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  • Jay
    May 31, 2013 - 09:41

    City Council needs to develop regulations and follow them. Nobody in this city, developers or ordinary citizens, know what the rules are because even when there are regulations, the city will change them on a whim. There is too much ad hoc development without any planning. The roads are congested, we have a shortage of water every year, and all the city wants to do is cut back services. Unfettered development is simply not the answer.

  • adam Milton
    May 30, 2013 - 20:01

    Imagine you buy a lot in Southlands. You apply for a permit to build a house, and City Hall blocks it because the guy across the street likes to gaze across your lot at the birds and the trees. All his friends in the neighborhood signed a petition because they walk by and also like the forest view. Crazy!! This is the same situation, just a different view. If you own a property, there should be no question about building within the rules. Why is City Hall ignoring people’s property rights? This is a scary precident!

  • Sane
    May 30, 2013 - 19:53

    Why is everyone referring to NYC and London? The reason people visit here is because it is the exact opposite of those places. People flood here in the summer months to get out of their concrete jungles and experience a place with room to breathe. If you even read half way through the article, it says he is not against a development at all - all he is proposing is a development that strikes a balance between preservation and growth. This isn't about tearing down rotten buildings - it is an empty green space and ALWAYS has been. Besides, this is about 5 residents getting the benefit of a view at the expense of the public, not a high rise or a building. But no one is talking about anti-development in this case, so pull back your bias and angry attitudes and get a life. Not every body who wants to see culture and heritage preserved is an anti-development hippie, just like you're not an uneducated angry redneck, right?

  • Sane
    May 30, 2013 - 19:42

    Why is everyone referring to NYC and London? The reason people visit here is because it is the exact opposite of those places. People flood here in the summer months to get out of their concrete jungles and experience a place with room to breathe. I would wage that half of you have never even been on the street they mention in this article. If you even read half way through it, it says he is not against a development at all - all he is proposing is one that strikes a balance between preservation and growth. This isn't about tearing down rotten buildings - it is an empty green space and ALWAYS has been. Besides, this is about 5 residents getting the benefit of a view at the expense of the public, not a high rise or a building. Yet no one is talking about anti-development in this case, so pull back your bias and angry attitudes and get a life.

  • Adam Milton
    May 30, 2013 - 18:50

    Imagine you buy a lot in Southlands. You apply for a permit to build a house, and City Hall blocks it because the guy across the street likes to gaze across your lot at the birds and the trees. All his friends in the neighborhood signed a petition because they walk by and also like the forest view. Crazy!! This is the same situation, just a different view. If you own a property, there should be no question about building within the rules. Why is City Hall ignoring people’s property rights? This is a scary precident!

  • Southside Roader
    May 30, 2013 - 15:54

    @surprised I have children walking Southside Rd we already have traffic and speeding issues I guess you are not from this area.We are a sub-standard Rd I don,t know if you know what that means but goggle it and get the meaning high rise buildings are the last things that we need a park in the west end and all the schools in the area we don,t want them put them in your neighborhood.

  • seanoairborne
    May 30, 2013 - 14:09

    I wonder where Mr.West comes from?West isn't a popular name in Newfoundland.And since he's only lived in the DT area for 14 yrs. I'll bet dollars to donuts that he's a come from away?Say,Ontario or some other waller?Geez!St.John's would be stuck in the dark ages with thinking like Mr.West's,and Old Shannie (who is on the way out thank God) Duff!They act like spoiled brats when they don't get their way.And to California Pete;Comparing DT St.John's to DT La is a stretch.There are no 12 story buildings in DT La.Except probably an occasional public bath house.

    • lindy
      May 31, 2013 - 23:05

      Calling 5 townhouses "development" is a joke. This is just a way for a developer to make a few bucks and shag anyone it negatively affects. After he makes his few dollars and moves on, he doesn't have to think about it again. But to the residents he's blocking the views of, their values in their property immediately decreases, since the view of the Harbour and Signal Hill add considerable value to the property, not just the wood it's made of.

