An apparent land dispute between the Town of Cupids and the service district of Roaches Line is being termed as a misunderstanding by Cupids Mayor Harold Akerman.
Some members of the service district have been under the impression Cupids has the intention of taking over the area.
In an email to The Compass, Morgan Russell, chairman of the Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road service district, wrote the community was in the process of being “taken over by the Town of Cupids.”
“It seems that this has come about due to the town of Cupids having financial difficulties and being unable to settle their debts or refinance their debts in any other way, so they see the service district of Roaches Line/Goulds Ridge Road as a way that they can take us over and pay their debt,” the email continued.
However, that is not the case.
When asked about the apparent takeover, Akerman was adamant his community has no intention of moving its municipal boundary to include Roaches Line.
“It’s not feasible,” Akerman said.
The dispute arose after Cupids decided to update its municipal plan last year. Included that plan is the Roaches Line and the Goulds Ridge Road service district.
Although not included in the municipal boundaries of Cupids, the service district is in the community’s municipal planning area. This planning area extends from the edge of Cupids’ municipal boundaries to a few feet shy of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Akerman said this has been the case for many years.
“A planning area is an area where Cupids would move to and take in, but no that has not been debated,” he said.
The problems started to arise after the provincial government suggested Cupids re-do its municipal plan.
Roaches Line was classified as rural, meaning it is zoned for cabins and the like, but not permanent dwellings or small businesses.
However, the community has always been a place where people moved to build a home or start a small business.
Looking at this, Akerman said the town switched the classification of Roaches Line.
“We looked at it, we could help the people if we switched it from rural to residential mixed,” he said.
This meant Roaches Line and the Gould Ridge Road would be on the right side of the classification.
“It would include houses and small businesses,” said Akerman.
Additional attempts by The Compass to reach Russell were unsuccessful.
Town hall meeting
As is customary when changing a municipal plan, Cupids held public consultations for residents.
When the town held its first meeting, many residents from Roaches Line came out for an explanation.
Akerman said the rumour had started that Cupids was looking to extend its municipal boundaries to encompass Roaches Line.
To quell these fears, the mayor addressed this rumour right away.
“I started the meeting simply to say, ‘the Town of Cupids is not moving its municipal boundaries to take in Roaches Line,” said Akerman.
Service district restarted
Since the first meeting, members of the community reformed the Roaches Line and Goulds Ridge Road Service District. The group even erected a new welcome sign, apparently, staking its territorial claim over the area.
As a result, the newly resurrected service district and Cupids met to further quell any talks of a takeover.
Akerman said the district requested not to be included as a residential-mixed zone.
Cupids obliged, switching the classification back to rural but with some minor alterations to include residential homes and small businesses.
When asked what sparked this latest flare up, Akerman said it was a misunderstanding between a pair of emails sent by municipal affairs.
There has since been clarification provided by the department.
“We are not in any way or shape, or process, trying to take over Roaches Line,” he said.
There is another meeting planned between the two parties in the coming weeks.