DEER LAKE Council has applied for a potential rezoning of recently acquired Crown Land and hopes development can start as quickly as possible in the New Year.
Two parcels of Crown Land were freed up last month for town use by the provincial government, with permission pending on a third. Council had been asking for use of the sites adjacent to its current industrial park for nearly two years prior to the decision, as that industrial park has essentially run out of room for further expansion.
Council has applied for those two land areas to be rezoned for commercial use, an action Mayor Dean Ball said could take between three and six months. The action, announced during Monday’s bi-weekly public council meeting, is essentially a pre-emptive rezoning.
“We don’t want anything to slow this down, if we can get it rezoned over the fall it gives us an anticipated date that we can start work this spring,” he said. “The first two blocks are not a major issue (anymore), so we know it’s safe for us to apply to have them rezoned into commercial lots.”
He said council has a meeting set up to talk about the third parcel of land, which they hope will also be granted for town use. Ball said he is confident that the decision made will be good news for the area.
“We’re not over-confident, but we have a good case that the growth of Deer Lake is at stake,” he said. “I think the province has recognized the value of what this piece of property means to us and our future growth.”
The hunt for more land started in 2011 when town officials completed the installation of water and sewer to the industrial park off Old Bonne Bay Rd. The area very quickly ran out of room, leaving council scrambling to find an area for future business growth.
The area has been experiencing an increase in recent years, with the addition of several restaurants and business and an airport that has been breaking passenger records for the last three years.