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LETTER: Town is applying a double standard with developments

Dear editor: This is the situation occurring in the Town of Stephenville. Currently, our family has been in a longstanding process to request a permit to build a home for our daughter on family land. We now feel we are victims of a double standard.

By definition, a double standard is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations. A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain concepts or rules are perceived as acceptable to be applied to one group of people, but are considered unacceptable when applied to another group.

In the first instance of a double standard, the town insisted that the development regulations that were amended in 2005 for the zone didn’t apply to us. Recently, the appeals board said yes, the amendments are indeed legally binding. Then, we applied to use the amendment with a piece of property that met all the regulations, and the town said no again. The reason given was they have a regulation from 2000 that says all development must have municipal water and sewer. However, the amendment that allows building with wells and septic systems was made in 2005. So, the town allowed one home with well and septic with the amendment, but won’t allow us.

The most recent example of the double standard is the permitted approval for a property in the town to construct new premises that are connected to a septic system and distribution field. The property belongs to a member of the council. So, the outdated regulation to have all properties connected to the municipal water and sewer system does not apply to the property of that individual, but it applies for us.

Tom Rose, Stephenville

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