Randy Ring has been waiting over 25 years to build a home for his son on Barrows Road in Quidi Vidi Village.
On Tuesday evening, a public meeting at St. John’s City Hall brought him one step closer to making it a reality.
About 20 people came to the meeting to have their say on the proposed home, which would overlook Quidi Vidi Gut, just across the street from the Quidi Vidi Brewery.
Ring says his family’s roots in the area go back to the 1800s. He says he is encouraged by Tuesday evening’s meeting, but he’s faced a lot of opposition to the development before.
“All I can tell you is that it’s been over 25 years trying to do something there,” said Ring.
“It was squashed every way. Everyone could build all around there and I had the only place that was (zoned) open space.”
Ring points to other residents voicing concerns in the past to council about the development, though he didn’t say precisely what the past concerns had been.
Area resident Dave Bussey said regulations with the city note that areas deemed difficult to develop due to steep hills or large rocks are to be left as open-space zones. Bussey said he is good friends with the Ring family and, while he initially opposed the development, he later retracted his opposition.
Ring says he’s hopeful that the newly elected council will change the fate of the property.
The application before council would require changing the zoning for the area from open space to residential.
The proposal lays out a plan for two homes on the lot, though only one of them has been designed so far. No cost estimate or timeline for construction was available Tuesday evening, given the family will await the decision of council.
Ring’s son, Christy Ring, will live in the home, should it be approved. He and his wife, Jill Ryan, have a 10-month old child. Ring says he wants to give his child a chance to grow up in the heart of Quidi Vidi, like he did.
“A simple, square, saltbox home. That’s all we want,” Christy Ring said at the public meeting.
Ring’s grandfather owned a blacksmith shop in Quidi Vidi many years ago, as well as a cooper shop, which made wooden barrels.
“You talk about tradition? Our family goes back,” said Ring.
In 1981, Randy and his brother, Jim Ring, were on the crew of the boat that finished the Royal St. John’s Regatta in nine minutes and 13 seconds — breaking a record set in 1901.
The decision on the property will now go back to city council, then to an independent commissioner. A decision on whether the home will be built will follow in the coming weeks.