John Bidgood says he is abiding by strict city conditions in developing an area of land into 30 building lots near the end of Everard Avenue and Kieley Drive in the Goulds area of St. John’s.
Bidgood says he has spent extra money to install storm drain infrastructure to alleviate any concerns of runoff from the new development into neighbouring areas.
He said any issues that residents of Everard Avenue and Kieley Drive have with infrastructure on their streets is between them and the city. He has no comment on it.
“I’m just an investor in this development. The city was very, very strict with me in terms of that development,” Bidgood said Friday.
“There are 30 double catch basins. Typically for a site this size there are 14, but we have 30. There’s a double catch basin under every lot. There’s also a detention tank with measurements of 26 feet wide, 229 feet long and 4.9-feet high.
“It’s just 30 nice building lots for sale. Someone can buy a lot and put their house on it without issue.”
Information from the City of St. John’s states that in 2017, Bidgood made an application for the current plan of 30 building lots to accommodate single dwelling homes. An earlier application made by him in 2013 for 44 lots for semi-datched homes for the area had stalled.
The Telegram was unaware that the previous application had stalled and did not have the information on the new application for its story published in the Oct. 4 paper.
The city, in a statement, said that with the measures Bidgood has taken there will be no additional strain on existing storm infrastructure in the area.
“There is an abundance of double catch basins located within the new subdivision,” the city stated. “These will ensure all surface runoff will be captured and directed to the underground storm detention chamber located in the easement adjacent to Civic No. 16 Everard Ave. and Civic No. 17 Kieley Dr.
“The developer is responsible for all underground infrastructure during construction. Once the city accepts the work, the city requires an additional one-year warranty. After the one-year warranty, the city is responsible for any problems.”
Some residents of Everard Avenue and Kieley Drive say they have suffered flooding and sewer backups a number of times over the years and fear that after the new subdivision is connected to the system, the problem on their streets will get worse.
They say they have nothing against Bidgood or his development, but the city should have upgraded infrastructure on their streets before the new development began.
Carol Ann Parrell said she has been contacting St. John’s City Hall over the past week since land clearing began. She says residents want assurances that should flooding or sewer backups damage their homes, it will be taken care of.
“We have had problems with the sewer system since I moved here in 1989,” Parrell said. “We've had homes flooded out from the system backing up. We've had raw sewage in bathtubs.”
She said the city has done “patch work” over time, but the issues continue.
Parrell said residents of the streets are in a panic now that land clearing has begun.
The city’s statement says the city upgraded the sanitary sewer mains on Everard Avenue and Kieley Drive in 2009.
The issue with backups, it says, is due to existing service laterals.
Parrell, however, said some storm drains in the area are not even graded properly.
“We had flooding here in 2011,” she said. “And there now, one part of the storm drain is still holding water from rain two weeks ago. There’s no flow to it.”