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Hawke's Bay businessman, town in dispute over access road

From inside his business parking lot, Edwin Broaders points to the new access road he had developed in May.
From inside his business parking lot, Edwin Broaders points to the new access road he had developed in May. - Stephen Roberts

Edwin Broaders unhappy after parking lot access road was blocked, town says it's a legal liability issue

HAWKE'S BAY, N.L. —

Edwin Broaders can’t figure out what the problem is.

The Hawke’s Bay businessman has been fighting for an extra access road that he says his business needs.

But he’s been running into road blocks, both figuratively and literally.

Broaders has had two access roads to his business in Hawke’s Bay, which includes a Canadian Dollar Store and a Robin’s Donuts restaurant. He put down the second access road, coming off of Playground Hill Road, about three years ago. He says he needs it so tractor-trailer drivers who patronize his restaurant can comfortably enter and exit his parking lot. They can simply enter through one road and exit through the other.

With only one access road, he says there isn’t enough space for tractor-trailers to turn around so they can exit the same way they came in.

Therefore, without a second access road, he’s worried he’ll lose these customers who frequent Robin’s Donuts. However, last October, the town blocked off his second access road turning off of Playground Hill Road.

Over a year ago, Broaders had applied for a permit to develop a greenhouse on his property. That permit was approved by Service NL in May 2018 with 15 conditions. Of note to Broaders was the third condition, which stated the town council of Hawke’s Bay would like for the access road from the parking lot to Playground Hill Road to be barricaded.

He did not do so.

In the fall, he says he received a letter from the town asking him to bar off the access road. He refused again.

On Nov. 1, the town had six boulders laid across the road, barricading the access. Broaders does not understand why.

“They cannot tell me what legal authority or engineer or expert made the decision that that was a legal liability issue for this town,” he told The Northern Pen. “It was used for three years and it wasn’t a legal liability issue.”

Broaders says he hardly saw a tractor-trailer at his business all winter.

Hawke’s Bay mayor Garcien Plowman says the town had to barricade the access road because Broaders did not attain a permit from Service NL. He cites provincial government regulations.

According to the Protected Road Zoning Regulations, under the province’s Urban and Rural Planning Act, any development along route 430 is subject to regulations which state, “A person, corporation, partnership, association or other organization shall not carry out development of land within building control lines unless a permit for the development has been issued by the authority.”

Furthermore, “within the municipal boundary of each incorporated municipality, the building control line shall be 100 metres distant, measured perpendicular, from the centre line of the roadway.”

Plowman says the access road off of Playground Hill Road was well within the building control line; therefore, Broaders could not have the access road without a permit. After giving Broaders about three years to attain a permit, Plowman says the town had it barricaded.

“The town was in favour of him having an access route, as long as Service NL approved it,” he told The Northern Pen. “We gave the business owner several opportunities to get the appropriate permits and he refused to do so.”

Plowman says the council faced fears that the town could be held legally liable in the event there was an accident at the intersection of the access road and Playground Hill Road.

“Until he gets permits from Service NL, we’re in violation of the law and the town council is not allowed to allow development or pass permits that are in violation of provincial laws,” he said.

Plowman adds the town is not biased against Broaders and has issued stop work orders to other businesses in town regarding the same issue.

“Everybody has got to be treated fairly,” he said. “He’s looking to circumvent the rules and as a council we weren’t prepared to let that happen.”

Another access road turned down

In May, Broaders went to work again and developed another access road to his parking lot, on the other side of the Playground Hill Road stop sign.

This access road came directly off of route 430.

On May 27, he received a stop work order from the town of Hawke’s Bay explaining that the road could not be developed without a road zoning permit and a permit from the town of Hawke’s Bay before building a road on the land within the town’s boundaries.

He finished the road anyway.

But in late June, the Department of Transportation and Works confirmed that Broaders would have to bury over the newly developed access road.

Meanwhile, he was told he could put another access road 45m south, but he doesn’t want to do that because of the expense — he estimates it would cost him about $250,000.

“There’s no way I can spend $250,000 to create a parking lot, it’s just not feasible,” he said.

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