St. John's aims for massive expansion
The City of St. John's is asking for government approval to pave the way for two major areas of expansion, with at least one neighbour not impressed with the move.
City council is asking the Newfoundland and Labrador government to rezone two swaths of land from rural to urban.
One area of land is near Kenmount Road, while the other is in the largely undeveloped Southlands area.
Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff said the request is justified "because there is huge demand and because it fits in with the general policies of the regional plan. You try to develop from the inside out."
Conception Bay South Mayor Woodrow French, however, is not keen on what he has heard about the proposed development, which he acknowledges is not much.
"At this particular point in time, I've got to be against it, because of the fact that we don't know enough about it," said French.
French said Conception Bay South is concerned that it may wind up paying for part of the development, through shares costs that would be incurred by the regional water authority.
"The impact is higher rates, way higher rates on your water. All this infrastructure — pumps, lift stations, everything else — has to be maintained," he said.
But Duff said neighbouring towns should not fear expanded development inside St. John's.
"His town will not end up paying for part of that because any additional infrastructure that we have to put in is likely to be paid for by the prospective developers," she said.
Duff said any development will need to protect watershed areas and ensure that a city policy of zero runoff from new developments is respected.
The city hopes to see development start as soon as 2012.
Development in the Southlands area has been proceeding rapidly in recent years, although residents there have complained that their needs for services, particularly recreation, have been ignored.