Har­bour Grace trail­way de­vel­op­ment stopped over land dis­pute

Own­er­ship of prop­erty un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Compass - - Editorial - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Trail­way de­vel­op­ment in Har­bour Grace has come to a stand­still in light of a land dis­pute.

Dur­ing a reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing held last Mon­day, Coun. Lyda Byrne came for­ward with con­cerns re­gard­ing ru­mours she’d heard about the town’s trail­way de­vel­op­ment and a land dis­pute with a res­i­dent, which took place on Thurs­day, Nov. 2.

Ac­cord­ing to Byrne, the ru­mours sug­gested trail­way de­vel­op­ment along Keefes Road in Bear’s Cove had come to a sud­den stop fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent. Prior to Mon­day’s meet­ing, she had heard noth­ing from coun­cil about the is­sue.

Town CAO Michael Sac­cary con­firmed the ru­mours had some truth to them, ex­plain­ing the trail in ques­tion passed through land that may be pri­vate prop­erty.

“Ap­par­ently the fam­ily in ques­tion say it’s their land, and that in no way shape or form should a trail be go­ing through there,” said Sac­cary. “So as a re­sult, the gen­tle­man got in the face of the work­ers them­selves, cer­tainly gave them a fright, and the best thing we could do was to pull them out of there.”

Sac­cary went on to ex­plain that, as of Mon­day night, the is­sue had no been re­solved, though some fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the prop­erty had been car­ried out in pre­vi­ous months.

Ac­cord­ing to Sac­cary, Crown Land in the area had been leased to fore­fa­thers of the res­i­dent’s fam­ily. How­ever, with the death of the re­cip­i­ent of the lease, said lease is no longer valid un­less fur­ther doc­u­men­ta­tion ex­ists stat­ing the land is still owned by the fam­ily. The town re­quested to see such doc­u­men­ta­tion if it does ex­ist.

Byrne went on to say that she was un­happy with the fact that she had heard of this through word of mouth around the com­mu­nity, rather than from coun­cil it­self.

“I have to take is­sue with that, be­cause as a mem­ber of coun­cil I shouldn’t have to hear that from third par­ties,” said Byrne. “Cer­tainly, be­ing ap­pointed chair of parks and recre­ation, it’s not some­thing that I should have heard out­side of (coun­cil). I think as chair, a phone call was war­ranted.”

Mayor Don Coombs chimed in to note that he was ad­vised of the in­ci­dent Fri­day af­ter­noon, Nov. 3, though Deputy Mayor So­nia Wil­liams added that she

That was all planned out, all the pa­per­work. We went through Crown Land, maps, the whole thing.

— Michael Sac­cary

heard of the in­ci­dent from out­side sources as well.

“If there’s any is­sues at all with the de­vel­op­ment, it’s slow­ing up our work­ers. We’re at the time of year where we can’t have any slow ups, so if there’s some is­sues, we need to be able to deal with it, and we can’t deal with it if we don’t know,” Byrnes added.

Sac­cary also added that plans for the trail had been in the works for about two years, and that Crown Land was a part of the plan­ning process.

“That was all planned out, all the pa­per­work. We went through Crown Land, maps, the whole thing,” said Sac­cary. “We had more than one depart­ment say that ev­ery­thing was OK. It’s just that we had one res­i­dent who was up­set, be­cause he didn’t want to have any part of it.”

Coun. Kevin Wil­liams brought up the fact that a pri­vate prop­erty sign was in place in the area, how­ever, ac­cord­ing to Sac­cary, the sign was erected af­ter de­vel­op­ment had al­ready be­gun.

Work­ers were work­ing on a dif­fer­ent sec­tion of the trail­way as of Mon­day.

Near the end of the dis­cus­sion, the deputy mayor added she felt as though po­lice should be con­tacted if the mat­ter re­mains un­re­solved.

“If we can’t re­solve it, and some­body is down there in some­body’s face, we don’t need that,” said So­nia. “We don’t need work­ers that are go­ing to be threat­ened, or what­ever the case may be. We can’t keep our work­ers out of it, either, for that rea­son, if we’re talk­ing about some­body that should be dealt with by the law.”

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Plan­ning for the trail has been on­go­ing for about two years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.