City will study traffic effect once road realignments completed
Developers will resubmit a proposal for a 24-unit condominium building in the east end of St. John’s — once the city realigns a portion of New Cove Road and installs traffic lights.
Proposed for the corner of New Cove and Mount Cashel roads, the development was opposed by residents who said it would increase the already heavy traffic in their neighbourhood.
Ward Coun. Debbie Hanlon expects the road realignment will solve the traffic problems — and to make certain of it, she wants a “very detailed” study done.
“The No. 1 issue that the people had was traffic,” said Hanlon.
“The realignment will greatly reduce the traffic flow because it will control the traffic.
“Then, we’re recommending a full traffic-impact study.”
Hanlon said she’ll carefully review that study before casting another vote on the development.
“I’m going to go with what the residents want.”
Asphalt is scheduled to be laid on New Cove Road in October, though Hanlon figures that work may take until mid-November to wrap up.
Gibraltar Development said Thursday it will resubmit its proposal when the roadwork is done.
“That’s our intention at this time,” said Dave Kelly, president of Gibraltar.
“What we’ve done is postpone our application and the review of our application until the realignment of New Cove Road and Portugal Cove Road is complete.”
Last month, Gibraltar modified its original concept, reducing the height of the building and the number of units to 20 to allay residents’ concerns.
But the company will resubmit its original 24-unit proposal this fall.
“The 24-unit building fits there nicely within the A2 regulations,” said Kelly.
Zone A2 permits apartments and medium-density developments.
Kelly is hopeful the road realignment will alleviate the residents’ concerns about traffic flow.
“We were sort of brought into a perceived traffic problem in the area — even though the project wouldn’t contribute a significant amount of cars, somewhere between 10 and 20 at peak hours,” he said.
“The big concern there was traffic, so we feel it’s best just to wait till that work is completed later on this fall.”
The proposed three-storey condo building, which includes a parking garage, would be accessed via an entrance on New Cove Road across the street from Laughlin Crescent.
City staff recommended approval, but councillors rejected the development in July.
Hanlon said she was told by city staff at the time that no study was required in the land-use assessment because of the low volume of traffic.
“Of course, it became the major point of controversy and it’s one of the reasons it did not get approved — the neighbours were so upset about the traffic conditions,” said Hanlon.
“They felt that this would make it far worse, and I tended to agree with them.”