Charlottetown’s Natural Assets Inventory

From the City’s Web site:

The City has worked with the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative (MNAI) to create a Natural Asset InventoryThe Inventory was developed to better understand where our natural assets are and what condition they are in. Knowing this will allow the City to make more informed policy and planning decisions; this initial inventory is a first step towards natural asset management. Along with the inventory dashboard, MNAI also prepared a report summarizing the results of the inventory and the associated implications. Click here to view this report. 

From the MNAI report:

Annex: Results of Charlottetown’s risk identification

This Annex contains the results of Charlottetown’s use of MNAI’s risk identification tool, which they self-administered with guidance from MNAI. Table 1 was the main product, developed by Charlottetown personnel, that resulted from the exercise.

Common Risks to Natural Assets:

  • Overuse of trails/dumping
  • Flooding (current and future)
  • Forest fire
  • Invasive species
  • Development pressure
  • Pollutant loading from urban, agricultural, or industrial sources (e.g., overuse of salt on roads)
  • Drought (current and future)
  • Erosion
  • Ice jams
  • Storm surge
  • Lack of flood hazard mapping
  • Lack of land management plans
  • Lack of monitoring reports
  • Construction activity
  • Political policy change

Risk Assessment and Implications

Charlottetown’s ecological risks have been assessed in order to maximize the efficiency of managing the municipal natural assets. Each risk is prioritized based on the likelihood of occurrence and impact severity, which both are ranked from low (L), medium (M), and high (H) – as seen in the ‘Risk Matrix’ below. Identifying such risks can help prevent and plan for any loss of Charlottetown’s natural assets. 


Click here to learn more about the MNAI and its mission.

A sad day for nature

(Featured image taken on 10 JUNE, 2021, by Don R.)

Background

The first inkling the public received that a residential development was in the works for this area was in May 2019, through a CBC article whose source was likely Tim Banks: “Killam to buy 50% interest in Charlottetown Mall”.

Killam REIT’s first quarter report issued on 1 May 2019 stated: Killam is pleased to announce that it has agreed to purchase a 50% interest in the Charlottetown Mall, located in Charlottetown, PE, from RioCan REIT at a purchase price of $23.7 million for an all cash yield of 6.69%. This stabilized, grocery-anchored, enclosed mall is a 352,448 square foot retail complex and is the dominant shopping centre in Prince Edward Island. It is located on 32 acres in the heart of Prince Edward Island’s busiest retail node with future multi-family development opportunities of up to 300 units. The retail portion of the property will continue to be managed by RioCan after closing, with the future residential project being managed by Killam. This purchase will establish Killam’s second joint venture with RioCan REIT and the acquisition is expected to close on May 17, 2019.

Nothing more was heard about the development opportunity until August 2020, when a number of building blocks were already in place for the Planning Board to officially review APMʼs rezoning application for a field on the other side of the Confederation Trail.

What discussions took place between May 2019 and early 2020 to tempt Killam and/or Mr Banks to move those 300 units from the Mall (a built environment) across the Confederation Trail and onto a tree-filled green field (a natural environment)?

When development supersedes all else

APM President/CEO Tim Banks bears no respect for rules, regulations, or bylaws. With his Sherwood Crossing development under appeal before IRAC (P.E.Island Regulatory & Appeals Commission), and no development permit in hand, he has the temerity to send a bulldozer to rip up trees and clear the ground during full nesting season.

Why?

Aside from needlessly destroying shrubs and trees, how much wildlife was killed or injured on that day? People have seen hawks, chipmunks, snakes, and songbirds in this area.

Without a development permit, what right did Mr Banks have to send a bulldozer to clear a section of the land? Was it an act of defiance?

Will City officials order Mr Banks to remove his sign?

JUNE 8, 2021: Towers Road, north view (photo credit: Don R.)

8 June 2021 (Towers Road facing north)

Nature paved over

Written by Barbara Dylla, Charlottetown (published in The Guardian on 4 September 2020)

I have many concerns regarding APM MacLean’s proposed “North of Towers” development. One of them is the loss of the remaining natural areas within City boundaries. Greenfield land plays a critical role not only in conserving biodiversity and providing climate change mitigation benefits, but also has a positive effect on the fundamental quality of life in our communities.

It is no secret that natural habitat destruction and fragmentation are leading causes of biodiversity loss. Many urban jurisdictions have been using the green infrastructure concept, which is an interconnected network of natural areas that provides wildlife habitat, flood protection, cleaner air, and cleaner water.

Incidentally, does the public know that at least two new roads will bisect the Confederation Trail? While other cities upgrade the safety of their active transportation infrastructure, Charlottetown accepts proposals that degrade a marvelous multipurpose trail within its municipal boundaries.

I support denser mixed-used housing projects, but not at the expense of natural areas being needlessly paved over in favour of market-priced housing and automobility. Sustainable design practices incorporate more effective and efficient land use, along with alternative energy and energy conservation techniques. We have a valuable but limited ‘window of opportunity’ to design an urban environment that is optimized to deal with a warming world and committed to the betterment of the community. 

Why is the City not pushing to adopt more stringent, energy-efficient, and space-efficient building regulations that truly take Charlottetown into the 21st century and beyond?