Development alternatives

June 5, 2007

Dear members of the Mahone Bay Town Council and citizens of the community,

It seems redundant to bring new families into a town, and at the same time deplete that very community of its family resources such as the soccer field (and village green) and nature trails. How does Mahone Bay plan to address the outstanding issue of bored youth (often victims of prejudice, seen on the street) and its relation to few recreational facilities and activities? Or what about the long withstanding issue of underemployment in the area? Although I support the idea of affordable housing, I do not think it is the solution to Mahone Bay’s dwindling population. To attract families to this town, I believe that we must build new (and preserve current) recreational facilities and employment opportunities.

However, if development has already been given the green light, why not consider other locations? What happened to the development behind the tennis courts? Is it complete? What about the barren land next to the fire hall? Would this not be a suitable place for such a development? And the empty lot across from the fire hall as well (now chained off, and containing spare boat parts, etc.)?

Running along the Maggie Maggie River, these lots already overlook another development: the Quinlan condominiums. It would follow that if Mahone Bay is to increase its development, an area already used for such a purpose would be an ideal location. This area could stretch from the new houses on top of the hill behind the tennis courts, down to Quinlan condos, and perhaps the small area of trees (with few to no walking trails) adjacent to the lot with the boat parts, bordered by the Maggie Maggie River and Kinburn St., ceasing at the bridge just down from the graveyard road.

Development in this area would require little destruction of the natural habitat (avoiding clear cutting, top soil damage, climate change, and depletion of a beloved community area) as it is either already barren (without even grass!) or cleared. This area is close to Bayview Community School, the local nursery school, and the Mahone Bay Centre (for the young families) It is also very handy to the Pharmasave and community activities such as bingo at the fire hall (for the senior citizens). All would be able to enjoy tennis courts in addition to their indoor pool (if deemed necessary, as the development would already be neighboring the town’s outdoor swimming pool).

I hope that the town and its citizens will consider all of the factors (including the lack of affordable housing and recreational facilities and activities for families and residents of ALL ages) contributing to Mahone Bay’s problem of a decreasing population, before deciding on a strategy for solution and tactics to achieve it.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shelagh Abriel

PO BOX 419
MAHONE BAY, NS
B0J 2E0