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The town hall in Quispamsis. Image: Brad Perry

Quispamsis reviews municipal plan, zoning bylaw

By Brad Perry Feb 9, 2024 | 2:13 PM

Quispamsis is seeking input from residents on updates to its municipal plan and zoning bylaw.

The documents facilitate development and land use management within the town.

Jennifer Brown with Dillon Consulting said it has been several years since the last update.

“Your municipal plan has been amended quite a bit, so the more changes that happen, it’s indicating that it’s no longer serving the community as well as it could,” Brown told council on Tuesday.

“We’re also in a very big time of change, catalytic change. You’re going through quite a big period of growth.”

A total of five municipal plan amendment applications were approved between 2018 and 2023, according to Brown’s presentation.

All five of those involved a change of future land use designation from residential to commercial.

Quispamsis also approved 14 rezoning applications during the same period. Nine involved an increase in residential density permissions while five involved rezoning from residential to commercial.

In addition, the town reviewed more than 450 variance applications ranging from subdivision development and yard setbacks to land use permissions and building height and size.

The municipal plan was last updated in 2018 while the zoning bylaw has not been reviewed since 2007.

Meanwhile, the town is also seeking input on a housing needs assessment to help identify housing gaps in the community.

Preliminary figures show the town will see a medium population growth rate of 1.5 per cent per year over the next 25 years.

As a result, there may be a gap of nearly 900 units over the next 15 years and nearly 1,500 units over the next 25 years.

One-unit homes currently make up about 83 per cent of the town’s total housing supply, which Brown’s presentation said represents an “inefficient use of land, public infrastructure and services.”

“Recent amendment activity indicates that there is market demand for higher residential densities and commercial uses in traditionally residential areas,” it said.

It said annual permitting for dwelling units will need to increase substantially to address the housing gap anticipated over the next 15 to 20 years.

Open houses with town staff are scheduled to take place over three days next week.

Staff will be at the Meenan’s Cove Beach House on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

They will then be at the qplex Conference Centre on Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We’ll start drafting those updates in March with the hope to come back to the community in April to show them what we’ve drafted as a result, with some finalized updates throughout May,” said Brown.

You can find more details on the town’s website.