Monday, September 22, 2008

Direction received from Members on August 23, 2008

At the August 23, 2008 extraordinary meeting of JCDC the Board received the following direction from the members:

From the options presented by the Board, pursue Option B to subdivide the property and sell a lot with concurrent efforts to seek funding to the building. Use funds from the sale to pay off mortgage and pay for demolishing the building.

At the meeting the Board presented 4 options for consideration by members along with benefits and negatives for each option.

First we presented some lessons we learned in the process of seeking development for the JCDC property:

  • The building is a definite disadvantage: The developers look at the building and see a expensive problem: one developer took a look and said $150,000 to remove – in his mind he saw lead paint, asbestos, and PCB’s
  • Sewer/water: 2 different developers estimated $300,000 - $500,000 to put in sewer and water for a development and site
  • Size of the property. Not large enough to attract developers.
  • We have had a quote to remove the building in the range of $30,000 but only if we can ensure the property is free of environmental contaminants first and that the Department of the Environment would approve placing the concrete along the water’s edge.

Option A: Sell the land and building as is.

According to appraisal we had done last year we could get $180,000 for property if the building was removed. Likely, considerably less with building on site.

To do this would we need to find funds for transfer to new land registry system ~$1,000 and survey ~$3,500.

  • Pay off mortgage $17,000
  • Pay fire department $1,800
  • Reimburse memberships (if members voted to do this) ~ $55,000
  • Might be some funds to support some other group

  • Community loses access to the water/wharf
  • Benefit to the community comes from removing a negative rather than adding a positive
  • No control over what happens to the property
  • No guarantee that the building will be removed
  • Once it is gone, it is gone, the last piece of waterfront between St. Peter’s and Big Pond

Option B: Subdivide the property and sell a lot

Subdivide out one lot from the property and sell it – maybe earning $60,000- $80,000. Use funds to pay off mortgage and pay to demolish the building.

To do this we would need to find funds to do a pert test, survey and subdivision $6,000, transfer to land registry system $1,000

May be able to raise funds for subdivision through prior commitment to purchase of land.

  • Pay off mortgage $17,000
  • Pay fire department $1,800
  • Community retains access to some of the land plus the wharf
  • Building will be removed
  • JCDC and community
  • May be some operational funds remaining

  • Property size is diminished

Option C: Develop property in conjunction with other properties

Either acquire more land or work with other landowners to create a condominium/townhouse development. With the other property used for the housing and the coop property used as shared access to the water.

Three developers mentioned that there is demand for condominiums/residences for summer residences for reverse snow-birds (people from hot southern American states). However, in order to make it attractive to developers there would need to be more land. One developer suggested working with the parish or local property owners.

  • Attract people to the community
  • Attract development to the community
  • Community could retain access to the land plus the wharf

  • Building will be removed
  • Funds to pay off the mortgage
  • Potential for ongoing income

  • Funds would need to be expended to explore this option fully
  • This project would need long lead time
  • Would require enormous time, energy and commitment from individuals from JCDC and other organizations to achieve this

Option D: Individuals contribute money to save the property for the community

Individuals who are committed to keeping this property for the community contribute funds to pay off the mortgage and remove the building. This would require approximately $60,000

  • Community could retain access to the land plus the wharf
  • Building will be removed
  • Funds to pay off the mortgage

  • Where would we find ongoing income to pay annual expenses
  • Member fatigue – feeling that there has been enough financial/human support and more without a full plan is not warranted

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


We have developed a brochure to describe the property and its location, highlight some of the features of the area, summarize what we want to achieve, identify potential uses for the site and provide contact information.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Update to February 25

Following is a brief report of the Board of Directors’ actions to date, since the November 4, 2007 AGM.

Following the November AGM we advertised in the Cape Breton Post, the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the Reporter and the Inverness Oran for Expressions of Interest for development of the Johnstown property.

The Board agreed that Expressions of Interest received would be evaluated by:

  • type of development – residential, commercial;

  • development attributes – environmentally friendly, architecturally compatible with setting, sustainable;

  • contingent on development;

  • community access – access to the wharf by members of the local and JCDC community; and price.

A small number of individuals/groups approached members of the Board with questions but we did not receive any formal submissions. However, it become clear that the land could be sold quickly if JCDC members decide to sell it outright, i.e. without covenants.

Prior to the November 4, 2007 AGM, members of the Board had approached several developers in Halifax to determine if development of the site was a possibility. Board members have also been in contact with others who might be interested in working as part of a team to develop the site. This type of approach to development will require time to establish a development plan and build a project team, that would include a developer, architect, civil engineer and construction contractor.

The Board has written League Savings and Mortgage with a request to have interest accrual and mortgage payments waived for two years. This would greatly reduce our monthly operating costs and will buy us the time we need to formulate and execute a responsible development plan for the property. In the event of sale of the property, the remainder of the mortgage would be paid off.

In light of the circumstances, our recommendation is that the Board should:
  1. await response from League Savings and Mortgage regarding our request for a 2 year waiver of the mortgage payments and interest accrual;
    continue to pursue developers for the land;
    provide a further progress report to the membership and broader community by June 1, 2008.

Please feel free to write with suggestions or to express concern over this course of action.

Friday, November 23, 2007

JCDC is seeking Expressions of Interest

The Board of Directors of the Johnstown Community Development Co-operative Ltd. (JCDC) invites Expressions of Interest. Our purpose is to sell or lease the seven acre waterfront property located at 15281 highway 4, Johnstown, Richmond County, Nova Scotia. Be advised that the criteria for evaluation will include, but will not be limited to, consideration of community input through the establishment of covenants for use of part of the land and to ensure sustainable development of the portion being sold/leased. Interested parties are asked to submit their expressions of interest in writing to Ms. Rita Campbell, Board Chair, Johnstown Community Development Cooperative Ltd., 15281 hwy 4, Site 16, Comp 7, RR#1, St. Peter’s, NS B0E 3B0 by December 31, 2007.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Aerial photo of JCDC property - circa 1990's

We'll be adding some pictures of the JCDC site in the next few days. Scroll to the bottom of the blog page to see them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Special Resolution passed at November 3 meeting of JCDC

Special Resolution

That JCDC Ltd. Board of Directors continue to seek partners such as the Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Antigonish and/or a Developer to follow up on the study of Vibe Creative Group commissioned by ECBC keeping in mind the Guiding Principles of the ECBC report which are to lease/sell the property, to ensure community control over development by establishing covenants for use, to pursue intentional development on the site and to ensure sustainable development through community support for any initiatives regarding the use of the property. To ensure transparency the Board will report to the membership and the broader community with recommendations by March 1, 2008.

JCDC and District 10 Fire Department Update

In October JCDC received a letter from the Fire Department indicating that they no longer wished to honour the option-to-lease and would like to receive back the money they paid for the option. The Board met and agreed to direct that amount of money to the Fire Department when it is viable to do so. A letter has been sent to the Fire Department Chair indicating this.