Corner Brook mayor tired of excuses in release of Crown lands

Cory
Cory Hurley
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Mayor Charles Pender addressess council at Monday’s afternoon meeting.

Enough excuses, says Charles Pender, the city needs access to the Crown land within its boundaries for residential development.

The Corner Brook Mayor followed the approval of a number of municipal plan and development regulation ammendments at Monday evening’s public meeting of council with a rant about the delays of getting the land released from the province. Housing shortages and the lack of available land for development have been long-standing problems in the city.

“It becomes extremely frustrating when we are trying to do development for the city as a new council coming in and one of the biggest complaints we hear is the lack of development,” Pender said following the meeting.

“We’re putting our best foot forward, we are pushing our staff, we are talking to developers and trying to get it done.”

Now that the city has identified potential areas for growth and contractors are looking to develop, it’s the province holding up progress, says the mayor. He said some applications have taken up to a year for approval — he says it should take weeks.

Nearly every development is tied up with Crown lands, says Pender. He said one development has the potential for 300 homes and another for about 150 houses. While populations in small neighbouring towns keep growing, Corner Brook’s population has been left stagnant or dwindling.

“We just can’t sit on our hands and wait for these developments to come along,” he said. “In the meantime, communities around us are building 40 and 50 houses a year, and we will be lucky if we see seven or eight this year.”

Pender said some developers have gone so far as to withdraw their project. The mayor says he contacts government officials and local MHAs for an update daily. While the province anticipates eventual approval, the delays appear frustrating for all parties. The mayor does not know why the process is taking so long.

“When a city this size has to sit back and wait for the bureaucracy of the provincial government to approve ... a development to be able to move forward is absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

The city is also awaiting release of Crown land to put a water tank on the east side of Corner Brook and to start construction of the new municipal depot off O’Connell Drive and the Lewin Parkway.

With a short construction season for such development, Pender said things need to happen as soon as possible.

“We need to light a fire under somebody, and get these things moving,” he said.

During the council meeting, the mayor said all Crown land within a municipality should be released to them as a general rule of thumb.

Geographic location: Corner Brook

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • InCB
    May 29, 2014 - 11:27

    I believe Deer Lake had the same problem with the province in getting land to expand the industrial park.

  • Brian
    May 27, 2014 - 18:31

    Lots of land in Pratt St area, after 7 yrs phase 2 not even done and it is close to a state of the art dog park (I think the land was developed for a hospital or something). So what we need are more land developments to start and not finish? I think the issue is far deeper than blaming the government for the delay in Crown Land..... JMO

  • Brian J
    May 27, 2014 - 09:46

    Remember when Pender was Mayor the first go around and he blamed everybody else for all the problems? Remember when Pender was booted out and he wrote his vitriolic blog and blamed the current council for everything. Now Pender is blaming his former conservative buddies. He must realize they are on the way out. People should stop calling him Pender Spender and start calling him Pass The Buck Pender.

  • wp
    May 27, 2014 - 09:09

    Wow! There seems to be so much negativity towards Corner Brook. It can't be all residents; it must be jealous outsiders or people who just want to be always negative. I say to the mayor 'do what ever it takes to get this problem solved'. Keep moving forward.

    • max
      May 27, 2014 - 12:57

      no its mostly residents. Nobody likes to see anyone succeed it tears them up. Pender is trying to do good on this topic and all people wanna talk about is city hall and calling him names.

  • Henry
    May 27, 2014 - 08:47

    Mr. Pender you are likened to blowing air into a balloon getting bigger and bigger. Be careful it doesn't explode.... .

  • PH
    May 27, 2014 - 06:37

    TC: what a narrow minded approach to take with this issue. It is no wonder that Corner Brook has stalled with a statement like that. Its time for people to start working with city hall. With support they can do much.

  • Reality Cheque
    May 27, 2014 - 06:28

    The 'City' of Corner Brook complaining about bureaucracy! Thanks Mr. Pender – I needed a good laugh first thing this morning.

    • Llew
      May 27, 2014 - 08:24

      I approve of you putting city in apostrophes. They don't act like a 'city', they aren't above 20,000 people, the only thing they have is a $19.8 million dollar 'city' hall.

    • max
      May 27, 2014 - 12:49

      Hey Llew do you know how much the tax payers actually contributed to the 19.8 mil bill? There is a new thing on the internet called google....give it a try. People like you are the reason why CB is the way it is, any money spent on upgrades throughout the city is a waste of money in your eyes.

  • CB Insider
    May 27, 2014 - 05:49

    Maybe if you hadn't been so cozy with the PC Party for the last 10 years, people would take your rant a little more seriously. Where are your buddies Marshall & Granter now?

  • TC
    May 27, 2014 - 04:27

    Well, well, well......There are lots of people in this town tired of YOUR excuses. People fighting City Hall for years. Looks good that you are getting a taste of your own medicine.