Manor loses application for restaurant

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Bonnie Belec
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Council agrees not enough parking spaces to allow it

The Waterford Manor on Waterford Bridge Road had applied to the city for a restaurant but the lack of parking spaces in the area forced the city to reject the application.— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

A historic bed and breakfast on Waterford Bridge Road won’t expand its operation to include a restaurant.

Waterford Manor had applied to the City of St. John’s to open a restaurant in its building at 185 Waterford Bridge Rd., but due to a lack of parking spaces the city rejected the application.

Coun. Tom Hann, chairman of the planning and development committee, said the manor has seven guest rooms and can accommodate up to 16 overnight guests.

Under city regulations, he told council Monday during its regular weekly meeting that bed and breakfast operations have to provide one off-street parking space for every two bedrooms. He said a restaurant requires one parking space per five square metres of seating area and the Manor was looking to have a seating area of 107 square metres.

Hann said based on the regulations, the total parking spaces needed for both operations would be 28. The manor only has 14 now.

“So council has the authority to relieve the parking requirements so I table it for discussion, but the staff recommendation is it not be approved because it only meets 50 per cent of the required parking spaces,” Hann said.

Because the building is designated as heritage, city council has the authority to use its discretion to waive the parking, which is what Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff suggested it should do.

“I’m inclined to agree with it in the sense that it is a designated historic property and it does provide 14 parking spaces,” she said, adding it’s unlikely the rooms and restaurant would be full all the time. “I just think finding viability for important historic structures, that is why it’s discretionary for us and we have waived parking requirements for other B and Bs, so I’m going to vote for it because I don’t think it will cause a great disruption,” said Duff, suggesting the owners could bring back a smaller plan to make the idea work.

 Along with the lack of  parking for the manor, councillors were concerned about the lack of parking in  in the Waterford Bridge Road area.

Ward Coun. Bruce Tilley said on any given day he’s getting phone calls and emails from residents expressing concerns about parking.

“I’m speaking against it for a number of reasons,” he said. “Firstly it doesn’t meet the requirements for parking, and with the approval of a restaurant means additional traffic and from the residents of Waterford Bridge Road I get calls twice a week, because at least 10,000 (cars) goes down that road every day and residents in the area don’t have enough parking as it is,” he said.

Tilley said this would be detrimental to the area, which is a narrow, winding road surrounded by homes.

Coun. Sandy Hickman looked up the area on Google Maps. He said it showed a wedding at the manor and cars parked all over the streets around it.

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said he agreed that the correct decision was to deny the application. “Waterford Bridge Road is a highly residential area with an awful lot of traffic, and whenever there is an event at the manor, the parking spills over on Waterford Lane and Waterford Place. And as Coun. (Danny) Breen indicated, to forgive 50 per cent of parking is an invitation to invite that amount of parking to collect on Waterford Lane or up in the residential area of Waterford Place or on the road where there is no parking, and council is well aware of the complaints of speeding in the area.”

Only Duff voted to allow the application.

bbelec@thetelegram.com

 

Geographic location: Waterford Place

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Recent comments

  • whatever bud
    April 24, 2013 - 10:23

    There are dozens of restaurants downtown with insufficient parking,and even less when there are events at Mile 1 (which has ZERO parking). There are numerous weddings at Waterford Manor every summer. More people tend to go to a wedding than an average sized restaurant. I lived in that area for years and never had a problem with the traffic.

  • starr
    April 20, 2013 - 10:28

    What a silly, unfounded decision on the part of city council. Someone must have a personal vendetta there or living on the street. which counsellor lives there? there's your answer. After all, how about Mile One. There's less than no parking there.

  • just me
    April 18, 2013 - 06:19

    they put mile one where it is with not enough parking

  • Darryl
    April 17, 2013 - 02:23

    Apparently Gary doesn't drive

  • pal
    April 16, 2013 - 23:57

    who's the butt-head complaining about parking on my street? park on the street b'y, just don't park by the bus stop dummy

  • Gary
    April 16, 2013 - 14:37

    Mandating minimum parking for private businesses is an archaic practice that has no place in a modern city. Grey, sterile expanses of parking lot are just about the lowest-value use I can think of for urban land. They deter pedestrians and threaten our streams and wetlands with contaminated runoff. Car owners need to accept that they may need to take the bus or walk to their final destination. The city is perfectly capable of coping with excessive on-street parking with meters or permits.

  • Johhny
    April 16, 2013 - 13:28

    When are our city councillors going to admit that St. John's is a city and not an outport? Denying this application on the argument that every patron has to be able to park right in front is ridiculous. Requiring the bulldozing and paving of additional land just to support parking that won't be needed 90% of the time is financially wasteful and ecologically damaging without merit. I'm sure the restaurant would be fine - even if the occasional patron needs to park of the street a block, and walk 2 minutes to sit down and eat.

  • Alec C
    April 16, 2013 - 13:08

    If only parking in St. John's was an issue for Waterford Bridge Road only, but alas this is a systematic wide problem that still hasn't been addressed. Why is there no central parking garage with shuttle service in old St.John's? Centralized parking and people could *GASP* WALK to their designations - NL is one of the fattest places in NA after all. Loosen the archaic heritage regulations on building height if developers increase parking capacity. Walk by customers not considered for Manor restaurant or 3+ people per car? While on the subject of Waterford bridge road, why hasn't the City commissioned a report on harnessing riverside hydro power via the Waterford river? Could even do a joint commission with Mount Pearl on Waterford river power, regional cooperation. How many MWs of power are available through the Waterford without major alterations or damning? Capital cost, cost of energy, range of generation for variable water levels ect. Or has bill 29/60/61 muted the CAPITAL CITY on self or cooperative(business and residential) financing their own power generation. Let me check with the illustrious STJ BOT on the matter - what PCs aren't for riverside hydro/competition even though our business would benefit from local non thermal power - DENIED. If residents and thereby Councilors are for commissioning at the very least a viability report on Waterford Power (WP Company WPC for short) our unpopular provincial government/Nalcor would be ill advised to meddle/interfere.