West Corridor lands at this time.”

The proposed development is on Halifax Regional Council’s September 6 agenda.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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