Reserve Mines woman hopes for rezoning for batting cages.
A Reserve Mines woman is hoping to strike a home run with a new business idea.
Lorraine Paulin hopes to open an outdoor recreational business featuring batting cages.
“I want to start with three batting cages and then hopefully add two more later on if it’s successful enough.”
Paulin, who lives on Centreville Road, owns about 10 acres of land which extends to the culde-sac on Thompsonville Road.
She has applied to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality for a changing in zoning for Tompkinsville Road, from residential to commercial.
“I’m about 400 metres away from where I would be able to get a permit,” she said.
She was working out west for Imperial Oil, but the job ended.
“I could look for another job out West but I’m hoping to create my own employment here so I don’t have to go back out West.”
Paulin, a member of the women’s softball league, said there are more than 280 players in the women’s league alone, and then there are youth and men’s leagues.
She thinks batting cages will do well as Cape Breton loves ball.
“We eat and breath it, just like hockey.”
She said as well as outdoor recreation for the public, it would serve as a great form of practise for teams like the Glace Bay Colonels. She plans on acquiring state-of-the-art equipment with different speeds and skill levels.
“In our area all the teams like the Colonels they go away to the world tournaments and all that.”
Paulin organizes a mixed ball tournament in memory of the late Sgt. Jimmy MacNeil annually. She said her plan would include not only hiring Glace Bay High School students but also donating some of the profits towards the tournament scholarship every year.
As well, she hopes to be able to put a little park up in an area near the batting cages, with swings and a slide.
Paulin is hopeful the rezoning will be granted but said she’s been told people in the Reserve Mines area might not like the extra traffic and extra noise that comes with it. She disagrees.
“We have the airport above us, that’s loud and we have the Speedway on Sundays that you can hear from Dominion Beach.”
George MacDonald, deputy mayor and Dist. 9 Coun. for the CBRM, said the request has been made before council.
“The planning department will bring an issue paper back to council, probably by the end of summer, and then council will make a decision on the value of rezoning.”
MacDonald said the project sounded good, but it’s a residential zone.
“The road would go through the residential area of Tompkinsville, there would have to be a meeting with residents,” he said.
However MacDonald said if the planning department recommends against it, it wouldn’t even get to a public hearing.
“We haven’t even looked at the merit of the project yet, we’re waiting until we get all the pros and cons from the planning department.”
Lorraine Paulin, of Reserve Mines, checks out land she owns on Tompkinsville Road, where she hopes to open an outdoor recreational facility, including batting cages. Paulin has put in a request to Cape Breton Regional Municipality council for rezoning for the area to allow for the new business.