  • Saucy Face
    May 30, 2013 - 12:29

    Mr West, If you and all others living in the downtown want a guaranteed view of the harbour from your living room window buy a houseboat and move it whenever another houseboat or ship gets in your way. Other than that, suck it up. Can't wait to see the racket that the residents of Victoria Street are going to kickup when they see what's planned for the parking lot on Perscott and Duckworth street. LOL

  • California Pete from NFLD
    May 30, 2013 - 12:20

    I said it before. Might as well go downtown LA if I want to see tall rotten buildings we have plent of them . Why ruin a good thing for the Cruse Ship turism after all they come to see Canada's oldest town and expect something real old not like LA downtown. There are pleny of them around

  • Saucy Face
    May 30, 2013 - 11:51

    Mr West, If you and all others living in the downtown want a guaranteed view of the harbour from your living room window buy a houseboat and move it whenever another houseboat or ship gets in your way. Other than that, suck it up. Can't wait to see the racket that the residents of Victoria Street are going to kickup when they see what's planned for the parking lot on Perscott and Duckworth street. LOL

  • DOWNTOWN RESIDENT
    May 30, 2013 - 11:15

    I don't understand the complaining because there is a better view from the parking lot next door which is easily accessible from Prescott.

  • Sean
    May 30, 2013 - 10:44

    No one, including the reporter, seems to know that the City actually approved and endorsed an analysis several years ago protecting certain public views, and ensuring that development will not block certain views. I'm not sure what the status is of this viewplane analysis, whether it was incorporated into the municipal plan or not, but it is readily accessible: http://www.stjohns.ca/heritage-areas-heritage-buildings-and-public-views-report One thing I do know, however, is that Nunnery Hill was not included in this study, unfortunately, because it is arguably the best publically accessible viewing area of the downtown and harbour from within the downtown itself. It has the bonus that it is easily accessible by pedestrians including tourists from Duckworth Street.

  • Walking Joe
    May 30, 2013 - 10:30

    While I can understand Mr. West being disappointed about the loss of this view the fact of the matter is that he does not own this view. As for a public view well that is debatable. The public is mobile so it sight lines constantly change. How does one define a public view? Is it even a valid point? As an avid walker I have admired this view many times however I am able to move myself to another location to have a view as good if not better. Views constantly change in a growing city and we are certainly growing. I remember a few years back when the management of the Fairmount (Now the Sheraton) complained about the loss of their view from the Courtyard Garden with the approval of the Narrows condominium. At that time Ms. Duff’s response was that if they wanted to protect their sight line that they should have purchased the land when it was for sale, a valid point. Maybe Mr. West and other residents who are appalled could get together and buy the land in question to protect the view.

  • informed taxpayer
    May 30, 2013 - 10:01

    Here we go again a few flower children holding up progress. If tourists want to see the narrows theres a great view at the rooms.

    • Cletus the slack-jawed taxpsyer
      May 30, 2013 - 11:38

      Dagnabbit, it's dem hippies!

  • P F Murphy
    May 30, 2013 - 09:33

    We have a resource which is St. John's and its our downtown. It brings us in something like $172 million a year with the Tourist trade. We sell those post boxes with the multi-colour houses, pictures, embroideries and everything else of the houses downtown and we have the views from all through the city. You can see this all across Canada and it is what St. John's is known for and it is why people spend their money to come here and experience it. Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, etc, etc, don't have this, they have other draws. Everyone who wants to make a buck, be it office towers, hotels, restaurants, condominia, you name it, wants to horn in on part of that so they can sell their rooms, meals, housing faster and for a better price. Our City Councillors want to dissipate what draws the World to St. John's for each crappy development buck to please their developer campaign contributors; they seem to be blind to the fact that once our tourist draw is gone, the tourists will not come just to have a view of office towers or hotels or four storey houses from the houses across the street. There is no open, go on for miles across the ocean view to that. That they can have in Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver. That we do not have a view plain regulation - or should I say suggestion because nothing Council has ever enacted seems to be a rule - is an example of how much this City and its Council is in the pocket of "the quick buck makers". These Councillors should all be gone this September and then people who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on their own properties to conform to the downtown regulations (regulations only for the little folks) and keep our tourism industry alive would have a say about what happens to their environment which has made St. John's an international phenomenon.

  • Anna
    May 30, 2013 - 09:26

    This council has ruined downtown, they let the Battery Hotel be sold to MUN, they have allowed that building next to the Keg to be built blocking all the view from the Murray Premises Hotel while surrounding the harbour in a fence. There is no planning into the road structure downtown for all those extra vehicles, all they are interested is in is more and more construction.

