Public hearing on city’s proposed Country Road Development Scheme draws limited interest

Diane Crocker
Published on August 8, 2014
Colleen Humphries, right, supervisor of planning with the City of Corner Brook, reviews a map of the Country Road Development Scheme: MacDonald Brown Drive Area Plan with commissioner Gerard Martin prior to the start of a public hearing at city hall on Thursday.
Star photo by Diane Crocker

Gordon George thinks it’s high time the Country Road Development Scheme proceeded.

“The faster it goes ahead, the better,” said the city resident who owns a building block on a section of Dykes Road that will be included in the proposed residential development.

He bought the land from the city for $500 three or four years ago.

“I bought it as an investment, either to build on it or sell it.”

But up to now he’s been unable to develop it.

George was one of two city residents to attend a public hearing presided over by commissioner Gerard Martin on the proposed scheme that will now be known as the Country Road Development Scheme: MacDonald Brown Drive Area Plan at city hall on Thursday evening.

The scheme has been in place since 1976 and has been amended several times with the latest amendments taking place in 1994. There’s been a lot of development in the area since that time, but the plan has not been changed to reflect that.

The new plan involves updating the scheme area which will include extending MacDonald Brown Drive to the east to O’Connell Drive and opening up an estimated 287 residential single family lots as well designating three areas for apartment units.

To proceed with the plan the city needs to amend its development regulations to allow for the rezoning of the area from mosaic residential to residential medium density.

The public hearing had to be held as part of the process to make the amendment under the Urban and Rural Planning Act.

Written submissions objecting to or supporting the plan and development regulations amendments were accepted up to Tuesday and there were two received — one from the city and one from a resident.

Colleen Humphries, the city’s supervisor of planning, spoke to the city’s submission. She outlined the process taken thus far and talked a bit about the scheme which will improve the road network in the area, improve lot and site grading in the entire subdivision and include a storm water retention pond and a system of walking trails.

The resident who submitted the second submission had been expected to attend the hearing, but didn’t.

While George didn’t submit an official written submission, Martin did allow him to present.

He told the hearing that he supported the development, but had a concern related to his own land.

George has already agreed to the city taking a small corner of his land to allow for the extension of Dykes Road. With that portion of his land gone, he’s wondering if he’ll be able to still develop on the lot. If not, he asked if he could some of the land from an adjacent block, which has also been divided, from the city to make up for the part he’s lost.

Martin said he couldn’t answer George’s questions, but that he could point him in the right direction.

After the meeting, George said he intended to pursue an answer.

Martin expects to have his report, with a recommendation on whether or not the plan and amendment should proceed, completed within two to three weeks.