SOS sends message to developers

Group wants Murphy’s Right of Way  left the way it is

Published on October 18, 2010

A group protesting a subdivision development on Signal Hill has hardened its stance — declaring it doesn’t want any development on Murphy’s Right of Way.

Originally, Mona Rossiter and her group talked about the potential for one or two homes at the site, but at a rally of 100 or so people against an eight-lot subdivision, she and others declared they really want no development of the site.

“The more we talked about it and the more we heard from people who are interested in this, I think we came to the resolve that it should be open space,” Rossiter said. “And when you walk up and poke around this natural landscape it is a natural extension of the Signal Hill landscape, so it makes perfect sense to have it undeveloped.”

Rossiter, chairwoman of the ad hoc group Save Our Signal Hill (SOS), said she was delighted with the turnout at the rally, where council members Sheilagh O’Leary and Shannie Duff and NDP MHA Lorraine Michael expressed their opposition to development at the site.

O’Leary, who walks the trails on the hill almost every day, said most of council gave the go ahead because they believed the land was privately owned, but if it turns out to be Crown land council won’t likely give the development another thumbs up.

Duff said she’d like to rezone the land as open space, should it be proven Crown land.

“(It’s) not an important spot because there’s a national park here,” Michael said. “A national park is here because this is an important spot.”

All four women also thanked Arthur Murphy, a former resident of the hill, who dug up the document proving the land was likely Crown property and therefore could not be built on.

It was that document that stalled the approved development across from the Geo Centre in council chambers last week.

Council then voted to give developer Leger Holdings three weeks to come up with proof it owns the property. After that, council will hold a vote on whether to revoke the development permit.

Rossiter reminded those in attendance to stay vigilant on the issue before area resident Bill Kelly led the group in singing John White’s version of the song “Signal Hill.”