Councillors 'shrugging off' Mount Cashel Road concerns

Plans for another new housing development in St. John's is drawing criticism from residents who already live in the proposed area.

Residents say city councillors and developer ignoring their recommendations, ideas

Twenty-seven three-storey townhouses are set to be built on a lot near Tiffany Lane, Mount Cashel Road and Torbay Road. (The City of St. John's)

Plans for a new housing development in the east end of St. John's is drawing criticism from residents who already live in the proposed area.

It has to do with the construction of 27 new townhouses on Mount Cashel Road, off Torbay Road.

The majority of St. John's city councillors voted in favour Monday evening to build them.

As it stands, the KMK Capital Group development will nearly double the number of homes in that area.

Area resident Paul Doucet says the current plan is too dense.

Mount Cashel Road area resident Paul Doucet says he feels he is running out of avenues after several failed attempts to get St. John's city councillors and the developer to reconsider. (CBC)

"It is a matter of what do you want your future [city] to look like," Doucet said.

"I don't think its the face of the future for the city."

Doucet is one of dozens of area residents who have signed petitions, as well as lobbied St. John's city councillors and the developer KMK to change the current plan or scrap it altogether.

Residents want better consideration of issues such as traffic congestion, snowclearing, density and the shadows that the new development will cast.

But Doucet said their attempts to have the plan changed have not gotten them far.

City 'shrugs,' developer says 'no'

"This seems to be the last avenue for us," Doucet said after Monday night's city council meeting.

Coun. Tom Hann says residents need to get used to increases in residential density because unlimited urban sprawl cannot continue in the province's capital. (CBC)

"We have tried to explain our concerns and have them met, but the developer just continually comes back to us and says 'no, no, no,'" he said, adding, "and the city just seems to shrug their shoulders."

At Monday night's meeting, city councillors had mixed feelings and attitudes toward the proposal, with most of them voting to accept the design as it is.

"We have to get used to density. As our population continues to grow we can't continue with unlimited urban sprawl to solve our urban needs," said Coun. Tom Hann.

Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth said that "Mount Cashel Road residents' concerns don't justify the denying of [KMK's] proposal."

Councillors Art Puddister and Dave Lane voted against the design.

Coun. Bernard Davis agreed the area needs a development, but suggested that the current plan may not be the right one for the location.

A side view of one of the proposed townhouse developments slated for a lot off Mount Cashel Road in St. John's. (The City of St. John's)

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.