Council removes resident’s rocks

Andrew Robinson
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Portugal Cove man upset town took boulders from private property

A Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s resident is upset with the town for taking rocks off his private property.

Jim Neary used to have boulders on this piece of land in Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, but he says the town council removed them.

“It’s on my land. It’s private property. They got no business on my private property,” Jim Neary said.

Neary paid to have rocks placed on a piece of land across from his home on Beachy Cove Road. He said the property at 44-46 Beachy Cove Road is registered in his name.

According to Neary, diners at Atlantica Restaurant were using it as a parking lot. At one point Neary allowed an Atlantica sign to be placed there, but the town requested that it be taken down, he said.

Neary, a former mayor and town councillor in the community, had the land roped off, but someone eventually tossed the rope over the bank, he said. It was at that point he decided to pay a company to place a pile of boulders on the land.

“I am paying taxes on it,” he said.

In August, the town moved those boulders to a section of the wharf in Portugal Cove where the town stores sand and salt.

“They figured it was an eyesore,” Neary said. “They were after me over the years.”

According to a document Neary shared with The Telegram, the town offered him $8,000 last October to purchase the property. Neary chose not to respond. He claims to have since received an offer of $30,000 for it from another party.

Delayed removal

Neary was vague when asked if he ever received a warning from the town that the rocks would be moved.

“They didn’t come out and tell me right out,” he said. “The rocks were supposed to be moved since last year, I guess. But for some reason, I guess they … never did it until this year.”

Aug. 13, 2013 council minutes show that the planning and development committee directed the town to proceed with a removal order in relation to rocks on the property. It said an initial removal order was filed the previous September, but an appeal was subsequently filed with the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board. Minutes from the July 30 council meeting indicate the appellant chose to withdraw that appeal.

Minutes from the Sept. 25, 2012 council meeting also state that an application was filed with the town to complete shoreline stabilization work at the property. Council voted unanimously to reject that application.

Neary spoke with town manager Chris Milley the day the rocks were moved and said he was told they would be stored by the sand pile in case it became necessary to bring them back to Neary’s property.

Asked what he would like to see done to rectify the situation, Neary said he does not care so much what becomes of the rocks.

“If they want to pay me for what it cost to have me have the rocks trucked from Mount Pearl to Portugal Cove, (then) take them back and I’d put them back on my own property. I’d pay to do it.”

Council minutes from the

Aug. 13 meeting indicate the owner of the land will be charged for the cost of the removal order.

In an email to The Telegram, Milley said the new council has not been briefed about the issue.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board

Geographic location: Portugal Cove, Cove Road, Mount Pearl

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