No easy solution to smelly water

Andrew Robinson
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

C.B.S. resident says neighbour prevented him from hooking up his home to town system

Gerald Sparkes, of Foxtrap, Conception Bay South, displays a glass of hot tap water at his home last week which emits a sulphur-like smell. He had hoped to hook up to a new water line on his street, but that hit a snag because of a tiny boundary between the side of Sparkes’ home and adjacent Leewood Place. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

When Gerald Sparkes turns on the hot water tap at his home on Dunn’s Hill Road in Conception Bay South, it does not take long to notice a sulphur-like smell.

“Later on this evening, that will be black,” Sparkes said, pointing to a glass of water.

Smell ‘really, really bad’

“If you went in the washroom and took a shower and go in there after, I don’t say you’d be able to stand it. It’s really, really bad.”

An arrangement that would have allowed his home to hook up to new neighbourhood water lines almost came to be, but he said a neighbour who owns a slim boundary between the side of Sparkes’ home and Leewood Place prohibited workers from making the connection.

Sparkes and his wife have lived on Dunn’s Hill Road for 30 years, and water from the well was initially fine. It was within the last few years that the problems began.

A tank costing almost $1,000 was purchased to try to deal with the issue, but it did not solve the problem.

Water stains and is undrinkable

Water coming from the well on his property is undrinkable, and he needs to use a special product to deal with iron content when washing dishes or clothes, otherwise they become stained.

While Sparkes’ brother was recently home to attend the funeral of their mother, he used the bathroom sink one day to wash his face and immediately vomited because of the smell.

Sparkes said an easy fix is beyond his means. He does not work and lives on a disability pension because of anxiety and bouts of depression. He once served as a volunteer firefighter in C.B.S.

The deal to get connected to the town’s water supply, according to Sparkes, involved allowing the water line to go through undeveloped land he owns in order to supply water to homes in the neighbourhood. He said the move made development impossible for two potential building lots situated behind his home.

On the day his hookup was set to take place, Sparkes said he was told the owner of the boundary between Sparkes’ land and the road, Wayne Woodland, would not allow workers to use his land.

“They put the hookup 30 feet away from my window, and they hooked up our next door neighbour. They were going to come over here and hook up to me the next morning, and they were told not to,” said Sparkes. “I’m after talking to (Woodland) saying, ‘What do you want?’”

Sparkes said all he needs from Woodland is a piece of land three feet wide and two feet long for the hookup, but claims the asking price is too high. He said Woodland wants to exchange it for property in front of Sparkes’ home.

Neighbour questions reasoning

Speaking with The Telegram last week, Woodland said Sparkes can get a water hookup through his driveway facing Dunn’s Hill Road and should not have to make use of Woodland’s property.

“He’s got a driveway on Dunn’s Hill Road accessible to water and sewer,” said Woodland.

“Why would I let anyone go across my land?”

Woodland went on to say that “down the road,” he may have plans for using the land serving as a boundary between Sparkes’ home and Leewood Place. He said if Sparkes had approached him at the time the hookup on that street was being set up, perhaps they could have made an arrangement.

“You’ve got to talk to people. You just don’t decide to do something and do it when you don’t own it,” said Woodland. “That’s the same as me saying, ‘Well to hell with that, I’m going to put it across buddy’s land next to me.’ That don’t work.”

When water lines were first set up in that area on Dunn’s Hill Road, Sparkes said he was told getting hooked up from there would require digging a very deep hole and at least one lift pump, if not two, which he would need to pay for himself.

“I haven’t got money to do something like that,” he said.

He has brought the matter of his water situation to the attention of both Mayor Woodrow French and local MHA Terry French, but said neither was able to offer help.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Jerry Jr.
    August 14, 2012 - 20:43

    Just an update.....nothing new has transpired. It's been a very busy few weeks for me. I have every intention of exploring every avenue and using whatever platform necessary to rectify this issue and provide exposure in an effort to prevent this from happening to another family in our town! I'll keep providing updates here and on my facebook page. The support is overwhelming and much appreciated. Thank you all!

  • True Colors
    August 02, 2012 - 15:36

    It is illegal to deny someone a clean glass of how is this not illegal?? Seems to me the whole French family is in on it and the Sparkes family has no one fighting for their basic needs. In most communities it would be the MHA helping in any and all ways possible. Unfortunately for CBS your MHA is the Mayor/ land owner's son. The French Family has been in council way too long and their true colors are finally shining through. Time for someone who actually cares about the people of CBS. Good Luck to the Sparke Family! I hope one day you will be able to have clean drinking water like the rest of your town! God Bless!

    July 15, 2012 - 18:22

    Oooooh Mr. Mayor of CBS. Your comment in Saturdays' paper justifies your lack of leadership in ALL angle.. should of just keep quiet. Mr Mayor... would you PLEASE do your homework and properly research this situation? Had you have done that before Saturdays' paper, maybe you wouldn't look like a fool as you do today. Had you researched the situation, you would see that your comments that Mr. Sparkes should connect to the top of the road doesn't make any sense considering that YOUR councel refrained from installing a T-Junction in the pipeline for this purpose. They did not do this because they informed Mr. Sparkes that it was silly to do connect at Dunn's Hill when he could on Leewood Place! So it was the councel's decision... and Mr. Sparkes CANNOT connect up there! You may hide behind big words like Municipality Act and "engineers" and "surveyors" but the fact still remains that YOU haven't even bothered to properly research this topic before coming back with such a ignorant comment! Shame on you Mr. Mayor!! I look forward to the next election!

