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  • Hunter Cresswell

Subdivision approvals evoke ire

Updated: Apr 28, 2020

Resident asks if approving development is ‘essential’

Earlier this month Chelsea council approved two preliminary subdivision plans and that has drawn the ire of some Chelsea residents who don’t think development should be a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 7, council approved preliminary subdivision plans for two projects, one near Quartier Meredith and another called the Dunmore project in Cascades.

“I find it shameful because I don’t think they should be concentrating on that,” Farm Point resident Rita Jain told this reporter over the phone, about council approving subdivisions during a pandemic.

Development has long been a subject of controversy in Chelsea as many residents want to preserve the municipality’s rural character. Residents have also repeatedly called for more development transparency and opportunity for consultation between the municipality, residents, and developers.

Jain contends that the municipality has much more pressing matters to focus on with the pandemic and that residents have less opportunity to weigh in on developments since people are self-isolating to slow the spread of the virus.

“Is approving development an essential service?” Jain asked.

Mayor Caryl Green said the agenda on April 7 was short 20 items because municipal department heads chose certain topics to be moved forward to be discussed and decided on at future meetings.

“Some [staff] are working at home, some are working in their separate offices, but they are moving their files forward for the municipality,” she said.