TOWN PLANNING GETS SOME BALLS | NO BERNARD ROAD CEMETERY

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The following story was written by Rashad Rolle of The Tribune on 25 May:

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

A PROPOSAL to construct a cemetery on Bernard Road has been rejected by the Town Planning Committee, The Tribune understands.

Asked to confirm this yesterday, Charles Zonicle, director of the Department of Physical Planning, said: “A decision has been made but we haven’t communicated it to the applicant as yet.”

When The Tribune tried to ask him a follow-up question, he abruptly ended the call after asking how this newspaper got his “private cell”.

The cemetery proposal spawned considerable protest from area residents, culminating in a well attended public hearing at LW Young Junior High School a little more than a week ago where concerns were voiced.

Among the chief concerns was that traffic would increase while the value of properties in the area would decline. Residents were also concerned the project would impact the water table and increase flooding in the area.

The 13.504 acres of vacant land owned by James Bain is situated near the Budget Convenience store, east of Sands Addition.

Attorney Bjon Ferguson, a staunch opponent of the proposed cemetery, praised the government’s purported decision yesterday.

“We’re just happy that the committee gave weight to the relevant factors and arrived at the right conclusion,” he said. “We would greatly appreciate consideration being given to adding more green and recreational space in our community. The children in the affected communities are forced to play in the streets due to the lack of green and recreational space. We would fully endorse developments that included these considerations. We do understand that a developer has a right to develop his land but his development cannot negatively impact the community. It should provide a positive impact to the community and society at large.”