  • Bewildered
    July 15, 2012 - 16:55

    From what Woody French said in the Saturday Telegram article (in the Municipal section), it appears they knowingly mislead Mr Sparkes when when they negotiated an easement on Mr Sparkes property which permitted them to service the Leewood Place subdivision. I would submit that would have met the requirement of "for the overall good of the community" requirement to expropriate. Therefore a question for the legal beagles, is the easement contract still binding or was it fraud on the part of the Town. They told him he could get his hookup via Leewood Place. They had previously told him they couldn't hook him up from Dunns Hill Road because of the required depth. That is why the Town did NOT put in a shutoff to the Sparkes property via their Dunns Hill Road driveway. I believe the Town, who were in a position of trust, knowing deceived Mr Sparkes into giving up his land to an easement that had already been refused by at least two others. Shame, shame, shame. Wouldn't it be nice to see somebody step forward with a pro-bono offer to resolve this hateful situation.

  • Jerry Jr
    July 13, 2012 - 16:29

    Everyone please keep your eyes peeled for the Mayor's response regarding this issue in tomorrows telegram, let's hope that our Mayor can see the wrong in this issue and rectify it accordingly

    • Bated Breath
      July 13, 2012 - 21:52

      Finally Woody is going to crawl out of hiding on this terribly immoral situation. Several lawyers have indicated that the Municipalities Act gives the Town the right to expropriate land if necessary, and this was reiterated last week by VOCM host Randy Simms who is also the Mayor of Mt. Pearl. Mr Sparkes allowed the Town an easment to provide water an sewer services to the residents of Leewood Place, and ironically Mr Sparkes is the ONLY resident that was not permitted to hook up, even though the shutoff has already been unstalled to his property boundary, and he was told prior to giving the Town the easement that he would be hooked up. Let's see what spin fast talking Woody will put on this whole situation. Hopefully he does the moral thing and provides the connection.

    • CBS Resident
      July 14, 2012 - 17:21

      I think that it's a sad day when we go to third world countries to help people get clean running water and just down the road a neighbour would deny this necessity!!! Wether the land was legally obtained or not I cannot imagine disallowing someone access to drinking water and for the town to not help....absolutely discpicable!

    • Patricia & Robert Matthews
      July 15, 2012 - 10:01

      ( IN MY OPINION )Mr Woodland you are just plain MEAN simple as that and one day you will answer for it . We only have a piece of land 50x100 ft and if our neighbour needed water we would let him have it and expect nothing in return, once the land is covered up again what does it matter. How can you do that to anyone and sleep at night. Open your heart if you have one !!!

  • Jerry Jr
    July 13, 2012 - 11:08

    I would also like to take a moment to thank, on behalf of myself and my family, the people who support this matter. Our family is very grateful for your advice, comments and caring demeanor. This situation is very real and we need your continued support. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. much gratitude Jerry Jr

    • Jennifer LeBlanc
      July 13, 2012 - 15:52

      It's appalling to know that right now, in this minute there is a family in my community being denied access to clean drinking water when it is so readily available to every other family that surrounds them. Surely Mr. Woodland at some point through the years has watched someone from the Sparkes' family lug buckets of water from the neighbour's outside tap?? Most neighbours would feel compelled just to help carry the water. Mr. Woodland, I'm guessing has never had that compilation. It takes a special kind of individual to watch a family suffer needlessly when YOU are the very person who could make it stop. Right now. While it speaks volumes of Mr. Woodland's character and his own brand of humanity, this situation also speaks volumes of our ELECTED officials of Conception Bay South. I am appalled by their lack of leadership. I am appalled that this council would allow any one of their constituents go without any basic necessity of life. Shame on you both.

  • Jerry Jr
    July 13, 2012 - 10:48

    My family and I have been drudging across the street for several years now lugging 10 gallon jugs of water from a neighbor who thankfully cares enough to allow us to use their tap, while the rest of the street enjoy clean fresh water from their faucets; to wash clothes, to bathe, to water their lawns, and more importantly, to drink. This ransom strip is across the street and entirely separate from Woodlands residential property. Crossing it would have no implications on him whatsoever. It is roughly 3 feet in width and extends along the boundary of my father’s property to the bottom of Leewood Pl, in a nutshell it basically runs along the ditch. As mentioned before, our family has no issues paying a reasonable price for access across the strip, but Mr. Woodland refuses to accept a reasonable offer but instead insists our family give up large portions of land in lieu of access. When municipal services were established on Dunns hill, the town neglected to install a hook up at the top of the driveway due to the distance and elevation of our residence in relation to Dunns hill. They insisted we would need at least one lift station, possibly two, because of this they insisted we hook up from Leewood place. When water and sewer ran down Leewood place (several years later), the town of CBS established an easement across Woodlands ransom strip and across my fathers. This was done in an effort to provide the street with municipal services so that a lift station wouldn’t have to be installed at the top of Leewood place, providing the town with the best economic solution. When the hired company began to dig in an effort to install our home with water and sewer, Woodland literally came down the street and told the company to fill it back in as it was his land. (about the size of a table top). This is the situation we’re dealing with. I realize it’s difficult for readers to visualize where and how this “ransom strip” is situated, but it is there and it is there with the sole purpose of preventing our family from gaining access from Leewood Place. I encourage people from CBS and all over to take a drive, come see for yourself why there is only one house on the right side of Leewood place (my parent’s house, facing Dunns hill) and try to imagine your family so close in proximity to gaining access to water and sewer but unable to do so, owning multiple building lots and your children not able to build on them!! It is such a crime to live in a modern day common law society where a family who would literally give you the shirt off their back can’t even acquire town services because the town has no scruples and the “neighbor” no heart!!

  • Viola y.
    July 13, 2012 - 08:45

    Whether or not someone agrees with the reasons why Mr Woodland, or anyone else for that matter, would own any piece of land (regardless of the size) is a moot point. Failure to agree with that reason, or failure to see a potential use for that land, isn't enough reason to expect any level of government to infringe on the property owner's rights for the benefit (i.e. cost savings of hooking up to town water and sewer) of another person who owns a nearby property. Given the small size of the piece of land in this situation, and given its limited uses because of that size, placing a pipe across it would further limit it's potential uses.

