Town ap­proves stop-work or­der

Hr. Grace coun­cil mem­bers not happy with devel­oper

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

The Town of Har­bour Grace hopes a stop-work or­der will send a mes­sage to the per­son be­hind a pro­posed hous­ing de­vel­op­ment near the eastern en­trance to the town.

Site work has been tak­ing place for the last three years along a sec­tion of Cathe­dral Street be­tween the en­trance­way to Bristol’s Hope and Vet­er­ans’ Me­mo­rial High­way. The plan in place is to build residential prop­er­ties on both sides of the road.

Sev­eral coun­cil mem­bers who spoke dur­ing last Wed­nes­day’s coun­cil meet­ing ex­pressed frus­tra­tion over the amount of work that’s been done over the last three years. An ap­pli­ca­tion from 10910 New­found­land Inc. and devel­oper Ted Pen­ney for a per­mit to con­tinue with work at the site was tabled dur­ing the meet­ing.

Coun. Gor­don Stone was among the most vo­cal coun­cil­lors on the topic at the meet­ing.

“I know the cit­i­zens that have talked to me are very dis­cour­aged with the look of the en­trance to the town, and I’m not chang­ing my po­si­tion on it un­til that orig­i­nal agree­ment that we did as a coun­cil with the devel­oper to en­able that de­vel­op­ment to go ahead in good faith gets done.”

Deputy Mayor So­nia Wil­liams also noted the area’s im­por­tance to the town’s im­age.

“It’s al­right if it’s in the woods and not seen, but that’s an en- trance to the town,” she said.

The first two-year per­mit was is­sued April 16, 2012, ac­cord­ing to the town. At a meet­ing this April, coun­cil agreed that in or­der for a new de­vel­op­ment per­mit to be granted, the town would re­quire a surety that would in­volve an un­spec­i­fied sum of money. That fig­ure would serve as a debt obli­ga­tion in the event the devel­oper de­faults on an agree­ment.

“We had a meet­ing with the per­son con­cerned,” said Stone. “We agreed upon a di­rec­tion. We wanted a let­ter say­ing to what we agreed upon — for all of it. We haven’t got the let­ter … and un­til we get that let­ter, none of it is le­gal. The let­ter is what coun­cil wanted to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of the town.”

Devel­oper’s per­spec­tive

Reached by The Com­pass Fri­day, Pen­ney said he re­ceived all the re­quired zone changes and per­mits for his residential de­vel­op­ment from the pre­vi­ous coun­cil and wants to move on with his pro­ject.

“My job is to de­velop my prop­erty, and I’ll de­velop my prop­erty,” he said.

As of Fri­day, he had not re­ceived any no­tice of a stop-work or­der. He was how­ever con­tacted by town man­ager Lisa Pike last Fri­day about meet­ing with a town com­mit­tee Mon­day, July 20. Pen­ney said the town is cost­ing him money and if nec­es­sary, he’d be ready to go to court with the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“If they want to hate me, they have to take a num­ber,” he said, not­ing that his de­vel­op­ment is a work-in-progress and re­quires time. Pen­ney has in­structed lawyers to draft a let­ter on his be­half to the town. He told The Com­pass as of last Fri­day he had not been is­sued a stop-work or­der.

Dis­sent­ing coun­cil­lors

Not all coun­cil mem­bers were on board with the mo­tion to is­sue a stop-work or­der. Coun. Pat Haire and Coun. Kathy Tet­ford voted against it. Both have spo­ken in­di­vid­u­ally with Pen­ney.

“If we stop him from do­ing what he’s do­ing now, how do we fight him to clean it up,” asked Tet­ford.

“I agree that he has us be­tween a rock and a hard place,” added Haire. “In or­der to clean it up, he’s got to mess it up. That’s my is­sue with it … I know he hasn’t got a good track record — and I agree with all that stuff — but it takes a mess in or­der to cre­ate some­thing. I’m half lean­ing to­wards him get­ting that piece of land cleaned up.”

PHOTO BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

The Town of Har­bour Grace voted in favour of a mo­tion to is­sue a stop-work or­der to a devel­oper plan­ning to build homes on pieces of land ad­ja­cent to Cathe­dral Street.

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