Last July, Portugal Cove-St. Philip's Mayor Bill Fagan was publicly pessimistic about the prospect of seeing the community's municipal plan get through the approval process within the lifetime of the current council.
This week, the mayor is speaking more optimistically about its prospects, though there still appears to be several steps to take before the 10-year plan can receive final approval.
"Not necessarily," said Fagan when asked by The Telegram if his pessimism remains. "At that time (last July), of course, there were so many steps we had to go through."
Tied to the plan are multiple land-development proposals that hinge on the town's ability to rezone property in the community. Fagan said interested parties on that matter include developers looking to build multiple homes and property owners with an interest in building single-dwelling homes for their own use.
The last municipal plan approved by council expired in 2004.
The new plan has been in the hands of multiple consultants, with some resigning over the course of the plan's development, according to Fagan. One draft plan submitted to the Department of Municipal Affairs in March 2012 was prepared by exp Services Inc.
Fagan said the department sent it back to the town with requested changes, including the addition of maps to delineate land zonings. A new draft plan was completed this May by Tract Consulting Inc. and submitted that same month to the department.
"I assume they're going to get back to us as soon as they can," said the mayor.
Once the department approves the new draft and sends it back to the town, the documents will be subject to a commissioner's hearing. The plan will then come back to council for its approval, after which a final draft will be sent to Municipal Affairs.
Municipal elections in Newfoundland and Labrador are set to be held on Sept. 24, 2013.
As of last July, the plan awaited the approval of the Regional Water Service Committee. That committee is responsible for the water supply coming from the treatment facility at Bay Bulls Big Pond.
For land set to be rezoned as residential, the committee had to determine whether the water supply will sufficiently serve those areas. Fagan said the town has since received that approval.
Beyond land development, Fagan said the town plan also looks at preserving the community's heritage and watershed areas.
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