St. John's Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff.
St. John's city council voted down two recommendations from its heritage advisory committee Monday, in regards to two developments on Duckworth Street.
The heritage committee had recommended council defer a decision on a proposed pedway over the street which would link the Marriott Courtyard with a proposed extension to that hotel on the north side of Duckworth.
The committee wanted the vote deferred until the city created guidelines for pedways in heritage areas.
Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff told council the committee did approve the design of the hotel expansion - even though the actual development has yet to be approved by council.
"Approving a pedway in the absence of clear guidelines ... under which pedways should be approved might set a precedent that would encourage the undue and inappropriate proliferation of these structures in the downtown," she said.
But several councillors disagreed.
Ward 3 Coun. Bruce Tilley was in favour of the pedway and noted Marriott is a world-renowned hotel chain.
"The pedway ... the company is proposing is an integral part of the extension of the hotel, in my opinion," he said.
Tilley also noted other pedways already exist downtown.
Coun. Gerry Colbert said the pedway should be built because it was impractical to have people staying across the street to have to put on outdoor clothes just to go down for breakfast.
"We live in a winter city," he said.
Ward 2 Coun. Frank Galgay - who represents the downtown - also said he would vote against deferral.
"I don't think (a pedway) would really hurt the historic ambience of the east-end of Duckworth Street," he said.
But Duff did get support from councillors Sandy Hickman and Sheilagh O'Leary
"It opens up a flood of potential new pedways," O'Leary said. "If we don't have (a) policy, we could look like space 2070 with all of these things, basically zooming overhead, all over the place."
The vote to defer was defeated 8-3, and the vote to allow the pedway as part of the development passed by the same margin.
The second recommendation of the heritage committee, which council voted against was for the proposed design for the parking garage that's part of the condominium development at the former CBC Radio building.
The developer has been asked to resubmit the design for the garage at least three times over the last six months or so. But the committee agreed unanimously the latest plan still doesn't fit in with the heritage look of downtown.
But many on council said the new design is quite different.
"It looks like a very good design," Ward 4 Coun. Debbie Hanlon said. "It looks very attractive."
"This design looks markedly different than the initial one," Ward 1 Coun. Danny Breen added.
Breen said the design looks similar to another parking garage design the heritage committee approved.
In the end, council voted 7-4 to accept the design as presented with Galgay joining Duff, O'Leary and Hickman who all voted against the plan.