NDP opposes Signal Hill proposal

Alisha Morrissey
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Development

There's more opposition to development on Signal Hill from the Opposition.

NDP leader Lorraine Michael opposes development in the area and is asking the province to get involved in protecting the area.

There is one proposal submitted to City Hall to build a nine-lot subdivision on the hill on a street called Murphy's-Right-of-Way. There's also a real estate listing for the current Battery Hotel, suggesting the site would be a good one to build condominiums, a business park or casino.

Lorraine Michael

There's more opposition to development on Signal Hill from the Opposition.

NDP leader Lorraine Michael opposes development in the area and is asking the province to get involved in protecting the area.

There is one proposal submitted to City Hall to build a nine-lot subdivision on the hill on a street called Murphy's-Right-of-Way. There's also a real estate listing for the current Battery Hotel, suggesting the site would be a good one to build condominiums, a business park or casino.

Michael, MHA for Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi, said in a news release she's concerned about development proposals so close to the Signal Hill National Historical Site.

She said the province has an obligation to preserve such sites.

"The untouched landscape of this site is what makes it unique and it is important for government to protect it; maintaining the sense of history on that site is a provincial responsibility." Michael said in a release. "The archaeological significance of the site, while recognized, has not yet been fully discovered as no archaeological exploration has been completed. Digging foundations for condos should not be the first ground breaking initiative undertaken on Signal Hill."

Leger Holdings, the proponent for the nine-lot housing project on Murphy's-Right-of-Way near Dead Man's Pond on Signal Hill, had a similar proposal rejected by council once before.

The development would see nine two-storey homes with roof gardens built in the undeveloped area across Signal Hill Road from the Johnson Geo Centre.

At a recent public meeting about the subdivision, it was obvious opinions on development in the area are polarized.

Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff said she doesn't think residents want to see development on Signal Hill.

There were only five or six people from the public and a handful of people who were in some way related to the development at the meeting, Duff said, and there seemed to only be one woman who was in support of the development, saying the houses would fit in with the other homes in the area.

The rest of the people in attendance were what Duff described as "adamantly opposed."

Since the meeting, Duff said, the city has also been receiving several letters of opposition.

Duff said she, too, is against that proposal and she'll talk about why when it comes to council for a vote in several weeks.

amorrissey@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Right-of-Way, Battery Hotel, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi Leger Holdings Johnson Geo Centre

Geographic location: Signal Hill Road

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Recent comments

  • Mike Spurrell
    January 29, 2011 - 11:24

    Look it is simple. St. John's Newfoundland has Heritage!! Now either you follow it or destroy it. It is your call! But if you destroy it, your being greedy! Thinking about your pockets not the heritage of Newfoundland and how it made the changes in history! It is as simple as that! Mike Spurrell.

  • chris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Goodness, condos and a business park on or right next to Signal Hill? I just came back from St.John's after driving with my husband out there for his new job. We are from Toronto where condo building is unchecked. My husband has been in St. John's for 4 days now and absolutely loves it there. One reason we are exactly choosing St.John's to move to is because it's not all built up like Toronto.
    Please do not build up the area on or near Signal Hill. The area is a huge tourist focal point. Tourists don't go to an area to see condos or a business park.
    And possibly a casino? It doesn't fit in with St.John's culture at all. Goodness, another city with another casino. My family and I never visit casinos when travelling. We'd rather 'throw our money' away on excursions, local restaurants and cultural events.
    Oh, and another big reason we are done with Toronto is the construction and traffic. If a casino, condos and a business park are built on or near Signal Hil there will be many construction vehicles creating traffic, noise and an unsightly mess.
    Please don't let this development happen.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Gordon its called thinking for yourself and having an opinion rather than just blindly following the cult leader Danny Williams. Speaking of The King whats his opinion on all this? If they strike oil on Signal Hill Danny will be all over the story saying he knew for years there was oil in them thare hills but he couldnt do anything about it until he bacame premier and supreme ruler.

  • RB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I am adamantly opposed to any developement that would impune the integrety of Signal Hill as the historical landmark that it is. No, no, no.

