Nay to quarry, yea to farm
CBS council maintains its position on developments near its border with St. John’s
By Craig Westcott/March 31, 2022
The Town of CBS will raise concerns about a proposed quarry on the Foxtrap Access Road with provincial government officials while also offering support for an application to start a livestock and produce farm near Wych Hazel Farm, which lies within the borders of both the Town and the City of St. John’s.
Planning committee chairman Rex Hillier said the proposed 25-hectare quarry and asphalt plant is one of three quarries that are in the application stage in that area.
“We have some real concerns about this one in terms of its impact on downstream waters flowing into our town,” the councillor-at-large told his colleagues during their March 15 public meeting. “And also from an esthetic point of view. If this one goes ahead, basically the vista that we get when we turn into our town coming down the Foxtrap Access Road will be totally changed from hills and trees to a rock quarry.”
Hillier’s committee is also concerned that existing and proposed livestock farms in the area may be impacted by the additional blasting and drilling and that the “cumulative impacts” have not been assessed.
Council agreed to share those concerns with the provincial government and adopted the committee’s suggestion that “there should be more thought given to more shared access to existing quarry resources by construction companies.”
As for the proposed farm, located between Minerals Road and Wych Hazel Pond, most of the 91 hectares involved are located on the CBS side of the boundary with St. John’s, Hillier noted.
“This is an area that has been used for agriculture for decades, and it fits very well into that use for that area,” Hillier said. “And we’re certainly supporting it.”
In its discussion of the application, Hillier’s committee noted the proposed new farm would mean increased crop production “in close proximity to the highest density population area of the province,” which is a positive development for food supply and might also mean lower greenhouse gas emissions if the local produce displaces vegetables that are trucked in from outside the province. The committee also liked the idea that more livestock production may increase meat processing in CBS. The communities that compose CBS have a long history of supplying the local market meat market, including St. John’s. Hillier’s committee, which includes councillors Paul Connors and Josh Barrett, also agreed that agricultural uses should be given a priority over “extraction activities” such as quarrying.
In other development news, council has approved an application to open a personal use salon at 392 Conception Bay Highway. That’s across the road from All Saints Church in Foxtrap.
Only one submission was received from the public regarding the discretionary use application.
“This is a former personal residence,” explained Hillier. “We have a company that wants to redevelop it into a salon for personal use and our staff and council have been working with a couple of entrepreneurs to try to make that happen in that particular spot, which certainly has some challenges.”
Council has agreed to start the process on rezoning land at 240 – 258 Anchorage Road from Residential Low Density to Residential Medium Density.
That’s an undeveloped stretch of land on the west side of Anchorage Road past the overpass for Peacekeeper’s Way and heading towards the connection with Minerals Road.
“Most of the Anchorage Road area falls under the R1 Low Density zoning,” Hillier said. “In this case we’ve got a piece of property on the far south end of Anchorage Road that a group wants to develop into a subdivision.”
The developers will have to pay a deposit and processing fee for the amendment.
Town staff will review the files to determine if there have been any prior applications to develop a subdivision at 54 Delaneys Road, Foxtrap, before council will consider approving the latest application to subdivide the land. Staff will also consult local property owners about possibly transferring ownership of a “remnant portion” of the street to accommodate a new turning circle.
WETLAND OR NO?
The committee agree to defer a rezoning request for land at 1283 – 1293 Conception Bay Highway in Upper Gullies pending clarification on whether the property is located in a wetland. The applicant is asking council to rezone the land from Open Space Conservation to Residential Medium Density.
The planning committee will ask the engineering committee to determine if the Town needs additional land in the area of 53 Tilleys Road South to accommodate future road widening. The move comes in response to an application to subdivide an oversized property to create an infill lot. It was noted at the meeting that the road in the area was upgraded over the past several years.
The committee was informed there are five appeals before the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board regarding decisions by council. The properties involved are 8 Lucston Avenue, which is near the border with Paradise; 71 Seal Cove Road, 103 Fowlers Road, 39 Cables Road and 54 Delaneys Road.
BOB THE BUILDER
And finally, the Town will host a Builders Forum at the Manuels River Interpretation Centre on April 14 to discuss issues and ideas with developers in the town. It’s an event the Town got in the habit of holding every year to help facilitate development in CBS, but was nixed the past couple of springs because of the pandemic.