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Carew questions Paradise’s past practice on land sales

By Mark Squibb/July 8, 2022

Paradise councillor Glen Carew believes council may have voted to reject a resident’s land purchase request because of a misconception of Town practice.

As reported by The Shoreline, council, during the last meeting public meeting, which was held on June 14, voted to deny a resident’s request to purchase a small parcel of Town-owned land adjacent to their property at 64 Lanark Drive.

Carew was the lone councillor to vote in favour of the resident’s request to buy the land.

The vote, however, would not prove to be the last word on the matter.

“There was an article in the latest Shoreline on this particular vote of council, that quotes some of council’s discussion, that we would be ‘opening the floodgates,’ or setting precedent by allowing this resident, or any resident for that matter, to purchase small parcels of land adjacent to their properties, which in this case was adjacent to 64 Lanark Drive and was 50.7 square metres,” said Carew. “After reading this article I was contacted by a couple of residents telling me this was not the case, and one resident in particular, in Elizabeth Park, told me that on June 29, 2009, he purchased 81.3 square metres of Town open space land behind his property, which at the time was processed by Town staff and signed by the previous town clerk.”

Carew said he was bringing the information forward because “there may have been councillors here that may have not known that fact, and that they may have voted differently if that information had been part of the discussion.” 

Councillor Elizabeth Laurie disputed the incident.

“I’m well aware of that fact, and I’m just curious if that’s (provincially-owned) Crown Land?” asked Laurie. “Because sometimes we have had Crown Land parcels show up and have allowed residents to take the first right of acquiring it if we found no use.”

Carew explained the resident dealt exclusively with the Town, which would lead him to believe it was Town land.

Town CAO Lisa Niblock added that councillors have to be careful with how they phrase their statements in council chambers.

“I do believe we need to be very careful here,” said Niblock. “It’s broad statements to say it’s never happened. In regard to individual property owners contacting us for their benefit for land, when the Town doesn’t see a benefit, would probably be a better statement. We have had situations when we have divested of land when it’s to both parties’ mutual benefit.”

Mayor Dan Bobbett added council would “have to look at each individual circumstance as they would develop.”

“In this case, this one that we were looking at was deemed conservation,” said Bobbett. “So, open space land and conservation land are a little different.”

Deputy Mayor Kimberley Street suggested the issue be taken to the next meeting of the Planning and Protective Services committee, which Carew was agreeable to.

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