Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission
Application by the Town of Kensington to
Table of Contents
III. Hearing and Evidence
Appendix A -
Pursuant to subsection 12(1) of the
R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. M-13 (the Act) the Town of Kensington (the Town)
has applied to the Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs (the Minister) to extend its
municipal boundary as described in its application (Exhibit K2) and as illustrated in
Figure 1 below.
On November 3, 2000 the Minister directed the Island
Regulatory and Appeals Commission (the Commission) pursuant to the provisions of
subsection 13(1) of the Act to conduct the necessary public hearing (Exhibit C3).
Subsection 13(1) states:
13(1) On receipt of an application, the
Minister shall direct the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission to conduct a public
hearing in or near the area to be annexed for the purpose of reviewing the application.
On October 10, 2000 the Council of the Town of
Kensington unanimously passed a resolution that the Town of Kensington extend its
boundaries as per properties described on map showing various parcel No's as issued
by property [sic] Division of Prince Edward Island Government.
A letter of application for
this boundary extension, dated October 12, 2000, was sent by the Town's Mayor to the
Minister (Exhibit K2). As required under
subsection 12(3) of the Act, this application
sets out the geographical boundaries of the area to be annexed, the reasons in favour of
the proposed annexation, the services to be provided and the level of municipal taxation
to be applied to residents of the annexed area. The
geographical area of the proposed extension was described in a written description and
further illustrated with a map showing the provincial property numbers of the various
parcels to be included. The Town gave the
following reasons for its request to extend its boundaries:
incorporation in 1914 the town extended its boundaries once in 1984 on a small scale. The town now has very little area for development. In the Commercial section the Industrial Park
cannot accommodate a large company wishing to locate here.
Princeton is getting filled
Lion's lots are selling.
In the Andrews subdivision one residence is presently connected to our Sewer system and a
business is requesting water connection.
A recent check shows approximately 107 new houses and business ventures located next to
town boundaries within one (1) kilometer.
The Town's application listed the following
The Town's application noted the financial
implications of the proposed boundary extension:
Non commercial properties will pay an additional .65 [sic] cents per $100.00 of
Commercial properties will pay an additional $1.30 per $100.00 of assessment.
Sewer rates are presently $75.00 per Unit per year and are subject to any increase at the
time of installation.
Water rates are presently $89.76 per Unit per year and are subject to any increase at the
time of installation.
On October 23,
2000 the Commission received the Town's boundary extension application (Exhibit C2). The Commission received the Minister's
letter of direction, pursuant to subsection 13(1) of the Act, on November 10, 2000 (Exhibit C3). The Commission issued a Public Notice (Exhibit C1)
of a hearing on the Town's boundary extension in The Journal Pioneer on November 20, 2000 and
November 29, 2000; in The Guardian on November 20, 2000 and November 29,
2000; and in
The Royal Gazette
on December 2,
III. Hearing and Evidence
The Commission held a public hearing on this matter
at the Kensington Intermediate Senior High School at 7:00 p.m. on December 6, 2000. Over one hundred people attended.
At the hearing, Mayor Gerald A. McCarville made a
presentation on behalf of the Town.
stated that the Town was incorporated in 1914 with a land area of about 400 acres. In 1984 the Town received approval for a boundary
extension involving five parcels of land which increased the Town's land area to
456.44 acres. He identified the Town's
current land use determined from the 1990 Land Use Survey as follows:
USE BY ACREAGE
Commercial / Residential
Institutional and Public Service
Mayor McCarville reviewed the acreage of
six Island towns (including the Town) and noted that their sizes varied from 456.44 acres
for the Town to 6644 acres for the Town of Cornwall. He submitted that the Province of
Prince Edward Island is promoting strong urban communities and that the Town, at only
456.44 acres, does not constitute a strong urban community.
He noted that the present proposed boundary extension would increase the
Town's total land area to approximately 2070 acres, thus allowing the Town to be more
competitive. Of the estimated 1610 acres
proposed to be annexed, approximately 1400 acres are presently used for agriculture.
