Nfld. & Labrador

Jonathan Galgay harassed over support of Quidi Vidi development

St. John's city council is expected to vote Monday on a recommendation to lift a freeze on development in Quidi Vidi Village, as one councillor is contacting police over harassment.
St. John's City Council will vote on Monday on a plan to lift the moratorium on development in the Quidi Vidi Village area. (CBC)

St. John's city council is expected  to vote Monday on a recommendation to lift a freeze on development in Quidi Vidi Village, as one councillor is contacting police over harassment. 

Council voted to put a moratorium on construction in the Quidi Vidi area in 2013, following some concerns that the enclave's historic character was under threat from development.

However, some councillors now say that newly approved guidelines will protect Quidi Vidi Village while still allowing development to happen.

Coun. Jonathan Galgay, who plans to vote yes on the development, said he has been receiving harassing phone calls connected to Quidi Vidi Village.

Coun. Jonathan Galgay said he has contacted the RNC about harassing calls he has recieved over the Quidi Vidi development plan. (CBC)

He told CBC News the calls have resulted in him being escorted to his car after last week's council meeting, and he said he has received even more troubling phone calls since then.

"When you are in public life you will often have confrontations with people and sometimes they escalate," he said.

"In this particular case it's a pattern of behaviour and it's concerning. It's come to the point now where it's been advised by our staff that I make a complaint."

Though he is currently out of town on city business, he says he has contacted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary about the calls, and he'll meet with police to file a formal complaint when he returns to St. John's Tuesday.

Councillors predict development moratorium will be lifted

In the meantime, Galgay thinks the move to once again allow development in the area is the right one to take.

"People have been placed in limbo," he said.

"But I think we'll see some activity in the village this year — there is no doubt — perhaps in the next few months."

Galgay predicts applications to build and demolish in Quidi Vidi Village will come very quickly after the moratorium is lifted.

Just last week, the new plan was set out for development in Quidi Vidi Village, which upset some residents.

In 2013, the city hired a consultant to study development in the village. From that came the Quidi Vidi Overlay Study, that was approved by council last week. It set out a series of guidelines that will govern future projects in the area.​

Councillor Tom Hann said he has faith in the new guidelines for developments in Quidi Vidi Village. (CBC)

Coun. Tom Hann said he also supports giving development a green light now, because he believes the guidelines will appropriately protect the area.

"If people have problems in terms of land ownership and whether or not a piece of land can be developed, then they can certainly continue to deal with the city. But they will be dealing with the city under the context of this new plan," he said.

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