— Photo by Geraldine Brophy/The Western Star
For the past four years Darren Brake took his business outside of Corner Brook. Frustrated with roadblocks to proposed residential developments within the city, the president of K.S.A.B. Group turned his attention to Massey Drive and Deer Lake.
The experience in those two towns was totally different.
“The ability to do things is much easier because you haven’t got to go through so many different departments,” said Brake of dealing with a small town like Massey Drive.
“You’re dealing directly with council there.”
But now, Brake says he’s willing to give Corner Brook another chance.
Monday night, Corner Brook city council started the process to open up more land for residential housing developments in two areas of the city — one off St. Mark’s Avenue and another south of Pratt Street.
The city will carry out a public consultation regarding amending its Municipal Plan Development Regulations to change the land use designation and zoning for those areas.
The proposal for St. Mark’s Avenue is to change the land use designation from community service and open space to residential with a residential medium density zoning. There is a potential in that area to develop seven new building lots.
In the Pratt Street area, the proposed amendments involve changing the land use designation from rural to residential with residential medium density zoning. The change would allow for continued residential development in the area.
While he said it’s too early to talk about some of his interests, Brake confirmed he’s interested in seeing development in the
St. Mark’s Avenue area proceed.
Brake has developed in the St. Mark’s Avenue area in the past, and owns land there.
“It’s part and parcel of the seven lots they’re talking about,” he said Tuesday.
From what he’s seen, there doesn’t seem to be any challenges to opening it up.
“It all looks very good. The services are on both sides of the existing street.”
Brake said applications he’s made on developments with the past council “didn’t get anywhere,” but the difference with the existing council has been “unbelievable.”
“I don’t know what the difference is, but they’re certainly making a difference,” he said.
He said the new council’s mindset seems to look at whether things are possible, and staff are doing work ahead of meetings and are prepared.
“It’s really, really inviting. I feel very good about developing inside the city,” said Brake. “It’s very early and I don’t know how it’s going to roll out, but it looks good so far.”
Mayor Charles Pender said the city is pleased Brake is looking at Corner Brook as a place to do business.
He said during the past four years the new council has heard the frustrations of businesses and developers over red tape and regulations and it’s prepared to work to change that.
“I can’t speak for the previous council. All I can tell you is this council is open for business,” Pender said Tuesday.
“Anything that we can do within the guidelines of rules and regulations, we will do.”
He said council is pushing to open up land and pushing for development in the city.
He said the rezoning in St. Mark’s Avenue and Pratt Street areas is all about being ready should a developer decide to move forward.
Pender also said the city is working on “a multitude” of different areas with potential for development.
This includes a new subdivision in the Wheeler’s Road area, where Pender expects work will begin this year with road construction and service installation. The proposed mosaic style of development will see a combination of home types built in the area, from executive to duplex and apartment-type buildings.
The city is also working on an extension of Boone’s Road.