Old Irving lot spells opportunity for Chamberlains Park

By Patrick Newhook/February 3, 2022

CBS council is hoping to finally see the site of the former Chamberlains Irving gas bar put to good use.

Located on the main road in front of the intersection with Fowler’s Road and alongside the intersection with Chamberlains Road, the land has lain vacant since the company closed the pumps some 30 or so years ago. Part of the land has been used to house Canada Post super mailboxes, but most of it has been left untended.

For the past while, council has been working to acquire use of the land for an addition to the neighboring Chamberlains Park, which is located on land that Irving also used to own, but donated to the Town after a neighborhood lobbying effort years ago.

“For years and years and years, certainly 20 years or more, maybe there’s someone on council who knows how long, the former station property has been sitting vacant in Chamberlains for so long,” said Mayor Darrin Bent. “We’re hoping this site can be used for some story boards for the area, parking for Chamberlains Park …and hopefully, possibly, a community garden for some people down there.”

Council has already advertised its intentions and solicited public comment.

Councillor-at-large Christine Butler said the Town sees an opportunity to expand the park, which is lovingly tended to by a local action group and even the Chamberlains Girl Guides.

“The vision has been put forth by the Chamberlains Park Action Committee because they’re going to be a big part of what goes ahead here, if it does (proceed),” said Butler. “The property would be used as an extension of Chamberlains Park. That would include allocating space for additional parking for park users and the development of a seating area overlooking the park, and the placement of education story boards. There’s also an opportunity to establish a neighbourhood community garden in conjunction with the Conception Bay South community gardening committee.”

It should be noted the Town is not buying the land, rather it’s looking at entering into an agreement with the property’s owner, the identity of whom the Town did not disclose, but The Shoreline has confirmed to be Irving.

“What we will do, if it does come into effect, is the town will forgive the property taxes on the parcel, which equates to about $3,500 annually and then we’ll likely work hand in hand with the Chamberlains Park action committee to tidy up the site,” said Butler. “It’s in such a great spot, right next to Chamberlains Park. So why not develop it if we’re able to? Nothing looks worse than seeing these spaces that could be used.”

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