Blackhead campground recommended for rejection

Josh Pennell
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More than 50 people attended a public meeting at St. John’s City Hall to discuss an application to develop a park and campground on Blackhead Road. — Photo by Andrew Robinson/The Telegram

A proposal for a family campground on Blackhead Road has been recommended for rejection by City of St. John’s staff.

A public meeting on the proposal in June brought out a lot of area residents with concerns about noise. More than 50 people attended the meeting.

One resident, Phil Oliver, who has lived in the area all his life, expressed concerns about noise and traffic.

“We’ve got a little unique community out here,” Oliver said at the meeting. “It’s quiet.”

The proponents of the park, Bob Smith and Dave Francis, have tried to convey publicly that their vision is for a family-oriented destination and not a party spot.

“We just thought of it as an open opportunity to develop a place that is super family friendly and most importantly … to have an environment where the party atmosphere isn’t (welcome),” Smith said in a previous interview with The Tele­gram.

Both are residents of Shea Heights.

In the agenda for tonight’s council meeting, when the recommendation will be addressed, there are also a number of letters of support for the project, many of which state more accessible campgrounds are needed. Many of the people in support don’t live in the area of the campground, though, according to the addresses on the letters.

The proposal consists of 181 campsites — 38 pull-through sites for recreational vehicles and 143 back-in sites for tents and trailers. There were also 16 cabins and two yurts in the proposal, along with a two-storey mixed-use building.

The recommendation for rejection, signed by manager of planning and development Ken O’Brien, says the applicants provided a detailed site plan with a good layout that is sensitive to neighbouring properties in terms of buffers.

It also points out the area is a good one for such an endeavour, as high tourist traffic travels the road to Cape Spear.

The recommendation to reject comes from the noise factor. It says given the presence of nearby houses, there would be no reliable way to ensure noise would be controlled.

The proposal review and rejection recommendation will be brought before council at tonight’s meeting.

Geographic location: Blackhead Road

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Recent comments

  • Vinlander
    July 09, 2013 - 02:11

    We'll be camping off Blackhead Road this weekend. Catch us if you can!

    • david
      July 09, 2013 - 18:02

      Et voila, decision vindicated. Newfoundland 'camping' indeed, where everyone needs Coors more than food.

  • david
    July 08, 2013 - 17:51

    It wasn't going to be a was going to be a Newfoundland campground, which is a not-so subtle euphemism for an unruly, loud drunk tank. The only sensible, responsible, realistic decision was to reject it. When Newfoundland grows up, campgrounds might evolve into something that enhances everyone's summertime life experience. Don't hold your breath..

  • Westender
    July 08, 2013 - 14:51

    I would like to know if these guys who want to put that park there had a big name behind them or if they were politicians who had friends in high places would they be turned down.And since when did Black Head ever become a quite place.We down below the Brow have to put up with their speeding traffic.

  • seanoairborne
    July 08, 2013 - 13:42

    Geez!what a backwoods you have become,St.John's!!The nuts have taken over the asylum!!

    • david
      July 08, 2013 - 19:07

      The most purely ironic post conceivable. Priceless. Something a comedic genius might utter. But you didn't get it at all, did you? Still don't, probably.