News Release Archive

Municipal Affairs Minister Sandy Jolly today released a paper
entitled The Planning Act - A Working Paper in Legislative Form.
It represents the next step in reviewing Nova Scotia's Planning

The working paper reflects many of the ideas received in response
to the February, 1995 discussion paper on Rethinking the Planning
Act. Major changes to the act were last made about a decade ago.

The planning act allows municipal councils to make decisions
about the subdivision, use and development of land through
zoning, development agreements and other mechanisms. Copies of
The Planning Act - A Working Paper in Legislative Form are on
their way to all Nova Scotia municipalities and to numerous
groups and individuals.

"The working paper is in the form of a redrafted act," the
minister said. "It includes much of the intent of the existing
act, but effort went into writing a more readable document. This
included restructuring the act, removing repetition and
simplifying language."

The working paper suggests that the province adopt broad
statements of provincial interest in the use and development of
land concurrent with the proclamation of new planning
legislation. The working paper package includes five draft
statements, addressing drinking water, agricultural land, flood
risk areas, housing and infrastructure. They provide examples of
some issues and content that statements of provincial interest
might address. The working paper's premise is that provincial and
municipal decisions on development and the use of land be
reasonably consistent with adopted statements of provincial

The working paper proposes several new planning tools for use by
municipal government. These include: enabling municipal councils
to provide for off-site charges in subdivision by-laws,
provisions allowing site plan approval, procedures for setting up
road reserves, and provisions enabling municipal councils to
allow garden suites for senior citizens.

A full range of views, some conflicting, were received in
response to last year's discussion paper, the minister said. She
said in preparing the working paper the department tried to keep
in mind the goal identified in the earlier discussion paper, to
ensure a future planning system that is fair, open and
responsive; effective in terms of time, cost and results;
respectful of the principles of sustainable development; and
streamlined, with municipal decision making enhanced within a
clearly defined provincial framework.

"We look forward to hearing from people interested in planning
issues," said the minister. "Do they support the changes proposed
in the Working Paper? Are we on the right track? What would they
suggest to improve it."

The department will receive submissions up to April 30.
Submissions should be sent to: The Planning Act Review,
Department of Municipal Affairs, Box 216, Halifax, B3J 2M4; or
fax comments to 424-0821. The department may also be contacted
via the Internet at; or by telephoning
1-800-478-7406 (toll free) to record comments or to request a
copy of the working paper.


Contact: Ron Simpson  902-424-3980

trp                  Feb. 23, 1996 - 11:30 a.m.