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Paradise council says no to home-based doctor’s office

By Mark Squibb/December 23, 2021

It’s no secret Newfoundland is hurting for doctors, but members of Paradise council say they had no choice but to turn down an application for a home-based doctor’s office on Tuesday.

The applicant had asked for approval to operate a home-based doctor’s office on Kate Marie Place, a small cul-de-sac off Spracklin Boulevard.

A notice of discretionary notice was advertised, and the town received 21 written objections.

“Planning and Protective Services Committee reviewed the objectives and determined that the business may create a public hazard and would not enhance the general appearance or amenity of the neighborhood,” explained committee chairperson, Deputy Mayor Kim Street.

Street moved the motion to reject it. Councillor Larry Vaters seconded it, and several councilors wished to speak to it.

“As much as we need more doctors in the town and the Northeast Avalon as a whole, there’s a hundred thousand residents in Newfoundland that don’t have a general practitioner that they can call upon, so certainly we understand the complexity of that, but personally, on this particular issue, I don’t believe that a clinic on a quiet, residential cul-de-sac is best suited,” said councilor Glen Carew. “And I think our economic development officer is going to try and work with the applicants to see if there’s an opportunity to find a place, a commercial place, or somewhere in Paradise, where they can set up, so hopefully that transpires. I had a lot of residents reach out to me on this particular matter, so hopefully we can attract those doctors into this town — just not on a quiet cul-de-sac in a residential neighbourhood.”

Councilor Martin said he had to echo much of what Carew said.

“I had a lot of calls and a lot of e-mails come through, and I just don’t think it’s the appropriate place to have a clinic set up,” said Martin. “But, like councilor Carew did say, it is something that is really, really needed in the area for sure. Just maybe in a more suitable commercial location. I’d like to see it go ahead, just not in that location.”

Councilor Elizabeth Laurie also added her two cents.

“I do want to say that this is the process that we have for these types of applications,” said Laurie. “I know some of the residents who reached out to me questioned, ‘Why would you guys allow this?’ but this is the process, and in all fairness to the applicant this is what we have to go through. The residents were loud and clear with their wishes for the neighbourhood, and I commend them for taking their time to submit their applications, and hopefully the economic development officer can work with the applicant to find a more suitable location.”

Mayor Dan Bobbett summed it up by saying that everyone on council felt the same way in regards to the application.

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