Har­bour Grace res­i­dent looks for an­swers

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Ge­orge But­ler writes from Har­bour Grace

Please al­low me space in you pa­per re­gard­ing the Pro­posed Marine In­dus­trial Ex­pan­sion pro­posal for the Town of Har­bour Grace.

There is a pro­posal for a Marine In­dus­trial Ex­pan­sion Wharf that will en­croach upon the shore­line and ocean front of the Des­ig­nated Her­itage Dis­trict of Har­bour Grace and cover ocean shore­line to some 21 acres.

The pro­ject site se­lec­tion is sup­ported by the cur­rent Town Coun­cil of Har­bour Grace, how­ever is op­posed by the res­i­dents and busi­ness of the Her­itage Dis­trict.

The pro­ject, if ap­proved for this lo­ca­tion rather than al­ready zoned in­dus­trial sites, will un­doubt­edly de­value prop­er­ties and busi­ness along the Wa­ter St. of the Her­itage Dis­trict.

The so­cio-eco­nomic and gen­eral well be­ing of res­i­dents will be neg­a­tively im­pacted and as well the en­joy­ment and site lines of ocean space will be lost to town res­i­dents and visi­tors alike.

Just take a stroll along the Har­vey’s Off­shore Marine Base in St. John’s and you will soon ap­pre­ci­ate our con­cerns.

As res­i­dents, we do in fact sup­port the ven­ture, how­ever we do not sup­port the site se­lec­tion as we deem it to be the ‘’path of least re­sis­tance’’ for the town coun­cil and pro­po­nents of the pro­ject.

Cer­tainly there must be other fac­tors at play here that would al­low the cur­rent Town Coun­cil­lors to even en­ter­tain de­stroy­ing the in­her­ent tan­gi­ble value the Des­ig­nated Her- itage Dis­trict has to of­fer.

In fact it was the Town Coun­cil of Har­bour Grace and The Her­itage Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador who in 1992 drafted and adopted By-Laws to es­tab­lish a Her­itage Dis­trict.

Why then are the cur­rent coun­cil­lors hell bent upon mak­ing zonal changes to the the Her­itage Dis­trict shore­line and ocean­front that will ul­ti­mately de­stroy the in­trin­sic value of what many have worked to­wards.

Surely there can be no ra­tio­nal ar­gu­ment favourable to this lo­ca­tion choice.

If this pro­ject can­not be de­vel­oped at the cur­rent dock fa­cil­i­ties then why not?

We would like to know. If the pro­ject can­not uti­lize the al­ready zoned in­dus­trial site at ships head be­hind the for­mer Terra Boot fac­tory then why not? Is it pri­vate lands not for sale?

Are there con­flicts that would make it more dif­fi­cult to make these ob­vi­ous choices work.

Is there con­flict with DFO, Port Au­thor­ity, Com­mer­cial fish­ery or Eim­skip? Could some­one tell us please.

Don’t just throw your cur­rent res­i­dents, busi­ness and tax in­vestors un­der the bus here.

It has been said be­fore that there ap­pears to be a level of ar­ro­gance and as­sump­tion on be­half of the cur­rent coun­cil that “six or seven res­i­dents’’ of the Her­itage Dis­trict are not enough to stop this pro­ject from pro­ceed­ing at the pro­posed site.

A rather dis­con­cert­ing ob- ser­va­tion from coun­cil­lors and quite ob­vi­ous con­sid­er­ing the to­tal lack of con­sul­ta­tion with af­fected res­i­dents of the Her­itage Dis­trict.

A sim­i­lar ap­proach as has been taken with res­i­dents of Bristol’s Hope.

The jobs will be there no mat­ter where the site is and this is not a case of NIMBY or in this case NIMFY( front yard).

Would you want a Har­vey’s Wharf off­shore marine base on Al­berta Drive or along the shore­line of the South Side. We think not.

Sim­ply con­struct the pro­posed Marine In­dus­trial Wharf in an al­ready zoned in­dus­trial site such as where it is now.

It can be done.

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