Battery Woes

As I sit here and type with sounds of not one but two backhoes drilling into the hill of the Battery, I wonder how the hell it could really come to this. We taxpayers spent serious money to hire professionals to develop guidelines to curtail inappropriate development that would erode people’s existing views, privacy and property values. Never mind that it’s their home, their life. Our home is far more than a house. It is our life. We are not rich.  We enjoy the richness of a neighbourhood, of neighbours that have been in the same place for over 70 years. Who have become like family for our children who were born here.

City Hall couldn’t give two farts for that. But there is some very odd cherry picking going on as to who can build and who can’t. Whose view is deemed to be valuable, whose is disposable. Mayor Wells regards the Battery Development Guidelines as just, well, guidelines b’y. Don’t get yer knickers in a knot, they ain’t regulations. Sorry, but I beg to differ. They have been enforced and as such a practice has been established. On other occasions, a few, in fact, people’s requests to go higher or extend further have been nixed because they were interfering with more than 5% of the view plane and impacting the acquired right of others. It cost one homeowner on Murphy’s Lane several thousands of dollars to redo his house plans–and get this: his neighbour, whose view was to be affected, gave his okay. Another homeowner on Middle Battery Road was refused an extra storey on his bungalow because his neighbour said that the light in his basement workshop would be affected. A third homeowner on the same street wanted to increase her  roofline but was denied, again because of the view plane of a neighbour. But on this occasion, where the views and privacy of four property owners will be severely impacted, there has been no opportunity for any input.  Something doesn’t add up. Why has this been rushed through so that the digging started even before the final rubber stamp approval of Council was given?

— Alison Dyer, St. John’s