Name­less road case takes un­ex­pected turn

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

The Brad­bury af­fair took an un­ex­pected twist last week when it came up for dis­cus­sion at the first reg­u­lar pub­lic meet­ing of the re­cently elected Carbonear Town Coun­cil.

The item was listed un­der “cor­re­spon­dence re­ceived and action taken.”

As is nor­mal pro­ce­dure mayor Sam Slade told coun­cil­lors they could pe­ruse the cor­re­spon­dence and if any­one had any ques­tions on any of the items, they could pur­sue them with staff.

Dep. mayor Ches Ash ex­pressed in­ter­est in dis­cussing the Brad­bury item, which was num­ber 20 on a lengthy list of 39 items.

Mayor Slade va­cated the chair be­cause of a con­flict of in­ter­est, while dep. mayor Ash took the chair for that por­tion of the meet­ing.

“My sug­ges­tion,” said dep. mayor Ash, “is if there is a way to re­solve it, we should take steps to re­solve it.”

Coun. Ed Goff wanted to know if (pro­vin­cial) en­gi­neers had been out to look at the road.

Coun. Ge­orge Butt noted, “we had a meet­ing with the MHA (Jerome Kennedy) to see if they ( prov­ince) could re­lax” ( the re­quire­ments for the road reser­va­tion/up­grade), which in ef­fect would al­low the Brad­burys to pro­ceed with their plans to build a sin­gle dwelling on their land.

Coun. David Kennedy wanted to know what grade the road would have been brought up to ac­cord­ing to the cost anal­y­sis. “Where would it stand? How would it be classified?

Coun. Kennedy was re­fer­ring to an en­gi­neers’ re­port which es­ti­mated that to bring the road up to stan­dard that would al­low construction of the sin­gle dwelling would cost the town’s tax­pay­ers $150,000.

Town Ad­min­is­tra­tor Cyn­thia

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Davis ex­plained there are road stan­dards un­der the town’s Mu­nic­i­pal Plan if the sit­u­a­tion re­quired in­stal­la­tion of wa­ter and sewer ser­vices.

In this case the area where the Brad­burys’ land is lo­cated hap­pens to be zoned Res­i­den­tial Ru­ral (RR), a zone which does not re­quire mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and sewer ser­vices.

A sin­gle dwelling res­i­dence is con­sid­ered a per­mit­ted use within the RR zone, sub­ject to de­vel­op­ment stan­dards in­clud­ing min­i­mum frontage of 30 me­tres.

Davis pointed out the prov­ince would not cost share the cost of such de­vel­op­ment with the town, and “the full cost would have to be born by the de­vel­oper.”

Coun. Kennedy asked if there is a min­i­mum re­quire­ment for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment on one side of a road, as is the case on the name­less ser­vice road where the Brad­burys want to build.

“That de­pends on....” Davis replied.

Coun. Kennedy also asked the town ad­min­is­tra­tor if the term reser­va­tion meant the width of a road from one piece of pri­vate land to an­other. “ Yes.” Davis replied.

Sug­gest­ing he was not sure pave­ment would be re­quired, Coun. Butt said per­haps in this case Class A would suf­fice.

Coun. Kennedy had to take over the chair briefly from dep. mayor Ash, to al­low the deputy mayor to com­ment fur­ther on the is­sue.

Point­ing out a num­ber of “par­ties” had ad­vo­cated a so­lu­tion for the Brad­burys, Ash made it clear, “I cer­tainly don’t ad­vo­cate it at a cost to tax­pay­ers.” How­ever, he felt, “coun­cil should in­ves­ti­gate

“Some have said there must be a so­lu­tion. The time has come to stop say­ing there must be a so­lu­tion and look for it.”

a res­o­lu­tion to this is­sue.”

While some have said, “there must be a so­lu­tion,” Ash said, “the time has come to stop say­ing there must be a so­lu­tion and look for it.”

Coun. Butt sug­gested the town’s works com­mit­tee should have an­other look at it.

