SOS sends message to developers

Alisha Morrissey
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Group wants Murphy’s Right of Way  left the way it is

A group protesting a subdivision development on Signal Hill has hardened its stance — declaring it doesn’t want any development on Murphy’s Right of Way.

Originally, Mona Rossiter and her group talked about the potential for one or two homes at the site, but at a rally of 100 or so people against an eight-lot subdivision, she and others declared they really want no development of the site.

“The more we talked about it and the more we heard from people who are interested in this, I think we came to the resolve that it should be open space,” Rossiter said. “And when you walk up and poke around this natural landscape it is a natural extension of the Signal Hill landscape, so it makes perfect sense to have it undeveloped.”

Rossiter, chairwoman of the ad hoc group Save Our Signal Hill (SOS), said she was delighted with the turnout at the rally, where council members Sheilagh O’Leary and Shannie Duff and NDP MHA Lorraine Michael expressed their opposition to development at the site.

O’Leary, who walks the trails on the hill almost every day, said most of council gave the go ahead because they believed the land was privately owned, but if it turns out to be Crown land council won’t likely give the development another thumbs up.

“(It’s) not an important spot because there’s a national park here.” NDP MHA Lorraine Michael

Duff said she’d like to rezone the land as open space, should it be proven Crown land.

“(It’s) not an important spot because there’s a national park here,” Michael said. “A national park is here because this is an important spot.”

All four women also thanked Arthur Murphy, a former resident of the hill, who dug up the document proving the land was likely Crown property and therefore could not be built on.

It was that document that stalled the approved development across from the Geo Centre in council chambers last week.

Council then voted to give developer Leger Holdings three weeks to come up with proof it owns the property. After that, council will hold a vote on whether to revoke the development permit.

Rossiter reminded those in attendance to stay vigilant on the issue before area resident Bill Kelly led the group in singing John White’s version of the song “Signal Hill.”

Organizations: Geo Centre, Leger Holdings

Geographic location: Signal Hill

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Recent comments

  • RB McGrath
    October 18, 2010 - 23:47

    There are instances whereupon "change" is NOT a good thing. This is one of those instances. To rape the integrity and history of Signal Hill and it's surrounding area by building on it would be a permenant historical loss to Newfoundland and it's heritage. Please, please....leave well enough alone. Build somewhere else. After all, it's not like there's no other land in Newfoundland.

  • mary
    October 18, 2010 - 21:45

    Development and preserving green spaces can go together. Let's not attempt to do what other cities now regret doing - destroying green spaces. I am sure many young people want to preserve this area not only because it is a green space, but also, because of the historical significance and for the tourism dollars it brings in.

  • LetsMoveOn
    October 18, 2010 - 14:09

    Wow 100 old people want to "save" this barron land..... Move on people and let this place advance. Maybe the retired people want to keep things like it was 600 years ago but they are the only one's. Why dont you step back and let the younger generation advance for the good of themselves??? Maybe it would be better if all our youth were gone away so you can have your rock hill and people living in poverty and on the streets here. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, think for our future instead of the past please before it's too late and NL will be left as a retirement population because that is all the people who will stay here....

  • Gerry
    October 18, 2010 - 12:26

    I agree with Council member Shannie Duff in that the area should be re-zoned as open space, should it be proven Crown Land, and I'd add designated as "non-development" status. Furthermore, I would suggest that even if it's determined the land is private, Council should assess its value and pay the owner such value as any "non-development" status property would be worth. And by the way M. Williams, who told you that " Bill Kelly is allowed to live there"? Aren't you a bit "out in left field" in your assertion?

  • jeff
    October 18, 2010 - 11:21

    If this is crown land, I agree, there shouldn't be any residential development. If it isn't crown land, I think a developer has every right to proceed with the subdivision. Why should the signal hillers be treated any different than the rest of the city? I realize you covet your little spot which miraculously became a "high end" area since the artsy crowd moved in and renovated a few years ago. Now, the city can't even get rid of a dilapitated wharf without causing a parade of revolters. If you want something to revolt about, you should concentrate on getting that egg carton of a hotel (Battery) torn down and replaced with something that doesn't induce vomiting.

  • T Hillier
    October 18, 2010 - 11:00

    "nice houses would look nicer that rocks that are there now." Indeed they would not. Signal Hill is a part of our heritage. It should remain as is. Sad day if it should come to pass.

  • Arthur
    October 18, 2010 - 09:55

    If you want wide open green spaces, move outside the "city" to the country. I did. If you want to live in the "city", expect, and accept development. A city lives on the tax base provided from development, not by deterring and stopping it.

  • m williams
    October 18, 2010 - 08:42

    why is bill kelly alowed to live there if he is trying to stop others from doing so?????nice houses would look nicer that rocks that are there now.