  • Ed
    May 30, 2013 - 09:20

    Every time someone wants to build something downtown some of the activists who live there raise the cry about their "view" being obstructed. They do not own the "view" and do not have the right to stop another property owner from developing their land. It used to be that this rant was only heard when the proposal required an exception to area zoning, now it happens even if it is within current zoning laws. Give us a break.. Here's a solution for you, We will get the city to determine what the increased tax revenue will be for the proposed development, then anyone who wants to stop it can sign up (literally "sign up") if you get enough signatures and are successful in stopping the development then the people who signed will be responsible for the annual payment of the lost taxes to the city. The rest of us should not be penalized. Let's see how strongly they feel about their views.

    • Robb
      May 30, 2013 - 11:14

      Right on Ed.....I mean, where in the world can you buy property that guarantees a view forever...???.....You have no right to say what people do with their own property.....I have never heard such a bunch of bull....and then to throw the tourist's view into the mix, again, pure bullcrap........if a tourist wants to get a view of say, the harbour, there are lots of places to do it from...the view from the rooms could not be better.....and I would agree Ed, that if the complainers had to pay the losses out of their own pockets, they wouldn't make a peep.......and these heritage creeps, they want us all in the 18th century...St. John's has, and always will have a certain character, so we need to hear little from the heritage creeps.

  • Esron
    May 30, 2013 - 09:17

    " Downtown is our biggest tourist destination" -Jordan Is it? Or is it Cape Spear, or Signal Hill, or Quidi Vidi? Or maybe it might even be our ""friendliness"" A Downtown is just that, a Downtown, with all of the hustle and bustle that should come about in a properly running downtown, and that includes development. So long as the development fits the "brand" that the downtown should cohesively try portray, so be it.

  • Doug Long
    May 30, 2013 - 08:36

    When tourists and other visitors come to St. John's they love the view of the narrows. We here in Newfoundland love the view. St. John's residents love taking pictures and bring family and guests to vantage points to enjoy the beautiful scenery and views of the narrows, the battery and the harbour. Those national TV viewers who watch Republic of Doyle love the pictures and film of our most valued possession - the view of downtown St. John's and the harbour area. They buy tickets, they book hotel rooms, they shop in our retail outlets and they spend their money here, because of the view and pictures that they will take home. This is not Gross Morne. This is St. John's and it is the harbour front view that attracts our visitors. That ugly elephant called the Rooms robbed the most beautiful view of our downtown area. The two large tall buildings near the Mile One did the same. Sure, take away the Nunnery Hill viewpoint. Take away the Signal Hill viewpoint. Big business has cash to buy their way in and they want to make more cash. For God sake, can the developers build anywhere else. It is to late fr Quidi Vidi, because no stopped the building there. These business people who rob these view points from all of us are doing it for only one reason - Cash in their pockets. Smarten up people and smarten up City Hall.

    • Peter Quinlan
      May 30, 2013 - 09:23

      Doug: The view of The Narrows is protected within the confines of a National Historic Site at Signal Hill (as it should be). People visit Signal Hill, not Nunnery Hill. (Who outside of town has heard of Nunnery hill?) Politically Incorrect: Fortis certainly wasn't seeking a "status symbol" with their proposed office building on Water Street. The city is under served with commercial office space & it wanted to capitalize on the booming oil industry here (something you are probably opposed to as well). I hope the powers to be at Fortis are reading these comments and cut any funding to the Arts community downtown, since the arts community are generally opposed to any type of development Fortis proposes.

  • Surprised
    May 30, 2013 - 08:25

    I don't agree with all the tall buildings downtown. They could build with the contour of the hill with 4-5 stories on Water St going up to 1 story on Lemarchant. Go a little west. I am surprised they haven't demolished all the old houses south of LeMarchant Road but that day will come.

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 09:00

      Just what do you think a downtown is supposed to have? All tiny midget sized buildings? Good Grief people if ye all do not like tall buildings being proposed for the city, there is always a nice hamlet somewhere around the bay that would suit you better.

    • Stephanie White
      May 30, 2013 - 09:24

      Chris, a city doesn't have to be a collection of fallic... I mean buildings. Quebec City built its core without disrupting the character of the city. We have plenty of land to build away from the already congested downtown core. Also, we don't have the parking or the sophisticated public transit that loarger cities have.

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 10:23

      Stephanie, you do realize that well over 85% of the buildings built in Quebec City would never see the light of day here in DT St. John's due to the height! Nice try at a comparison however!

