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Many unanswered questions on Carbonear hotel proposal

Crocker's Cove Point is attracting a lot of attention these days, with Carbonear council considering amendments to the municipal plan that would allow for the construction of a hotel in the area. From the left are Priscilla Pike, Steven Soper and John Slade. They all have concerns about the proposal.
Crocker's Cove Point is attracting a lot of attention these days, with Carbonear council considering amendments to the municipal plan that would allow for the construction of a hotel in the area. From the left are Priscilla Pike, Steven Soper and John Slade. They all have concerns about the proposal.

CARBONEAR, NL — Judging from the feedback received in response to proposed amendments that could pave the way for a hotel in Crocker's Cove, there are plenty of questions and concerns on the minds of residents.

Out of 15 letters received by the May 31st deadline for submissions, 10 either raised questions or brought forward concerns about the project. Council is presently considering an amendment to rezone a 2.97-hectare property at Crocker's Cove Point from conservation to residential medium density. A further amendment would permit hotel developments under this zoning.

Priscilla Pike, John Slade and Steven Soper were among the residents to write the town. They all live on Freshwater Road and can see the point from their backyards.

"My surprise was that it's conservation land," said Pike, who admitted to hearing rumours last year about interest in setting up a hotel in the area.

All three residents believe council is putting the cart before the horse so-to-speak in tabling these amendments and requesting public feedback without having full plans from the developer.

"Let's not rezone conservation land until at least we've got an idea of what's going there," said Soper, who in his letter points out that once the landscape is changed, it can never be brought back.

"That's the odd thing about it — why are you proposing these amendments to your zoning when you don't really seem to have a hell of a lot of information on the structure at all," added Slade.

"It's not that we're not for (a hotel), but do it right," said Pike.

Crocker's Cove Point is one of the few properties in Carbonear zoned for conservation.

In the letters to council, the narrowness of Burnt Head Road is cited as an area of concern, with mention made of the sharp turn leading towards where it intersects Water Street and Freshwater Road.

Others raised questions in their letters about property values, water and sewer service, traffic, pedestrian safety and noise pollution. Multiple writers mention those who live in the area do so because it's a quiet and peaceful residential neighbourhood. One writer questions whether that scenario would change with the introduction of a hotel with may even have a restaurant and bar attached to it.

The area's natural beauty is also highlighted in the letters, with mention made of its interest to hikers, berry pickers, iceberg watchers and bird enthusiasts.

"We do have a lot of migrating birds," said Soper. Birds that periodically inhabit the area include gannets, cormorants, eagles and loons.

One letter points out Crocker's Cove Point serves as a habitat for the Newfoundland short-tailed shallowtail butterfly, indicating too the plant on which these butterflies lay their eggs, Scotch Lovage, are found on the point.

There were some favourable words shared with the town about the project. One writer suggests tourism and the downtown sector needs a boost, with the hotel potentially generating interest in further investment in Carbonear and making it more suitable for hosting conventions and other events.

Another resident writes that the hotel would represent a considerable asset to the town, creating employment and providing an economic boost to the town.

SEE RELATED:

'No decision from Carbonear council on amendment for hotel proposal'

'Potential hotel to be built in Crocker's Cove, Carbonear'

Reaction to the proposal on The Compass' Facebook page has also been largely positive, with dozens of commenters suggesting it would be a good fit for the town.

Council has committed to holding a public meeting on the amendments and the proposed development once the town has more information to share from the proponent, including its design and footprint on the land.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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