Residents not happy with proposed development amendment
Harbour Grace council wants to remove minimum land requirements for large developments
Tensions were high during a regular council meeting in Harbour Grace last Wednesday, as residents stated their displeasure with a development regulation amendment proposed by the town.
A notice of intent published Oct. 7 and 14 in The Compass stated the town was looking to amend Regulation 38 by removing the minimum land area requirement for comprehensive development. This will allow larger developments to be placed on smaller plots of land.
A meeting was held Oct. 15 so any residents looking to discuss the amendment could “appear at this briefing session.”
But the rules for that meeting weren’t clear to those in attendance — they believed it would be an open dialogue between council and residents on why the change was being suggested.
Instead, those who made presentations to council left with more questions than answers, since councillors declined to respond to most of the inquiries.
Town planner Arvo McMillan, who helps the town make development decisions regarding development, was not on hand for the meeting. Chambers heats up Brian Fahey, a resident of Riverhead, Harbour Grace, spoke at the briefing. He was concerned about development happening near his home, including an already approved duplex-style house on 2-4 Danny Cleary Drive.
The developer of this property has also made a proposal to the town for an additional development — also close to Fahey’s home — on Doyle’s Lane, an area of Riverhead that is currently not developed. Council did not confirm the details of the development, but Mayor Terry Barnes did confirm it is the reason for the amendment.
Fahey said if the minimum requirement is removed, it will open the “flood gates” for the rest of the town to build on smaller lots.
“If you’re a developer, you should design (your structure) to fit a piece of property,” he explained, noting council shouldn’t change regulations to suit one developer.
While Fahey was speaking, Coun. Gord Stone stood abruptly, interrupting his questions.
Sometimes leaving a profession can be difficult, even if it is a volunteer position.
That is why so many members of volunteer fire departments in Newfoundland and Labrador continue to reach milestones.
That is especially the case for two Carbonear firefighters — Brian Green and Don Earle — who have risked their own lives over the past 25 and 35 years, respectively, to save residents and structures throughout the Conception Bay North area.
The two firefighters recently spoke with The Compass following the local department’s firefighter’s ball, held Saturday, Oct. 11 in Carbonear.
Earle and Green have placed themselves in harms way repetitively over the years, and each man has memories he will never forget.
For Green, who began his stint at the age of 19, it’s one of the most difficult memories that remains a big part of being a firefighter — a fatal fire.
His first fatality came when he was only a young firefighter. A call came to the Carbonear fire station when a home was up in flames in Freshwater. Green was on scene, helping put out the fire. But they couldn’t save the resident inside.
Even after that fire, Green continued to volunteer, knowing then how important it was.
Earle’s greatest memory was also from when he was a young firefighter.
It was 4:30 a.m. Christmas morning, and the department received a call to a house fire on London Road in Carbonear. The fire was intense, but luckily no one was injured.
At 10:30 a.m. Earle and his comrades returned home to anxious family members waiting to open their gifts.
Besides taking place on Christmas, one of the most memorable parts of this fire was how the owner of the home had a substantial amount of cash hidden under his bed. It was not burned in the fire, nor damaged while hoses put it out.
Being a member of the Carbonear fire department is like being part of a brotherhood. The group spends quite a bit of time together for training, fundraisers and, of course, fire prevention week.
Green said his fellow firefighters are one of the best things about being in the department, and a reason why he will continue to be a member until he can no longer do it.
Earle, whose son Adam is a captain with the department, agrees he enjoys it, but said he couldn’t leave because he is so dedicated to helping others. Earle is also a big part of the turkey raffle each year at the TC Square shopping mall.
The remainder of the firefighters, no matter how long they have been a part of the group, have the opportunity to get involved with any of the events, including the fire- fighter’s ball.
The ball is where milestones are celebrated, years are reviewed and experiences are discussed.
Besides Green and Earle, two other firefighters reached milestones this year. Frank Pike Jr. earned recognition for 15 years in the department, and Ken Burke now has a decade of service under his belt.
This year, those who aged out of the department were given a special group name as well — the hose hangers. One such member is George Power, who said grace at the ball. He also donates his time to fundraisers, and, when needed, will direct traffic when there is a fire.
Department newcomer Jim Harris completed the toast to the Queen, while Nicholas Rossiter did the toast to the firefighters.
Sam Turnbull, who many children in the neighbourhood call Firefighter Sam after the kids show, read the firefighters’ prayer, while honourary member Tom Yetman acted as the MC.
Don Earle (left) and Brian Green received plaques, certificates and pins for their many years of service as volunteer firefighters in Carbonear.