      July 13, 2012 - 11:28

      VIOLA Y - You do make a valid point, under your strict interpretation of the law. The first thing I notice is that you bare no mention of the needs of a family for fresh clean water which is the #1 issue at hand here. So in this case you think that denying a family of fresh clean water (free of high levels of sulfur) is the best route here. I also think that interpreting the reason's for owning this Buffer Strip is very important, simply because such actions are illegal today (ie. you cannot establish them anymore). So there is a reason why you or I can't create buffer zones - its speaks for itself - because it has been recongnized by law (ie.. via case studies) that it has been abused for the purposes of one party forcing what they want at the disadvantage of the other. I would like to think that we live in a society today whereby everyone is entitled to clean water. Why didn't you mention Mr Sparkes's rights? I would like to think that some "figure" could step in and make sure he can receive it, don't you? Yes, some people do not have this option, but mainly because there is no supply to connect to. If we interpreted the law under strict interpretation in all aspects of life, you would probably find that this country would be a pretty terrible place to live. As much as your comment is very valid. But explain; are you suggesting that the Property Owners rights of a buffer zone (ie. "ranson strip" a term I have seen used during my dealings with the law) is more important then the need to provide a family with fresh water? Isn't this a Common Law society whereby the consideration of "what is right" is also considered? The Sparkes Family is not requesting land to build a shed - they want to stop using a garden hose and a bucket to get fresh water from nearby neighbours. Doesn't anybody see or wonder why another person who restrict another person from connecting to clean water? As much as I respect your point, I have to disagree based on the fact that I believe that a normal human being would never restrict another from water to wash, clean, bath and drink. I think the owners purpose of owning a buffer zone in this case IS valid; of course someone can explain to the public exactly what his plans are for this infamous 3 ft width strip and how underground pipes would affect his plans? Maybe if his arguments were valid in this case, it would silence the critics. No matter what your law book states, purposely strictly a family from fresh clean water is wrong. And clearly, you probably have a fresh clean glass sitting on your desk so I wouldn't expect you to sympathise naturally. But please.., what are Mr Sparkes' right to clean water? What does the law say?

    • Jerry Jr
      July 13, 2012 - 11:49

      so Viola, you won't mind if we come to your house and wash our clothes? There is no potential use for this land! This is the point I am trying to make Viola! It's sole purpose is to prevent us from gaining access to the multiple building lots that exist behind our house and more importantly municipal services. The municipal government has ample enough reason to expropriate based on the fact that we CANNOT hook up to Dunns Hill Rd. This is due to the towns failure in providing one. There IS a hook up 8 meters from the corner of our home off of Leewood Pl. While I respect your comment, you clearly cannot see the magnitude of this situation. I invite you to drive to Leewood Pl and see for yourself the close proximity of the hook up to our house and imagine yourself having to carry water day after day, month after month and year after year, back and forth. The water that comes from our well is putrid. Showers are almost unbearable, thousands of dollars worth in clothes have been ruined because of the iron content as well....I can go on, but yet you say that failure to see a potential use isn't enough for government to infringe....coming from a son who not so long ago helped a stubborn man fighting cancer walk across the across the street carrying a 10gallon jug of water...I assure is enough! Someone soon is going to accept responsibility and do whatever is necessary to establish an easement or expropriate if necessary. If my parents want clean fresh water to wash clothes, water flowers, feed their dog...DRINK, do you not think they are entitled to it??

    • Former Resident of CBS
      July 13, 2012 - 12:24

      Voila Y., please explain to me what potential use a small buffer, as mentioned below, would have? There is none. It is too small to develop, it is literally a part of the ditch on the side of the road. which is no where near Mr. Woodland's residents. This is simply a money grab and attempt to squeeze, an already struggling family, out of number 1, fresh clean drinking water(which EVERYONE has that right), and number 2, highy desirable land for future development. (which Mr. Woodland wants) We are talking about a family who has had to deal with serious illness and a man who is on disability and cannot work. Yet, someone who is clearly finanically stable as Mr. Woodland is, can just say no and deny Mr.Sparkes and his family safe drinking water? I no longer live in the province but have returned for a visit this past week. I have to say that I was always proud of my heritage and the town i grew up in. This situation however, has made me think twice about this. Frankly, i am embarrassed to see such bickering about such a small piece of land and the fact that our town and a resident would deny a family this right. You don't hear about situations like this especially in our home town where everyone is so close to one another. We all need to step back for a second and look at the big picture here. IT IS WRONG no matter how you look at it. You can blab legal jargen all you want. It is not going to change the fact that it is wrong and someone needs to step in and do something about it. And further to this, what about Mr. Sparkes legal right to have fresh drinking water? Mr. woodland, it is clear that this is not going to go away. What is your reputation in the community worth to you? You are obviously a smart man and have thought of the impact that this will have on your family and your business. OR HAVE YOU? At the end of the day sir, this is going to hurt you, don't you see that? It is my hope that both parties can come to agreement and stop this silly dispute. It is embarrassing to say the least.

      July 13, 2012 - 13:48

      To all of those who are in support of Wayne Woodland's dictatorship of Leewood Place, here is a question which is still yet to be answered: WHY DOESN'T WOODLAND SIMPLY ALLOW THIS WATER HOOK-UP TO THE SPARKES RESIDENCE AS A KIND GESTURE AND AS A GOOD CITIZEN, AND OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF HIS HEART? IS HIS REASONS TO RESTRICT THE HOOK-UP, MORE IMPORTANT THEN THE NEED FOR A FAMILY TO RECEIVE SAFE DRINKING WATER? I am tired of hearing all of this law / naggin banter of Woodland's rights etc etc..... the question is... WHY DOES HE DO IT? WHY???? Somebody please answer this question. All I have heard so far is how he is the buffer owner and it his is right. I can tell from all the Woodland supporters that nobody talks about the Common Law / Moral side of this situation, because THE ONLY defence Woodland is based on leaving the "moral / common law" side out of it!... As someone mentioned below... What would a judge say after considering the common law aspect? Any suggestions?

