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Friday, October 3, 2008

Waterside Centre-- another public hearing?

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2008 at 10:02 AM

I was discussing the proposed Waterside Centre development with someone this morning, and we both came to the realization that there are some pretty complicated process issues involved with delaying the vote on the application until after the election.

Even before getting to the election issue, we have to consider that council's procedures state that:

Appendix A (19) Only members of Council present for the entire Public Hearing are permitted to vote.
This immediately disqualifies at least three councillors from voting on the application--- those who were absent from at least one of the two nights of the public hearing on Waterside (my informant tells me that includes councillors Meade, McInroy and Fougere, but the official council attendance records are not yet published, so I'm just taking their word on this).

But even more complicating is the issue of how do you extend a public hearing from one council to the next? Presumably, at least some of the present council will be replaced by newly elected members, and those new members will not have been present at the public hearing.

More, if there are substantive changes the original proposal, then a new public hearing should be held.

That's going to have to be the case regardless, I'd think, but who knows what'll come out the HRM legal department?

Still, this delay---I can't see how it can be anything less than four months, given the public notification requirements--- is entirely caused by developer Ben McCrea, not by the council, not by the Heritage people, not by some supposed "anti-development" forces.

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