St. John's council gets earful, as Quidi Vidi residents sound off on development plan

Some Quidi Vidi residents are calling a development plan for the area a disaster, with some fearing that the historic character of the area will be threatened.
Randy Walsh, a land owner in Quidi Vidi, spoke to the CBC's Mark Quinn after a public meeting on Wednesday night, regarding new development guidelines for the community. 2:21

Some residents of the picturesque St. John's neighbourhood of Quidi Vidi Village gave the city an earful at a public meeting on Wednesday night. 

They've called a development plan for the area, which has taken years to develop, a disaster. Some fear that the historic character of the area will be threatened.

In 2013, the City of St. John's put a moratorium on development in Quidi Vidi. The city then hired a consultant to study development in the village, and from that came the Quidi Vidi Overlay Study, which was recently approved by council. 

Some residents fear the historic character of Quidi Vidi is threatened by development. (CBC)
But some residents say the study is deeply flawed.

"Right now what they've got done is a mess," said resident Randy Walsh at Wednesday's meeting.

Walsh told CBC that zoning changes means land that was once attractive to developers is now off-limits.

The plan sets out rules and regulations for any new construction in the village, from the size and shape of buildings to the colours and materials permitted.

"Their ancestral properties is gone, their inheritance is gone. They never bought this property — their fathers and grandfathers bought this property. And the only reason they are retaining them is for their kids."

Meanwhile, the city said the plan lays out guidelines, not commandments.

Right now what they've got done is a mess.

"Well you know there is going to be some flexibility as we heard tonight," said Coun. Jonathan Galgay, who received harassing phone calls regarding how he was going to vote on the plan.

"These are guidelines, a starting point. Again, particular circumstances will be evaluated as they come before council." 

City officials say they are listening to concerns raised, but some landowners say they may have to challenge the plan in court.


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