Galway developer Danny Williams and the City of St. John’s have broken a deadlock that will allow residential permits to flow this week.
The two sides had reached an impasse over land for excess snow storage. The city has agreed to defer that issue until further study can be done.
“On behalf of our builders, suppliers and all associated workers within the housing construction industry, I am so pleased that work can now resume,” Williams said. “Our position was very clear, that future potential excess snow should not hold up construction this year on what is the most exciting project in the city today. Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity were at stake, and the proposal from the city means work will proceed and Galway Living is open for business.”
St. John’s Mayor Danny Breen also issued a statement.
“The city has been willing to provide 65 residential permits serviced by a temporary one acre site prepared to the city’s specifications,” he said. “Twenty-seven of those permits have been issued in stage one of the development. The city is prepared to allow the developer to use the remaining 38 permits in other residential areas of Galway. Once the size of a permanent snow storage site is determined we must at that time resolve the outstanding dispute through agreement or other mechanism.”
Williams had initially asked for mediation to settle the issue, but Breen doesn’t think that will work.
“We have discussed this issue at length in council and do not feel that there is any reasonable prospect that mediation will resolve this issue,” Breen said. “The purpose of mediation is to reach a middle ground. The city cannot mediate its development conditions. Rather, the city wishes to offer a resolution that protects the taxpayers of St. John’s, offers an avenue for trades people to return to work, and furthers progress in Galway.”
Williams said he is pleased with the result, even thoug mediation will not happen,
“It is my sincere hope that we now move forward in a true spirit of cooperation and partnership, as Galway is something of which we should all be proud,” he said. “Last year, we put a temporary snow storage solution in place. Now DewCor, our partners and the City will work together to see what is required going forward. We agree to disagree on the issue of conveyance of land. We have designed Galway with extra wide sidewalks and larger front lawn areas, specifically to avoid having to truck and dump snow; and I believe studying the issue is right and appropriate. We all look forward to getting back to work, and I thank City Council for their attention to this issue.”