We have a new Survey!

This is the second public survey we have conducted online. The first was open from late February until April 17, 2017, and explored the issues that residents of the Region considered to be most important to them. We are very pleased that 781 residents of the Region filled it out.

This survey digs deeper into your feelings about growth in the Region and your expectations of the infrastructure (water, sewer, roads, and other facilities) that governments provide to support growth. We want to know whether you want to see the Northeast Avalon continue to increase its population, where you think growth should be located, and your experiences with the Region's infrastructure. 

Have your say!

Tell us what you want to see in the new Regional Plan by filling in our survey, below. The survey is 16 questions long, and should take about 10 minutes to complete. 

MeetingS Postponed Due to Weather

Due to the stormy conditions on the Avalon - Our Avalon Visioning Session in Conception Bay South at the Legion on Wednesday, February 15th, and in Bauline on Thursday, February 16th have both been postponed.  The Background Report is now posted here OUR AVALON BACKGROUND REPORT on the website makes for great ‘snow day’ reading.  Stay safe.

Looking forward to seeing you at our Visioning workshops this week!

We have lots of questions to ask, and activities ready for the whole family! 

  • What do want to change in the region?
  • What is your favorite place in the Northeast Avalon?  
  • Where do you take visitors?
  • Where is your favorite place to shop?
  • What is your favourite view?
  • Where should 1000 new homes be built?  
  • What new facilities (e.g. fire halls, schools, recreation facilities) should the region have in the future? Where should they be located?
  • What is your vision for traffic and moving around the region?
  • Where should new commercial development be located?
  • Where should new industrial development be located?
  • Does the region need new and improved marine facilities and where should they be located?

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Our Avalon 2017 is the background report prepared by Stantec Consulting Inc. to support the process of creating a new Regional Plan for the Northeast Avalon. It is a reference for participants in the regional planning process providing information on the communities that comprise the region, the issues that they face, and the aspirations that they have expressed through the limited consultation that has taken place to date.

The report is comprised of six chapters as follows:

1          A Plan for the Northeast Avalon Region

Regional planning deals with the efficient placement of land uses and related infrastructure within an interconnected area, usually extending beyond the boundaries of a single city or town. An effective regional plan will incorporate broad decisions concerning the direction of growth within the area to which it applies and the major initiatives to be pursued to accommodate and encourage that growth. It should also provide a framework for municipal plans prepared by cities and towns comprising the Region. It should coordinate their policies and reduce the potential for conflict between them.

The current St. John's Urban Region Regional Plan (SJURRP) was adopted in 1976. Despite regular amendments over its 40-year existence, the Regional Plan has become out-of-date. The SJURRP needs to be updated to become an effective guide to the development of the Region once again. The possibilities now are much greater than they were in 1976. The new Regional Plan can be both broader in scope and more strategic in its purpose. It will be less a foundation for municipal planning and much more a link among existing municipal plans that can reinforce and coordinate their key themes. It can also be a better presented, clearer, and easier to understand document that reflects a vision for the future of the region in addition to providing a framework for its growth.

Our Avalon 2017 is the background report produced by Stqntec Consulting Inc. to support the process of creating a new Regional Plan for the Northeast Avalon. It is a reference for participants in the regional planning process for information on the communities that comprise the region, the issues that they face, and the aspirations that they have expressed through the limited consultation that has taken place to date.

2          The Region’s Municipalities

The Northeast Avalon presently encompasses 15 municipalities. The southern portion of Bell Island, which is also known as Lance Cove, is unorganized, as are the Butterpot-Witless Bay Environs, which abut the southern limit of the region between Holyrood and Bay Bulls. We have profiledeach of the Region’s 15 municipal units and the Butterpot-Witless Bay Environs. The profiles include demographic and financial information on each municipality to give the reader information to fit each in the context of the Northeast Avalon Region.

3          The Regional Landscape

The environment, whether shaped by nature or humans, is critical to the regional planning process. The ocean surrounding the Northeast Avalon Region creates a cool but highly variable climate subject to high winds that sweep over rugged terrain that many would consider inhospitable. The unique environment is nevertheless home to a wide range of plant and animal species and visually appealing to residents and many visitors.  The environment has also provided valuable resources that have provided the foundation for development of the Region. The chapter discusses key features of the natural and human-made environment that the Regional Plan will seek to protect and, where appropriate, influence.

