Row housing dominates CBS development agenda

By Craig Westcott

CBS council has given the go-ahead to the owner of property at 619-621 Seal Cove Road to subdivide the land into three building lots with a reduced minimum frontage of 19.8 meters (65 feet).

The approval was the first among a long shopping list of items coming forward from the planning and development committee at the July 12 public meeting of council. A more than usual number of the applications pertained to row houses and apartment dwellings.

“Your Worship we had a few public notices (put out) on this one (on Seal Cove Road) and some mailouts and all the feedback thus far has been positive,” said councillor-at-large Joshua Barrett, who presented the planning committee report in the absence of its chairman, councillor Rex Hillier. 

In other development news:

Council has given discretionary approval for a large accessory building at 7 Hickman Place in Topsail. The building will occupy some 782 square metres (840 square feet).

According to the minutes of a development committee meeting held earlier this month, the applicant “had responded to the concerns noting that there is no intention to commercialize the property, and that the building would be used for storage of household materials and equipment.”

Council approved the application based on that stipulation and also that it not be used for human habitation.

The owner of property at 11 Ploughman Place is being allowed to build a higher-than-normal fence along the back of his property because it abuts the provincial T’railway. Council set the maximum height as 2.1 meters (just under 7 feet).

An application to operate an outdoor firewood cutting, storage and sales business at 10 Chute Place in Long Pond was rejected. 

Barrett said the committee determined such activities are not within the range of uses for home-based businesses in a residential medium density zone.

“And just to clarify for anybody who doesn’t know,” added Mayor Darrin Bent, “every business in the town requires a permit.”

Council also rejected an application to build row houses along Craig’s Lane in Kelligrews. 

At the committee, it was determined that row housing is not a permitted or discretionary use within the Commercial Main Street zone. “The committee also considered that there is no water and sewer services available along Craigs Lane where the proposed row dwellings would front,” it was noted in the development report.

Councillors Gerard Tilley and Paul Connors did not participate in the vote as they both have family members who live in the area.

An application to convert the former CBS Parks Commission building at 22-24 Cherry Lane into a duplex with subsidiary apartments was also rejected.

The planning committee deemed that neither “apartment dwelling” nor “duplex dwelling” are listed as permitted developments in a Residential Low Density zone and are therefore prohibited.

“But certainly, if the applicant wants to work with our staff, they are certainly willing to do so for a potential rezoning application,” Barrett said. 

The Town will hold public consultations on an application to rezone land across the road from the Trades School in Seal Cove to accommodate two 8-unit apartment buildings. 

Council agreed that if the applicant pays the appropriate processing fee and deposit, it will begin public consultations on rezoning the property at 1621-1627 Conception Bay Highway from Residential Low Density to Residential Mixed Use to accommodate the development.

Barrett indicated staff have been working with the applicant. “The Town has completed its initial work and we’re in a position to formalize the public engagement process to hear from residents,” he said.

Also, on the subject of public consultations, council decided to appoint long time former Metroboard and City of Mount Pearl planner Stephen Jewczyk, who is now a consultant, to act as a commissioner for public hearings on the rezoning of land at 1287-1295 Conception Bay Highway, in Seal Cove.

That’s the proposed development better known as Hopewell Gardens Estates. Jewczyk will conduct a “paper-based” public hearing followed by an online Zoom public hearing on August 31 starting at 7 p.m. 

And council is rescinding its earlier approval of a six-unit row dwelling at 7 Pine Tree Road behind Hickey’s Funeral Home in Kelligrews.

A property owner in the area registered an appeal against the approval with the Eastern Regional Appeal Board. The developer has since withdrawn the application, but the Town has been informed the appellant is proceeding with the appeal anyway.

However, that’s not the reason council has rescinded its approval of the row housing. Rather, it’s because the developer did not agree to the conditions of the development permit that was approved in April.

“It’s disappointing that the developer didn’t come in and sign the development approval letter because I thought this was a good fit for this area as we had already approved some seniors housing earlier on in the meeting,” said Ward 3 councillor Gerard Tilley. “And this is one of the die-hard things that we do need in Conception Bay South. They look nice and they come at an affordable cost and it’s unfortunate that council has decided to revoke consideration because the applicant didn’t follow through on the recommendations. So, it’s unfortunate, but let’s hope he comes back again in the near future.”

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