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BRIDGEWATER — A local real estate agent has filed notice that he plans to appeal a decision by the Town of Bridgewater that allows a group home on “an upscale street.” Ron Bullen, an agent with RE/MAX South Shore Realty, also filed an addendum, signed by eight real estate agents and an appraiser, saying they believe property values on Evergreen Road will go down because of the home, and that traffic will go up. LaHave Manor Corporation began operating Compassion House, as the group home is known, at 6 Evergreen Rdlast summer, though the street was zoned low-density residential at the timeTown staff initially said the proposed home was considered an institution and not permitted in the residential area. But council voted Feb25 to change the definition of both a group home and a single-unit dwelling to include a group home with up to five residents, meaning the residential-care facility is now permitted on the street. Bridgewater resident Brian Tennyson said at that meeting he is opposed to the zoning change, not because of the the residential-care facility, but because he alleged councillors and staff were manipulated, pressured and intimidated by LaHave Manor Corp. “The issue is intimidation of an elected body so that its members fear to do what they know is right,” Tennyson said. In a notice of appeal filed with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board March 6, Bullen, who has been a Realtor for 23 years, said Evergreen Road “was known as an upscale street to live on at the time it was created and still is viewed that way today.” He said the dead-end street has eight homes, and traffic will be a problem with staff and visitors coming and going and with a van taking residents to work each day. LaHave Manor CorpCEO Joanne Wentzell declined to comment on the case on the advice of the corporation’s lawyer. Bullen wrote in his notice of appeal, “Most residents, like myself, didn’t think the Town would allow this change in the particular location.” He said only residents living on Evergreen Road were given written notice of the zoning change that was under discussion, but since the change affects the entire town, every homeowner should have been notified. Bullen also said he has talked to “numerous Realtors,” about the rezoning, “and no one was approached by any town councillor or town planning employee to discuss the ramifications of the change in zoning.” He provides the name of eight real estate agents, including three with his office, and an appraiser, who say the group home will drag down property values on the street, and create traffic problems. No appeal date has been set yet. (bware@herald.ca)

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