Nfld. & Labrador

Young couple frustrated with Stephenville council over new home build

A young couple hoping to build their home on family land in Stephenville says the project could turn into a $2-million nightmare, after the town rejected their permit to build a single home.

Water, sewer lines cited as reason why couple can't build on family land

Tony Powell and Jennifer Rose say it doesn't make sense that Stephenville council is saying they would have to connect a new home to municipal water and sewer lines, when the other homes in the area aren't connected. (CBC)

A young couple hoping to build their home on family land in Stephenville says the project could turn into a $2-million nightmare, after the town rejected their permit to build a single home.

Tony Powell and Jennifer Rose moved home from Fort McMurray to be closer to family.

The couple wants to build a single home on Rose's family's land, but Stephenville's town council rejected their plans.

"We would hope that the town council would support young professionals moving back to the community to start a family," said Rose.

"It's frustrating not having any help."

The couple said council has told them any new development would need to be hooked up to the municipal sewer and water systems.

However, Powell said the other homes in the area owned by Rose's family aren't connected, so he doesn't see why theirs should be. Their piece of land is on the far end of a town road and Powell said that would mean they'd have to pay for all the infrastructure to be laid down to reach their property.

"It would cost us around $2 or $3 million in order to do that and considering the rest of the residents up here are on artesian wells and septic tanks, it doesn't make much sense for us to have to put in municipal water and sewer," he said.

The couple is reluctantly renting while they try to convince council to have the land rezoned, and Powell said if that doesn't work they can't afford to buy another lot. 

"We have a piece of land already that we're being refused to develop so if we can't get this resolved, we are going to have to leave this community and find somewhere else to live," he said.

Council was unable to speak with CBC News on Wednesday, since the mayor was out of town.

Rose and Powell currently have a request in to the town to rezone the area as rural, and they hope the request will be approved at a meeting Thursday allowing them to build on the property and use an artesian well.