With respect to
population, Mayor McCarville noted that the Town's present population is estimated at
1393 people. The area the Town proposes to
annex contains approximately 100 homes. The
Town estimates that the proposed boundary extension would add about 250 people to the
Town's population, for an estimated total of 1643.
explained that the residents of the annexed area would receive police and fire protection
and, in due time, streetlights and sidewalks. He
submitted that the Town has contributed funding to various community and recreational
projects which have benefited not only the residents of the Town but also the residents of
the area the Town proposes to annex.
pointed out that the extension of water and sewer services to serve residents within the
area to be annexed would only take place in an orderly fashion when various incentives,
such as infrastructure funding, are available. He
noted the estimated costs for extending water and sewer service to the following areas:
- Woodleigh Drive -
1800 feet of sewer, 1800 feet of water - $228,712.00
- Garden Drive -
2300 feet of sewer, 1900 feet of water, 650 feet of force main - $410,545.00
- Broadway Street
North - 1050 feet of sewer, 1050 feet of water, 1000 feet of force main - $291,240.00
- Victoria Street
West - 10,700 feet of sewer, 11,500 feet of water, 5,400 feet of force main -
- Victoria Street
East - 1500 feet of sewer, 1700 feet of water, 1700 feet of force main - $392,690.00
- Broadway Street
South - 4200 feet of sewer, 5800 feet of water, 1000 feet of force main - $798,487.00
noted that the present assessment of the Town is as follows:
$30,467,890 at $0.65 per hundred of assessment
$6,773,080 at $1.30 per hundred of assessment
Based on 1998 figures, the assessment for
the area proposed to be annexed would be (based on the Town's present rates per one
hundred dollars of assessment):
Residential / Non-Commercial -
$9,632,200 @ $0.65
$2,400,100 @ $1.30
With the proposed expanded boundaries, the
estimated assessment for the Town would increase to $385,556.93.
Mayor McCarville submitted that, given the recent trend
towards amalgamation, the Town's application for expansion should be approved so that
the Town may go forward in 2001.
Following the Town's presentation, eighteen
residents spoke in opposition to the proposed boundary extension. No residents spoke in favour of the proposed
Area residents made the following points:
The Town might, in the future, approve a bylaw that
would prevent a farmer from spraying crops, such as potatoes, within the Town. If this were to happen, farmland within the Town
would be worthless as agricultural land.
Pursuant to the
provisions of subsection 13(4) of the Act, the
Commission is required to review the representations made at a public meeting and make a
recommendation on the boundary extension application.
Subsection 13(4) states:
13(4) The Commission shall review the representations made at
the public meeting and shall make a recommendation to the Minister as to whether the
proposed annexation is justified for municipal purposes having regard to
future development of the municipality;
(c) any significant loss of productive agricultural land.
The key issue
before the Commission in considering the Town of Kensington's boundary extension
application is the future development of the Town. The
Town's application for a substantial expansion of approximately 350 percent does not
appear to have been made as part of a strategic plan for the greater Kensington area. Neither the Commission nor the residents of
the proposed expansion area were provided with a clear explanation of the need for a
substantial extension of the Town's boundaries or a general plan for the use of the
land within the proposed expanded boundaries. Without
these essential components of a boundary extension process, and without an expressed
rationale for the nature and extent of the proposed annexation, it is difficult for the
Commission to consider whether the proposed annexation is justified for the future
development of the Town.
While the Town
has provided helpful information as to the effects of the proposed annexation in terms of
taxation revenue, and the costs of extending sewer and water services to various areas
within the area sought to be annexed, there is no indication from the Town as to its
priorities for land use in the area it seeks to annex.
There is also no indication of an approximate timeframe and prioritization of the
various water and sewer extension projects referred to by the Town. While the Town wishes to expand the amount of land
for commercial and residential development, there is no plan outlining how much land would
be allocated for future development; where that land is located; and what land would be
preserved for agricultural use. Further, the
Town did not indicate why the proposed boundaries were chosen.
The factor of
administrative convenience also hinges upon sound municipal planning. While the Town has considered the revenue side of
annexation, the impact on demand for services was not outlined. This impact may not only affect the
residents of the expansion area but also the current residents of the Town.
