Briefs from St. John's city countil
City council has reversed a decision to allow a downtown homeowner an exception to heritage rules on windows.
Lionel West, looking to replace the windows on his Gower Street property, had asked for an exemption from the city’s heritage rules, saying the windows required by the city would triple the cost of the job. Council had voted July 28 to allow him an exemption, but rescinded the decision Monday night after discussions with city staff, who said council doesn’t have the discretion to allow an exception to heritage rules.
“I think council understands its responsibility in this area a little better than we did before, and I take some blame for that. I didn’t clarify that as well as I should have, partly because I’m a rookie at heritage stuff,” said Coun. Sandy Hickman, co-chairman of the city’s heritage committee.
City council voted to reject the exemption request, with Coun. Jonathan Galgay the sole dissenting vote.
“I’m not asking council to repeal regulations that are going to just disrupt everything in the downtown,” he said. “All I’m asking for is the provision for discretionary authority for council to intervene in situations like this.”
Council rejects proposed addictions recovery centre based on cost
St. John’s has sent a proposed addictions recovery centre back to the drawing board.
City council voted Monday night to accept the planning committee’s recommendation last week that Teen Challenge Canada’s proposal for a centre for 24 women on Fowler’s Road be rejected because of the cost to upgrade the little-used road.
“Most of us that I’ve talked to think it’s a proper and it’s a laudable project, given the intense need for addiction treatment in today’s environments and working with some of the people who deal with drugs and drug addictions,” said Coun. Tom Hann, chairman of the city’s planning committee. “While we encourage Teen Challenge in their efforts, there’s a number of issues with this proposal, the most of which is the road leading to this remote and isolated location. … The road is substandard gravel road.”
Other councillors also expressed support for the project, although Coun. Jonathan Galgay and Coun. Wally Collins wondered why Teen Challenge wanted to locate the facility in such a secluded place instead of in a more central location closer to other services. Dan Murray, the CEO of Teen Challenge, says the faith-based non-profit has attempted twice before to locate a centre in more-populated areas, but has faced opposition by the centre’s future neighbours.
East Coast Music Awards gets financial lift from host city
The city will chip in $100,000 to the East Coast Music Awards being held in St. John’s April 8-12 next year. Council voted Monday night to accept the finance committee’s recommendation.
“The estimated economic impact of this event is over $3.5 million to the city of St. John’s,” said Coun. Danny Breen, chairman of the finance committee.