  • Jerry Jr
    July 12, 2012 - 18:49

    From: To: CC: Subject: Re: smelly water in foxtrap Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:53:53 -0230 Howie; To date the Town has done the following: Visited the site on numerous occasions to try and find a solution. (Family outings do not count Mr. Mayor) Had an engineering company visit the site to try and find a solution. (BAE? ) Had the site surveyed to try and find a solution. (No recent survey exist..??) The town knowingly allowed this to happen in the first place during Joe Gregory’s reign of CBS. The town also knowingly took possession of the road in 1997 without even considering the implications this would cause in the future) Bright town....grim future! Spoke with both owners in order to try and resolve the situation. (Spoke and did nothing!) Had the Town Engineer visit the site on many occasions to try and reslove the situation. (Which engineer??) Had the case reviewed by the Town's lawyers to see if there was a legal solution. (Which lawyer??) The fact remains that Mr. Woodland owns property that would have to be trespassed, as he refuses permission to cross his property. Mr. Sparkes still has the option to hook-up to town services via Dunn's Hill rd. (Mr. Sparkes does not have the option to hook-up to town services via Dunn’s Hill rd, because no such hook-up exists….I have the plans for both Dunns Hill and Leewood pl right in front of me……and you insist every measure was taken, Please tell me you’ve done your homework Mr. Mayor??) These are the answers I will be looking for during my next visit to the Town Hall sir!

  • Jerry Jr
    July 12, 2012 - 18:16

    Some correspondence from my uncle in an effort to help his brother's family Where is this threat "Woody" speaks of? Sounds to me he is passing his issues to town staff! From: To: Subject: RE: smelly water in foxtrap Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 07:37:46 -0400 jerry i just recieved this whats his problem -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: To: CC: Subject: Re: smelly water in foxtrap Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2012 08:54:23 -0230 Mr. Sparkes: Now that you have threatened me and the Town with action I will not correspond any further. Please address all of your future inquiries to town staff. Woodrow French Mayor ----- Original Message ----- From: howie sparkes To: ; ; Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 10:08 AM Subject: RE: smelly water in foxtrap July 11 2012 Mayor French, So what your are saying in your email to me is that, the engineering company,the surveying company,the town engineer, the group of towns lawyers and your self have never heard of the words.................EASEMENT OR EXPROPRIATION........ I suggest that you should look these words up in the FREE on line dictionary (REALLY ITS FREE) and then once you understand their meanings, Call a council meeting and let the rest of them know that these words exist and of there meenings, Then tell them that they can use either or as the need arises to save the town of C.B.S. alot of money, and your self and your staff alot headaches. Howie Sparkes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- From: To: CC: Subject: Re: smelly water in foxtrap Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:53:53 -0230 Howie; To date the Town has done the following: Visited the site on numerous occasions to try and find a solution. Had an engineering company visit the site to try and find a solution. Had the site surveyed to try and find a solution Spoke with both owners in order to try and resolve the situation. Had the Town Engineer visit the site on many occasions to try and reslove the situation. Had the case reviewed by the Town's lawyers to see if there was a legal solution. The fact remains that Mr. Woodland owns property that would have to be trespassed, as he refuses permission to cross his property. Mr. Sparkes still has the option to hook-up to town services via Dunn's Hill Road. Woodrow French Mayor

  • St John's resident
    July 12, 2012 - 15:56

    Judging by some of the comments made here it is no wonder the relationship between Mr Sparkes and Mr Woodland has soured leaving Mr Sparkes between a rock and a hard place. Expropriation of Woodland's land by the town may be an option to remedy the situation but I'm not sure they'd expropriate simply on the basis that it would be more 'convenient' to hook up Sparke's water by going through Woodland's land. In any case, both the Town of C.B.S. and Mr Sparkes should have had the ok from Woodland before any decisions pertaining to water hook-up in the area was made. As it stands now, a good deal of money and work may be gone down the drain - And it doesn't look like that drain will be going through Woodland's property. A simple suggestion would be for Mr Sparkes to seek the advice of a lawyer instead of listening to some of the drivel below.

    • S BAKER
      July 13, 2012 - 08:07

      ST JOHN's RESIDENT. It does appear from reading all of the text that both parties are much to blame. Knowing the Sparkes Family, I can assure that they are very kind humble people. This entire situation has is caused by one person who is refusing fresh water to pass over a useless thin strip of land which is no where located near Mr Woodland's dwelling. It is sad times when something like this happens. It is my understanding that Mr Sparkes was going to try and hook up at the top of his driveway however it was the councel of CBS who told him no, not to both because of the trouble he would have with lift pumps, and he was told that he can connect on Leewood Place. It was at that time that Mr Sparkes told the engineer on site that he didn't think that was possible because of the buffer zone. Mr Sparkes was told that Woodland could not stop him from the hook up on Leewood Place. So it was the Town of CBS who decided not to put the hook up at the top of his driveway, so he can't connect to it anyways. From all the readings, it sounds as if Mr Sparkes has this other option to hook up at his driveway, but the fact is, he can not - not through his decision, but by the actions of the Town of CBS. They were the ones who told him he could hook up on Leewood Place, so that was the plan. Then of course, Mr Woodland came down and told the councel to fill the hole back in when they attempted to connect. Mr, Sparkes has been very kind and honest about this over the years. But there is only so much sulfur the man can wash in before he has to make a stand. Don't you agree?

    July 12, 2012 - 14:50

    This is Mr Woodland's style, as proven at other levels over the years. Unconfirmed, but rumor has it the top of Leewood place might actually cut off one of the corners of Mr. Sparkes' property. In this case, there would be no buffer zone as the road meets the Mr. Sparkes Property. Great place for the Sparkes' family to run a new driveway, or water / sewer lines? Not a bloody thing Woodland can do if this is the case. I hear there are a lot of surveyors / engineers on the Sparkes' Family's side who are close in with the family. My advice is that you investigate this corner as well. In the mean time Mr. Woodland... still waiting on that Playground you were suppose to build on Leewood Place? Everyone is aware of that one. I also beleive that Mr. Woodland got his work cut out for him.

