Month: November 2015

Envisioning Cochrane Street: Neighbourhood engagement session on December 1st

The Cochrane Street United Church will be renovating to better serve its congregation and community. In 2016, the annex will be redeveloped into 10 supportive housing units, a commercial kitchen, and non-profit office and communtiy spaces.

Happy City is co-hosting a neighbourhood engagement session to hear ideas from the community about how this space could work, and how it could be the biggest possible asset to St. John’s.

Want to participate in this conversation? Drop by the Church Annex (Bannerman Street door) from 7-9 PM on Tuesday, December 1st. This is a free event, and there will be snacks!

Can’t make it?

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City council rundown – November 23rd, 2015

The council agenda from this week is worth a look – there are a few pretty interesting tidbits in the 110-odd page document. That said, we skimmed it, so that you don’t have to! Here’s what we saw:

Big plans for Quidi Vidi

Looks like the folks at Mallard Cottage have some big dreams for the old Flake House property on the Quidi Vidi gut. They’re proposing to build a new restaurant/event space there that will be quite a bit bigger and include a big ol’ waterside deck. Here’s a couple pictures.


Images © Fougere Menchenton Architects

Now, the expansion is bigger than the Quidi Vidi development guidelines allow, so they’ll have to go looking for an amendment – and this project is still a long ways from getting started, with the necessary public consultations still to come, as well as a comprehensive Land Use Report that will go into much more detail.

A first glimpse of Springdale Street

The Salvation Army controversially demolished their existing (but water-damaged) buildings at the bottom of Springdale Street last year. We’ve now had a first look at the proposed replacement. Here are some renderings:



Images © Lat49 Architecture

Interestingly, the proposal on the go at the moment is to create an entirely new “Institutional Downtown” zoning, since the existing “institutional” zone wouldn’t allow the building to come right up to the sidewalk (as good downtown buildings generally should). This is also probably a ways away from construction, but it’s nice to see some detail on the proposal.

Live-work units get the thumbs down

In a rather unusual move, a developer came to council proposing the creation of a new zoning type that would allow lots in residential areas to be designated for “live-work” spaces, with commercial use only on the ground floor and living space above. The thing is, the area in question (in Kenmount Terrace) is in the centre of the new neighbourhood, and is already marked out for mixed-use development – so the Development Committee was concerned that “live-work units” with residential lot sizes would just end up being used as houses. Looks like this one is going nowhere, but counter-intuitively that may be a boost to the chances of getting some local commercial in Kenmount Terrace.

Pushback on stormwater

The existing stormwater management policies are getting a bit of pushback from developers, who have argued that they are requiring the construction of many small, failure-prone systems (the actual discussion in the agenda is much more nuanced, but that’s the gist), and that a better idea for infill developments might be to charge a cash-in-lieu fee that would go to larger-scale stormwater remediation work. Staff reports generally agree with these concerns, and are setting out a revision to the rules that would re-focus on bigger stormwater systems to deal with really big storms.

Happy City Presents: The Regional Plan Boot Camp!

Learn the language of Regional Planning!

Happy City St. John’s and Cities for People have partnered to bring you The Civic Engagement Boot Camp – Regional Plan Edition. Join us on Saturday, November 14th from 1 PM to 4 PM at the Foran Room at St. John’s City Hall!

Come participate in our workshop that has been designed to teach you about the language and history of the Regional Plan (the one in play right now was developed in 1976!) and how and why it is relevant to you and your relationship with where you live (it influences all municipal plans and navigates issues like watersheds, roads and transportation, coastal land use, green space, and regional development).

There will be a mix of presentations and hands-on activities to develop important engagement skills, and equip you with the tools to contribute meaningfully to the conversation around the upcoming Regional Plan for the Avalon.

The event is free to attend, with a light lunch provided.

Click here to register

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