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Lunenburg declares Blockhouse Hill land surplus

By Evan Taylor Apr 10, 2024 | 12:48 PM

A rendering of Design Option 2: Out of Sight. Photo: Town of Lunenburg/MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects.

After years, of deliberation, the development of Blockhouse Hill is moving forward after the council voted in favour of declaring the land surplus, which enables the town to put the land up for sale to potential developers.

The vote was passed 4-3, with councillors Halverson, Duggan, Mosher and Sanford voting in favour- councillors Ernst, Mosher and Mayor Jamie Myra voted against.

In January, Lunenburg Council received a briefing on four design options for the Blockhouse Hill development.

Initially, council indicated they were interested in a revised version of Design Option 1, labeled Option 1.2.

However, after further discussion at the April 9 meeting,  council directed staff to collaborate with MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd. (MLSA) to draft development rules based on Design Option 2, titled “Out of Sight.” This option proposes the development of 256 units.

Additionally, council approved declaring the lands associated with Design Option 2 as surplus, indicating they are considering selling them, though this doesn’t guarantee a sale.

Before any sale, a public information meeting will be held to gather community input, followed by a public hearing before finalizing any development agreement

At the April 9 meeting, staff also confirmed that the Provincial Government approved the Archaeological Resource Impact Assessment conducted by Davis MacIntyre & Associates on March 27, 2024, which included engagement with the Mi’kmaq community, historical research, predictive modeling, and field reconnaissance. Furthermore, Parks Canada confirmed via email on April 5 that World Heritage buffer zones provide extra protection.

The decisions from the World Heritage Committee indicated that the buffer zone around Old Town Lunenburg’s World Heritage Site does not contribute significantly to its global importance.

One of the primary concerns surrounding the development was the potential jeopardy it put on the town’s UNESCO heritage designation.

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