From the last meeting's minutes, a few things we didn't
write about last time
1. Cash for parking on Water Street
The city agreed to accept a cash payment in lieu of the
additional parking spaces that would normally be required to
accommodate the planned expansion of 430-436 Water Street (down in
the West End)
2. New takeout spot on Forbes Street
The city approved an application to set up a takeout spot here. As with many St. John's
neighbourhoods, this is actually something of a mixed-use area,
with both businesses and homes coexisting.
3. More homes in Quidi Vidi (probably)
The old school-house site in Quidi Vidi village (here, roughly) will likely be
re-zoned, with the front of the lot being zoned for a 6-unit
development, and the back portion as designated open space.
From the August 5th Agenda:
4. Ruby Line Seniors Condos moving ahead
We've seen this pop up a few times - the city is in the process
of amending the municipal plan to allow for townhomes and seniors'
condos at Ruby Line and Southlands. Nobody objected, so the public
meeting was cancelled. Looks like this one is full speed ahead!
5. Rezoning rejection on Maddox Cove Road
After a long process, Council voted to reject an application
from four landowners on Maddox Cove Road to rezone their properties
to allow for residential development. Falling, as it did, under the
auspices of the regional plan as a designated scenic route, this
one had to wind its way through the Department of Municipal Affairs
as well as the city. In the end, it went out to public consultation
and a commissioner's report, which recommended rejection on the
grounds that it conflicted with the Municipal Plan's objectives of
containing sprawl and avoiding development on unsuitable ground, as
well as a number of objectives within the regional plan. The
report, although quite long for a small development, is well worth
reading if you want to wrap your head around the policy process in
St. John's. Available as part of the council agenda
6. No Norway for us
In 2000, the city spent about $80,000 setting up a
pavilion at an oil-and-gas expo in Stavanger, Norway, which seemed
to do quite a bit for our profile within that world. This year, the
expo is happening again - but the costs would be closer to
$150,000, and the city took a pass. Seems like we're well known
enough these days!
7. Immigration is on the radar
The city will be investing in the production of the Conference
Board of Canada's City
Magnets III report, which looks at immigration to urban centres
- an issue which is getting more and more prominent as we compete
for talented people. In the same vein, we'll be working with
Citizenship and Immigration Canada on a local immigration
partnership (LIP) program, which will be focusing on attracting and
8. Snow removal regulations rear their head again
There was more discussion at the committee level about whether
or not to require commercial businesses to clear snow from their
properties. Once again, the word is no. The logic behind it:
a) The city already has priority
routes established for sidewalk clearing. Having other sidewalks
cleared by businesses would put pressure on the city to expand
their routes to adjacent areas - even if they're not priority. The
snow clearing budget can't cover the expansion.
b) Sidewalks are often the only
place snow is stored - if businesses had to clear them, the city
would need to truck the snow away, and that's costly.
c) Requiring businesses to do the
clearing within 24 hours would put public pressure on the city to
do the same, which is not feasible with current resources
d) Enforcement staff would be
needed, and that's expensive
e) The city would need to do the
work themselves for people who didn't comply, then try and recover
the costs. This would involve significant resources.
9. Dump site cameras
We've all seen it - piles of garbage dumped in the woods, in
fields, wherever. The City will be trying a pilot program of
surveillance cameras out at some dumping spots, modeled on the
successful program in CBS. We're watching you, litterbugs!
10. Compost progress
There was some talk about whether the City might offer (as many
do) composters to residents - the MMSB had offered the chance to
bulk buy them at a discount. At the time, the city said no. The
word now is to look into the costs and logic of a compost
incentives program, and check with MMSB to see where their program
11. Fish farming at Lester's?
Jim Lester has applied to be allowed to set up an aquaculture
operation in a greenhouse at their spot on Pearltown Road here. Staff are recommending
that this one go to a public hearing, as it would need a zoning
amendment Fish on land!
12. Senior's Complex at Empire Ave might get bigger
Dobbin Properties already got the go-ahead for one 3-story
senior's apartment building around here - they will be asking to
be allowed to build 2 additional buildings of the same size on the
site. A hearing and a land use report are to come.
13. 10 more homes planned for Bay Bulls Road
BA Tucker Limited is looking for a rezoning to allow 10 houses
to be built on this spot on
Bay Bulls Road
14. A spot for affordable housing?
The City is applying to itself for a zoning change to allow more
density at 163 Blackhead Road for a mixed-use development focused
on affordable housing. Neat! This one is headed for a public
15. Building over the contour lines - the applications are
The city now has 2 applications on the books for new
subdivisions in Kilbride that would be entirely above the 124 m
contour line (and thus need a new, higher water tank). Staff are
recommending a full-on development study of all the available land
in Kilbride east of Bay Bulls Road, since there is sure to be more
16. Quidi Vidi zoning plan moving ahead
The City is looking at developing a specific set of zoning rules
for Quidi Vidi village, to complement the 2006 Development Plan.
There will be $25,000 set aside for a consultant to get
recommendations down and develop a list of historic
buildings/landscapes in the area
17. No more Mary Browns on Freshwater
There is a proposal on the table to redevelop the Mary Brown's
building at Freshwater and Merrymeeting into a 7-unit townhouse
development (which actually fits with the local zoning - the
restaurant doesn't). Staff are recommending approval.
And that's it for today!