CARBONEAR, NL — After months of meetings and public hearings, a proposal to build a hotel at Crocker’s Cove Point in Carbonear has moved a step closer to becoming a reality.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting, councillors unanimously approved amendments to the town plan and development regulations that would allow the property’s owners to apply for a permit to build a hotel.
Through the amendments, two hectares of land has been rezoned from conservation to medium-density residential, and hotels are now a permitted use of land under the latter zoning category.
The town did, however, introduce some additional changes to the development regulations concerning the potential for a hotel development. As announced by Coun. Danielle Doyle, chair of the development committee, the design of certain features must take into account noise, light and general disturbance considerations. This would apply to outdoor components, such as the parking lot, dumpster and waste disposal facilities, loading areas and decks.
Developers James Bailie and Janet Whittle-Bailie are proposing to build a three-level luxury boutique hotel. It would feature upwards of 50 rooms and include a restaurant, bar, conference centre and other amenities. They initially requested to rezone almost three hectares of land, but that figure was later reduced to two hectares. It’s expected the hotel would employ 45-50 people.
The project did encounter some resistance, as was made clear during a pair of public hearings. Some questioned the suitability of a hotel in a largely residential area. Concerns were also raised about the impact of increased traffic on the neighbourhood. However, many residents have reacted favourably to the proposal, suggesting the hotel would give an economic boost to the community and help attract events to the area.
When the Compass spoke with the developers last July, they said their hope was to be ready for construction in the spring of 2018 and open in 2020. They must next apply to the town for a building permit. That would entail submitting a more detailed design for the structure.