Reader urges oth­ers to con­tact Mu­nic­i­pal Af­fairs about by­law change

The Compass - - OPINION -

I feel the need to ad­dress the mayor’s re­sponse to my con­cerns (“Har­bour Grace mayor re­sponds to let­ter lam­bast­ing reg­u­la­tion change,” Dec. 9) re­gard­ing the re­cent pro­posed by­law change put for­ward to as­sist a de­vel­oper to evade the town’s by­laws. The mayor in­di­cated that their fo­cus is to bring new business and af­ford­able hous­ing for se­niors to Har­bour Grace. How­ever, what he should have said is that the town has adopted a pol­icy of de­vel­op­ment at any cost. With this pro­posed by­law change, the mayor and some of the coun­cil­lors have de­clared open sea­son not only on se­niors, but all prop­erty own­ers in the com­mu­nity.

The mayor stated that the town stan­dards will be fol­lowed; how­ever, what he failed to say is that as re­sult of this by­law change, de­vel­op­ers will not have to meet the town’s stan­dards, so es­sen­tially there will no longer be stan­dards. There are risks as­so­ci­ated with a pol­icy sup­port­ing de­vel­op­ment at any cost. What has not been made clear to the res­i­dents of Har­bour Grace is that this by­law change has the po­ten­tial to af­fect ev­ery prop­erty owner in the com­mu­nity. If your neigh­bour chooses to sell his or her prop­erty, and a de­vel­oper buys that prop­erty, the de­vel­oper can tear down the house and put up 10 units on a prop­erty de­signed for a sin­gle-fam­ily home. The de­vel­oper will be able to ob­tain a per­mit un­der the guise that it is a se­niors de­vel­op­ment, but there are no reg­u­la­tions re­strict­ing res­i­dency to only se­niors. Prop­erty own­ers will not have any re­course should this hap­pen to them. The town has given away its reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity to stop in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ments that may put at risk the value of peo­ple’s homes and prop­er­ties and their per­sonal safety due to the fire risks. The fire safety is­sue will not only be a con­cern for the se­niors liv­ing in th­ese types of de­vel­op­ments, but it will also be a con­cern for who­ever is liv­ing next to the de­vel­op­ment.

This amend­ment is not good for any­one but de­vel­op­ers. Good reg­u­la­tion ul­ti­mately re­sults in a pros­per­ous, at­trac­tive, and wellplanned com­mu­nity that meets the needs of its cit­i­zens. I urge prop­erty own­ers and con­cerned res­i­dents of Har­bour Grace to con­tact Keith Hutch­ings, Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal and In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Af­fairs at kei­th­hutch­ . Ask him not to ap­prove an amend­ment that dis­crim­i­nates against se­niors and puts the value of your home and prop­erty and per­sonal safety at risk. — Sean Ash writes from

Har­bour Grace

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