    • Surprised
      May 30, 2013 - 13:19

      We don't need Water and Duckworth lined with 10 story buildings. That's a lot of offices and a lot of traffic. Why not Southside Rd west where you could go a little higher.?

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 14:04

      OMG really Surprised......so now you are saying you don't want increased foot traffic in your DT. Good Grief......what's next from you people demand all offices be forced to move from DT, you must be an artist are you.

  • Chantal
    May 30, 2013 - 08:14

    I find it amusing that the very people screaming NIMBYISM would be crying just as loud if subsidized housing units (or, god forbid, a group home) were being built across the road from them.

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 08:24

      Here is one that will never scream or complain about development no matter if it is across the street, right behind me or on either side of me. You wanna know why.......because THAT IS NOT MY PROPERTY.

    • carogers
      May 30, 2013 - 08:44

      Damm right Chantal, I'd be screaming if a group home were put across the street or down the street. You must live in a nice suburban neighbourhood. Have you heard of the problems the neighbours have with the one in Kilbride?? You are not informed enough to make this general statement. Just because you are unaware of the facts of group home neighbors does not give you the right to blast other people because they want to have" peaceful enjoyment of their property" which a right provided in the Canadian Charter of Rights. Group homes belong away from the city were they should be working a farm or ranch or some kind of actually activity where they learn a work ethic, self respect, and sense of community. Keeping young people in the same place where they go into trouble does nothing. Programs must provide an about face to the problems that got them there. Distance from their personal issues will give perspective and better decision making. Ultimately better citizens.

    • Chantal
      May 30, 2013 - 09:16

      Oh dear, I hit a nerve with, not only a Constitutional lawyer, but an expert on youth psychology. What about a group home for people with disabilities or elders. How about rehab? Why do you assume I meant youjng offenders?

  • Contrary Controversy
    May 30, 2013 - 08:05

    Townhouse? I hope they don't mean welfare housing on my tax dollar obstructing the view. Bums don't deserve a good view. I certainly hope this is not the case. Either way, this is not good news. Beautiful look out point :(

    • Kels
      May 30, 2013 - 12:22

      Yes that's right, every town house is inhabited by welfare recipients.

  • Jon
    May 30, 2013 - 08:01

    I've said it before and I will say it again, if you want a beautiful view from your home, you don't live in the most densly populated part of the city. Move out to Logy Bay or something if you want to be able to look out your kitchen window and have a nice view.

  • t
    May 30, 2013 - 08:01

    Nothing against development, but all things in moderations. Seems to me we have enough new housing developments in St. John's, and the vacancy rate and number of houses for sale seems a little high right now. It's getting to the point where you won't see a blade of grass in town anymore, someone always feels the need to slap a house or condo on it. And the council always allows it.

    • tom
      May 30, 2013 - 10:12

      A littlt high? Your cracked. There is next to norhing for rent in the city. If these people want a view let them poney up the cash to pay for the lost profit the developer would loose. If not shut it.

  • Downtown resident
    May 30, 2013 - 07:59

    I have been a downtown resident for over 30 years,and yes I love it I have my own home just around the corner from Holloway Street I do believe that if someone wants to build on their own property then it should happen,but give everyone the same right of way lift this silly heritage by law if I want to put siding,casement windows on my house then that should be my right I have of street parking this apartment building is going to have parking so what's the problem .Mr West kick up about all these B and B,s and and small business,s that did,nt reqiure parking when they apply for a permit now all of a sudden they B and B,s are allowed to hold 3 visitors permits per business but a home owner are only allowed one.So before everyone has a opinion and tell me to move,remember when we bought 40 years ago we were not heritage we were the slum part of St John,s.

  • John
    May 30, 2013 - 07:53

    Once again 200 dictating to the 112000, sick of this bunch,

  • Cat
    May 30, 2013 - 07:50

    People in this City should realize that it really isn't much about the residents and their wants, needs or happiness anymore, the days of Dorothy Wyatt are gone I'm afraid :-) It's about business, a money grab, more taxes. I fully understand that the City needs to revenue to operate, I get business, I run a business but with all their policies, rules and regulations they can't develop one that protects the everyday person and the heritage of this City, and yes people the view in this City is our heritage. Everywhere else in the civilized world solutions are found that encourage development without destroying the view, the landscape etc. There's not enough tax dollars rolling in from one or several individuals I guess to care about their wants or needs. Might I remind the City that many people in that area have been paying taxes for a very long time, their rights should be protected as well, should they not? and yet you are willing to throw aside their concerns and bend to the wants of another developed ? They've ruined the view from the lower levels of the Sheraton, they RUINED the view from in front of the Basilica and the list goes on and my friends they will ruin your view as well. Good luck but I think money is the issue not luck

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 08:08

      Can you say entitled much????? I'd love to see you live in NYC or London!

