By Kirk Starratt
The next step in the Kings 2050 process may involve hiring a consultant to facilitate development of a regional planning framework for the county, towns and villages.
Kings County council has made its funding of a consultant contingent on the three towns contributing to the costs.
Planning manager Ben Sivak said there seems to be interest on the part of Wolfville, Kentville and Berwick, but each town council would have to decide whether or not to help fund the consultant. The total cost would be $34,000. The county has agreed to contribute $15,000 toward the costs, as well as $15,000 worth of in kind support for mapping, administration support and contract management. The province has committed another $10,000 to hiring the consultant. The Town of Berwick’s share would be $1,400, Kentville’s $4,200 and Wolfville’s $3,400.
“This is the biggest comprehensive planning project the municipality has undertaken in 30 years,” Sivak said, pointing out that the budget figures reflect the significant scope involved.
The development of a regional planning framework would be part of the second phase of the Kings 2050 regional planning project. Other goals of the second phase include: development of a regional climate change action plan; a new municipal planning strategy; land use bylaw; subdivision bylaw and related policies. The first phase, completed earlier this year, involved visioning work. The third and final phase is the formal municipal adoption process.
Coun. Pauline Raven said input from the other municipal units is important, even if they aren’t willing to contribute financially to the consultant position. All three towns have made in kind contributions to the project to date.
Coun. Kim MacQuarrie asked if full-time staff planners are involved in Kings 2050. According to the staff report to council, over the course of the three-and-a-half-year project, the majority of planning department resources will be dedicated to maintaining council’s current plan. This includes processing applications for land use bylaw amendments and development agreements.
Staff estimated approximately $1.4 million will be allocated to maintaining the current land use plan during the 2050 project. One goal of Kings 2050 is to reduce the escalating costs of processing planning applications.
By the numbers
Money spent by the Municipality of Kings on Kings 2050 as of March 31: $309,213
Estimated total cost of project: $596,831
Provincial contribution to date: $50,000