With respect to
the factor of any significant loss of productive agricultural land, the Commission notes
that annexation by itself does not necessarily lead to a significant loss of agricultural
land. Rather, it is the planned use for the
annexed land which determines whether such loss is likely to occur. A municipality, through an Official Plan and land
use bylaws, can preserve designated areas for agricultural and other resource use. Without a general land use plan, it is not clear
as to whether the proposed annexation would lead to a significant loss of productive
agricultural land. However, it is clear that
substantial productive agricultural land lies within the proposed annexation.
notes the strong participation from the affected residents at the hearing. While no member of the public spoke in favour of
the Town's application, the Commission's recommendation must be based on the
criteria contained in subsection 13(4). Opposition
alone is not enough to convince the Commission that it should recommend against the
Town's proposed boundary extension. Opposition
may sometimes result from personal reasons and not be in the best interests of the wider
community. This is frequently seen where the
opposition is solely based on a desire not to be required to pay higher property taxes. This factor, while clearly of interest to
individual property owners in the affected area, is not in or of itself a basis for making
a decision not to approve a boundary extension.
However, in the
present matter, the affected residents expressed some very important concerns beyond those
relating to property taxes. The Commission
believes that many of these concerns could be dealt with through sound municipal planning,
in full consultation with residents of the Town and the area the Town seeks to annex.
Commission acknowledges that the Town has a limited land base, and may well require an
increase in its land area in order to provide for future growth opportunities, an
application for a major boundary extension must be supported by a sound municipal planning
process with resulting information and plans. This
is absolutely essential in demonstrating that the proposed annexation is justified, having
regard to the criteria contained in subsection 13(4).
For the above
reasons, and pursuant to subsection 13(4) of the Municipalities
Act, the Commission is of the view that the proposed annexation by the Town of
Kensington is not justified for municipal purposes. The
Commission therefore recommends that the present boundary extension application of the
Town of Kensington be denied.
this 28th day of December, 2000.
Wayne D. Cheverie, Q. C. Chair
Ginger Breedon, Vice-Chair
Maurice Rodgerson, Commissioner
James Carragher, Commissioner
Appendix A - Exhibits
Notice (appeared in The Journal Pioneer on
November 20, 2000 and November 29, 2000, in The
Guardian on November 20, 2000 and November 29, 2000, and in
The Royal Gazette on December 2, 2000)
19, 2000 letter to Chris Jones from John Berry (2 pages)
3, 2000 letter to Wayne D. Cheverie, Q.C. from The Honourable Gail A. Shea
25, 2000 letter to The Honourable Gail A. Shea from Mayor Gerald A. McCarville (5 pages)
12, 2000 letter to The Honourable Gail A. Shea from Mayor Gerald A. McCarville (5 pages)
6, 2000 text of the Town of Kensington presentation to the Island Regulatory and Appeals
Commission (26 pages)
Town of Kensington General Account Financial Statements for the Year Ended
December 31, 1999 by Alan C. Montgomery, Chartered Accountant (15 pages)
Town of Kensington Water and Pollution Control Corporation Sewerage and Water
Account Financial Statements for the Year Ended December 31, 1999 by Alan C.
Montgomery, Chartered Accountant (9 pages)
13, 2000 fax to Philip Rafuse from Mayor Gerald A. McCarville (5 pages)
6, 2000 letter to the Honourable Gail A. Shea signed by residents
21, 2000 letter to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission from Rona Burt with
attached map and a copy of a letter to the Honourable Gail A. Shea from Lowell Campbell
with additional resident's signatures (5 pages)
20, 2000 letter to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission from Steven and Judith
30, 2000 letter to Philip Rafuse from Greg Donald (3 pages)
6, 2000 text of a presentation by Anna Semple to the Island Regulatory and Appeals
Commission (3 pages)
6, 2000 text of a presentation by Jessie Ramsay to the Island Regulatory and Appeals
6, 2000 text of a presentation by Rona Burt to the Island Regulatory and Appeals
Commission (2 pages)
For the benefit of the reader, the following is the Order
in Council issued in respect of the application of Kensington.
(As published in the Royal Gazette, February 10, 2001)
COMMUNITY OF KENSINGTON
EXTENSION OF MUNICIPAL BOUNDARY
(APPLICATION TO ANNEX
ACRES OF LAND)
Having under consideration an application from the community of Kensington
presented pursuant to section 12 of the
R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap.
M-13 to extend its boundaries to include approximately one thousand, six hundred and ten
(1,610) acres of land adjacent to its existing boundaries for which no municipal
government is provided under the said Act, Council, having under consideration the
recommendation of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission and under authority of
subsection 14(2) of the aforesaid Act rejected the application and ordered that the
boundaries of the community of Kensington not be extended to annex the said additional
Lynn E. Ellsworth
Clerk of the Executive Council