St. John's council briefs

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Daniel MacEachern
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Councillor apologizes as roadwork begins before residents notified

St. John’s — Traffic headaches came earlier than expected on Portugal Cove Road, according to Coun. Danny Breen, who said work to repair a water main break resumed earlier than expected.

“The work on Portugal Cove Road began last week,” he said. “It was started last fall — that’s the replacement of the water main from Newfoundland Drive to New Cove Road. ... I think the contractor got out a little bit ahead of us, and we never had an opportunity to send the notices out to the residents on Portugal Cove Road, letting them know some of the disruptions they’ll be having.”

Breen apologized for the mixup.

“We’ll be sending out those notices now over the next couple of days, and that work is going to continue on through the summer and probably into the fall,” he said.

“It’s a major project and it’s going to create quite a bit of disruption, because Portugal Cove Road’s a very busy road, and it’s going to be down to two lanes very shortly.”

Residents to voice concerns

on Blackmarsh rezoning proposal

St. John’s — St. John’s residents can have their say on a rezoning application for a proposed Blackmarsh Avenue apartment complex. Karwood Estates applied for the rezoning while still negotiating a purchase price for the city-owned land, where it plans to build two four-storey apartment buildings with a total of 92 apartment units, as well as 10 row houses.

“The sale will probably be contingent on the approval of the application being processed,” said Coun. Tom Hann, chairman of the city’s planning and development committee.

Council approved sending the rezoning application to a public meeting at a date to be determined later.

Mayor slams media

St. John’s — Mayor Dennis O’Keefe slammed St. John’s media for not covering a weekend event he participated in to raise awareness of child abuse.

Miles for Smiles, a walk that aims to help prevent child abuse through awareness and education, was held in Bowring Park on Sunday.

“It’s a burning issue, and it’s an issue that will have to be faced,” he said Monday at the end of city council’s regular meeting.

“It would have been nice if the media had shown up to help get the word out, because awareness and openness is going to be key to solving this problem, and the media has a key role to play. ... The media would have been there had there been a pothole on Cowan Avenue.”

The mayor’s remarks were a reiteration of comments he made to the crowd at the event, where he suggested local media are “more interested in potholes than people, and more interested in potholes than children.”

Quarry expansion gets approval

St. John’s — City council approved amendments to its municipal plan and development regulations to allow an expansion of a quarry at East White Hills.

“This has been before council a number of times. The necessary amendments were adopted; however, a decision was made a couple of weeks ago to defer to look at an issue raised by a local resident,” said Hann.

Residents had previously complained about odours from the nearby landfill at Robin Hood Bay — which were mitigated after the city hired an odour control firm to study the problem — and the resident was concerned that the removal of a portion of a hill to expand the quarry would result in more odours.

“That’s been resolved, and it’s now ready to move forward, so we’re recommending that the resolutions that were adopted by council sometime ago be sent to the municipal affairs department for provincial government registration,” said Hann.

Geographic location: Portugal Cove Road, St. John's, Newfoundland Drive New Cove Road Blackmarsh Avenue Bowring Park Cowan Avenue Robin Hood Bay

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