A St. John’s couple says city council is rushing to implement a municipal plan amendment solely to deal with a contentious planned development on their street.
Jessica Dellow and Nick Crosbie are opposed to a condo development next door to them on Mount Cashel Road, and have applied for a judicial review of council’s decision to let the project go ahead.
Council, meanwhile, is making changes to the city’s municipal plan that removes density requirements — the crux of the couple’s opposition to the Mount Cashel development — as well as height and lot coverage requirements, leaving those standards to the zoning requirements set out in the city’s development regulations.
Crosbie and Dellow, in an email to council objecting to the amendments to residential districts, note the amendments being made now will soon be superceded by a new municipal plan, currently under review.
Crosbie said that since the amendments will be in force only for a short time, he thinks the amendments are directly related to the 27-unit townhouse development planned for Mount Cashel Road.
“The residents of Mount Cashel Road are opposed to the construction of 27 townhouses at 12-20 Mount Cashel Road and deserve direct notice of this proposed change,” he wrote.
Coun. Tom Hann, the chairman of the city’s planning and development committee, said the amendments are “housekeeping,” and nothing more, and have been considered for some time.
“There are a number of amendments that have been contemplated as a result of what we have received in the consultations of the new municipal plan,” he said, “and we saw some areas in the old plan that needed clarification.”
Asked why council didn’t just wait until the new municipal plan is adopted, Hann said the city has ongoing development.
“It’s time to move on them. They’ll be part of the new municipal plan,” he said. “It clarifies any exceptions or clarifies exactly what the old municipal plan means and what the development regulations mean, and that’s as simple as I can put it.”
Council approved the residential plan amendments in principle, and the city will hold a public hearing on them before they will be adopted.