SPANIARD’S BAY, N.L.
A proposal to construct a steel garage on a large piece of land prior to building a home there generated plenty of debate at the Monday, Jan. 7 Spaniard’s Bay council meeting.
Council ultimately approved a motion to allow for the construction of the 100-square-metre garage, so long as work to build a home on the land starts within six months of approval.
The property on Back Track Road in Tilton, which is approximately 1.9 acres, includes two pieces of land. Coun. Tracy Smith, who introduced the motion to approve at Monday’s meeting, noted that the garage would only account for 1.3 per cent of the full property. The property owner is also looking to set up a salon in the home once it’s built.
Under the current town plan, an accessory building must be the lesser of 81 square metres or seven per cent of the lot’s size. While the size of the garage would exceed what is normally allowed for under the town plan, Smith noted it falls well below the seven per cent threshold concerning the size of a building lot. She also acknowledged the town has granted approval in the past to build garages first for space to store building supplies.
Deputy Mayor Darlene Stamp was hesitant to approve a proposal that was not compliant with the town plan, stating it would be unwise to set a precedent.
“We either amend the new town plan or we stick to our town plan,” she said. “Because for me personally, if anyone comes to me in the future and they want to break the town plan, I don’t see how we can argue that they can’t.”
Smith countered by acknowledging she would have a problem with this proposal if it involved a smaller piece of land, but the circumstances in this case were unique, she added.
Town manager Tony Ryan noted the municipal plan will be up for renewal this year. He added there is a regulation within it that gives council some leeway in dealing with cases such as these, so long as council can adequately back up its decision.
“If council uses that regulation to justify or support any decision it makes, it’s got to be prepared to back it up,” he said.
Council approved the motion in a 5-2 vote. Stamp and Mayor Paul Brazil voted against it.