Mark Felix said it was disappointing to him there was no public consultation with users of Indian Head Park before work began on its redevelopment.
He said at Thursday’s regular general meeting of council that’s why he was voting against a permit for the redevelopment of the former Indian Head Park at 200 Massachusetts Drive.
Felix said he had a number of calls on Thursday morning from people concerned about work already taking place there, with people not informed about it.
He questioned if the town owned the land.
Mayor Tom Rose confirmed the town owns the land, as it was transferred to the town earlier this year from the provincial government, then leased to Harmon Seaside Links, which had called a request for proposals.
At the meeting, council had to decide whether it would issue a permit to Harmon Seaside Park Development Ltd. to redevelop the former Indian Head Park by clearing overgrowth to develop modern recreational vehicle (RV) lots, water services to be connected and on site approved septic disposal system.
Deputy Mayor Susan Fowlow said the reality is that there are no user groups, and that people using the park are using someone else’s property simply because it is there. She said it is not like something is being taken away.
Felix said people are concerned about trees coming down and how that may affect birds and other wildlife in the park.
Rose said it’s always his hope and wish that any private company take into consideration eco-systems and wildlife. He said bird watching is significant at the location, and his hope is good stewardship from everyone.
He said he believes this will be a good development for the town and that the town will benefit from business and water taxes.
Coun. Mike Tobin sees it as an asset to the town and said the concept is good, especially since it could accommodate RVs and trailers currently parking by the beach alongside Stephenville Beach.
Felix had the only dissenting vote of the seven council members.