City names consultant to work on Upton Farmlands master plan


  • 13 Jun 2013
  • The Guardian, Charlottetown

It is supposed to tell us how we can best utilize the property with regards to trails and planting and things like that. Kirsten Connor

A lot of green space in Charlottetown is now in the hands of a Dartmouth consulting firm.

City council has accepted the bid from Ekistics Planning and Design to carry out the master plan for Upton Farmlands. The same firm is formulating a master plan for Victoria Park.

It’s going to cost $ 42,820 plus HST to come up with that master plan but the money isn’t coming out of the city’s budget. The funds are coming from the provincial secretariat for infrastructure under the Capacity Building Fund.

“It is supposed to tell us how we can best utilize the property with regards to trails and planting and things like that,’’ said Kirsten Connor, chair of the Upton Farm Trust. “The board hasn’t sat down with ( Ekistics) yet to go over that.’’

Public meetings haven’t been announced yet but Ekistics tends to go to the public to see what its vision is before drafting a final document.

“We look forward to having a plan because it’s very hard for the board to move forward without a specific plan.’’

Connor said land will be allocated within the 137acre farm for an off- leash dog park, something that doesn’t appear to be part of Victoria Park’s future.

“There will be an allocation for the dog owners to have a place to walk their dogs off leash. That’s been our mandate from the beginning.’’

One problem continues to exist. That’s getting the land designated under the Natural Areas Protection Act ( NAPA), which Connor says is an integral part of establishing the green space and a government requirement as well.

Connor said after much planning and work on a NAPA application, it was submitted in June 2012.

Although the trust was never officially notified, Connor said the group understood the application and plan encountered no reservations with the NAPA committee. It was approved and forwarded to cabinet, but the group is still waiting.

The province has said the plan that was submitted was conceptual rather than comprehensive. While it outlined what it wanted to do on the property, it has to be specifically laid out.

Connor said their lawyer is currently looking into the matter.