CORNER BROOK Danieal Griffin is fully prepared to start a modular home construction facility in Corner Brook if the West Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board rules in his favour.
“It’s just a matter of getting everybody back on track, my two investors, and just moving forward,” said the city businessman Tuesday.
Griffin’s plan for the facility on the Massey Drive Access Road was turned down four times by the previous city council over concerns with the land not being serviced for water and sewer.
The latest rejection came in early February and just after that, Griffin filed an appeal with the city’s appeal board. At the time, Griffin was told to expect a hearing in July. However, in May the city decided to move from a local board to a regional one.
Griffin is happy with that change.
“I feel that it will be more of a fairer appeal,” he said. “For one thing it’s not coming from city hall, which I believe is controlled by senior management there.”
A public notice of appeal was published in The Western Star on Monday.
The ad doesn’t give a date for a hearing and Griffin said he has yet to hear when it will take place.
Even if he’s not successful with the appeal, Griffin said he’s not giving up as he believes he’ll have more success with the new council.
He said Linda Chaisson, who was re-elected to council, supported his plan and he spoke with a couple of new councillors during the election campaign who expressed their support.
Griffin said some of the new councillors have experience and a background in business and economic development and are in favour of business development.
“I think the light now is being shown on council and hopefully it will reflect in taking back the power.”
And Griffin doesn’t see a moratorium the previous council put on any further development in the area until it can be serviced impeding his plan.
“I believe that can be lifted,” he said and added he expects it won’t be long before the area is serviced.
Meanwhile, Mayor Charles Pender said council will be asking staff to update them on Griffin’s file and that of Derm Hayes, who was refused approval to install water and sewer service for development of a property on McEacheran’s Avenue. Hayes’ notice of appeal was published alongside Griffin’s.
He said the change to a regional appeal board is something new for the city and he is interested in learning more about it.
As for the land in the area Griffin is interested in, Pender said there is another business located there and he was involved in inviting that business in during his previous term as mayor.
“It was our intention back then that that would become an extension of the industrial park,” he said of the area.
He also said he’s not sure of what the entire issues were concerning the land, but noted the city wouldn’t sign off on giving it to someone to be flipped.
“There are ways of putting guarantees on any piece of land to ensure that it is properly developed as per our development plan,” he said “And if it doesn’t happen then we take the land back or it goes back to the Crown.”