Council paying lip service to housing needs

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Renters in St. John’s face skyrocketing prices and a tight rental market.

Yet, during Monday’s council meeting a rezoning proposal to build a 141-unit apartment complex at the corner of Logy Bay Road and Selfridge Road was rejected.

The vote was close and those opposed were Mayor Doc O’Keefe, Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth and Couns. Wally Collins, Bernard Davis and Art Puddister.

Sure, these councillors will pay lip service to affordable housing and smart urban design, but it is only lip service.

In rejecting this proposal, they have, in effect, voted in favour of urban sprawl and the ballooning infrastructure costs, maintenance costs and traffic congestion that comes with it.

They have also voted against the increased tax revenue, consumer spending and job growth that 141 new homes would have brought to the city.


Went against advice

In rejecting this apartment complex, these councillors went against the advice of city planners who concluded that the proposal “has merit and warrants consideration” and that it “would be consistent with the Municipal Plan,” which supports “higher density development in appropriate locations that allow more efficient use of land and municipal infrastructure.”

In the face of sound reasoning, these five councillors based their votes on what appear to be purely esthetic grounds — they simply felt the proposed 10-storey buildings would be too tall.

Doc and company are afraid of heights.


Tom Baird

and Sharon Bala

St. John’s

Geographic location: Logy Bay Road, Selfridge Road

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Recent comments

  • Dolf
    March 29, 2014 - 12:36

    The mayor and every councilor were for "affordable housing and improved snow clearing". They were nice buzz phrases and nobody bothered to ask them for solutions. Just as well, none of 'em had answers.