    July 12, 2012 - 14:32

    I agree DIGGER UP. That is definately apart of the plan.

  • CBS Resident
    July 12, 2012 - 09:23

    I think this story is terrible. I also think that it lives up to the true negative reputation of Mr. Woodland. I also believe that the Town of CBS are cowards, but I also think they will listen in time. My heart goes out to you Mr. Sparkes, and you have the full support of my family and friends. This story is becoming very large in this town from what I am hearing among colleagues in this area. Please start your petitions, continue your fight and your protest and before you know it, you will have a army! We support you!

    July 12, 2012 - 09:19

    This goes out to the recent comment made by "Jerry - July 11, 2012 at 18:54:24" who is clearly NOT the real Jerry Sparkes JR of Foxtrap, who is trying despretely to help his family. I find it pathetic that someone has to take this to such a childish level as to pretend to be someone else. Wayne...or Woodland Supporter... or whoever you are.. you may get a kick out of this and think this is just a game to you. But I have news for you sir, once we get CBC, NTV news on the site to CLEARLY demonstrate on video with markings and indicators this so called "property" which Woodland is using as random to restrict fresh clean water to the Sparkes Family, then we will see who is laughing. People are not understanding this magnitude because Woodland is calling this "property" as if it was his back or front yard - so people are thinking that of course it is wrong to cross someones property. What they don't see is that it is unusable property, except to hold the Sparkes family for ransom. Interesting who a Judge would interpret this within our Common Law society? When media and the public can SEE from thereselves on video the most pathetic little strip which Woodland hold the Sparkes Family random too, then they will see the clear picture. I hope you realize sir that at a minimum, the goal here is to clearly demonstrate Woodlands' true cruel nature and manner to the public for what he is doing. That in ITSELF is a blessing of pure satisfaction. Woodland fails to realize the HUGE number of supporters which is building drastically each day, who are committed to protesting this for years to come. Now that I think of it, I think I will make it a life goal and ambition of mine! Woodland needs to realize that this will NOT going to go away and while he is an old inmoral man, some of us are much younger and more established in the professional society..who PLAN on fighting this long after he is around. Mr Woodland got to remember that when VOTES get affected, things happen.. and little buffer zones will vanish into thin air. We will not stop until this land gets expropiated by the Municpal Government, so that pipes can get ran underneath the ground. It may or may not happen, but I assure you that the whole world will know why... and TO THINK that Woodland is of the church? If there is one thing I can commend Woodland on, is his ability to walk around with his conscience...

    • Digger Up
      July 12, 2012 - 12:38

      Lets get this on every social media outlet and show the world what a douchebag some people are. I am posting to twitter with my 125,000 followers. Lets get this trending worldwide. #Douchebag

  • Jerry
    July 11, 2012 - 17:24

    This story illustrates that property owners do have legal rights, and thankfully, you do have to respect those rights whether you are an individual or the Town of C.B.S. Mr Woodland may not have the support of some people but he undoubtedly has the support of the law. It's apparent from the story that If anyone wishes to acquire the rights to Mr Woodland's property they will have to pay the price he's willing to sell it for. If somebody doesn't think that price is reasonable it is unlikely they will be acquiring those rights.

    • Jerry Sparkes Jr
      July 12, 2012 - 07:37

      While I respect YOUR opinion, please respect MINE by not using MY name to express your point of view, This is clearly an unsuccessful tactic performed in desperation in an attempt to try and discredit any of my previous comments. Nice try Woodland Jerry (Jr)

    • How Low Can You Go
      July 12, 2012 - 09:55

      Wow!!!!! How low can you go to start writing comments in the name of one of the family members trying to pretend there is some morality to this. The Town has the right to hook Mr Sparkes up to the existing tap that is already at his boundary, if not already on his property (the Town should survey the exact location on the shutoff they have already installed). And Woodland still has the ability to say go ahead and hookup to the town services but I still own the land and the Town only has an easement for the shutoff system. Wouldn't that be a great expression on Mr Woodland's part to say, "Hey, I don't mean the man any malice.". Then Woodland and his family no longer have to be the scorn of the community.

  • digger up
    July 11, 2012 - 16:30

    I say just go ahead and dig a trench 3ft by 6ft across the property for the water line. If Mr Woodland wants to show up and dispute a small trench across his property, use the bucket of the backhoe and put him in it. Then backfill. Problem solved.

    July 11, 2012 - 14:02

    In response to IN AGREEMENT al. I respect your hardcore interpretation. But this is a common law society where not just the black and white writings in a book pose as the only alternate solution. You are clearly a person who has clean drinking water. Do you sir have to go to nearby neighbours, knock on their door and ask permission to use their garden hose to get clean water? The Sparkes Family do this.... and you try to pass this situation as if you are trading hockey cards for a G.I Joe toy?? Fresh water is NOT a full-out luxury... it is a NECESSITY!! No family should have to give up their front lawn, or building lots to get an easement to run pipes underneath the ground in order that they get fresh water. Even if he did get the hook-up – it will pose absolutely no implications on Wayne Woodland. Would he not sleep right at night knowing there are pipes underneath the ground? So why does he restrict it? Why does he prevent this from happening? I will tell you – because he established this buffer with the greedy intentions of hold the family ransom for A) giving up large portions of value property or B) forcing a massive payment of money to allow a water / sewer hook up. Wayne Woodland should be ashamed of himself... and once this reaches CBC / NTV new ...Open Line... petitions... then at least he will wear the reputation.

  • Jerry
    July 11, 2012 - 11:18

    ....and on a side note, our family has no issues with paying a REASONABLE.....(not thousands and thousands of dollars, or huge portions of my fathers property) for access beyond this 3ft wide buffer.

  • In agreement with land owners' rights
    July 11, 2012 - 07:12

    There's quite a few people who have no difficulty telling a land owner what he should or shouldn't do with a piece of land that he has legal title. Thankfully, there are laws which uphold those property rights even though many people have little or no understanding of them. Mr Goodland already presented Mr Sparkes with an offer to trade this piece of land for a piece of Mr Sparkes land. If Mr Sparkes don't want to accept the offer, he has to find an alternative route - It's as simple as that. The ball is in your court Mr Sparkes. Maybe a piece of your land is more valuable to you than access to clean drinking water.