4          Economy and Demography

Future economic and demographic growth and change will depend on factors within the Region and outside its boundaries. Growth in Canada’s economy, which, like Newfoundland and Labrador, has been seriously affected by weakened energy prices, and the challenging circumstances of many other Newfoundland and Labrador communities that have relied on fishing, forestry, and mining will influence the future of the Northeast Avalon Region. Federal government initiatives to stimulate the national economy will be critical to the Region. Opportunities in rural areas of the province are likely to have a strong influence, as well, by encouraging continued in-migration of young adults seeking education and work opportunities, and older people both following their children seeking more sophisticated community services.

5          Service Delivery

The function and growth of the Northeast Avalon Peninsula depends heavily on municipal and Provincial services delivered to the Region’s many communities. Municipal governments in the Region promote their communities and work to develop their local economies, regulate building and property, build and maintain local roads, treat and distribute water, collect and treat sewage, provide fire and emergency services, and build, maintain, and encourage the use ofparks and recreation facilities. The Province also influences the form of settlement through its roles in protecting the environment, building and maintaining the highway network, policing the Region through the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, and operating the school and health care systems.

Services shape the Region. In particular, municipal water and wastewater services generally define areas as urban and rural, encouraging density where they are present and requiring separation where they are not. Roads, particularly highways provided by the Province, have a strong and even more direct influence by facilitating access to areas with potential for development and discouraging development of lands they do not reach.

The settlement of the Region, in turn, influences the provision of services. To begin with, the distribution of development across the 15 municipalities of the Northeast Avalon dictates the scale of services required from each local government. Towns in more lightly settled peripheral areas usually do not provide water and wastewater services, and the scale of remaining services is more limited because of their smaller populations. More populous and densely settled communities at the centre of the Region such as St. John’s, Mount Pearl, and Paradise, on the other hand, must have substantial municipal organizations to maintain the infrastructure and supply the services their many residents require.

6 Regional Consultation

Stantec hosted a Municipal and Stakeholder Workshop on December 1, 2016, in St. John’s. Forty-nine people attended the workshop, which included members of the Oversight Committee, municipal staff, Provincial representatives from the Department of Municipal Affairs, representatives from Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, key stakeholders, and members of the consulting team. The session provided an opportunity for municipalities and representatives of key stakeholder groups to make presentations on their priorities and expectations from the Regional Plan process. Their presentations were followed by a workshop session from which the consultants derived seven key themes that the Regional Plan should address: municipal services, transportation, environment, diversity, economy, collaboration, and governance.

While the identified themes will provide a framework for future consultations, we look forward to debating and resolving many questions through the regional planning process. The scope of the process is not by any means limited to the themes we have derived from municipal submissions. In the third and next phase of the project, Stantec will open the consultation process to the public. While we will continue to liaise with Provincial and municipal representatives, we will also solicit the participation of all interested members of the Northeast Avalon community.

We have publicized the regional planning process through a formal media launch as well as our project web site and other social media outlets. Special initiatives will reach out to youth and the elderly. Our objective will be to provide multiple avenues for citizens of all ages and backgrounds to share their ideas. The subject matter will be the Northeast Avalon Region and its future.

Planning Themes for the Northeast Avalon Regional Plan

  •  Municipal Services - Water, wastewater, stormwater management, fire protection

  • Transportation - Safety, capacity, peak period traffic, public transportation, alternative transportation, impacts of new development

  • Environment - Flood risk, watercourse buffers, loss of farmland, protection and enhancement of East Coast Trail and other regional assets e.g. beach Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove, climate changE

  •  Diverse Development - Diverse development patterns and the diversity of the region

  •  Governance - Administration, implementation, monitoring of the plan

  •  Economic - Growth, commercial and industrial land uses, marine facilities, local,  regional, provincial, Atlantic, global

  •  Collaboration - Working together – shared services, fire services, facilities, strategic about financing projects