I would like to respond to a Letter to the Editor in your Oct. 25, 2011, edition of The Southern Gazette, titled ‘Business Investors Turned of by Reception from Marystown Council’.
My response, on behalf of council, is as per excerpts of minutes of council meeting held Oct. 4, 2011, which outlines council discussion on the issue of the two development applications.
Excerpt from Minutes of Council Meeting held Oct. 4, 2011:
Mayor Synard recognized Mr. Clayton Haas, who was present to discuss the rejection of his Planning & Development application at the last regular Council meeting of Sept. 20, 2011. Mr. Hass had submitted an application to obtain Crown Land measuring 2,000’ x 1,000’ on the East side of Linton Lake for the purpose of constructing a Recreational RV Park/Camping Grounds. It was rejected as the proposed development is contrary to development in a Conservation/Watershed Zone. The second application was for the construction of 10 individual cottages measuring 24’ x 30’ each to operate all year long in Lower Mooring Cove on already-owned land. It was rejected because the proposal was contrary to development in a Residential Zone.
Mr. Haas was advised Council had no choice but to reject his applications, not for the developments themselves, but because of the fact one would be in a Watershed Zone and the other would be a commercial development in a Residential Zone, which constitutes an automatic rejection. Mr. Haas has the right to request Council start the process to rezone the land, subject to the submission of a development plan, including survey and with the understanding all costs associated with the rezoning will be at his own cost. Mr. Haas was advised the submission of a development plan to Council now would give them a better idea of whether or not the development would meet the Town’s standards.
Mayor Synard explained some of the rezoning process, including the need to advertise a Public Briefing to advise residents of the rezoning and the need to advertise a Public Hearing with a Commissioner should the Town receive any letters supporting, objecting to or commenting on the rezoning. It was noted approval by Council to start the rezoning process does not necessarily mean the land will be automatically rezoned. Should anyone object to the rezoning and should that objection be considered valid, a Commissioner for the Public Hearing could recommend to Council that the rezoning be denied. If that occurs, Mr. Haas would still be responsible for all costs. If no correspondence on the rezoning is received and the Public Hearing is cancelled or, if hearing the arguments presented, a Commissioner still recommends the rezoning, it’s quite possible Mr. Haas’ application could be approved.
Mr. Haas noted his application was subject to approval by the Department of Transportation & Works for a right-of-way to his property. Mr. Haas noted he has two accesses to his property. Mr. Haas also noted the Town should be assisting him with his application as he is investing in and attracting business to the community. Mr. Haas was advised the Town doesn’t invest in another person’s or business’ planning & development applications.
Once the Town released Linton Lake as a protected watershed area, it was never decided what the new zoning for the area should be or what Council should do with the area. Mr. Haas requested Council complete the municipal portion of his Crown Land application with the reason for its rejection so it could be sent back to Crown Lands for filing. By doing that, Crown Lands will be aware of Mr. Haas’ request for the land should someone else apply for the land after him.
Mr. Haas advised he still has plans to go ahead with the cottages this spring as he owns the land for that proposed development, which would still require a rezoning. Mr. Haas will look into the Recreational RV Park/Camping Grounds at a later date due to the issues surrounding a Watershed Zone.
In closing, Mr. Haas can apply to rezone his private property and pay the costs associated with the rezoning process. Initiating the rezoning process does not guarantee what the outcome will be, however, the vast majority of rezoning requests are successful. The issue here appears to be Mr. Haas does not want to pay the costs, approximately $1,500, for the rezoning and for some reason expects the Town Council to pay it for him.
Mayor Sam Synard
Town of Marystown