An application to develop six one-acre lots for residential development with subsistence farming was rejected by St. John’s city council at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday.
The proposal would subdivide agriculturally zoned property in the area of Jillings Road and Foxtrap Access Road.
Purchasers would then use the land for residential development and subsistence farming such as growing crops and raising livestock.
The proposal required a rezoning.
The application was already refused by the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources because the department said it was not directly related to farming, and it would highly impact current agriculture in the surrounding area. However, the proponent could appeal that decision.
Under the city’s regulations, single detached dwellings are only permitted in agricultural zones as an accessory building or if it’s been approved by the provincial land development authority. The city’s decision note said this application didn’t meet either of those conditions.
Coun. Dave Lane said it sounded like an interesting proposal, and asked city planner Ken O’Brien whether it could be done elsewhere in the city.
Yes, in appropriately zoned areas, such as rural residential, said O’Brien.
Coun. Wally Collins said similar sorts of applications in agricultural zones have been proposed a number of times.
“They more or less says they’re going to grow crops, and have animals and stuff like that, then once they gets the house built then that’s all squashed.”
He said they might build a barn, but use it to work on cars, for example.
Coun. Jamie Korab also said there’s no way to enforce that the purchasers would be farming.
Coun. Maggie Burton said somewhat similar applications have been refused by council in the recent past, such as a proposal to build a personal care home on agricultural land in the Ruby Line area.
The Committee of the Whole report will go to a regular meeting of council at which time the decision to reject will be ratified.
The Telegram contacted the proponents who said they would like to hold off commenting on the proposed development until they receive notice from the city as to the status of the application.