St. John’s City Council is moving forward with the next phase of a proposed four-storey rooftop hotel. However, Deputy Mayor Sheilagh O’Leary fears Council is letting an issue like parking dictate city development.
Council is taking the proposal to residents for public engagement, while the proponent Sonco, completes a Land Use Assessment Report. The City’s Experts Panel on Heritage will also review the proposal due to its close proximity to heritage zoning on Harbour Drive.
Deputy Mayor O’Leary says a study that looked at attendance at the Atlantic Place parking garage in recent years, found it to be underutilized with hundreds of empty spaces each day.
She says the city has a number of other public parking agreements where the same situation is occurring. She doesn’t like the idea of expanding upward into the skyline when the parking garage below, has so much untapped potential.
O’Leary says it’s crucial to have parking however she points out that it isn’t a concern anymore. She doesn’t think it justifies creating more height in the city skyline.
Deputy Mayor O’Leary, along with Councillors Hope Jamieson and Maggie Burton voted against the proposal at Council last night.