The City of Corner Brook has rejected a suggestion from Quinton Developments Inc. to settle an ongoing dispute between the two parties regarding the development of John’s Point.
Quinton Developments wanted to develop eight upscale lots on the parcel of land overlooking the Humber River near Prince Edward Park on Route 440.
The developer had been granted a permit for the development in 2005, but the city quashed the permit in 2007 because of concerns the city had become aware of regarding the potential risk for slope failure and erosion in the Humber Valley area.
In 2010, Quinton Developments filed a statement of claim against the City of Corner Brook in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.
It has never been determined the land at John's Point itself is inherently hazardous. The city had asked Quinton Developments Inc. to stop the development until further study of the soil was done, at the expense of the developer.
In an article published by The Western Star in June 2012, Trent Quinton said the city told his company that, if the study was not done, the city would take back the land it had sold to the company. Further, Quinton said the city would not reimburse Quinton Developments for the expenses the company had incurred in developing the land up to that point.
Both sides held the position that the other was responsible for paying for any geotechnical studies. Quinton Developments felt the condition of studying the soil on the property should have been included in the original permit, but the city said it never became aware of the potential hazard until after the permit was granted.
In 2012, the city conceded to the court it was negligent when the municipality granted a permit without the proper geotechnical studies being done on the area.
The court then left it to both sides to try and come up with a settlement of the issue.
At last Wednesday’s public meeting of city council, the city rejected the Quinton Development Inc.’s request for a one-lot development at John’s Point as part of the settlement of the claim. City council then approved a motion that the city was agreeable to buy back the property for $20,000.
“That motion was part of the negotiation process,” explained Coun. Josh Carey, who read out the motion passed by council. “Council said no to the request and now the developer has the opportunity to say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to our offer.”
Trent Quinton was contacted to comment on the city’s motion Thursday. After consulting with the company’s legal counsel, Quinton declined to make any comment.
“Commenting on this decision of council would be inappropriate, given that this is a matter before the courts in an ongoing settlement conference,” Quinton stated in an emailed reply.