Last week it came to the attention of community members of Lower Marshfield, that the City of Charlottetown will potentially be holding a meeting to discuss expanding its boundaries eastward into Marshfield.
Note: There is no confirmation from City officials, nor government officials, that this is a confirmed agenda as of yet. However, a community notice was handed out to the residents of Lower Marshfield early September (see photo below). And, the City is waiting to hear if community members are in support of a potential annexing.
Community Meeting: Monday, September 10th, 2018 at 7pm at York Community Centre.
- Will this affect the entire Marshfield area?
At this time, the answer remains unclear; however, rumbles predict that the city wants to claim territory to [at least] Lower Marshfield Road. This means splitting up a community, affecting multiple farmers and residents. It also opens a door to the city eventually expanding further into the countryside in the near future.
Update: the issue at hand is due to a request for annex by a local property owner, where the corn field adjacent to Jewels Country Market is to be subdivided. If this annex were to happen, it would most likely take other parts of the community with it.
- Consequences for community members affected?
*Astronomical increase in land taxes.
*Farmers must abide by the Planning Committee - even if farmland is zoned agriculture, a farm will be limited to what it's currently using the land for. This means farmers must appeal to council to change field use, crop rotation, or to farm land that is currently not being farmed - even if the land had been farmed in the past - if it's not being cultivated at the time of amalgamation.
*Farmers (hobby & industrial) must have local residents and neighbors, and the City Planning Committee, in agreement on changing their farming practices as needed.
*Livestock/animal numbers cannot change on hobby farms - i.e. adding another horse, or one goat, must have the Planning Committee's approval per City's acts. A farm is only grandfathered in with what animals they have on the property at the time of amalgamation.
*Potential loss of farmland over time.
*Wildlife will be affected by the subdividing and urbanization.
*City water & sewer to move into country.
-Possible avenues to negotiate?
*Marshfield may be able to amalgamate with York/Northshore if it comes to rural communities being forced to amalgamate.
PLEASE NOTE: This may only be in the discussion stages, now. But, it's important we discuss this amalgamation process as it's not just a community issue, but rather an Islander issue - expanding the city into country needs sincere consideration. Where do we draw the line?