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Sheds bigger than houses cause CBS council to say no more

By Craig Westcott/December 16, 2021

CBS council found itself in the peculiar position last week of having to reject a couple of shed applications because the applicants already had too many accessory buildings on their land.

The applications were among a long list of development applications that dealt with everything from hobby farms to a tailor’s studio that came to council through its planning committee.

The first application up for council’s consideration, a hobby farm at 375 Foxtrap Access Road, was deferred. The committee had planned to recommend approval on condition the number of animals be reduced and the farm be subject to monitoring by the Town. But committee chairman Rex Hillier instead asked his colleagues to defer their decision for now pending more information.

Also deferred was an application to keep hens, a pig and a goat at 55-57 Cluney’s Road. The committee had received a number of submissions from concerned residents, so the matter was set aside until more information can be obtained about how the animals will be housed.

“I feel that I have discussed chickens more in the last two months than in my entire life,” observed planning committee member Joshua Barrett, “which is very exciting for Conception Bay South, honestly. It’s great that folks are interested in urban agriculture, and so given that, the planning and development committee has decided to move forward with developing urban agriculture regulations and this is to help facilitate the process for these types of applications that we see. Again, this is a great opportunity for Conception Bay South, but we also want to be very cognizant of the very real concerns that a number of residents have with this type of activity. And so we just want to make sure we get that right.”

Later in the meeting, the subject of hobby farming was broached again, this time during the Financial and Administrative Services Committee report. Deputy Mayor Andrea Gosse advised council that an order issued to a resident of 18 Hennessey Place back in August to remove all livestock was being rescinded. Though she didn’t say why, the explanation for the reversal was found in the committee meeting minutes. “On November 12, 2021 (a) Humane Services Officer did a site visit and confirmed the rooster was removed from the property,” the minutes recorded.

There was no word on whether the recalcitrant Foghorn Leghorn had moved house or ended up in the oven. Nobody asked, and so nobody said, at least according to the abbreviated version of the discussion recorded in the minutes.

Meanwhile, Council did grant approval last week to operate a home-based sewing business at 7 Barnes Place in Topsail. Mayor Darrin Bent excused himself from the discussion and vote on that matter as he happens to live on the same street. 

Hillier said there will very little traffic coming and going to the premises. “Just a couple of clients a day,” he allowed.

Next came the two applications for accessory buildings that had to be rejected. The first was for a property at 102 Porters Road in Kelligrews. Hillier said the committee was recommending rejection as the cumulative lot coverage of existing accessory buildings on the property was already more than the lot coverage of the dwelling itself. “Basically, what we’re saying is that the accessory buildings on the property take up more space than the actual home on the property, which is against our regulations,” Hillier explained.

The committee recommended rejection of the application for two more accessory buildings at 20 Greeleytown Road in Foxtrap for the same reason.

Two applications for accessory buildings that were approved was for a shed or garage at 2188 Topsail Road in Topsail and for a similar structure at 1205 Conception Bay Highway in Upper Gullies. Council also approved an application to erect two accessory buildings at 46 Piccos Road in Kelligrews.

Given the number of shed and garage application before council, Hillier felt obliged to explain to people watching the meeting that normally accessory building applications are dealt with routinely by staff. In the cases of the ones before council, however, the applications required the discretionary authority of council because for various reasons they didn’t meet the requirements of the Town’s regulations.

Finally, the second home-based business application of the night, at 139 Tilley’s Road South, was also approved. Hillier said it involves a home office for a contracting business and the committee advised approval on condition there be no storage of construction materials at the site and only one commercial vehicle is allowed to park there at a time.

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