    • Jerry
      July 11, 2012 - 10:07

      Pay attention! Do you even know where this boundary is??……Stop trying to justify an injustice. Your lack of knowledge of the matter provides little insight to the REAL facts! The offer Mr. “Goodland” provided my father with was TOTALLY unreasonable, and embarrassing to say the least! Furthermore….this trading of land you speak of was regarding access for a driveway that was offered to my father for parking off of Leewood place, not for water and sewer as you suggest. This offer was in exchange for a much, much larger portion of property! Let me ask you Mr./Ms. Agreement, is this fair???…….How quick would you be to act upon such an offer?? Get your facts straight before you offer your incompetent opinions!!

    • Senseless
      July 11, 2012 - 12:33

      Nobody disputes legal title. The issue is meanness and begrudging a neighbor the ability to connect to the town water supply WITHOUT causing Mr Wayne WOODLAND (not Goodland - an oximon) any loss of enjoyment or value to his property. There isn't any other way to cut it. Mr Sparkes made a reasonable offer, but Wayne Woodland chose to hold him ransom, hence the colocial term ransom strip on such narrow strips of boundary. The Town should validate the road is actually as per the survey - not too many would trust Woodlands word.

    • Town Just Needs the Will
      July 11, 2012 - 13:50

      What a crime when the Town negotiated an easement from Mr Sparkes, and told him he could get hooked up to the line as it passed his house, only to to told AFTER the Town installed the hookup shutoff to his boundary that they could not hook him up because Woodland says NO. Not only is it morally heartless on the part of Woodland, but the Town has the right to expropriate if necessary to extend their infrastructure. Perhaps the Town should verify if the shutoff is already on Mr Sparkes property, and if so they should hook him up. Where is Woody now? Who can't run a two hole S#*thouse now?

  • bobby matthews
    July 11, 2012 - 02:59

    the bottom line is that mr sparks and his family are in need of water and woodland is too hard of heart to give up a very very small peice of land to help out a neighbour in need .shame on you woodland. and hopefully one day you too well be in desperate need of one of lifes basic and essentail needs .may the wrath of GOD befall you.

  • Jerry
    July 10, 2012 - 16:28

    .......continued from previous comment This long, less than 3 ft strip of land is completely useless to Mr. Woodland, and its ONLY purpose is to provide Mr. Woodland with the bargaining power to restrict access to back lots, and (as recently experienced) restrict a kind humble family who have been residents of Conception Bay South for over 30 years, to fresh clean water. These issues have been brought to the attention of our elected leaders in CBS, but sadly have fell upon deaf ears. Instead of receiving water and sewer, the town of CBS expropriated a portion of my father’s property to accommodate services meant to provide each resident of Leewood Pl with the basic necessities of life, except us! My father was given just over $2000.00 as compensation for the use of at least one building lot, (a building lot which is now unusable due to underground piping support for water and sewer, and not accessible due to the aforementioned buffer). Mr. Woodland was compensated just over $30.00 for expropriation of his crossing portion. This clearly demonstrates the dollar value of the Mr. Woodlands property in relation to the moral value of holding a financially struggling family ransom to the basic necessities of life. Contrary to Woodlands comment, there is NOT a hook up at the end of the driveway facing Dunn’s Hill road so that my parents can connect to Water & Sewer. When services went in Dunn's Hill Road, the Council avoided installing a hook-up connector because the length and slope of the driveway to my father’s home made it impractical to install a lift station when services could easily be installed from Leewood place. Over the years, my parents have tried relentlessly to contact Mr. Woodland for a solution, with no response or positive direction to discuss or even entertain the issue; despite his comments on how it could have been resolved. My father did not blatantly cross Mr. Woodland’s buffer. He was simply under the impression that the onus was on the Town of CBS to provide such a necessary service regardless of the status of the restrictive access, and under that premise believed his family was entitled to it. (Based on the words of a fellow council employee that told him so at the time services were installed on Dunn’s hill, (whose name will be withheld….for now)). All my parents want is to run water / sewer pipes under the ground so that they can have fresh clean water. What is happening on Leewood place is completely unethical and immoral, not to mention inconceivable! In my attempt to clarify some of the facts, I encourage comments or opinions about this matter. If you need further clarification, let me know as well. This matter will also be published in the shoreline within the next several weeks! Jerry Sparkes (Jr)

    • Jerry
      July 11, 2012 - 10:17

      I stand corrected on the expropriation comment, it was an easement that was established

  • B
    July 10, 2012 - 16:14

    Way to go Woodland, thank God you don't live on Wildwood, you don't sound like the type of neighbor I would want. I have known the Sparkes family for almost 30 years, ans I can guarantee you that if the roles were reversed, YOU SIR would have no problem getting a water line across THEIR property. That is the kind of people they are. Ever hear of Karma buddy ?

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 11, 2012 - 12:24

      Just a reminder - Woodland would NOT have his water and sewer connection had Mr Sparkes not permitted the Town an easement over his property for the Towns lines. Take note the Town did not utilize the Woodland ransom strip for the line feeding the subdivision. Where are the morals of the Town - we know Woodland has none.

  • Eva
    July 10, 2012 - 15:18

    Get off the backs of the tyrants at the Town Hall. To hell with water. The more residences (read Little Boxes Little Boxes) the more taxes. The more taxes the more justification for salary increases. Did I mention Woody and his fellow paracites on council achieve those same benefits?

