Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Our view is gone… our privacy is gone… our hearts are broken

may 28, 2007
Is your view in the Battery next????

On Thursday, May 24, 2007 the City of St. John’s Building Department issued a permit to the owners of #24 Battery Road to construct a new house on their recently subdivided lot, #26 Battery Road. This development is in blatant contravention of the Battery Development Guidelines to which the City claims to adhere.

The Battery Development Guidelines were done to curtail haphazard and inappropriate development, and to “protect existing private views and privacy” We are concerned that a new house in a back garden - where none existed previously, with a huge retaining wall, a 35-foot driveway will have a severe negative impact on the neighbouring views, privacy and property values. How can this been seen to follow the spirit and intent of those guidelines?

Who is being hurt by this new development?

Long-time residents of Walsh’s Square as well as those on Signal Hill and Battery Road:
In particular: Mr. Kelly has been on Walsh’s Sq. for 72 years (#3);Mrs. Dawe for 41 yrs (#9); Ms. Dyer & Mr. Bruce Johnson for 17 years (#7); Ms. Porter & Mr. Pope for 15 years (#5); Chris Fitzgerald for 5 years (#2)

Where are the guidelines being broken?

There was no professional view plane analysis
[1] conducted. Our own analysis shows that most of the harbour view, and privacy, of 4 properties will be gone!

Loss of view and privacy will negatively affect our property values.

The BDGS indicated only horizontal expansion but no infill opportunity for #24 Battery Road.

The BDGS recommends that in this zone (Heritage 3, R3), that the Front Set Back “be in line with at least one neighbour”. The City Heritage officer made a written recommendation in January 2007, that the building be in line with existing house #24 Battery Rd.

Structural integrity of the hillside. There has been no engineering study or 3-dimensional site plan to show how the hill at the back of this property will be properly contained. Erosion of this steep slope could cause serious problems for properties on Walsh’s Square.

Concerned? contact: Ward Councillor Frank Galgay 579-8801
Development Committee Chairperson: Art Cheeseman; Council liaisons: Wally Collins 576-8584 Shannie Duff 753-5260 Tom Hann 576-8219

I will have to find & scan a picture, that you might understand our plight.

[1] BDGS, p.13 “In order to protect views…the main principle is that a building can be added to if the addition does not significantly interfere with another property’s view…We suggest that it is significant interference if it is: too close or too big, and interferes with more than 5% of a view cone)

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