Many unan­swered ques­tions on Carbonear ho­tel pro­posal

Let­ters to coun­cil on amend­ments to re­zone Crocker’s Cove Point out­line con­cerns of res­i­dents

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Judg­ing from the feed­back re­ceived in re­sponse to pro­posed amend­ments that could pave the way for a ho­tel in Crocker’s Cove, there are plenty of ques­tions and con­cerns on the minds of res­i­dents.

Out of 15 let­ters re­ceived by the May 31st dead­line for sub­mis­sions, 10 either raised ques­tions or brought for­ward con­cerns about the pro­ject. Coun­cil is presently con­sid­er­ing an amend­ment to re­zone a 2.97-hectare prop­erty at Crocker’s Cove Point from con­ser­va­tion to res­i­den­tial medium den­sity. A fur­ther amend­ment would per­mit ho­tel de­vel­op­ments un­der this zon­ing.

Priscilla Pike, John Slade and Steven Soper were among the res­i­dents to write the town. They all live on Fresh­wa­ter Road and can see the point from their back­yards.

“My sur­prise was that it’s con­ser­va­tion land,” said Pike, who ad­mit­ted to hear­ing ru­mours last year about in­ter­est in set­ting up a ho­tel in the area.

All three res­i­dents be­lieve coun­cil is putting the cart be­fore the horse so-to-speak in tabling these amend­ments and re­quest­ing public feed­back with­out hav­ing full plans from the de­vel­oper.

“Let’s not re­zone con­ser­va­tion land un­til at least we’ve got an idea of what’s go­ing there,” said Soper, who in his let­ter points out that once the land­scape is changed, it can never be brought back.

“That’s the odd thing about it — why are you propos­ing these amend­ments to your zon­ing when you don’t re­ally seem to have a hell of a lot of in­for­ma­tion on the struc­ture at all,” added Slade.

“It’s not that we’re not for (a ho­tel), but do it right,” said Pike.

In the let­ters to coun­cil, the nar­row­ness of Burnt Head Road is cited as an area of con­cern, with men­tion made of the sharp turn lead­ing to­wards where it in­ter­sects Wa­ter Street and Fresh­wa­ter Road.

Oth­ers raised ques­tions in their let­ters about prop­erty val­ues, wa­ter and sewer ser­vice, traf­fic, pedes­trian safety and noise pol­lu­tion. Mul­ti­ple writ­ers men­tion those who live in the area do so be­cause it’s a quiet and peace­ful res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood. One writer ques­tions whether that sce­nario would change with the in­tro­duc­tion of a ho­tel with may even have a restau­rant and bar at­tached to it.

The area’s nat­u­ral beauty is also high­lighted in the let­ters, with men­tion made of its in­ter­est to hik­ers, berry pick­ers, ice­berg watch­ers and bird en­thu­si­asts.

“We do have a lot of mi­grat­ing birds,” said Soper. Birds that pe­ri­od­i­cally in­habit the area in­clude gan­nets, cor­morants, ea­gles and loons.

One let­ter points out Crocker’s Cove Point serves as a habi­tat for the New­found­land short-tailed shal­low tail but­ter­fly, in­di­cat­ing too the plant on which these but­ter­flies lay their eggs, Scotch Lo­vage, are found on the point.

There were some favourable words shared with the town about the pro­ject. One writer sug­gests tourism and the down­town sec­tor needs a boost, with the ho­tel po­ten­tially gen­er­at­ing in­ter­est in fur­ther in­vest­ment in Carbonear and mak­ing it more suit­able for host­ing con­ven­tions and other events.

An­other res­i­dent writes that the ho­tel would rep­re­sent a con­sid­er­able as­set to the town, cre­at­ing em­ploy­ment and pro­vid­ing an eco­nomic boost to the town.

Re­ac­tion to the pro­posal on The Com­pass’ Face­book page has also been largely pos­i­tive, with dozens of com­menters sug­gest­ing it would be a good fit for the town.

Coun­cil has com­mit­ted to hold­ing a public meet­ing on the amend­ments and the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment once the town has more in­for­ma­tion to share from the pro­po­nent, in­clud­ing its de­sign and foot­print on the land.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Crocker’s Cove Point is at­tract­ing a lot of at­ten­tion these days, with Carbonear coun­cil con­sid­er­ing amend­ments to the mu­nic­i­pal plan that would al­low for the con­struc­tion of a ho­tel in the area. From the left are Priscilla Pike, Steven Soper and John Slade. They all have con­cerns about the pro­posal.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Crocker’s Cove Point is one of the few prop­er­ties in Carbonear zoned for con­ser­va­tion.

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