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Controversial vehicle storage yard approved by St. John's council

The City of St. John's has approved a discretionary use application for municipal approval to operate a vehicle and heavy equipment storage yard and building at 10 George's Pond Place.
The City of St. John's has approved a discretionary use application for municipal approval to operate a vehicle and heavy equipment storage yard and building at 10 George's Pond Place. - Image courtesy the City of St. John’s
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

St. John’s council has approved a vehicle and heavy equipment storage yard in the west end of St. John’s despite some area residents’ objections.

The proposal also includes a building that would be used to store impounded vehicles.

Coun. Maggie Burton asked deputy city manager Jason Sinyard if there are environmental concerns councillors should consider before they voted.

She also specifically asked if council should be concerned about runoff from the yard ending up in nearby George’s Pond, as one concerned resident suggested in a letter.

“To accept the proposed development would be wilful blindness to current city policies and practices of economic development and environmental protection,” area resident Greg Noseworthy wrote in a letter to the city.

But Sinyard said city staff do not see environmental issues with the yard because it’s at a different elevation than the pond, and the business owner is required to submit detailed engineering plans to city staff.

Sinyard and Coun. Wally Collins also indicated the developer has already spent a lot of money installing an oil-water separator.

Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary asked city staff to keep council informed of mitigation efforts implemented to ensure the yard doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.

However, Tuesday evening was the only time council would get a say in the storage yard’s approval – and council voted to allow the development to proceed.

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