David Jackman, the registered owner of land that has become the subject of a controversial development near Windsor Lake, is pictured at court in St. John’s today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram
Municipal boundaries, a disputed watershed area, contradicting zoning maps, and an apparent lack of communication are key issues is a dispute between the City of St. John’s and a local developer who has cleared a piece of land in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's — near the city water reservoir Windsor Lake — to build homes under permit from the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s.
Newfoundland Supreme Court Justice David Orsborn will oversee a hearing Sept. 9-11 to hear arguments from the various parties and come to a ruling.
The City of St. John’s filed a statement of claim against David Jackman, identified as the owner of 218-238 Oliver's Pond Road, and Cadillac Services Ltd., identified only as a business registered to operate in the province, claiming Jackman and the company failed to abide by stop work orders issued by the city.
St. John's is also seeking an injunction to prevent further development of the site which it claims is in the Windsor Lake watershed — one of the city's sources for drinking water.
According to the court documents, it says Jackman received approval from the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's in February to develop the land despite it being in the watershed area which prohibits certain developments. One of which is home building.
On July 16, the city wrote Jackman and the town advising them of the city's jurisdiction over the land. Ten days later, St. John's issued a stop work order.
The clearing of the property continued, says the statement of claim.
Last week the city issued a second stop work order and advised that if the work didn't cease, legal action would be taken.
Work continued, says the court document, and on Friday the city filed a statement of claim and an application for an injunction.
In court today, Jackman was represented by his lawyer Kevin Stamp, while Cadillac Services Ltd. was represented by Greg Kirby.
Lawyer Linda Bishop was representing the City of St. John’s.
When Orsborn asked what the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s position was on the matter, Bishop said the city has had limited communication with the town, she understood the town is consulting with the Department of Municipal Affairs.
Orsborn ordered the town to become a party to the case.
Stamp told the judge his client intends to stay off the site until a ruling is made in the case. He noted that the heavy equipment operators didn't receive word about the stop-work order until Monday.
At the heart of the case is which zoning map is right.
Bishop said according to the maps the city has, a portion of the land is a watershed area. Stamp, however, said "the registered zoning map the town had indicates it is not in a watershed area."
Bishop said while the road is in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, it's on a municipal boundary.
Meantime, some residents of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's say the controversial development also goes against the town’s rural character in that it has been clear-cut as if for a subdivision like you see in the city.