  • Brett
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I think developing a subdivision around Dead Man's pond, and opening up the area for further development is probably a bad idea. The streets and throughways to get up and down Signal hill are not the best - if you were to increase the density of the population there - you would probably have to do something about the roads too.

    9 lots is peanuts anyways - I suggest tearing up streets off of gower, and putting in higher density properties there instead. Proper accomodation for 3-4 families.

    I suspect the 9 lots issue is a slippery slope . How would you maintain access to Cabot tower with additional housing (30-80 more lots and the cars that go with them)?

    As to the Battery - The hill is already zoned for a hotel there - tearing it down and building something else - I think would be fine. The hotel is worth nowhere near the $15million quoted in the paper however. I joked to my wife about turning the hotel into a bunch of condo's - or townhomes, the Villa on the hill-a . Population density would be lower then too - as the Battery has rooms for many more people than you would put up with Condo's.

    I wouldn't mind a rebuild of a lot of the battery (lower/middle/upper battery + the side streets as you head up signal hill road). You cannot easily drive a vehicle up there, and some of the rental housing is not in good shape. (my apologies if I offend anyone about their home), but I just don't like the layout. it's inefficient... heaven forbid you need to get a firetruck in some of those spots. You might have to leave the truck there, not being able to get it out.

  • Gordon
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Is there anything that Michaels does not oppose?

  • chris
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Goodness, condos and a business park on or right next to Signal Hill? I just came back from St.John's after driving with my husband out there for his new job. We are from Toronto where condo building is unchecked. My husband has been in St. John's for 4 days now and absolutely loves it there. One reason we are exactly choosing St.John's to move to is because it's not all built up like Toronto.
    Please do not build up the area on or near Signal Hill. The area is a huge tourist focal point. Tourists don't go to an area to see condos or a business park.
    And possibly a casino? It doesn't fit in with St.John's culture at all. Goodness, another city with another casino. My family and I never visit casinos when travelling. We'd rather 'throw our money' away on excursions, local restaurants and cultural events.
    Oh, and another big reason we are done with Toronto is the construction and traffic. If a casino, condos and a business park are built on or near Signal Hil there will be many construction vehicles creating traffic, noise and an unsightly mess.
    Please don't let this development happen.

  • Stop The Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Gordon its called thinking for yourself and having an opinion rather than just blindly following the cult leader Danny Williams. Speaking of The King whats his opinion on all this? If they strike oil on Signal Hill Danny will be all over the story saying he knew for years there was oil in them thare hills but he couldnt do anything about it until he bacame premier and supreme ruler.

  • RB
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I am adamantly opposed to any developement that would impune the integrety of Signal Hill as the historical landmark that it is. No, no, no.

  • Brett
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    I think developing a subdivision around Dead Man's pond, and opening up the area for further development is probably a bad idea. The streets and throughways to get up and down Signal hill are not the best - if you were to increase the density of the population there - you would probably have to do something about the roads too.

    9 lots is peanuts anyways - I suggest tearing up streets off of gower, and putting in higher density properties there instead. Proper accomodation for 3-4 families.

    I suspect the 9 lots issue is a slippery slope . How would you maintain access to Cabot tower with additional housing (30-80 more lots and the cars that go with them)?

    As to the Battery - The hill is already zoned for a hotel there - tearing it down and building something else - I think would be fine. The hotel is worth nowhere near the $15million quoted in the paper however. I joked to my wife about turning the hotel into a bunch of condo's - or townhomes, the Villa on the hill-a . Population density would be lower then too - as the Battery has rooms for many more people than you would put up with Condo's.

    I wouldn't mind a rebuild of a lot of the battery (lower/middle/upper battery + the side streets as you head up signal hill road). You cannot easily drive a vehicle up there, and some of the rental housing is not in good shape. (my apologies if I offend anyone about their home), but I just don't like the layout. it's inefficient... heaven forbid you need to get a firetruck in some of those spots. You might have to leave the truck there, not being able to get it out.

  • Gordon
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    Is there anything that Michaels does not oppose?