Res­i­dents not happy with pro­posed de­vel­op­ment amend­ment

Har­bour Grace coun­cil wants to re­move min­i­mum land re­quire­ments for large de­vel­op­ments

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

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.

Brother­hood

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.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Don Earle (left) and Brian Green re­ceived plaques, cer­tifi­cates and pins for their many years of ser­vice as vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers in Car­bon­ear.

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