For immediate release – November 28, 2012

Fate of the Purcell's Cove Community and Backlands remains uncertain as HRM continues to consider extension of central services as far as Oceanview Drive

News that HRM will definitely not be extending central sewer and water services to Purcell's Cove Village has brought great relief to some residents of the historic fishing community.

Residents of the Purcell's Cove community are very grateful to Councillor Steve Adams for initiating a motion at last night's Regional Council meeting to exclude this portion of the community from consideration for central services. Councillor Adams made his motion based on the fact that 80% of Purcell's Cove Area 2 property owners signed a 2012 petition against the extension of central services to their portion of the community, which was divided into two parts by HRM Staff for the purposes of the feasibility study.

However, Purcell's Cove Area 1 (Wenlock Grove to Oceanview) remains under consideration for the extension of services, despite the fact that 63% of Area 1 property owners also signed a 2012 petition against the extension of water and sewer to their area.

It should be noted that according to the Regional Plan, neither Area 1 nor Area 2 have been targeted as growth areas.

At recent public input meetings, an overwhelming majority of residents in the artificially divided Purcell's Cove community repeated, in no uncertain terms, that they do not want or need central services. They resoundingly expressed their wish to have the Backlands, an important watershed and wilderness corridor, protected and incorporated into an HRM Greenbelting Strategy.

The Williams Lake/Purcell's Cove/Herring Cove Backlands are currently designated Urban Reserve but are under serious threat from imminent development interests, particularly from Clayton Developments. A year ago, Clayton purchased nearly 400 acres of land on the shores of Williams Lake and Colpitt Lake, two of HRM's most popular swimming, hiking and biking areas.

Residents are breathing a collective sigh of relief today that the historic character and physicality of Purcell's Cove Village will remain untouched by destructive blasting of the granite bedrock upon which the village sits. However, the level of anxiety remains high for residents throughout the Purcell's Cove community, and for all HRM residents who wish to see this near urban green space preserved in its natural state. Particularly when the city already has a 30+ year supply of serviced land available for development.

If Council allows water and sewer to be extended even a few hundred meters further along the Purcell's Cove Road, it will open the floodgate to development of the Backlands, in direct contradiction to the Regional Plan. That also means much greater traffic flow through the Armdale Roundabout, more pressure on police and fire services and school populations, and increased costs for maintaining an already overburdened sewer and water infrastructure. That equates to increased tax burden to all residents of HRM.

For further information or interviews, please contact:

Michael Coughlan Purcells Cove Area 1 Residents' Action Committee

Tel. 902-477-5057

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