    • Jordan
      May 30, 2013 - 08:45

      Self entitled? It's a valid point, Downtown is our biggest tourist destination not to be destroyed by over indulgent contractors. NYC and London are huge cities, not a small island..

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 09:04

      So Jordan, just because we live in a tiny island we should not have any progression or development, we should keep DT as the slums it was before it magically became a heritage haven?

    • Bill
      May 30, 2013 - 12:02

      @JORDAN NYC has a total land area of 784 square km, metro St. John's has a land area of 804 square km, what makes it a "huge city" again ?? hmmm

  • Kent
    May 30, 2013 - 07:49

    Peope here are are completely out to lunch with this anti-downtown development.. If these kinds of attitudes existed in NYC, London or other major world cities, none would have ever developed to be the great destinations they are today

  • Peter Quinlan
    May 30, 2013 - 07:41

    Public View? Since when was this considered a Public View? It's people like Lionel and Councilor O'leary who are opposed to people's property rights. Same thing happened a few years ago when Fortis proposed a new development on Water Street next to Fortis Place. Get over it people-- sorry you DON'T own the sight plains. Increased development means more revenue for the city which in turn means increased amenities (I.e. - improvements to Bannerman Park, etc.) Development is not necessarily a bad thing, although you can't tell these people that. They are too busy bitching about prosperity. Typical left-wingers.

    • Politically Incorrect
      May 30, 2013 - 08:03

      There's intelligent democratic development (referred to by right-wingers ad anti-development) based on the needs, the character, and input of the community and development imposed by business and their Council representatives in backroom deals on the people of the city. The former results in a liveable city with business having a part but, taking a back seat to the public welfare -- as it should be. The latter results in a chaotic pattern of development eg. Toronto's increasingly inaccessible Harbourfront and Stavanger Drive. Did Fortis need a place on the waterfront or was it a status thing? (oh, and Kent, London does have strict zoning laws, hence Canary Wharf)

  • Gordon Gekko
    May 30, 2013 - 07:17

    Now that Councilor Duff, who is an actual believer in the historical significance of downtown St. John's, is retiring from public office it's perfect timing for the anti-development gang to show it's true colors: It's never really about heritage, it's all about NIMBYism, property values, and construction noise. This development meets all the criteria, so cry me a river. Shannie didn't even go to their meeting. I have nothing against Councilor Duff personally but she definitely does enable the NIMBYists, and thankfully it's going to be their loss to not have that sort of support on council anymore.

    • Kent
      May 30, 2013 - 11:17

      @Politically Incorrect .... Yeah, London has also existed since before the days of the Romans... They have buildings hundreds of years old worth preserving.. St. John's has ramshackle huts of buildings and only a handful are more than 100 yrs old. If these attitudes were prevalent in New York, they would still be living in cabins on Manhattan. People here are so backward and culturally myopic it's pathetic. Furthermore, if there are high rises in downtown St. John's, then more people can enjoy the vistas of the Harbor and narrows, rather than those few who refuse anything taller than a salt-box.

  • Ed Fry
    May 30, 2013 - 06:52

    NIMBYISM at its worst. You are not entitled to preserve a view at the expense of a landowner that wishes to use their land. Flipping it on its head, perhaps someone across the street from Mr. West could claim that HIS house is blocking THEIR view and should therefore be removed. If Mr. West does not like it, he is free to move to another location with a better view - perhaps he could purchase one of the new townhouses?

    • Peg
      May 30, 2013 - 10:37

      What is the meaning of nimbyism?? I looked in the thesaures & it shows no such word - or nimby??? What does it mean?

    • NIMBY
      May 30, 2013 - 13:24

      NIMBY = not in my back yard

    • Chris
      May 30, 2013 - 13:26

      Peg....here is the definition of nimbyism: the practice of objecting to something that will affect one or take place in one's locality