Residents near a proposed housing development in the Goulds say the addition of 22 duplexes will put too much strain on the infrastructure.
The development would connect the ends of Everard Avenue and Kieley Drive, but people who have been collecting signatures against it say residents have enough difficulty already without the additional strain of 44 new homes.
“When our streets were put in, we were with the township of Goulds,” Carol Ann Parrell told The Telegram.
“Our streets are nine feet narrower than the standard street. We have no sidewalks. We have had problems with our sewer system since Day 1. We’ve had flooding as recent as 2010 — seven homes flooded out from the system backing up. We’ve had raw sewage in bathtubs. And they want to rezone this?”
Resident Daphne Pittman emailed The Telegram a long list of concerns, including increased risk of sewer backups and accidents due to higher traffic. To accommodate the development, the city will have to approve rezoning of the land from low to medium density.
“We want the city’s assurance that if they approve the rezoning of the land, and the building of the houses and water and sewer system in place, the City of St. John’s will take responsibility for damage to property,” wrote Pittman.
Parrell said she wasn’t satisfied with a public meeting held in June, where city officials said they hoped the development will improve the underground infrastructure.
“‘Hopefully’ is not a guarantee. … The last time we got flooded, the homeowners had to go to their insurance at their own expense,” she said.
“But they have to do something with the existing plumbing before they hook up other people, or we’re all going to be in the same boat twice.”
Parrell, who said she’s collected signatures against the development from almost all of the residents of Everard and Kieley, also said Ward 5 Coun. Wally Collins told her he’s all for the development.
“He told me that I cannot stop progress and it’s going ahead,” she said.
That’s not so, said Collins, who said city council won’t vote on the development until more water and sewer tests are done.
“Right now we’re checking the water pressure on all the houses, and the sewer, to see if there’s any trouble with the water and the sewer,” he said, adding he hasn’t made up his mind on the development.
“We’ve got to look at all the facts yet before we make up our mind one way or the other. … I never said that I support it. I never said I don’t support it.”