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.