  • Jerry
    July 10, 2012 - 14:46

    It is unfortunate that many of the true facts are unmentioned and left to the reader’s judgment. This issue is quite complex and is certainly worthy of a little clarification. In a nutshell, Mr. Woodland originally owned a large piece of property directly adjacent to my father's property. He later developed a road (now Leewood PL) on his property in the form of a subdivision. Before the Town of CBS took responsibility for the road after its completion, Mr. Woodland cleverly retained a small (almost senseless) narrow strip of land (called a "Buffer" - a couple of feet in width) that extends along the entire edge of Leewood PL adjacent to my father’s property. In other words; there is a very thin strip of land (similar to that of a yellow line in the centre of a highway) which sits between my father’s property and this road. Ironically, one of the conditions set by the Town of CBS (during its corruption days) to Mr. Woodland was that after development of the road a portion of the land must be a retained for playground development. A condition that was never met. Clearly, the narrow strip of land has no meaningful purpose, other than to be used as collateral or as a bargaining tool in an effort to persuade my father into selling his property both in the front and behind his residence as was well established in previous negotiations between Mr. Woodland and my father. It is important to note that this road, once developed, (20 years ago) now allowed immediate access to the potential building lots, (i.e. my father's backyard) and at the time unknown to us, the buffer was strategically placed to hold our family ransom, and under the complete mercy of Mr. Woodland. This type of restriction is now illegal, but was established at a time when most of us abided by a moral code of ethics (in a not so long ago time). This long

  • Jerry
    July 10, 2012 - 13:08

    It is unfortunate that many of the true facts are unmentioned and left to the reader’s judgment. This issue is quite complex and is certainly worthy of a little clarification. In a nutshell, Mr. Woodland originally owned a large piece of property directly adjacent to my father's property. He later developed a road (now Leewood PL) on his property in the form of a subdivision. Before the Town of CBS took responsibility for the road after its completion, Mr. Woodland cleverly retained a small (almost senseless) narrow strip of land (called a "Buffer" - a couple of feet in width) that extends along the entire edge of Leewood PL adjacent to my father’s property. In other words; there is a very thin strip of land (similar to that of a yellow line in the centre of a highway) which sits between my father’s property and this road. Ironically, one of the conditions set by the Town of CBS (during its corruption days) to Mr. Woodland was that after development of the road a portion of the land must be a retained for playground development. A condition that was never met. Clearly, the narrow strip of land has no meaningful purpose, other than to be used as collateral or as a bargaining tool in an effort to persuade my father into selling his property both in the front and behind his residence as was well established in previous negotiations between Mr. Woodland and my father. It is important to note that this road, once developed, (20 years ago) now allowed immediate access to the potential building lots, (i.e. my father's backyard) and at the time unknown to us, the buffer was strategically placed to hold our family ransom, and under the complete mercy of Mr. Woodland. This type of restriction is now illegal, but was established at a time when most of us abided by a moral code of ethics (in a not so long ago time). This long

    • Jerry
      July 10, 2012 - 14:41

      seems only part of my comment was published...I'll try posting again

  • Political Watcher
    July 10, 2012 - 11:01

    Yet again another example of the incompetence that is present at the Town Hall. There is a toal void of leadership there and the only ones who seem to get help are the ones with the deep pockets. Woody is on the public record as saying the Town wouldn't run a two hole S#*thouse; then why does he staill have the same leader in place that was there when he made that statement? The Town operates like it is stuck in the dark ages, just ask any business person who had developed anything in the Town the past few years and see what they say. The Town does have the authority to run the servics through this property all the need is the will. Wake up people and do what it is you are geting paid to do - SERVE THE PEOPLE.

  • dougy
    July 09, 2012 - 19:19


    July 09, 2012 - 15:19

    This is a sad story

  • Engineer
    July 09, 2012 - 15:14

    this is a terrible situation

  • Bob
    July 09, 2012 - 15:06

    What purpose does Mr. Woodland have with this 3x2 ft strip of land?

    • Senseless
      July 10, 2012 - 13:20

      Perhaps Wayne Woodland needs more space to park his tractor trailers in this quiet residential neighborhood. Maybe the boundary he owns will let him park lots of tonka trucks as noted earlier. This is absolutely pathetic on both the part of the Town and Wayne Woodland. Really, what does he have to gain by denying a water hookup to his neighbour? Be a decent guy and let the man hook up to the water system..

    July 09, 2012 - 14:52

    shame on Wayne Woodland and the town of CBS!

  • Defaced Optimist
    July 09, 2012 - 14:46

    I will be so bold as to imply that I probably know this situation better than most, as I am close friend to the Sparkes family. And I will tell you that there are no two-sides to this story – it is simple and full of plan simple facts that even a child can understand. First off it is a break down and lack of leadership by both the Mayor and MHA of CBS, to even allow such thing to happen, and to openly ignore the situation or fail to help Mr. Sparkes in receiving fresh water. Everyone does realize that Wayne Woodland is spitefully restricting the Sparkes’ family from receiving fresh clean water. is a 3 x 2 ft piece of land which Wayne Woodland owns called a “Buffer” which runs down along the side of a subdivision road. Mr. Sparkes has offered to buy this massively huge landing strip of 3 x 2ft of Wayne, but he has no luck... and so.. his price would be thousands!! It is not like the Sparkes’ is wanting to dig up Wayne’s front yard for this water hook-up. I don’t think people are imagining the right picture here? Go look at any subdivision and the houses on it...then in vision an imaginary buffer 3x2 ft strip down along the ditch area... this is the land we speak of. And when requesting assistance from the MHA and Mayor of CBS, they bail on him! He wants fresh water – not a Villa!! How can Wayne Woodland and the Town of CBS openly ignore such request? It is absolutely unreasonable to think that he can connect using his main driveway due to the difference in elevation without massive cost which you or I can’t afford – BUT the question still remains – WHY in the world would Wayne Woodland of CBS...RESTRICT another family from fresh clean water based on a 3x2 ft strip of land? This hook-up would do NOTHING to Wayne negatively or restrict him in any way. I near burst out laughing when I read that Wayne might want to use this land? 3 x 2 ft strip? For what? Dinkies and a Tonka truck? It’s ludicrous! And shame on the Mayor and MHA of CBS for not helping Mr. Sparkes get fresh water. Also Wayne – I am waiting for that playground you were suppose to place on that road as per municipal planning & regulations? Oh that’s right – the Mayor and MHA must of skipped over that one too. I guess that’s the benefit of Wayne’s life having family / connections in the Municipal Government of CBS.

