Development will block sunlight: school council

Andrew Robinson
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But councillor says amended proposal is an improvement

The school council at Mary Queen of Peace Elementary in St. John’s is concerned about a proposal to build two tall buildings as part of the Tiffany Village seniors development. — Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

The school council at Mary Queen of Peace Elementary in St. John’s is concerned a proposal to build two tall buildings next to it to house seniors will cast a large shadow on school grounds.

In a letter sent to the city clerk’s office, school council chairman Tony Roche says the move to increase the height of the buildings for the Tiffany Village seniors development while reducing the number of buildings constructed there will block sunlight “to varying degrees throughout the school year.”

As an example, he said the amended proposal’s shadow studies show that in December, portions of either the play field or school will be covered all day by shadow, with a portion of the play field covered by shadow during the lunch period.

Coun. Danny Breen, whose Ward 1 district includes many of the school’s students, said the proposal to build two 16-storey buildings will reduce the size of the shadows in comparison to what was initially proposed for the area — five 10-storey buildings along with 30 townhouses.

“I don’t really understand that, because No. 1, you’re talking about two 16-storey buildings and a 10-storey building (that’s already built) as opposed to five 10-storey buildings,” said the councillor.


“Secondly, the playground and the soccer pitch are on the MacDonald Drive side of the school. They’re not on the side closest to Tiffany Village,” Breen said.

Breen said the view plane analysis included in the land use assessment report for the project shows the current proposal reduces the effect of shadowing when compared with the original proposal.

“From my perspective, what’s being proposed now is an improvement over what was approved in 2007. Is it going to cause more shadowing than it is now? Absolutely, but it’s going to cause less than what could be going there.”

Breen said the current proposal is preferable to the original when considering its effect on the local area.

“There’s less units, less density, more green space. It’s a lower-impact development, but the two new buildings are higher.”

The developer for Tiffany Village is KMK Properties Inc.

Amendments were adopted by council on May 13 that would permit building the 16-storey structures. That height exceeds current regulations in the area for a height not exceeding 10 storeys, therefore the amendments must be registered with the Department of Municipal Affairs.

A public hearing on the amendments is scheduled for June 4 at city hall. In a separate letter to parents at Mary Queen of Peace, Roche suggested parents contact city council members or write to the city clerk’s office if they share the school council’s concerns.

Roche stated in his letter to the city clerk’s office that the school council’s objections do not question the merit of the project, going on to note the shortage in accommodations for seniors in the city. Tiffany Village will provide independent and assisted living options.

Parents had previously ex-pressed concerns about traffic around the school in relation to the Tiffany Village project. In his letter, Roche said concerns remain about the project’s effect on traffic during the construction period for Stage 2 and in the long run.

Breen said the city is prepared to sit down with the developer, school administration and the school council to address any concerns that may arise relating to the construction phase — pending final approval for Stage 2 of the project.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew


Organizations: Stage 2, Department of Municipal Affairs.A

Geographic location: Tiffany Village

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Recent comments

  • ger
    May 30, 2013 - 18:40

    Wow!!! I thought I heard it all--height restriction,parking spaces, heritage areas--and now blocking out the sun--which one of you people are running for municipal elections?? Even Ms. O'Leary can't support this-----or can she??

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    May 30, 2013 - 09:04

    I will be the first one to state the obvious. Doesn't the sun have to shine in St.John's first before you can actually have a shadow. Maybe that should have been made a part of the study as well?

  • tally
    May 30, 2013 - 07:49

    So someone actually paid for a "shadow study"? I think people in st. johns will complain about anything. Next it will be that the construction effect the wind velocity in the playground, which would effect the pitch of a soft ball.

    • Jon
      May 30, 2013 - 08:30

      I think the "shadow study" is all part of the land use assessment report. You are right though. If these buildings were proposed downtown, there would be a massive uproar and people suggesting they get built somewhere outside of the downtown area. Now that we have this proposal for outside of the downtown, people are now complaining about shadows. Give me a break.

  • Jon
    May 30, 2013 - 07:17

    First views downtown and now shadows uptown. How much more shortsighted can people get in this city. Better put the brakes on this project. We can't have a shadow on a portion of a playground for a part of the year in the middle of winter. It just isn't acceptable!

  • Ed Fry
    May 30, 2013 - 06:55

    Good God. The school has lights, use them. You live in a city - get used to it and stop whining. It seems as if some people want St. John's to to remain stuck in the 19th century.

  • Denise Kavanagh
    May 30, 2013 - 06:53

    The fact that the overall footprint is smaller is a moot point. The new proposal has the buildings bordering on MQP as 60% taller. Clearly, the impact on the school is much worse than previously proposed. These buildings would also be some of the tallest buildings in St. John's.

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 08:39

      Oh Mon Dieu!!!! Heavens to purgatory a tall building in St. John's....That's it Marge.....the world will come to an end!