Prop­erty cleanup dis­pute set­tled

Car­bon­ear fish­er­man or­dered to re­move ma­te­rial from his prop­erty

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BILL BOW­MAN

Res­i­dents of Hoyles Road in Car­bon­ear are pleased the East­ern New­found­land Re­gional Ap­peal Board has dis­missed an ap­peal by a Car­bon­ear fish­er­man and up­held a town coun­cil or­der to re­move fish­ing gear and other ma­te­ri­als from his prop­erty at 30-32 Hoyles Road.

The ap­peal board reached its de­ci­sion at a hear­ing in St. John’s Sept. 8, more than a year af­ter fish­er­man Jim For­ward filed his ap­peal on July 26, 2010 con­test­ing coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

Speak­ing on be­half of the Hoyles Road res­i­dents who had pe­ti­tioned coun­cil last year to have the prop­erty cleaned up, John Bishop, who lives next door to the For­ward prop­erty, told The Com­pass last week they were “con­tent with the rul­ing.”

The is­sue first came to pub­lic at­ten­tion late last sum­mer when The Com­pass re­ported the res­i­dents were up­set over crab pots, fish boxes, and wood, among other ma­te­ri­als be­ing stored on a va­cant lot in their res­i­den­tial area.

Call­ing it “an eye­sore,” res­i­dents com­plained the ma­te­rial was also caus­ing a fire haz­ard.

They ar­gued the ma­te­ri­als were “ad­versely af­fect­ing the real es­tate value of sur­round­ing prop­er­ties and di­rectly in­ter­fer­ing with the law­ful use of and en­joy­ment of those prop­er­ties.”

Some 98 per cent of the res­i­dents signed a pe­ti­tion to the Car­bon­ear town coun­cil, ask­ing the town to or­der the owner to clean up his prop­erty.

In their let­ter to coun­cil last sum­mer, res­i­dents stated they ex­pected the town, “not­with­stand­ing Mr. For­ward’s ap­peal … to im­me­di­ately act in the best in­ter­est of the ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents and pro­tect their prop­er­ties and re­move the fish­ing gear etc. per the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties Act.”

Coun­cil’s hands tied

At the time res­i­dents were told, “no fur­ther ac­tion can be taken by coun­cil un­til the ap­peal board hears the ap­peal.”

The pub­lic no­tice of ap­peal, which ap­peared in the Aug. 21, 2010 Com­pass stated, the ap­peal, “will be heard in the near fu­ture.”

Al­most a year and a half af­ter the ma­te­rial first ap­peared on the prop­erty, Bishop ob­served, “it took a long time ( to have it re­moved). The bureau­cracy moves slowly.”

For­ward told The Com­pass last week he had de­cided not to ap­peal the board’s rul­ing to the Supreme Court of New­found­land and Labrador. “ That’s as far as I’m go­ing to go with it.”

Now that the board has dis­missed his ap­peal, For­ward said he “just wants to end the con­tro­versy. I’m not one to be fight­ing and growl­ing with any­one,” he said.

By Sept. 26, For­ward had re­moved all the ma­te­rial from the prop­erty ex­cept one crab pot and some floats.

“If they grum­bles about that, I’ll take it away,” he said. The res­i­dents may do just that. Sug­gest­ing he (For­ward) has to abide by the (ap­peal board) rul­ing, John Bishop said, “I hope Mr. For­ward will obey the or­der and if he doesn’t, the town will en­force it. If not, our lawyer will en­sure the or­der is en­forced,” he added.

No hard feel­ings

Bishop main­tains he bears “ no an­i­mos­ity to­wards Mr. For­ward. I don’t even know the man. But we have a right to pro­tect our own prop­erty and any­one in our po­si­tion would have done the same thing.”

Now that the rul­ing has been made, Bishop said, “we want to make sure it is en­forced and it doesn’t hap­pen again.”

As far as he and the other res­i­dents are con­cerned, Bishop said they don’t feel they should have had to go to the ex­pense of re­tain­ing le­gal coun­sel to get some ac­tion on hav­ing the prop­erty cleaned up.

“ We shouldn’t have had to spend money to de­fend our rights, but we had no choice when the town didn’t act,” he said. “ We thought they (coun­cil) would have had him re­move it.”

The so­lic­i­tor for the prop­erty own­ers had writ­ten let­ters to coun­cil on their be­half as well as rep­re­sent­ing them at the re­cent hear­ing.

Re­lief

Had the de­ci­sion gone the other way, it would have set a prece­dent that would have given res­i­dents the green light to store what­ever they want, wher­ever they want, as long it’s on their own prop­erty, said Bishop. But Jim For­ward has a dif­fer­ent view. “If a fish­er­man is not per­mit­ted to store his own fish­ing gear on his own prop­erty,” For­ward said he has some “real con­cerns for the fu­ture of a fish­ery, that is al­ready dy­ing ev­ery day. If we’re be­ing de­nied that, if it’s com­ing to that, where is our fish­ery go­ing?”

This crab pot filled with floats is all that re­mains of the fish­ing gear once stored on Jim For­ward’s prop­erty on Hoyles Road in Car­bon­ear. All other ma­te­ri­als were re­moved last month af­ter the East­ern Re­gional Ap­peal Board dis­missed For­ward’s ap­peal of an ear­lier coun­cil or­der to have the ma­te­ri­als re­moved.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.