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 10, 2012 - 10:50

      This story now seems to be the talk of the town. I'm told this road may not even be where it is was supposed to have been built and that some of the pavement had to be chopped up because it was on Mr Sparkes property. Maybe Mr Woodland don't really own the land in question. Did the Town actually survey the road before theybtookmt over? Perhaps the Town should do another survey and discover Mr Sparkes owns land the Town or Woodland claims and the the Town could pay restitution. Where is Mayor French now?

  • john
    July 09, 2012 - 12:50

    While I can see both sides of this situation Mr. Sparkes is in, I sympathise with Mr. Woodland. He is caqught between a rock and a hard place - he is wrong but he is legally right. One possible solution is to dig up to Mr. Woodland's property line on both sides going a bit deeper than needed. Then drive a steel or plastic pipe just wide enough to get the supply pipe across the area at most say 5 feet if the article is correct about the size of the disputed piece of land giving enough to get a foot or so into his land on both sides. Use an awger or "fish" to clear the pipe and put the supply line through to his property. Then he can hook into the municipal line.

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 09, 2012 - 17:00

      How can you say Woodland is between a rock and a hard spot? It costs him nothing, and he could still maintain ownership of the land. He just needs to say it's ok to connect to the water and sewer so his neighbor can have good water. How much hate must this man hold? Get past the pearly gates. Sorry, somebody else owns a one meter boundary.

    • The stub is there
      July 11, 2012 - 18:21

      i'm sure i read here the town piping is already ran from the towns roadway to mr Sparkes property but Woodland won't let him connect. Mr Sparkes even have to dig Woodlands land any more. It's already there.

  • saelcove
    July 09, 2012 - 09:46

    Whine whine tell him this 2012 and hook up the town water

    • carogers
      July 09, 2012 - 11:11

      What are you talking about????He can't hook up because the neighbour owns the land and won't let him use a 3 x 2 foot piece of land. The hook up on the opposite side requires two lift pumps to bringthe water to the house from that side of the property. Its not as simple as just hook it up. Read and comprehend before you make flipent remarks about another persons misery. Who ever said NLers were friendly was not describing this neighbourhood.

  • Silly Newfies
    July 09, 2012 - 09:18

    This wouldn't happen if this was in St. John's. I guess the townies aren't so bad now are they.

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 10, 2012 - 10:55

      I guess the Town used Mr Sparks property to service the subdivision because it was to expensive for the town to put in lift stations because of the depth but yet they say Mr Sparkes could put them in if he wants to hook up. Shame on the town, mayor French and Wayne Woodland.

  • Maggy Carter
    July 09, 2012 - 08:50

    @ Townie Too - Please don't presume to make a moral judgement of someone you don't know in a circumstance you likely know nothing about. Yes Mr. Sparkes has a reasonable expectation that his requirements for clean water will be accommodated by the municipality. But if the municipality needs an easement across privately held land to meet that expectation, then it must adhere to the process established in law. Council can negotiate with the land owner in question, failing which it can have a notice of expropriation served. Once the notice has been served, Council can proceed with the installation. Conclusion of the expropriation process can take some time after notice has been served. In a situation of this nature however (and assuming the story is accurate in describing it as a slim strip of land), the market value of the easement is unlikely to be very high. This is something the land owner might want to consider in setting a price for the purpose of negotiating a settlement without the need for expropriation. As an aside, I think this story would have been more complete if the facts had been confirmed with the town before publication.

      July 09, 2012 - 09:42

      @Maggy Carter-I do know this person and i do know the situation of circumstance and i know this has been going on for a few years , and the Mayor said,QUOTE There is nothing that they could do,UNQUOTE But you are right in saying that the story would have been more complete if the facts had been confirmed first

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 09, 2012 - 16:42

      The Town can expropriate the land the extend their infrastructure. The standpipe is already in place. Why can't Arns and Franey authorize the hookup? I hope the ransom strip of land is being taxed at the rate of the lots or land that it is blocking from development.

  • Baker
    July 09, 2012 - 08:08

    No help from Mayor French or his newphew MHA Terry French? No wonder, Arns and Franey at the town hall are the rulers of CBS.

    July 09, 2012 - 07:39

    i hope when his neighbour gets to the pearly gates he finds a bounbary around it, and ST" PETER tells him he cant cross it

    • ShameOnWoodland
      July 09, 2012 - 16:49

      If this is the Woodland I think it is, they spent their time at the alter of a local church, and now they are depriving a man and his family of good drinking water. And to think Mr Sparkes allowed the Town to go through his property to service the road, and now the Town won't remove the roadblock to let him get hooked up. Shame on the Town, and shame on Woodland.

  • barbaramoores
    July 09, 2012 - 07:25

    We are in CBS too. My well is dry because the water table is so low. I really sympathize with Mr. Sparkes and his family. No one in CBS, for any reason, should be going without safe drinking water. I can understand how excited they were to be getting hooked up. No one understands until you are in his situation or mine.The frustration and inconvenience is very very high.I hope for a speedy solution to your family's frustrations, Mr. Sparkes. Don't depend on any help from council. I have gotten none with my problems.

  • Townie
    July 09, 2012 - 06:51

    There are two sides to every story.

    • Barbara Moores
      July 09, 2012 - 15:04

      To clarify my statement about getting no help from council. This refers to the thousands I spent repairing my septic system last year. I got no help then from council. My councilor Steve Tessier is an excellent councilor who is trying his best to get water and sewer in my area. My family is grateful for his help. We are frustrated without water and sewer in this day and age. A little sympathy and compassion goes a long way when your neighbor needs help. I didn't want my comment previous to reflect on Mr. Tessier-he has been a strong supporter of water, sewer and pavement in my area and is always accessible when we need him.