De­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee up­holds de­ci­sion

Coun­cil feels it has ex­hausted all av­enues to re­solve per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion dis­pute

The Compass - - new - BY BILL BOW­MAN

The Carbonear town coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee has rec­om­mended the town’s pre­vi­ous de­ci­sion and the de­ci­sion of the East­ern New­found­land Re­gional Ap­peals Board on a build­ing per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion be up­held, un­less Wal­ter and De­bra Brad­bury are will­ing to cover the cost of bring­ing a name­less road up to a stan­dard that would al­low their pro­posed sin­gle dwelling to pro­ceed.

In an Oc­to­ber 8 de­ci­sion, the East­ern Ap­peals 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.

Dur­ing the Oct. 19 coun­cil meet­ing, the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee was asked to go back and do fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­view the Brad­bury’s de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion, in con­sul­ta­tion with the works com­mit­tee, to see if a so­lu­tion could be found.

The is­sue was raised again at the Nov. 3 reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing, when the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee re­ported back to coun­cil on its find­ings.

Coun­cil­lor David Kennedy, who chairs the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee told coun­cil, “the ex­pected cost of the road was in the vicin­ity of $100,000 - $150,000, an amount which was without doubt out of the reach of the town...”

Break­ing down the costs for coun­cil, coun. Kennedy said they in­cluded: the pur­chase of land ad­ja­cent to the road needed to widen it; ex­ca­vat­ing 2.3 me­tres from the north of the road, as well as the cost of pro­vid­ing shale or other fill needed to widen the road to the (re­quired) 15 me­tres; re­lo­ca­tion of a New­found­land Power util­ity pole at the end of the road; and the cost of ap­ply­ing a cover for the road, class A stone and pave­ment.

To put the cost into per­spec­tive, coun. Kennedy ex­plained: “ The town is in­vest­ing $200,000 in an 80/20 cost shar­ing ar­range­ment (with the prov­ince) in 2010 in or­der for a mil­lion dol­lars in in­fra­struc­ture up­grades to be car­ried out... If the town spent the re­quired money on the road, we would be left with $250,000 - $500,000 in projects, mean­ing more press­ing in­fra­struc­ture would be de­layed un­til af­ter 2010.”

Not ham­per­ing de­vel­op­ment

Coun. Kennedy said, “coun­cil does not feel this de­ci­sion is ham­per­ing de­vel­op­ment, but merely fol­low­ing the reg­u­la­tions in place and the prece­dents set. Th­ese rules and reg­u­la­tions were im­ple­mented in ac­cor­dance with both pro­vin­cial and mu­nic­i­pal laws out of fair­ness to ev­ery res­i­dent.”

The de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair ex­plained the Carbonear Mu­nic­i­pal Plan and De­vel­op­ment Reg­u­la­tions, adopted in De­cem­ber 2004, are gov­erned by pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tion, un­der the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act, which gov­erns the Ur­ban and Ru­ral Plan­ning Act and the Carbonear Mu­nic­i­pal Plan.

“ To ap­prove this ap­pli­ca­tion, it would re­quire the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to amend the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act in or­der to suit this par­tic­u­lar case,” coun. Kennedy noted.

Dep. mayor Ches Ash chaired the por­tion of the meet­ing deal­ing with the Brad­bury case for mayor Sam Slade, who va­cated the chair af­ter declar­ing a con­flict of in­ter­est.

Not sat­is­fied

Not sat­is­fied that enough had been done, coun. Ge­orge Butt re­minded coun­cil of the meet­ing “five or six of us” had with Carbonear-Har­bour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy in Oc­to­ber.

Coun. Butt re­called the min­is­ter had in­di­cated he would send out pro­vin­cial en­gi­neers to have an­other look at the road to see if any­thing could be done with it to al­low the de­vel­op­ment.

“How come he never sent out the en­gi­neers like he said he was go­ing to?” coun. Butt asked.

“Are you say­ing you be­lieve Min­is­ter Kennedy can in­flu­ence this de­ci­sion?” coun. Gla­dys Mercer asked coun. Butt.

Dep. Mayor Ash ac­knowl­edged there was a meet­ing with Min­is­ter Kennedy dur­ing which a num­ber of wide rang­ing is­sues re­lated to the town were dis­cussed, and the Brad­burys was one of them.

Dep. mayor Ash’s rec­ol­lec­tion of the meet­ing was that Min­is­ter Kennedy made an in­for­mal sug­ges­tion.. he didn’t com­mit to it, but only that he would look into it.

The deputy mayor asked coun­cil if the ap­pro­pri­ate way to deal with it now would be to in­form him (Min­is­ter Kennedy) of the de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tion and coun­cil’s lat­est de­ci­sion, and seek his re­sponse to it. Coun. Butt said he was sat­is­fied with that. De­bra Brad­bury told coun­cil ac­cord­ing to their Mu­nic­i­pal Plan and De­vel­op­ment Reg­u­la­tions, you can have de­vel­op­ment above Bunker Hill. “It states in there you can have a per­mit above Bunker Hill. It doesn’t say any­thing in there about a road,” she said.

While Brad­bury was not sched­uled to speak at the meet­ing, deputy mayor Ash said her re­marks would be duly noted.

Now that coun­cil’s ini­tial de­ci­sion last June has been vin­di­cated by the Ap­peals Board and by coun­cil’s own de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, Coun. Gla­dys Mercer felt it is very im­por­tant for Carbonear cit­i­zens to know what coun­cil’s de­ci­sion is.

Mo­ments be­fore our ed­i­to­rial dead­line late Fri­day af­ter­noon, Nov. 13, The Com­pass learned the Brad­burys, who had been liv­ing in a fifth-wheel trailer on their land since last spring, had left the site.

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