Sur­prised by the sud­den turn of events, Coun. Gla­dys Mercer sug­gested the pre­vi­ous coun­cil did not reach its de­ci­sion on the Brad­bury ap­pli­ca­tion lightly. “In any kind of process like this, the Brad­bury is­sue took a great deal of in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” Mercer said, go­ing all the way to the East­ern New­found­land Re­gional Ap­peals Board, which re­viewed it be­fore reach­ing its de­ci­sion.

On Oct. 8 the board con­firmed coun­cil’s June 8 de­ci­sion to deny the Brad­burys’ ap­pli­ca­tion for a per­mit to build a sin­gle dwelling on a name­less road, which con­nects Bunker and English Hills in an un­ser­viced area of town.

Within its right

The board con­cluded that not only was coun­cil within its right to deny the per­mit, but that the town had no choice. Coun­cil is obliged to only per­mit de­vel­op­ment that meets the re­quire­ments clearly out­lined in its own Mu­nic­i­pal Plan and De­vel­op­ment Reg­u­la­tions.

Last week Coun. Mercer de­nied coun­cil’s ac­tions in not ap­prov­ing the Brad­burys’ per­mit were in any way de­signed to dis­cour- age new res­i­dents and sti­fle res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment. “We had 64 houses built here in four years — every­one wants new res­i­dents,” she said. But the town has rules and “we can’t just make ex­cep­tions.”

How­ever she agreed that any­thing and ev­ery­thing can be re­viewed.

Point­ing out he didn’t mean to sug­gest the pre­vi­ous coun­cil did not act in the best in­ter­est of tax­pay­ers in its ear­lier de­ci­sion, Ash ac­knowl­edged, “the find­ings of the ap­peal board vin­di­cated the ac­tions of coun­cil, and I did not mean to sug­gest oth­er­wise.”

Wal­ter and De­bra Brad­bury had said they felt the town had dis­crim­i­nated against them. How­ever the ap­peals board found “no ev­i­dence that Mr. and Mrs. Brad­bury were dealt with in a dis­crim­i­na­tory man­ner by the town...”

Are there par­ties, bene­fac­tors out there who are pre­pared to build a road for one res­i­dent, Mercer asked? “No!” Coun. Kennedy replied. Ash said he wasn’t sug­gest­ing that, “but there are par­ties who have said there must be a so­lu­tion. And what I would like to see is coun­cil looking at that pos­si­ble so­lu­tion. There may be no so­lu­tion at all at the end of the day,” he ad­mit­ted.

Ap­par­ently the new coun­cil’s meet­ing with MHA Kennedy took place some­time af­ter they were sworn into of­fice and be­fore last week’s coun­cil meet­ing.

Coun. Mercer was out of the prov­ince on va­ca­tion when the meet­ing took place. Not only would she have been un­able to at­tend the meet­ing, but was not even aware such a meet­ing had taken place. “I was shocked by it,” she told

The Com­pass af­ter­wards.

Very in­ter­est­ing

Won­der­ing who the un­named par­ties re­ferred to at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing were, Coun. Mercer ex­claimed, “that’s very in­ter­est­ing!”

While he was in the chair dur­ing the dis­cus­sion, Ash had to re­mind res­i­dent Cyril Win­sor, who reg­u­larly at­tends coun­cil meet­ings that, “you are here as ob­servers only.”

The chair­man was re­spond­ing to an out­burst in the cham­bers when Win­sor shouted at one point, re­fer­ring to Coun. Mercer, “she’s so darn crit­i­cal. This is a crock!”

Coun. Mercer re­minded the Bunker Hill res­i­dent that she is an elected coun­cil­lor and as such, has a right to speak and ex­press opin­ions without be­ing in­ter­rupted by ob­servers.

“We’ll en­ter­tain no dis­cus­sion” (from ob­servers), dep. mayor Ash told them.

De­bate on the is­sue ended with Coun. Ge­orge Butt mak­ing a mo­tion, sec­onded by Coun. David Kennedy to have the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee re­view the Brad­bury case. Coun­cil gave the mo­tion unan­i­mous con­sent. In an Oct. 16 in­ter­view with

The Com­pass, Wal­ter Brad­bury said they were en­cour­aged by the new blood on coun­cil. “We re­ally be­lieve that this new coun­cil is go­ing to solve our prob­lem in our favour.”

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