Rezoning application rejected by council

Josh Pennell
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Mount Pearl Coun. Dave Aker outlines for council why the application to rezone 40 lots in Pearlview should be rejected. — Photo by Josh Pennell/The Telegram

An application by a developer to rezone land under development was rejected at Tuesday’s Mount Pearl council meeting due to opposition by residents.

The developers of Pearlview subdivision had put a request before council to rezone 40 lots in Phase 6 of the development from a zone that allows residential single units without apartments to residential medium density, which would allow houses that contain apartments.

Following the council meeting, Coun. Dave Aker said the developers have a very good track record, but at a consultation meeting where residents currently living in Pearlview subdivision were invited to express their feelings on the matter, Aker said the reception to the idea was very cold.

“Most of the reaction we got from the residents who turned out for the briefing session as well as email and written correspondence was very negative towards this rezoning. Nobody really spoke on behalf of the rezoning with the exception of the developer,” he said.

The concerns raised at the briefing were included increased density, increased traffic, potential for increased crime, loss of green space and decreases in property values due to these issues. Aker said the issue of increased density particularly could not be ignored.

“Some of the issues we’re seeing you could classify as NIMBY (not in my backyard) but the central issue is yes, you are increasing the density of the neighbourhood.”

The people currently in the development had bought homes in an area that allowed only residential single units and to suddenly change that was felt by council to be unjust to residents.

“They view it as a change in the middle of the game,” said Aker.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Coun. John Walsh also spoke on the issue.

“We take our lead from the people who are most affected by the decision,” he said, adding the combination and number of arguments council received from residents in the area were too many and too varied to ignore.

Following the council meeting, Aker also said that in this particular development — which runs from Topsail Road north towards Masonic Park — the basement apartment rate is about 67 per cent compared to the typical average in the city of Mount Pearl of just under 30 per cent.

That fact also had a large impact on council’s decision.

“We did not want to see the percentage or the depth of the basement apartments increase by changing the zoning. That was a compelling factor in council’s decision,” Aker said.

Council voted unanimously to reject the rezoning application.

Organizations: Mount Pearl council

Geographic location: Pearlview, Topsail Road, Masonic Park Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Baymen
    July 10, 2013 - 15:09

    What's to stop someone from buying a house there and after moving in turning the basement into an unregistered apartment

  • Gus
    July 10, 2013 - 14:54

    You on the payroll at Cardinal Homes or what, Jack? You're pretty worked up over a couple of basement apartments.

  • Jack
    July 10, 2013 - 13:36

    Perhaps Dave Aker and Mount Pearl City Council should be tested for "Corner Brook Syndrome" as they reject legitimate subdivisions and businesses for foolish reasons. In the case of Corner Brook, this Western Newfoundland City has a terrible reputation for being anti-business as they constantly reject great businesses like the Modular Home Plant, mineral exploration, teen dance hall, John's Point, and believe it or not, even Costco. This anti-business and red tape heavy climate results in a new syndrome called "Corner Brook Syndrome", and I'm afraid that Mount Pearl has now caught it along with NIMBYism. The only cure is embrace development and much needed new subdivisions or Mount Pearl will suffer the same consequences as Corner Brook.

  • Jack
    July 10, 2013 - 13:26

    NIMBYism and "Corner Brook Syndrome" has struck again. No more holding back progress Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, especially the Greater St. John's area, or this important provincial economic core area will end up like Corner Brook.